Oracle and Microsoft Interconnect Clouds to Accelerate Enterprise Cloud Adoption

Vinay Kumar (Shivagange Chandrashekar), vp of product management

Since the beginning of the cloud IT era, there’s been talk of hybrid and multicloud deployment. For the most part, however, it’s been just talk. Today, Oracle is excited to announce an alliance with Microsoft that makes multicloud a reality and allows enterprises to build, migrate, and manage solutions that span clouds with ease.

The majority of large enterprises around the world use both Oracle and Microsoft solutions to power their businesses, running these solutions side-by-side in their on-premises data centers. When enterprises migrate their workloads to cloud, they often become stranded on multiple cloud islands, with little ability to share data between the islands. The alliance between Microsoft and Oracle represents an industry-first offering that gives customers the ability to seamlessly use multiple clouds with much greater effectiveness. It moves customers towards the promise of nimble apps that can shift from cloud to cloud easily, and even deploying individual apps that span multiple clouds.

Cross-Cloud Capabilities

Here are some of the specific capabilities that we’re enabling:

  • Cross-cloud networking: Oracle and Microsoft have built a dedicated, high-bandwidth, low-latency private network connection between Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Customers can access the connection by using either Oracle FastConnect or Microsoft ExpressRoute, and they don’t need to deal with configuration or third-party carriers. This interconnect is available starting today in Ashburn, Virginia, with expansion to other regions around the world coming soon.
  • Unified identity and access management: Customers can use both clouds with single sign-on and consistent identity controls across both environments, reducing the complexity of managing two separate cloud environments. For example, customers and implementations can now use Microsoft’s widely adopted Active Directory service as the identity provider for resources in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
  • Collaborative support: Customers often choose specific cloud vendors to deploy certain technology stacks because they value and rely on the enterprise-grade support provided for that stack. We are announcing a collaborative support model to help customers deploy these new interconnected configurations while enabling them to leverage existing customer-support relationships and processes. Customers can call either Microsoft or Oracle, and their issues will be handled without having to engage both vendors separately.
  • Supported cross-cloud deployment templates: The most common cross-cloud deployments will involve Oracle Database (RAC, Exadata Cloud Service, or Autonomous Database) on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and application and web tiers in Azure. Templates and best-practice architectures for many of these deployments, including .NET/Java custom apps and Oracle packaged applications, will be made available to accelerate customer deployments and standardize implementations.
  • Cross-cloud provisioning: Although we expect customers will continue to use the native consoles for much of their service management, some of the most popular partner services will be made available in both consoles in coming months.

Common Multicloud Use Cases

In a connected, multicloud enterprise architecture context, customers now have the ability to run applications that share data across clouds, giving them access to their chosen vendors and services without the hassle and complexity of inconsistent management and custom interconnection. We envision the following common use cases for multicloud deployments:

  • Applications run in separate clouds with consistent controls and data sharing: In this approach, customers deploy applications fully in one cloud or the other, but they benefit from common identity management, single sign-on, and the ability to share data among clouds for analytics and other secondary processes.
  • Applications span clouds, typically with the database layer in one cloud and the app and web tiers in another: A low-latency connection between the clouds lets customers choose preferred components for each application, allowing a single consistent application with separate parts running in the optimal cloud for each technology stack.

In general, the first use case is more likely because demanding enterprise applications haven’t been designed to live in different locations. Over time, as applications become more decoupled, we expect to see more adoption of the second use case. Data-oriented enterprise workflows are increasingly connected, with data handoffs, validations and process extensions being key success criteria. When applications run in a customer data center, it’s fairly easy for these types of handoffs to happen with low latency. But, as these applications have moved to separate clouds, it’s been hard to make them interact effectively. This multicloud agreement will enable just that, giving customers the ability to build a web of loosely coupled yet tightly interconnected applications that span the two vendor’s clouds.

Meeting Customer Demand

The customers that we’ve talked to about these multicloud configurations are eager to get access to this capability. These customers include Albertsons, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the US; Gap Inc., a leading global retailer; and Halliburton, one of the world’s largest oil industry services companies. Each of these companies uses both Microsoft and Oracle in their IT operations, with key applications on both of the vendor stacks.

I want to thank the engineers and architects from both Oracle and Microsoft who moved this idea into reality. Our combined focus on customers and getting the job done has made this possible.

Oracle is tremendously excited to give our customers the ability to leverage our technology alongside that of another industry leader with dramatically reduced friction. We see this as a first step down the path of greater choice, flexibility, and effectiveness for enterprise cloud usage. We’re eager to see what our customers will build with this new capability, and where this alliance will take us and the industry.