Oracle, Microsoft agree to shared custody of your workloads in the cloud

Larry gets your database, while Satya will take your apps

It just got a little easier to stitch together databases in Oracle Cloud with workloads running in Microsoft Azure with the launch of the duo’s multi-cloud database service.

The oh-so-creatively named Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure enables customers to provision, access, and monitor Oracle-hosted database services without leaving the Azure cloud dashboard.

The launch marks the latest collaboration between Oracle, cofounded by chairman Larry Ellison, and Microsoft, today run by Satya Nadella; the pair of IT titans launched an interconnect service available in 11 regions back in 2019, designed to make it easier for Azure customers to consume Oracle's public cloud services.

“Microsoft and Oracle have a long history of working together to support the needs of our joint customers,” Corey Sanders, corporate VP of Microsoft cloud for industry and global expansion, said in a canned statement. “This partnership is an example of how we offer customer choice and flexibility as they digitally transform with cloud technology.”

The tech giants' latest service builds on this interconnect platform to automate the process of connecting workloads in the respective clouds in a way that avoids ingress and egress charges for data moving between them. Instead, customers only pay for the Azure and Oracle services they consume, the companies said.

“There’s a well-known myth that you can’t run real applications across two clouds,” Clay Magouyrk, EVP of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, said in a statement. “There is no need for deep skills on both of our platforms or complex configurations — anyone can use the Azure Portal to get the power of our two clouds together.”

Deploying workloads across multiple clouds isn’t without its issues, egress charges often serve to disincentivize deployments of this kind, and network latency due to the physical distance between the target datacenters can lead to performance challenges.

Oracle and Microsoft sidestep the first by allowing customers to move data between the clouds at no cost. However the cloud providers aren’t immune to latency and the service remains limited to 11 regions where Oracle and Azure’s datacenters are located in close proximity. However, in those locations, Oracle claims customers can achieve sub-two-millisecond latency for workloads split between the clouds, at least when one of them isn’t overheating anyway.

The partnership has already attracted several high-profile customers including AT&T, Marriott International, Veritas, and Swiss testing and inspection firm SGS.

As you may recall, AT&T, which migrated its Oracle database workloads to Oracle's public cloud in 2017, penned a strategic partnership to move its 5G network core, workloads and services to Azure last year.

“As we move these workloads to the cloud, Oracle Database Service for Azure enables us to modernize these Oracle databases to services such as Autonomous Database in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, while leveraging Microsoft Azure for the application tier,” AT&T CTO Jeremy Legg explained in a statement. ®

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