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Overview of the Interconnect Between Oracle and Microsoft

Gilson Melo
Principal Product Manager

Today we announced Oracle and Microsoft Interconnect Clouds to Accelerate Enterprise Cloud Adoption, a cloud interoperability partnership between Microsoft and Oracle. This cross-cloud interconnect enables customers to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Enterprises can now seamlessly connect Azure services, like Analytics and AI, to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database. By enabling customers to run one part of a workload within Azure and another part of the same workload within Oracle Cloud, this partnership delivers a highly optimized, best-of-both-clouds experience. Taken together, Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offer customers a one-stop shop for all the cloud services and applications that they need to run their entire business.

Connecting Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure through network and identity interoperability makes move-and-improve migrations seamless. This partnership delivers direct, fast, and highly reliable network connectivity between two clouds, while continuing to provide first-class customer service and support that enterprises have come to expect from the two companies. In addition to providing interoperability for customers running Oracle software on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Microsoft software on Azure, it enables new and innovative scenarios like running Oracle E-Business Suite or Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne on Azure against an Oracle Autonomous Database running on Exadata infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud.

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 can deploy applications fully in one cloud or the other, and will 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: Utilizing 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 either cloud optimized for each technology stack.

Cross-Cloud Interconnect

As enterprises continue to evaluate the benefits of cloud, they are steadily adopting a multicloud strategy for various reasons, including disaster recovery, high availability, lower cost, and, most importantly, using the best services and solutions available in the market. To enable this diversification, customers interconnect cloud networks by using the internet, IPSec VPNs, or a cloud provider’s direct connectivity solution through the customer’s on-premises network. Interconnecting cloud networks can require significant investments in time, money, design, procurement, installation, testing, and operations, and it still doesn't guarantee a high-availability, redundant, low-latency connection.

Oracle and Microsoft recognize these customer challenges and have created a unified enterprise cloud for our mutual customers. Oracle and Microsoft have already done all the tedious, time-consuming work for you by providing low-latency, high-throughput connectivity between their two clouds. The rest of this post describes how to configure the network interconnection between Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Microsoft Azure to create a secured, private, peered network between the two clouds.

Solution

Oracle and Microsoft have built a dedicated, high-throughput, low-latency, private network connection between Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure data centers in the Ashburn, Virginia region that provides a data conduit between the two clouds. Customers can use the connection to securely transfer data at a high enough rate for offline handoffs and to support the performance required for primary applications that span the two clouds. Customers can access the connection by using either Oracle FastConnect or Microsoft ExpressRoute, as shown in Figure 1, and they don’t need to deal with configuration details or third-party carriers.

Figure 1. Connectivity Between Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Azure

FastConnect and ExpressRoute together create a path for workloads on both clouds to communicate directly and efficiently, which gives customers flexibility on how to develop and deploy services and solutions across Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Microsoft Azure.

Customers experience the following benefits when they interconnect the Oracle and Microsoft clouds:

  • Secure private connection between the two clouds. No exposure to the internet.
  • High availability and reliability. Built-in redundant 10-Gbps physical connections between the clouds.
  • High performance, low latency, predictable performance compared to the internet or routing through an on-premises network.
  • Straightforward, one-time setup.
  • No intermediate service provider required to enable the connection.

Connecting Your On-Premises Network to the Interconnect

In Figure 2, the customer’s on-premises network is directly connected to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure through FastConnect and to Azure through ExpressRoute, and there’s a direct interconnection between the two clouds. In this scenario, users located in the on-premises network can access applications (web tier and app tier) directly within Azure through ExpressRoute. The applications then access the data tier located in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Figure 2. Traffic Flow Between Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Azure, and Non-Cloud Networks

Workloads can access either cloud through the interconnection. However, traffic from networks other than Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Azure can’t reach one cloud through the other cloud, which ensures security isolation. In other words, this cross-cloud connection doesn’t enable traffic between your on-premises network through the Azure virtual network (VNet) to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure virtual cloud network (VCN), or from your on-premises network through the VCN to the VNet. For example, customers can’t reach Oracle Cloud Infrastructure through Azure (see Figure 3). If you need to reach Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, you need to deploy FastConnect directly from your on-premises network.

Figure 3. No Access from One Cloud Through the Other

Connecting the Cloud Networks

This section describes how to connect an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure VCN to an Azure VNet. Figure 4 shows the components of this connection, and the table describes the terminology between the two clouds.

Figure 4. Interconnect Routing and Security

 Component  Azure  Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
 Virtual network  Virtual network (VNet)  Virtual cloud network (VCN)
 Virtual circuit  ExpressRoute circuit  FastConnect private virtual circuit
 Gateway  virtual network gateway  dynamic routing gateway (DRG)
 Routing  route tables  route tables
 Security rules  network security groups (NSGs)  security lists


Prerequisites

To deploy a cross-cloud solution between Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Azure, you must have the following prerequisites:

  • An Azure VNet with subnets and a virtual network gateway. For information about how to set up the environment, see Azure Virtual Network.
  • An Oracle Cloud Infrastructure VCN with subnets and an attached DRG. For information about how to set up the environment, see Overview of Networking.
  • No overlapping IP addresses between your VCN and VNet.

Enable the Connection

The direct interconnection must be enabled from each provider’s console. Following are the high-level steps. For details, see the cross-connect documentation.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal. Create an ExpressRoute circuit through a provider and select Oracle Cloud Infrastructure from the list of providers. Record the service key that Azure generates.
  2. Sign in to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console. Create a FastConnect connection through a provider and select Microsoft Azure from the list of providers. Enter the service key that you got from Azure.

The private virtual circuit is provisioned automatically between the two clouds.

Note: You need a separate ExpressRoute or FastConnect circuit to connect your on-premises network to Azure or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure through a private connection, as shown in Figure 2.

Conclusion

Oracle and Microsoft have provided customers the flexibility to build and deploy applications in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Azure by providing a robust, reliable, low-latency, and high-performance path between the two clouds. With this partnership, our joint customers can migrate their entire set of existing applications to the cloud without having to rearchitect anything, preserving the large investments that they have already made and opening the door for new innovation. To learn more, review the public documentation, read frequently asked questions, schedule a demo, or request a POC. To order the service, contact your sales team.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 4 )
  • Joe Malewicki Thursday, June 6, 2019
    This is a great article and it's wonderful to see the direction Oracle is going by partnering with Microsoft. I think the enterprise customers will definitely benefit from this new agreement and as cloud architect, I always encourage my clients to consider hybrid and multi-vendor cloud options for their infrastructure. Just a safer bet!
  • Stephen Dawson Thursday, June 6, 2019
    Great article and great work Gilson! Nice illustrations that explain the options clearly.
  • Manish Thursday, June 6, 2019
    This is so well explained blog. Thanks for sharing the story behind the partnership and what it means to the customers. There is no doubt that collaborative approach is much more worthwhile than competitive approach in today’s scenario.
  • Seshkumar Penugonda Thursday, June 13, 2019
    Great partnership which can bring best of both clouds to the cloud customer. Perhaps the industry trend setter!!
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