Oracle Lets Go of Old Google, Microsoft Grudges for Sake of AI

Despite a checkered history with both companies, Oracle is forging strategic partnerships with Microsoft and Google that advance the companies' respective AI and cloud prospects.

Oracle has long been fierce rivals with Microsoft in the database space. As for Google, Oracle sued the cloud giant in 2010 over alleged Java patent infringements, a legal saga that did not reach a resolution until over a decade later.

With Microsoft, at least, Oracle has settled into a detente. On Tuesday, it added a new layer in that partnership, announcing that it has agreed to loan Microsoft some cloud capacity to support Microsoft's partnership with generative AI wunderkind OpenAI.

Microsoft is a major partner of OpenAI, which primarily uses Microsoft's Azure cloud to power its various AI models and solutions, including ChatGPT. However, with over 100 million monthly users, ChatGPT's capacity demands present a significant challenge. The partnership with Microsoft will effectively extend Azure's capacity by tapping into the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) platform.

"OCI will extend Azure's platform and enable OpenAI to continue to scale," said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in a prepared statement.

Under the hood, OCI is purpose-built for training AI models. Per Oracle's announcement:

For training large language models (LLMs), OCI Supercluster can scale up to 64k NVIDIA Blackwell GPUs or GB200 Grace Blackwell Superchips connected by ultra-low-latency RDMA cluster networking and a choice of HPC storage. OCI Compute virtual machines and OCI's bare metal NVIDIA GPU instances can power applications for generative AI, computer vision, natural language processing, recommendation systems, and more.

The following AI companies also use OCI: Adept, Modal, MosaicML, Nvidia, Reka, Suno, Together AI, Twelve Labs and xAI.

"The race to build the world's greatest large language model is on, and it is fueling unlimited demand for Oracle's Gen2 AI infrastructure," said Oracle CTO Larry Ellison. "Leaders like OpenAI are choosing OCI because it is the world's fastest and most cost-effective AI infrastructure."

Oracle + Google
Perhaps the more surprising partnership is the one between Oracle and Google, given the epic length and scale of their rivalry, which is rooted in Oracle's accusation that Google committed patent infringement when it developed Android (for the record, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Google).

Tuesday's announcement of a "groundbreaking multicloud partnership" may indicate that the two companies are finally willing to bury the hatchet.

They have jointly created two new services for their joint customers: Oracle Interconnect for Google Cloud, which merges the existing OCI FastConnect and Google Cloud Partner Interconnect services to let users run workloads across both companies' clouds without data transfer charges; and Oracle Database@Google Cloud, a program to fast track the migration of Oracle database workloads to Google's cloud.

Inevitably, both new services have AI perks. Namely, they enable Oracle customers to tap into Google's portfolio of AI tools and services, including the Vertex AI machine learning platform and the Gemini model library.

"Oracle and Google Cloud have many joint enterprise customers," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai. "This new partnership will help these customers use Oracle database and applications in concert with Google Cloud's innovative platform and AI capabilities."

Oracle Interconnect for Google Cloud is currently available in 11 Oracle regions (Australia East, Australia South East, Brazil East, Canada South East, Germany Central, India West, Japan East, Singapore, Spain Central, UK South and US East) with more regions coming.

Oracle Database@Google Cloud will become available "later this year," per Oracle's announcement, and service support and availability will be gradual. "Oracle will operate and manage Oracle database services directly within Google Cloud datacenters globally, beginning with regions in North America and Europe," the announcement said. "Oracle Exadata Database Service, Oracle Autonomous Database Service, and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) will launch later this year across four regions -- US East (Ashburn), US West (Salt Lake City), UK South (London), and Germany Central (Frankfurt) -- and then rapidly expand to additional regions worldwide."

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.