Microsoft and Oracle have reached an interoperability agreement that they hope will pose a stiff challenge to the all mighty Amazon and its AWS cloud service.

Redmond and Oracle agreed to make their two cloud computing services work together, with high-speed links between their respective data centres.

Essentially the partnership should help businesses that want to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across either Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud.

One stop shop

The idea is that cloud users will be able to “seamlessly connect Azure services, like Analytics and AI, to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database.”

This means that cloud-based workloads could be run within either Azure or the Oracle Cloud to “deliver a highly optimized, best-of-both-clouds experience.”

“Connecting Azure and Oracle Cloud through network and identity interoperability makes lift-and-improve migrations seamless,” said the two tech firms. “This partnership delivers direct, fast and highly reliable network connectivity between two clouds, while continuing to provide first-class customer service and support that enterprises have come to expect from the two companies.”

“As the cloud of choice for the enterprise, with over 95 percent of the Fortune 500 using Azure, we have always been first and foremost focused on helping our customers thrive on their digital transformation journeys,” said Scott Guthrie, executive VP of Microsoft’s Cloud and AI division.

“With Oracle’s enterprise expertise, this alliance is a natural choice for us as we help our joint customers accelerate the migration of enterprise applications and databases to the public cloud,” said Guthrie.

Oracle job losses

Earlier this week amid news of large scale job cuts at Oracle, there was reported confusion and infighting around Oracle’s cloud strategy, with two distinct internal groups competing internally for resources and using separate data centres, a news report said.

With this announcement, Oracle’s cloud strategy going forward has become a little clearer.

“Oracle and Microsoft have served enterprise customer needs for decades,” said Don Johnson, executive VP, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). “With this partnership, our joint customers can migrate their entire set of existing applications to the cloud without having to re-architect anything, preserving the large investments they have already made.”

As part of the deal, a direct interconnect is now available in Ashburn (North America) and Azure US East, with plans to expand additional regions in the future.

The two firms say there will be unified identity and access management, via a unified single sign-on experience and automated user provisioning, to manage resources across Azure and Oracle Cloud.

There will also be supported deployment of custom applications and packaged Oracle applications (JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Oracle Retail, Hyperion) on Azure with Oracle databases (RAC, Exadata, Autonomous Database) deployed in Oracle Cloud.

Oracle Database meanwhile will continue to be certified to run in Azure on various operating systems, including Windows Server and Oracle Linux.

Amazon’s AWS is the clear market leader in the cloud sector, followed by Microsoft Azure in second place, and then Google Cloud, as well IBM and Oracle bringing up the rear.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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