Red and blue

Oracle and Microsoft joint-offering is on

Lucy Carey

Combative software giants have formed a friendly alliance to take on the forces of AWS.

  As we reported last November, Amazon has done very, very well for itself in forging a lofty new empire in the cloud. Since the company expanded its repertoire from books to business services, Amazon Web Services (AWS) have risen to dominate the sector, breaking the $1 billion barrier in Q3 2013 alone – something it took Microsoft an entire year to achieve It seems like there are new business stories every day from vendors looking to get a toe in this burgeoning market, be it through PaaS, DaaS, SaaS or any other permutation of cloud technology.

But whilst other players in the space may be monopolising the headlines, AWS continues to absorb the bulk of the users, leaving its competitors to scrabble in its dust. Some analysts are even predicting a “devastating” crunch for cloudy service providers as vendors frantically undercut their rates to woo in the crowds.

Recently, former rivals Oracle and Microsoft put their heads together in a bid to get one up over on the AWS behemoth. Last Thursday, the Windows Azure team announced general availability of Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Java on the Microsoft cloud offering, available in in “license-included virtual machine images”

Although Amazon currently offers Oracle Database on its all powerful cloud, users can only access the Standard Edition, priced at  $3.14 per hour on a db.m2.4xlarge instance.

The Azure team wrote that, “Whether you’re an Oracle administrator or a Java developer, you now have additional flexibility and the confidence that your Oracle software on Windows Azure will be fully supported by Oracle.”

The Oracle addition to the Azure cloud was first announced last summer. Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business, commented that the venture, “makes Java much more first class with the Oracle support on Azure.”

The service starts at a modest $60 a month for a one-core instance running Java SE, all the way up to a $9,397 a month ($12.63 per hour) option for an eight-core Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.

Latterly, Oracle has focused its attentions on orienting its services to subscription-based online software over the realm of the desktop. It’s also buried the hatchet and signed on for a nine year partnership with market mover and shaker Salesforce.

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