Microsoft and Oracle firm up Azure deal; charging to start from 12 March

Microsoft has informed Oracle-on-Azure users that it will be charging them for the privilege of using the Oracle components as of 12 March.

Related: Microsoft kickstarts Azure as a service to take on Amazon Web Services

An email, obtained by The Register, shows that users will now have to pay for Oracle’s database, the WebLogic Server and Java development, which have all been available on Azure since September 2013.

“Windows-based Oracle software images will become generally available on March 12, 2014,” stated the email.

In terms of payments, customers will pay license fees to Oracle and Microsoft will collect charges depending on the Azure resources consumed in each individual case.

General Availability being reached suggests that both Microsoft and Oracle have enough confidence in the system that it can be widely offered and continue the fight against Amazon Web Services [AWS] in earnest.

It wasn’t until April 2013 that Microsoft unveiled Windows Azure Infrastructure Services [WAIS], its answer to AWS, in order to allow Azure customers to easily move applications into the cloud and challenge AWS’s crown as king of the infrastructure-as-a-service [IaaS] sector.

Before this, however, Windows Azure had already outperformed AWS in a series of tests designed to benchmark cloud service providers [CSPs], carried out by storage vendor Nasuni.

The tests looked at five CSPs – Azure, AWS, HP, Rackspace, and Google Cloud – testing efficiency related to reading, writing and deleting data. It did this by uploading files of different sizes between 1KB and 1GB then recalling and deleting randomly generated files.

Azure was 56 per cent faster than AWS S3 at writing data, and 39 per cent faster at reading data and it was significant that the same test in 2012 saw AWS come way out in front.

Related: Cloud computing industry grows by half, Amazon continues to dominate

Amazon continues to dominate the cloud computing industry, however, with figures released back in August 2013 showing that it took revenue of $600 million [£385 million] in the year leading up to the release – more than the combined total of Microsoft, Google and IBM.