Oracle cloud hardware to reside in Azure datacenters – and Microsoft's good with that

Larry Ellison and Satya Nadella find a common enemy: latency that alows data moving from DBs to AIs

The same Oracle Cloud hardware that Big Red uses to run databases in its own hyperscale cloud will be placed in Microsoft's Azure datacenters, under an expanded collaboration between the two software giants.

The hardware will live in Azure under a service called "Oracle Database@Azure", the aim of which is to reduce latency when users shift data between Oracle databases and Azure services and/or infrastructure.

Microsoft and Oracle have previously built interconnects that link Azure to the Oracle Cloud, to do the same thing. In 2022 the pair launched integration between their clouds that allowed customers to drive Oracle software from the Azure Portal. Under the hood of both offerings was heavily abstracted networking that relieved users of the need to understand or manage connections, and reduced latency.

But not by enough for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison, who on Thursday jointly announced the new service.

Both execs suggested the deepened collab between the companies is especially applicable to artificial intelligence, because data needed to train models may well reside in Oracle databases and AI training tools dislike latency.

Ellison also said Oracle Database@Azure is aimed at moving more Oracle customers to the cloud, an environment in which vendors charge for software, storage, and compute – profit opportunities most software shops could not access before clouds came along.

"A lot of our customers had moved partially to the cloud," Ellison said. "Actually, a majority of the data has not migrated from on-premise into the cloud as yet, but it will. And we are trying to hasten that process to make it easier for customers to actually move their entire datacenter workload to the cloud.

"And that means moving all those Oracle databases, which are currently on-premise, into the cloud."

Integration between Oracle and Azure extends to procurement. Users will be able to purchase Oracle Database@Azure in Azure Marketplace and use the balance of their Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitments to cover costs.

Oracle, however, will operate and manage the service.

Vodafone and Pepsi Co have already adopted the service and offered up suitably enthusiastic accounts of how it improved their operations. The rest of us have to wait for previews of the service to commence in "early 2024", starting with Azure regions in the US, UK, and Germany. Oracle promises the service will go global over time.

The Register has asked Oracle for details of the global rollout, latency reductions, pricing, and how readers might migrate to the service. ®

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