Palantir and Oracle buddy up on cloud infrastructure

But do all Foundry workloads move to OCI? It's up to the customer, spy-tech firm says

Last week Oracle and US spy-tech company Palantir struck a cloud partnership, seemingly delighting investors and the news media. But its success may depend very much on customers' attitudes to Big Red's infrastructure offer.

The deal – announced last Thursday – says Palantir employing Oracle's distributed cloud and AI infrastructure to support its AI and decision acceleration platforms. The database, cloud, and application giant said that as part of the agreement, Palantir would move workloads for its Foundry analytics system for “data-driven decision making and situational intelligence” to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Other workloads — such as Gotham and AI Platforms — would also be deployable across Oracle's distributed cloud in public cloud regions, OCI Dedicated Regions, and other instances, including Oracle's air-gapped regions for defense and intelligence customers.

As well as a flurry of headlines, the news prompted a significant — if brief — uptick in the share prices of both companies.

In a statement, Josh Harris, executive vice-president, Palantir, said: "Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's unique ability to help customers meet their regulatory, performance, and security needs will increase our impact and help our global clients gain the full benefits of cloud and AI."

But moving Foundry workloads to OCI does not mean all Foundry workloads.

Palantir confirmed to The Register that one of its largest deals –the controversial £330 million Federated Data Platform with the UK's health department – is set to see Foundry deployed on a mixture of AWS and Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure, both rivals to Oracle with vastly superior market share.

Other deals also seem unlikely to transition to the new arrangement with Oracle. For example, last year, Palantir announced a bundle called Foundry for Manufacturing on AWS. Panasonic Energy Co — a subsidiary of the Japanese manufacturing giant — deployed Foundry on AWS at its facility in Sparks, Nevada. It serves as "smart factory ecosystem," the company said.

The Palantir spokesperson is yet to comment on whether these workloads would stay on AWS, and whether the broader AWS partnership would stay in place.

Generally, it would be up to the customer which cloud to deploy on, they said.

Nonetheless, the Palantir deal puts Oracle on the same level as its cloud infrastructure rivals in terms of AI, said Forrester principal analyst Lee Sustar.

"The Oracle-Palantir deal highlights Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's core capabilities both in terms of core cloud services but their distinctive approach to sovereign and private cloud. The AI angle is particularly noteworthy as Palantir is a demanding customer and wouldn't sign up if they didn’t consider OCI to be at least on par with rivals," he said. ®

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