Microsoft and Oracle will connect their cloud services in an effort to woo big businesses and take on market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The combined service will enable users to connect Oracle’s autonomous databases with Microsoft services, such as Azure analytics and artificial intelligence.
The new high-speed link between the two company’s data centres would start with facilities in the United States, and later spread to other regions. Users will be able to log on to services from either company with a single joint username.
Scott Guthrie, head of Microsoft’s cloud unit said: “With Oracle’s enterprise expertise, this alliance is a natural choice for us as we help our joint customers accelerate the migration of enterprise applications and databases to the public cloud.”
Oracle, once a stronghold in the database market, has lost much of its ground to Amazon’s AWS. According to analysts at Jeffries, AWS holds a 65 per cent cloud market share, compared with 25 per cent for Microsoft and 10 per cent for Google.
The decision to combine their services comes as big tech firms try to court large businesses looking to migrate their locally-stored data to cloud-based servers.
“With this partnership, our joint customers can migrate their entire set of existing applications to the cloud without having to re-architect anything, preserving the large investments they have already made,” said Don Johnson, executive vice president of Oracle’s cloud unit.
Gartner projects that the global public cloud market will grow to $278bn (£219bn) in 2021.
Ed Anderson, an analyst at Gartner, said the move was a clear “jab” at AWS, especially for Oracle. “It’s no secret that Oracle views AWS as a major competitor in the database market,” he said.
But Anderson said there remained some unanswered questions about the deal, such as whether customers would face data transfer fees for moving large amounts of information back and forth between services.
The move would likely benefit the companies by helping their pitch to large businesses already using services from both, Anderson said.