What the Oracle Microsoft Partnership Means to You

Oracle Microsoft Partnership

What Does it Mean to You?

Understanding What the Oracle Microsoft Partnership Means to You

When two software behemoths make a joint announcement, it’s worth taking the time to understand what the implications may be for you. On July 20th, 2022 Oracle and Microsoft jointly announced the introduction of the Oracle Database Services for Microsoft Azure . So, what is it and what are the implications of this new service for your organization both from a technology and commercial perspective? Gordon Davey, SoftwareONE’s Global Azure Lead and Richard Spithoven, SoftwareONE’s Global Lead for Oracle License and Commercial Advisory Services, share their insights.

In Oracle’s own words the

“Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure is an Oracle managed service for Azure customers to easily provision, access, and operate enterprise-grade Oracle Database services in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with a familiar Azure-like experience. Users can seamlessly build Azure applications with the high performance, high availability, and automated management of Oracle Database services, such as Autonomous Database, running on OCI.”

The Announcement in a Nutshell

Why is This Big News?

From a technology point of view, this new service will make it easier for organizations to move applications linked to Oracle Databases to the cloud. Gordon Davey explains:

“Traditional Database architectures have caused headaches for organizations considering cloud migrations for some time now, and none more so than Oracle. The complexities driven by both performance requirements and licensing implications of Oracle technologies has meant that applications with tightly integrated Oracle Database dependencies have often been low on the list of migration candidates, even if they had the potential to drive significant business value if they could harness the benefits of cloud.

In light of this, the announcement of ‘Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure’ opens up new simplified ways that Azure customers can accelerate their initial migration to cloud for applications that make use of Oracle Databases, whether using it as a new potential end-state, or as a simplified steppingstone that’s part of a wider application modernization strategy. Breaking modernizations projects like this down into more manageable chunks often makes them more feasible and realistic.

The fact that the applications making use of these technologies were often business critical has in the past prevented organizations from taking the ‘risk’ of a significant one-step modernization project of significant scale, so this multi-stage journey approach will open up modernization and digital transformation of these core business applications to many more organizations.”

What Commercial Implications Will This Have?

While the move to make the Oracle Database Services available through Microsoft Azure is a step forward from a technology perspective in view of the multi-cloud strategy that many end-user organizations have, there are commercial implications to be considered. Richard Spithoven explains:

“With any new software project, it’s important to have a complete and accurate understanding of the ‘as is’ contractual and deployment perspective as well as the desired ‘to be’ situation. Having both positions clear will enable you as an end-user to have a good understanding of the different commercial and contractual options when transforming to the cloud. By making decisions based on facts, you will avoid unpleasant and unexpected costs at the start, during, and after the transformation to the cloud.

It should be noted that there is no additional cost for using Oracle Database Service for Azure, meaning there are no charges for the Interconnect ports or data ingress/egress over the interconnect. But you will be billed for use of Azure Services by Microsoft and for use of Oracle Database Services on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Services by Oracle.”

The Technical Nitty Gritty

Why Not Just Run My Oracle Database(s) in Azure?

As an end-user, you can run Oracle Database software on virtual machines in Azure. Oracle however claims it provides the highest levels of performance and availability for Oracle Database. In addition, end-users who use—or want to use—Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) for their Oracle Database(s) can do so only on OCI. With Oracle Database Service for Azure, Azure customers can get that availability with low-latency direct connectivity between OCI and Azure.

Are All Features of the Underlying Oracle Database Services Exposed via Oracle Database Service for Azure?

Oracle Database Service for Azure exposes only the most-frequently used capabilities through the Oracle Database Service for Azure portal. If an end-user needs a capability that’s not exposed through the portal, they can access the Database resource in Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure and use the needed capability there (against additional costs).

How do I Get Support for Oracle Database Service for Azure?

End-users can raise issues through either Microsoft or Oracle. The support organization will request the customer’s permission to engage the other company and will then use a joint resolution model to address issues. More details are available here.

What is in it for Oracle and Microsoft?

There are no doubt real benefits for customers with this partnership, giving them access to the choice of a hybrid-cloud solution. But it is a smart move designed to combine the respective powers of Microsoft and Oracle, so they are better positioned to compete against direct competitors.

The partnership now pits AWS’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Relational Database Services against Microsoft Azure & Oracle Database & Cloud Infrastructure Services; while Google Workspace (G-Suite,) & Google Cloud Platform (GCP) now comes up against Microsoft Office 365 & Azure + Oracle Database & Cloud Infrastructure Services.

Summary

This partnership is good news for customers looking for a multi-cloud strategy and an easier way to migrate and modernize applications linked to Oracle Databases than has previously been available. It provides additional choice when making cloud and Database related decisions, which is always a good thing.

But caution is advised to review your Oracle and Microsoft contracts first before making the move. SoftwareONE’s Microsoft and Oracle Advisory Services are specifically designed to provide end-users the necessary insights to avoid compliance issues and save costs.

Migrating any applications linked to business-critical Oracle Databases can be complex. While this service makes it easier, SoftwareONE’s cloud services team is available to help you assess, design, migrate, modernize and manage your cloud and application projects, providing vendor agnostic advice so you get the outcomes you need.

Contact us to speak to a commercial or technology expert

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Migrating any applications linked to business-critical Oracle Databases can be complex. Contact us to speak to a commercial or technology expert.

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