Oracle on Thursday announced that its interoperability partnership with Microsoft Azure is expanding to Canada, with a new interconnect location in Toronto. As Oracle continues to build out its own infrastructure offerings, partnering with a larger cloud vendor like Microsoft is helping Oracle's cloud business make inroads with companies that are adopting multi-cloud strategies.
"Pretty much all customers these days are choosing a multi-cloud strategy," Clay Magouyrk, SVP of cloud engineering for Oracle, said to ZDNet. "This interconnect enables people who are doing multi-cloud to know that the cloud providers are standing together behind that. Microsoft and Oracle are the first to cloud providers to actually offer something like that, which is a really big you know milestone in the in the industry overall."
The partnership, which was announced in June, allows joint customers to run enterprise workloads seamlessly across Azure and the Oracle Cloud. In addition to the interconnect now available in Toronto, there are interconnects currently available in Ashburn (North America), Azure US East and in London (United Kingdom).
"We're seeing a lot of demand for this," Magouyrk said.
Several joint customers have finished their proofs-of-concept and are planning to give in production in early 2020, he said. Meanwhile, more than 20 customers are currently in the middle of POCs.
Oracle has pitched its Gen2 Cloud as purpose-built for the enterprise, but the company remains a niche infrastructure provider, with a fraction of the market share held by Amazon Web Services and Azure.
- SEE: Top cloud providers 2019: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud; IBM makes hybrid move; Salesforce dominates SaaS
Still, Oracle's leaders insist it's too early to write them off. The company currently has 17 cloud regions, including three interconnects with Microsoft. It plans to roll out 19 more global cloud regions by the end of 2020.
"We've done fundamental engineering to enable us to be able to offer regions more quickly than other cloud providers," Magouyrk said. "We're taking advantage of that to give our customers more control and more choice around the world."
Oracle is also track to hire 2,000 new cloud developers and engineers by the end of its fiscal year, which comes at the end of May. "We have more engineers working on Oracle Cloud infrastructure than we ever have before," Magouyrk said.
In the meantime, partnering with Azure will make it easier to sell the Oracle Autonomous Database, which along with Oracle's cloud ERP products, is one of "two key product areas that will determine Oracle's future in the cloud," according to Oracle CTO and co-founder Larry Ellison.
The new Azure interconnects allow customers that already have an Azure footprint to access the Autonomous Database from the Microsoft cloud.
"One of the main use cases that we see is customers who want to be able to use the Autonomous Database from Azure," Magouyrk said.
And down the road, Magouyrk said, the interconnects should enable more fluid integrations. For instance, he said, customers will be able to seamlessly connect an Oracle ERP application like Fusion with different analytical tools on Microsoft.
"The overall idea is to make these application platforms interoperate," he explained.