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Oracle Database@Azure Streamlines Cloud Operations and Boosts AI

Oracle Database@Azure Streamlines Cloud Operations and Boosts AI

The News: Oracle and Microsoft announced Oracle Database@Azure, developed to give customers direct access to Oracle database services running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and deployed in Microsoft Azure data centers. Read the full Press Release on the Oracle website.

Oracle Database@Azure Streamlines Cloud Operations and Boosts AI

Analyst Take: Oracle and Microsoft have expanded their relationship to deliver Oracle Database services on OCI natively in Microsoft Azure. The Oracle Database@Azure offering aims to combine the performance, scale, and workload availability advantages of Oracle Database on OCI with the pervasively deployed nature of Microsoft Azure. The partnership is also looking to position the offerings for swiftly growing AI services such as Azure OpenAI.

The new joint offering focuses on providing customers with more flexibility in running their database workload in full accord with delivering an environment that streamlines cloud purchasing and management between Oracle Database and Azure services. We believe the new initiative is poised to have an impact on the overall cloud ecosystem because it prioritizes streamlining multicloud capabilities for the company’s joint customers. This priority is relevant for easing the adoption and scaling of AI applications, including generative AI. Now Oracle and Microsoft customers can use Oracle Database@Azure to combine the data workload agility of Oracle Database on OCI with the cloud acumen of Azure, including fast-expanding AI services such as Azure OpenAI.

Oracle Database@Azure builds on existing joint initiatives such as Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure and Oracle Database Service for Azure. From our view, the standout capability is that the new service provides a unified experience by administering Oracle Database instances within Azure using only an Azure portal. This functionality helps make the underlying cloud network and infrastructure invisible to users, which can significantly ease the management of workloads.

Oracle Database@Azure: Delivering a Competitive Edge in Multicloud

With the new offering, we expect that AWS and Google Cloud need to step up their multicloud credentials and capabilities to lessen the time-to-market edge Oracle and Azure have in advancing multicloud agility, management, and billing for customers. We envision Oracle and Azure having a mindshare edge in this increasingly top-priority area for enterprises, particularly when it comes to flexibility and cost containment in adopting AI workloads and capabilities such as generative AI, automated AIOps, and other AI-driven apps.

We see many enterprises expressing frustration with the complexity of multicloud oversight including billing complexity, egress fees, and limited interworking flexibility. As such, we believe Oracle Database@Azure provides competitive advantages and can score big inroads by simplifying the purchasing and contracting process, earning goodwill and more influence. Also, Oracle and Microsoft combined have peerless AI credentials that can give enterprises peace of mind in advancing their AI journey. Specifically, Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is now available natively on Azure but not AWS, for instance.

For perspective, imagine trying to run iOS on any hardware except what was engineered by Apple. Clearly the results would be suboptimal at best and run in a form of degraded mode at worst. The same can be said when trying to run Oracle Database on anything except Exadata. Microsoft has realized that the best way to run Oracle Database is on its own native Exadata infrastructure, showing its customers the path away from generic AWS compute instances that lead to a suboptimal user experience. Oracle has taken the concept of multicloud to a new level by physically installing Oracle databases and Exadata running on OCI inside of Microsoft Azure data centers. We see this approach makes the likes of Snowflake software running in different clouds look rudimentary by comparison.

We find that large enterprises and telcos are the immediate target and near-term benefactors as evidenced by major customers such as Fidelity Investments, PepsiCo, Vodafone, and Voya Financial endorsing the Oracle Database@Azure proposition. As such, finance/banking, telecommunications, and food/beverage are clear verticals. Oracle and Microsoft have vast enterprise customer bases with few parallels. We expect that SMEs/SMBs will also benefit from the joint offering in short order.

Now Azure customers will have more options to move their Oracle databases to the cloud. As such, customers will have the choice to deploy their Azure services with their fully managed Oracle Database services all within a single data center. The topmost application to benefit is the AI domain followed by Oracle and Microsoft software as a service (SaaS) applications.

Looking Ahead

Oracle’s cloud business is on fire right now, with 66% topline growth, so this partnership with Microsoft needs to be seen in that context. The collaboration between Oracle and Microsoft to deliver Oracle Database services on OCI within Azure, as embodied in the Oracle Database@Azure offering, marks a transformative shift in the public cloud landscape.

This strategic alliance leverages the performance and scalability of Oracle Database with the innovation, security, and adaptability of Azure, particularly its burgeoning AI services. Beyond the technical synergy, this partnership underscores the pressing need to streamline multicloud capabilities, reflecting the growing importance of this aspect in the industry. Notably, the introduction of Oracle RAC natively on Azure positions the platform as a formidable player in this arena. This development challenges competitors such as AWS and Google Cloud to enhance their multicloud offerings to remain competitive.

With endorsements from major enterprises and demonstrable benefits for sectors such as finance, telecommunications, and food and beverage, this collaboration has the potential to redefine how enterprises approach multicloud management, particularly in the context of AI workloads. It represents a compelling narrative in the ongoing evolution of cloud solutions, emphasizing the imperative of pairing the right database with the right infrastructure for optimal results, reminiscent of running iOS on Apple hardware for peak performance.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Oracle FY 2024 Q1: Solid Results Bolstered by IaaS Gain

Oracle Compute Cloud@Customer: Taking Cloud Services to New Heights

Oracle Compute Cloud@Customer: Disrupting the Hybrid Cloud Landscape

Author Information

Ron is an experienced, customer-focused research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets, working with businesses to drive consistent revenue and sales growth.

He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including a wide range of topics across software and services, infrastructure, 5G communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.

Prior to his work with The Futurum Group, Ron worked with GlobalData Technology creating syndicated and custom research across a wide variety of technical fields. His work with Current Analysis focused on the broadband and service provider infrastructure markets.

Ron holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from University of Nevada — Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts in political science/government from William and Mary.

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

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