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Microsoft and Oracle Partner on Windows Azure

Microsoft and Oracle have partnered!
I have been working in the database space for many years. Microsoft and Oracle have traditionally been at each other like the University of Michigan and Ohio State or the Yankees and the Red Sox. That’s why I was very intrigued recently when the two quietly announced a cloud partnership where Oracle databases would be fully supported in the Enterprise Cloud with Windows Azure.

What is Azure?
Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework, and you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.

What does this mean?
You can take advantage of:

  • Rapid provisioning of cost-effective infrastructure for developing and testing apps with Oracle databases
  • Ease of setting up and testing of N-tier apps, integrating with other services in cloud and hybrid scenarios
  • Testing new or existing apps with cloud-based services (mobile services, service bus, etc.)

Windows Azure is the only cloud provider certified for Oracle applications and databases. You’ll get best-in-class, end-to-end, support for your Oracle software on Windows Azure and Windows Server Hyper-V. Simply use your existing licenses to run Oracle software on Windows Azure and receive full support from Oracle. Or, spin up a VM already licensed for Oracle to get an on-demand infrastructure. Plus, Oracle software including Java, Oracle Database and Oracle Weblogic Server are all available in the Windows Azure image gallery.

Why would I do this?
I can envision several scenarios where putting Oracle databases in the Windows Azure environment makes sense:

  • Establishing “disposable” Dev/Test environments – You can create a Dev/Test environment that you use to truly experiment with new software, programming or analytics techniques without putting your internal environments at risk.
  • Using Microsoft’s BI Suite to Analyze Oracle Data – Microsoft’s BI tools including PowerPivot, PowerView, Excel and SQL Server Analysis Services work as well with native Oracle data as they do with SQL Server data. With the Oracle data in Azure it becomes easy to create dashboards and other types of visualizations quickly.
  • Bursts of Scalability – If you need large amounts of RAM or processing power to run a process on your data, you can scale for a short period of time and then reduce the server specs back to its normal operational requirement. This type of on demand scalability is only available in the cloud. In your data center, you would need to either use scarce resources or acquire new hardware.

What should I do?
Try Oracle software on Windows Azure at www.windowsazure.com/oracle. SPR Consulting can help you plan your environment on Windows Azure and we can connect you with the right people at Microsoft if you are interested in subscribing to Windows Azure. Please contact me at sales@spr.com and reference this posting.