I guess it all started to come together with the public cloud and the Enterprise back in June last year when Microsoft and Oracle announced a partnership. I remember a few months later being at IPEXPO 2013 in London and introducing myself to a guy on the Oracle stand as a “friend”. He was a bit confused and then realised, with “Yeah, I guess we are – welcome to the Oracle stand”.

A few months after that we started to see Oracle feature rather heavily in the Microsoft Azure portal for pre-configured Oracle Software images.

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If you want to create say an Oracle 12c Enterprise Database running on Windows Server 2012, then you’d just pick that image, run through the wizard answering questions and clicking options as you go. You pay for each minute the server is running. The price includes the server software and the Oracle Server software. You can actually calculate how much you are paying for the Oracle software component – it’s the difference in price between a naked Windows Server and one with the Oracle software ready-installed. If you take an A4 server at 45.9 pence per hour for the Server and an Oracle Enterprise Edition of the same server at £8.04, it works out at £7.58. That might seem expensive but you have to bear in mind that Enterprise Software is expensive stuff. For example doing the same calculation for SQL Server Enterprise comes out at £2.68 – 45.9p = £2.22. Not as expensive as the Oracle option but Microsoft has always presented the commodity pricing as a key value statement. The point is though, that you can deploy an Oracle Enterprise Server in to the Azure public cloud in about 7 minutes. For that 7 minutes of effort you will have deployed in to a highly available, secure, resilient infrastructure. Not bad. Not bad at all… See it in action in this timelapse video – it’ll only take you 2:09 to see it all happen…

And now Microsoft is entering in to a special cloud relationship with SAP which will see SAP supporting its enterprise products on the Azure platform. I don’t know if we’ll see the truly simple integration in to the Azure portal the way we’ve seen it with Oracle, but even if we don’t, it’ll be possible to deploy SAP instances in to Azure in minutes using the SAP Cloud Appliance Library tool. By the end of June, SAP will certify a number of their business applications to run on Microsoft Azure, including SAP Business Suite software, SAP Business All-In-One solution, SAP Mobile Platform, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP ASE) and the developer edition of the SAP HANA® platform. This means customers will be able to get the mission-critical benefits of SAP software on the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

That’s not the end of the story – because Mobile apps in the Enterprise are becoming more mainstream. The ability to not only connect these devices up to SAP systems but to also support all the main platforms including Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 SDKs are on their way too. Add to that SAP’s support for baking and retail and you have a winning Enterprise combination: SAP business systems and mobile apps all managed in the Microsoft Azure public cloud and charged per minute that the systems are running with incredibly low financial-barriers to entry. What’s not to like about this recent announcement?

Planky == @plankytronixx

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