Larry Ellison, Oracle co-founder, chairman, and chief technology officer, made his first-ever visit to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond. This historic visit was not just symbolic but also marked the announcement of an expanded collaboration between the two tech giants.
A New Era of Cloud Integration
According to CNBC, Ellison's visit to Microsoft was to join hands with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in announcing a significant expansion of their ongoing partnership. Oracle will be integrating its Exadata hardware, a combination of servers for databases and storage, within Microsoft Azure public-cloud service data centers.
This integration will enable organizations to utilize Oracle's database software on Azure, eliminating the need to set up Oracle hardware in their premises or resort to Oracle's public cloud. The co-location of Oracle's equipment in Azure data centers ensures rapid data access for applications.
— Oracle (@Oracle) September 14, 2023
Ellison, during a virtual presentation on the announcement, expressed his astonishment at this being his inaugural visit to Redmond. He remarked, “It was lovely to come up here. It's actually my first time in Redmond. It's hard to believe. I waited till very late in my career to make this trip.“
While the specifics of this offering are still under wraps, Oracle has hinted that Oracle Database@Azure will furnish “more options” for its customers to transition their databases to the cloud. This will encompass a “fully integrated” experience for deploying, managing, and utilizing Oracle database instances within Azure.
Reflecting on Past Rivalries and Looking Ahead
Despite Oracle's efforts to maintain its stronghold in the database market, it has witnessed a decline in its market share over recent years. With the rise of various database software options and companies capitalizing on popular open-source database solutions, Oracle's market share has dwindled. Gartner reports indicate a drop from 36.1% in 2017 to 20.6% in 2021. With the Microsoft deal, Oracle hopes to strengthen its position in the cloud-database market.
Reflecting the new Partnership, Microsoft CEO Nadella reminisced about the early days of his career at Microsoft, emphasizing the importance of Oracle in Microsoft's ecosystem. He shared, “When I first came to Microsoft, the first week, they asked me to sort of get ISVs onto Windows NT at that time. I said, ‘There's no way we can get ISVs onto Windows NT first without getting Oracle onto Windows NT.'” He believes that this renewed collaboration will expedite the migration of companies to the public cloud.
However, the spirit of competition between the two companies hasn't entirely dissipated. While they are joining forces for this venture, both Oracle and Microsoft will continue to vie for dominance in the cloud-based infrastructure market. Azure, being more mature and expansive, has an edge, but Oracle aims to ensure its customers remain loyal even as they explore other cloud options.