On June 5th, Microsoft and Oracle announced a partnership that bridges the gap between Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).
Enterprise customers with investments in Microsoft and Oracle technology stacks can take advantage of the interoperability and integration by deploying applications that run across the two public cloud environments.
Here are a few scenarios that Microsoft and Oracle are enabling for customers.
Unmatched connectivity between OCI and Microsoft Azure
Both Microsoft and Oracle have invested in dedicated private networks to connect enterprise data centers with their respective cloud platforms. ExpressRoute on Azure and FastConnect on OCI rely on a set of partners that provide connectivity and network switching. A set of telecom, network, and co-location providers deliver high-speed connectivity between the cloud and the data center.
Through this partnership, Oracle became a service provider for ExpressRoute enabling direct connectivity to Azure. Customers don’t need to route the traffic through an intermediate service provider for establishing connectivity between Azure and OCI.
Initially available in Ashburn in US East Coast, customers can seamlessly connect Azure and OCI to mix and match workloads across the cloud environments. For example, a web application deployed in Azure can talk to an Oracle database running in OCI with almost no changes to the code.
With single-digit millisecond latencies, the cross-cloud connectivity agreement lets the business run the multi-cloud application fast, securely, and reliably. Customers can extend automation provided through native and 3rd party tools such as Terraform to automate provisioning and deployment across the clouds.
Unified identity and access management
Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD) is the most popular directory service used by enterprises. With Azure, Microsoft extended the power of AD to the cloud enabling single sign-on for line-of-business applications and web apps deployed in the cloud.
With the cross-cloud connectivity, Oracle customers can integrate access management based on Azure Active Directory through a federated identity model, which delivers a unified mechanism for authentication and authorizing users and applications.
Integrated and collaborative support model
Customers running workloads in the multi-cloud environment don’t need to deal with two support subscriptions. They can either call Oracle or Microsoft for support. This support model dramatically simplifies the complexity of managing applications running across cloud environments.
Microsoft and Oracle have jointly created a support team that is trained on the services offered by both cloud providers. With this, customers can leverage and extend their existing Microsoft Azure and OCI customer support relationships and processes.
Easy migration to the cloud
With simplified licensing models, customers can deploy enterprise Oracle applications on Azure with the same processor mapping as their existing on-premises deployments.
Enterprise apps such as Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft Enterprise, Hyperion and Oracle Retail Applications can be migrated to Azure through simplified licensing schemes.
The same model is applied to Microsoft workloads, including SQL Server running on OCI.
Oracle has already certified a suite of applications, operating systems and databases for Microsoft Azure. With this partnership, additional Oracle workloads will become officially available on Azure.
Choosing the best of the breed deployment models
Microsoft has been investing in modern infrastructure based on containers and serverless architectures. Services such as Azure Container Instances, Durable Functions, Virtual Kubelet and Event Grid are examples of innovative and unique services available to Azure customers.
With this partnership, customers can run hyperscale applications on Azure while talking to the powerful Oracle database instances running in OCI. They can seamlessly integrate applications through streaming, eventing and triggers exclusively available in Azure.
OCI customers can also tap into the power of AI, IoT, Blockchain and edge services provided by Azure. Microsoft customers can take advantage of Oracle RAC, Exadata, and Autonomous Database deployed in OCI.
The road ahead
Apart from basic connectivity and interoperability, Microsoft and Oracle are committed to a tighter integration of Azure and OCI.
Some of the interesting possibilities include:
- Integration of Oracle Analytics Cloud and Azure Data Services
- Power BI integration with Oracle applications and Databases
- Integrated monitoring between Azure AppInsights and OCI Monitoring service
- Integrated key management between Azure KMS and OCI KMS
- Microsoft Teams integration with Oracle applications
The partnership between Microsoft and Oracle becomes industry’s first real multi-cloud deal bringing together two mainstream public cloud environments – Azure and OCI. It is also an indicator of multi-cloud initiatives becoming essential and strategic to enterprises.