From the magazine: Customers to gain as Microsoft, Oracle link clouds

What does Microsoft partnership with Oracle mean for regional enterprises?

Announcements such as the Microsoft-Oracle alliance, offer increased flexibility to choose best-of-breed options for running IT in the cloud.
Announcements such as the Microsoft-Oracle alliance, offer increased flexibility to choose best-of-breed options for running IT in the cloud.

Microsoft and Oracle have announced a cloud interoperability partnership, enabling customers to migrate and run enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. 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 the Oracle Cloud, the partnership delivers an optimised, best-of-both-clouds experience.

For CIOs, these new cloud vendor relationships provide optimal choices for each application and allow them to leverage cloud resources, said Todd Matters, chief architect and co-founder of RackWare, a hybrid cloud management platform.

“This move signifies that we are moving to a true hybrid or multi-cloud world. And, these new options give customers the greatest level of choice, allowing them to explore options that meet their cost, performance, and availability needs,” added Matters.

This partnership is a step towards providers providing multi-cloud environments for different platforms-as-a-service, said Chris Smith, VP of Cloud Architecture at Unitas Global, a provider of managed hybrid cloud services. “Moving forward, enterprises will have to have either a multi-cloud strategy or very robust business continuity or DR strategy. By partnering with an MSP who has a variety of cloud providers in their wheelhouse, enterprises can ensure they are being given the best multi-cloud strategy as well as continued support in both the business continuity and disaster recovery spaces.”


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Flexibility

For a while, cloud environments were an all-or-nothing proposition. Announcements such as the Microsoft-Oracle alliance, offer increased flexibility to choose best-of-breed options for running IT in the cloud.

“It's all about choice and not having to bet on one vendor. CIOs now have the opportunity to seamlessly use multiple clouds. Tools and software, such as RackWare’s, make moving to different clouds even easier making CIO roadmaps, budgets, and solutions are far simpler to meet,” said Matters.

In particular, CIOs should be paying the most attention to what Microsoft is doing overall, said Smith. In the past three months or so, Microsoft has partnered with Adobe, Sony, SAP and now Oracle. “It is important to acknowledge how Microsoft is joining the other big players and how they are continuing to grow their market share in cloud” he added.

If a CIO is already using Microsoft 365 for their Modernised Desktop and is now looking to move to the cloud, they are likely going to choose Microsoft, Smith observed. “In the past, they may have wanted to choose AWS, but having a single point of management within Microsoft’s management portal, and the ability to bundle for cost savings, will make them really examine what they can utilise in Microsoft’s portfolio.

“Now, it makes sense for an enterprise to put all of their organisation’s tech tools under one Microsoft umbrella. To add to the choice, by keeping your cloud use under the Microsoft umbrella, you now will have access to Oracle, SAP, Adobe, and any other partners they continue adding.”

Caution is warranted though.

While more options are a good thing, care must be taken to avoid strong lock-in, warned Matters.  “The Microsoft-Oracle alliance is great for publicity, but it's important for an enterprise to avoid getting locked into any particular cloud or service, even when using multiple providers. Availing oneself of multiple clouds may end up making lock-in constraints even more difficult to unwind.”

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