Microsoft and Oracle expand strategic cloud partnership

Cloud illustrations on a blue background with a ladder

Oracle has stepped its cloud-focused partnership with Microsoft up a notch by focusing on enterprise interoperability with a new interconnect facility based in Amsterdam.

Given Amsterdam is a strategic European datacentre hub for Oracle, this new location will help companies in the region who use technology from both companies to be able to more easily share cross-application data and move on-premise workloads properly to the cloud, according to the tech giant.

An example cited by the company was the ability for a business to be able to run Windows-based apps on Azure connected to Oracle’s Autonomous Database or Exadata on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

“Our customers have understood what cloud means. They’ve made use of our cloud and some of our competitors’ clouds. It’s started to pique real interest in whether they can apply that to [enterprise] workloads,” said Andrew Sutherland, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud in EMEA, at the firm’s Oracle OpenWorld Europe (OOW) event in London today.

“The understanding of cloud and benefits is no longer a push by Oracle. It’s a pull from the market.”

Sutherland said that the creation of the Interconnect was done directly to cater for customers who use both Azure and Oracle solutions, adding “Our job is to overcome the hurdles and we’re doing that at great speed.”

Mestec, a firm that helps manufacturers optimise performance, is one such customer giving a warm reception to news about the latest phase of the Oracle/Microsoft partnership.

“We wanted to build a SaaS-based solution manufacturers could subscribe to. That’s done great things for our customers, but it pushed the responsibility for the resilience of the infrastructure onto us,” said Mark Carleton, chief operating officer (COO) of Mestec.

“The next generation was to move to PaaS. The obvious choice for us in terms of database was Oracle Autonomous Database. We’ve also had experience in Microsoft .NET. We were able to port that to Azure in less than a day…We made those [technology] decisions before Oracle and Microsoft announced their partnership… It vindicated our decision.”

Making use of the combined power of both for its smart factory solution – which is reliant on high-performance cloud infrastructure and databases – Carleton believes Mestec will be able to reduce its infrastructure and management costs by 50 percent while at the same time benefitting from a whopping 500 percent boost in performance.

“By connecting Oracle and Azure, we’re able to rapidly introduce innovative technologies into our solution, ultimately resulting in a better, smarter solution for our customers enabling them to make dramatic improvements in manufacturing performance,” he added.

Datacentre and connectivity investment remains a key focus for Oracle. It has plans to add further interconnect locations in Asia and the US West Coast as well as regions dedicated for public sector customers in the US.

In terms of datacentre growth, ambitious plans previously outlined continue unabated, according to Steve Daheb, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud.

“Our focus is to make it as simple as possible for our customers to move to the cloud,” he said.

“We continue to expand our datacentres. We announced at OpenWorld [in San Francisco] that we were going to almost double our datacentres. We have been opening them at a click of one datacentre every 23 days. By the end of this year, we will have 36 regions available covering the entire globe. It’s a massive investment to meet the demands of our customers.”

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.