Oracle parks its databases in Microsoft Azure

  • Oracle said enterprise customers can now provision its database services via Microsoft’s Azure portal

  • Oracle is a key provider of enterprise database services, meaning the move could help speed cloud migrations

  • The move apparently comes in response to demand from enterprise customers

Frienemies Oracle and Microsoft have decided they’re better together, at least when it comes to serving enterprise customers and meeting increased demand for artificial intelligence (AI) services. The pair announced today that Oracle is parking its infrastructure in Azure data centers, allowing enterprises to seamlessly provision Oracle database services that run on Oracle infrastructure right from their Microsoft Azure cloud portals.

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison explained on a press call the announcement expands on an early partnership between the companies to interconnect the Oracle Cloud to Microsoft cloud. Ellison said there were around 500 customers who used that product successfully, “but they wanted the ability to go straight to the Azure portal and provision technology, whether it was Oracle technology or Microsoft technology.”

Thus, voila, Oracle Database@Azure was born.

“They didn’t really want to see that network when they were managing their infrastructure. So, we made the network invisible,” Ellison said. “You go to the Azure portal, you can provision an Oracle autonomous database – our very latest technology – on an Exadata server – our very fastest technology. You can then marry that to OpenAI’s AI technology, you can marry that to Teams, you can marry that to this incredible library of Microsoft technology. It’s all now one multi-cloud system.”

Initial customers using the new system include financial services company, Fidelity, and operator Vodafone.

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the partnership with Oracle will help enterprises tap into AI services, which rely on data to train and customize models.

“I think this will fundamentally accelerate the migration to the cloud and get not only the movement to the cloud but get them to do new things,” he said. “In order to use AI, you want to have data. That data is in an Oracle database. And now I have the best of both worlds.”

Synergy Research Group data showed Microsoft had a 22% share of the cloud infrastructure services market as of the end of Q2, compared to Oracle's 2% share.

The announcement comes just ahead of Oracle’s CloudWorld 2023 event, which is set for next week. Stay tuned for a rundown of all the need-to-know headlines and analysis from the show.