Understanding the different Oracle Database options under the OCI-Microsoft Azure partnership

May 21, 2024 | 4 minute read
Steven Riley
Cloud Architect
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One of the more pioneering collaborations between any of the major hyperscaler public clouds has been the data center Interconnect partnership between Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). This agreement began a pathway for multicloud adoption between the two providers and for customers to embrace the best-of-breed model, because of the many stacks that use the common combination of Microsoft Windows application frontends with Oracle Database backends, among others.

When applications are sensitive to database access latency or require high throughput from the databases, migrating the application tier to Microsoft Azure while leaving Oracle databases on-premises isn’t a viable option, or vice-versa. You can read more about the commencement of the partnership in the Oracle and Microsoft Strategic Partnership FAQ.

As the partnership has grown and widened, several options for deploying Oracle Database services that take advantage of the interconnected infrastructure has developed. As more deployment options have been introduced, what the tradeoffs between the different solutions, in what order they came to be, and which ones are best served for your current- or future-state architecture needs aren’t always clear. So, let’s walk through the different options for deploying managed Oracle Database services that are interconnected with Microsoft Azure data centers.

Before going through these multicloud offerings, understanding the core portfolio of managed Oracle Database services currently offered on OCI is helpful. You can find the service on OCI Database.

Available services

The main tradeoffs between the services are throughput, latency, where the servers for the service physically reside, how billing and support are handled, and which UI console the administrator uses.

The first development introduced as part of the Azure-OCI partnership is OCI-Azure Interconnect. By connecting Oracle FastConnect and Azure ExpressRoute, customers can seamlessly build a private network interconnection between their OCI and Microsoft Azure environments. Now, you can get a low-latency (<2ms round trip), high-throughput, private connection between two leading cloud providers, allowing you to use the best of OCI and Microsoft Azure services with seamless interoperability and no service limitations.

The interconnect also enables joint customers to take advantage of a unified identity and access management platform that leads to cost savings. Cloud engineers can set up single sign-on (SSO) between Microsoft Azure and OCI for their Oracle applications, such as PeopleSoft, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, and E-Business Suite. Having a federated SSO makes the integration seamless and lets users authenticate only once to access multiple applications, without signing in separately to access each application.

Pricing is based solely on port configurations for OCI FastConnect and Azure ExpressRoute Local Circuit.

An example architecture of deployment using the private interconnect between Microsoft Azure and OCI.

 

In this configuration, you can access services the same way you would in both clouds—Oracle Database Services in OCI, Windows apps in Azure, or any other services—and use your private, multicloud network for all traffic. This configuration gives you the highest degree of flexibility.

We’re on our most recent evolution, Oracle Database@Azure. The key difference is the “@” in the name. The newest, exciting evolution of the OCI-Azure partnership is the availability of managed Oracle Database services inside Azure’s data center. Oracle has deployed its proprietary managed database offerings and its specially engineered database hardware Exadata, colocated in an Azure data center.

A sample architecture diagram of a deployment of Oracle Database@Azure within a Microsoft Azure region.

This setup offers the best performance from a latency perspective, while still taking advantage of Oracle’s proprietary managed database offerings. Pricing and support are simplified, allowing customers to use a Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment (MACC) Oracle unlimited license agreements (ULA), Bring Your Own License (BYOL), and Oracle Support Rewards with the added benefit of collaborative support teams.  Current Azure customers can use the service directly in the Azure portal, and engineers can interact with the service through Azure APIs. Provisioning, monitoring, billing, troubleshooting, and support are all unified.

Cloud administrators can now have a true multicloud architecture but with the simplicity of a single environment!

In the interim between these two services, we introduced Oracle Database Service for Azure. Currently only offered to preexisting customers, this service allows you to deploy and administer Oracle’s managed database services still located in OCI from the Azure console or UI. This service requires more administrative setup and introduces more latency than the Oracle Database@Azure option, which is the current preferred service for all new customers.

Conclusion

The partnership between OCI and Microsoft Azure has resulted in several options for deploying Oracle Database services that take advantage of the interconnected infrastructure. Whether it’s the extremely flexible Interconnect, the highly performant and simplified Oracle Database@Azure, or the cost-effective Oracle Database for Azure these options provide flexibility for users to choose the best-suited deployment strategy for their specific needs. As a result, customers are empowered take advantage of the benefits of both Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Microsoft Azure cloud services.

To get started with Oracle’s multicloud service you can open an Oracle Cloud Free Tier tenancy with US$300 credits for a 30-day free trial. Free Tier also includes several Always Free services, such as Compute and Autonomous Database that are available for an unlimited time, even after your free credits expire. You can also get in touch with an Oracle Database@Azure specialist.

Steven Riley

Cloud Architect


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