Attention Oracle (ORCL) and Microsoft (MSFT) channel partners. All the industry hype involves the new Oracle on Windows Azure cloud relationship. But take a closer look at the Oracle on Windows Server installed base. It's massive. And it could be ready for a major upgrade cycle -- driven by you -- to Oracle on Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V. Here's why.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Oracle President Mark Hurd described a growing business relationship yesterday, promising to ensure Oracle, Java and more run fully supported on the Windows Azure cloud.

But the more interesting angle may involve Windows Server and Hyper-V, Microsoft's hypervisor. >Depending on whom you believe, Oracle controls anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of the Windows Server database market. The Oracle on Windows relationship dates back to the early days of Windows NT. Many of those server deployments are still physical.

>So there's a massive opportunity to potentially:

  • Virtualize and consolidate Oracle on Windows Server 2012, using Hyper-V.
  • Burst those on-premises workloads to Oracle in the Windows Azure cloud.
  • Burst those on-premises workloads to Oracle's cloud.
  • Shift some or all of the workloads to the Oracle or Microsoft clouds.

Regardless of the path forward, channel partners have an obvious first step: Check in with customers that are running Oracle on Windows Server. Determine their workloads, utilization rates and longer-term business needs. Then design an upgrade plan.

The business is out there. Find it. Grab it. Profit from it.