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Uber strikes deals with Google and Oracle to cut datacenter dependence

Ride-hailing biz 'modernizes infrastructure' by using someone else's computer

Ride-hailing platform Uber has struck agreements with Oracle and Google to shift workloads off its own datacenters and into the cloud.

The deals are in part responding to supply shortages of data centre hardware during the pandemic when lead times for hardware stretched to as long as 80 weeks.

Uber said it plans to migrate some of its most critical infrastructure to Google Cloud, and reckons it would benefit from additional services such as Google Ads, Google Maps Platform, and database Cloud Spanner. The companies also intend to deepen joint engineering work, said Google.

Under the proposals, Uber will migrate applications and data from its own bit barns to Google Cloud "to modernize its infrastructure and take advantage of Google Cloud's... cloud services, including data cloud technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, security, and microservices."

The app biz has also signed a contract with Oracle for cloud infrastructure. Both agreements are set to last seven years.

Uber said it will migrate some its most critical workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), putting the company "in a position to modernize its infrastructure while also accelerating its path to profitability."

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement: "Oracle provides an ideal combination of price, performance, flexibility, and security to help us deliver incredible customer service, build new products, and increase profitability."

The deal is a two-way street. Oracle has agreed to become a global Uber for Business client, while the two firms have promised to continue "co-innovating on additional retail and delivery solutions that will evolve from the cloud partnership, including consumer experiences with last-mile logistics."

Oracle already has a relationship with Uber Freight, which it says is "directly" integrated with Oracle Transportation Management Cloud, helping shipping firms "take advantage of real-time pricing."

The two new additions mean Uber now has relations with three cloud providers: Uber has a pre-existing contract with cloud market number one AWS. In 2021, it described how it built streaming real-time analytics in AWS with Redis, AWS Fargate, and Dash Framework.

Uber told The Register the latest announcements did not change its relationship with AWS.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Uber suffered supply trouble getting kit to its data centres during the pandemic. The company was forced to wait more than 12 months for hardware, Kamran Zargahi, Uber’s senior director of technology strategy told the publication. The shift to the cloud is designed to mitigate these risk, he said.

Having the dubious honor of becoming a poster child for the trend towards "platformization" of industries using internet-based technologies, Uber hit some trouble last October as the US Department of Labor said it hoped to make it much harder for companies to argue that gig workers and laborers, among others, are individual contractors rather than employees. ®

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