Steve Ballmer has an announcement with Oracle today: will Oracle 12c go on Microsoft’s Azure?
Hints of a deal emerged last week, as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (pictured) announced a press conference today which will also feature Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and takes place two days before Microsoft’s Build conference opens in San Francisco. The event will feature Ballmer alongside Satya Nadella, who runs Microsoft’s Azure Windows cloud service.
Oracle has also promised new deals with NetSuite and Salesforce, but the Microsoft announcement is creating the most interest.
Oracle wants cloud partners
Microsoft and Oracle will appear alongside each other at a Microsoft event, which will also feature Oracle’s COO Mark Hurd, along with the Microsoft executives.
The news is expected to centre around Oracle 12c, a new cloud version of Oracle’s database, described alternately as “multi-tenant” and “In-memory”, both of which descriptions would make it a competitor to SAP’s HANA, and would also suit it for cloud implementations, extending Oracle’s reach beyond the on-premises world where it currently is strongest.
“Next week, we will be announcing technology partnerships with the most important SaaS companies and infrastructure companies in the cloud,” Ellison promised last week. “And they will be committing to our technology for years to come.”
Ellison said 12c would be the “foundation of a modern cloud” and, since Salesforce and Netsuite already use Oracle databases, adding the new 12c version is not a big stretch for them. It merely adds technology more suited to the multi-tenant cloud model where they operate.
There is speculation that Salesforce may go as far as a deal to let its customers share data with Oracle applications, the New York Times has speculated, which would be significant. Hitherto, Oracle and Salesforce have not made it easy to port data between their applications, which have significant overlaps. This would be quite a turnaround, since Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has a long history of hating, slating and baiting Oracle.
However, the Microsoft announcement is causing even more interest, because of the presence of Ballmer, the mention of Azure, and the fact that Microsoft’s SQL Server is an Oracle competitor. SQL Server 2014 has a preview available in July, and the full production version will be available is due in early 2014.
Before the announcement, all Microsoft would say to TechWeekEurope was: “We can confirm the partnership, and we look forward to sharing more details on Monday.”
Many people are putting the pieces together, and believe that Microsoft will announce that it will support Oracle 12c on its Windows Azure cloud platform. The deal would make sense as Oracle needs more cloud partners, and Azure is pretty lacklustre compared with the cloud leader Amazon Web Services.
Amazon already supports Oracle databases in its web services.
“In times of distress, companies facing trouble often lock arms in a mutual effort to help themselves recover from body blows received in the marketplace,” said eWEEK’s Chris Preimesberger. “Oracle has the powerful enterprise hardware – servers, storage and switches – and the parallel database (Oracle Database 12c) to run Microsoft’s Azure cloud management systems, Windows 8 apps – and even the competing SQL Server database, if need be. Oracle has long interoperated with Windows Server System, .NET, and Microsoft Office.
“It’s a cooperative effort that would never have been conceived just a few years ago. However, as newer, cloud-based solutions continue to pour into the enterprise space, old-line software vendors such as Oracle and Microsoft – not to mention Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell – have to get creative. Whereas once they were sworn enemies in the sales battlefields, now they are looking for ways to combine their talents and fight to retain marketshare against a boatload of newcomers from all over the globe.”
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Originally published on eWeek.