In October 2015, Amazon announced a database migration service, specifically designed to help big businesses move away from Oracle and into the Amazon Web Services cloud.
The so-called Amazon Database Migration Service was a huge hit, with companies moving 1,000 databases over to AWS in week one. Fast forward to April 2017, and companies have moved 23,000 databases into AWS using the tool, albeit not all of them were moved from Oracle. At the time, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said that lots of customers wanted to escape the “nightmare” of Oracle and companies like it.
Now, Microsoft is getting in on the fun with its own database migration service, helping companies bring their Oracle databases, or their older-school Microsoft SQL Server databases, over to its own Microsoft Azure cloud platform. It’s currently in early preview, with pricing to be determined.
On the other side of the equation, Microsoft has enhanced its support for popular database software like MySQL and PostgreSQL, so the Azure cloud is better suited for their databases when they get there.
Microsoft Azure, generally seen as the second-place player to Amazon’s leading AWS, is a major focus for the tech titan. Essentially, Azure and services like it let customers rent fundamentally unlimited supercomputing power from Microsoft’s own data center.
Much of Microsoft’s resources have been devoted to getting customers onto Azure, pitching them on the higher computing power it makes available to them, as well as the relative ease with which they can use it to scale up an application as demand rises. But migrating existing technology, like databases, can be tricky, hence these migration services.
Meanwhile, Oracle hasn’t taken these competitive moves lying down. Oracle founder Larry Ellison has taken Amazon to task, taking any and all opportunities to trash it as a second-rate cloud, even as it promotes its own Oracle Cloud as the premiere place to run databases. Now that Microsoft is getting more aggressive about stealing Oracle customers, maybe Azure will make Ellison’s hit list, too.