Anyone who ever followed the relational database wars probably noted this tidbit last week: Oracle’s flagship database, WebLogic Server middleware and Java are all now generally available on Microsoft Windows Azure as “license-included virtual machine images” in the Windows Azure Image Gallery.
The timing was not really a surprise; Last month, Microsoft signaled that it would post the images on March 12. But this is still noteworthy given the history of these two companies and their, um, relationship. It wasn’t all that long ago that Microsoft, armed with SQL Server, went to war with the Oracle database juggernaut. And it made headway, at least in Windows shops, in small and mid-sized companies and in departments within enterprises. But Oracle retained its market share lead by holding onto large accounts in financial and other compliance-preoccupied industries. Many of these companies equate being compliant with running Oracle’s database.
Given that background, it really was news last June when Oracle and Microsoft said they would forge peaceful coexistence and put Oracle software onto Azure, fully certified and supported by Oracle. Before that it was certified on Windows Server. Given that Oracle is building a cloud of its own, which it is trying to sell to database customers, this seemed a little like sleeping with the enemy.
So why the change of heart? Well for one thing, there are enemies and then there are enemies. Microsoft and Oracle came late to the cloud, while Amazon Web Services, which turned 8 last week, has built up dominance in public cloud. Enterprise software companies, including but not limited to Oracle and Microsoft, know they have to do something to stem the momentum of AWS. In this case they’re banding together to fend off a mutual adversary. Pricing for Oracle stuff on Azure is listed below.
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