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Microsoft and Oracle today announced a cloud computing partnership that will bring the latter's database and software offerings to the former's Windows Azure cloud computing platform.
Oracle first teased news of an impending partnership with Microsoft after reporting its fourth quarter fiscal 2013 earnings last week. Amid talk of flat revenues, but an uptick in Oracle Exa systems adoption, the company said that it was poised to make some big news ahead of Microsoft's Build developer's conference.
Today, Oracle made good on its promise.
The team-up "will enable customers to run Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure," the company's announced in a statement. "Customers will be able to deploy Oracle software — including Java, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server — on Windows Server Hyper-V or in Windows Azure and receive full support from Oracle," they added.
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, said in prepared remarks that the deal -- the terms of which remain undisclosed -- supports his company's vision of enabling businesses to "run enterprise workloads in private clouds, public clouds and, increasingly, across both."
"Now our customers will be able to take advantage of the flexibility our unique hybrid cloud solutions offer for their Oracle applications, middleware and databases, just like they have been able to do on Windows Server for years," added Ballmer.
Echoing many of the same themes, Oracle President Mark Hurd stated in remarks, "This collaboration with Microsoft extends our partnership and is important for the benefit of our customers."
Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools division, said in a blog post that customers now have the "ability to run their Oracle software licenses in Windows Azure with new license mobility." And more deployment options are in the works.
"In the near future, we will add Infrastructure Services instances with preconfigured versions of Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server for customers who do not have Oracle licenses. Also, Oracle will enable customers to obtain and launch Oracle Linux images on Windows Azure," informed Nadella.
Both Oracle and Microsoft face some tough competition from cloud computing upstarts. Companies like Salesforce and search giant Google made early bets that businesses would ditch their software installation disks and images and flock to cloud-delivered software.
That foresight has been paying off. Datamation's Jeffrey Kaplan noticed while doing the conference circuit that the cloud's benefits are resonating with businesses seeking a competitive edge.
Kaplan wrote in a recent report that "in most cases they are not expecting to reduce their operating costs by adopting cloud services. They are hoping instead to improve the responsiveness of their business operations, so they can be more agile and competitive."
In fact, for several businesses, the cloud comes first. "They remain committed to their 'cloud first' initiatives because they are convinced that the end results justify a long, multi-stage migration process," added Kaplan.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.