Oracle Database Service for Azure (ODSA) vs. Oracle Interconnect for Azure

Introduction

Since the Oracle Database Service for Azure (ODSA) has been recently announced, it has gained much traction. This comes as little surprise, as the new service offers an Oracle-managed and entirely automated way to enable multicloud solutions on Azure and OCI.

But wait for a second! Microsoft and Oracle have already partnered for a while (since 2019) and offer the Oracle Interconnect for Azure (here, short: Interconnect) to be used for multicloud workloads. So, a question being raised is, what are the differences? What are the similarities? And which one should I use?

Even though the Interconnect is about setting up network connectivity between Azure and OCI while ODSA is a service-based approach that provides the connectivity, an Azure-like experience to provision and manage OCI databases, and much more, let’s put something together regarding differences and similarities.

Azure to OCI Connectivity

ODSA is based on an Oracle-managed Interconnect. Your VCN in OCI and VNet in Azure will automatically be peered by the service, so you don’t need any networking expertise to set up and configure the Interconnect. Your network traffic between resources in Azure and Oracle Databases in OCI will use the Oracle-managed Interconnect. You don’t even need to know that such a thing exists.

To have your own customer-managed Interconnect, you need to follow the steps to configure the Interconnect, which include logging into the OCI Console and Azure Portal, creating the network resources, and setting up the Interconnect. You need at least some networking expertise and specific knowledge in Azure and OCI clouds to provision and manage resources like OCI Dynamic Routing Gateway and Azure Express Route.

Interconnect Cost

While using ODSA and the Oracle-managed Interconnect is for free, setting up a customer-managed Interconnect includes port and gateway charges. For example, a 10Gbps connection based on the OCI price list and Azure price list would cost $5,739 per month.

Ingress and Egress Cost

There are no network ingress and egress charges in both cases, neither on the OCI nor the Azure side.

Network Latency

The network latency expected for the Interconnect is less than 2ms, which is the same for ODSA, as it is based on the Interconnect.

Regional Availability

ODSA is available in all regions where the Interconnect is available. Have a look at the list of available locations. More regions to be added.

Use Cases

With ODSA, you can connect Azure resources to Oracle Databases in OCI but not other resources in OCI. The Interconnect allows you to connect any Azure resources to any OCI resources without limitations.

Available Databases Services in OCI

Using the ODSA portal (an OCI web interface with an Azure look and feel), you can provision Oracle Base Databases (Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, Single-Instance, and 2-node-RAC), Exadata Databases, and Autonomous Databases on Shared Exadata Infrastructure. More Database services to be added in the future.

You can access all Oracle Cloud Database services via the OCI Console with an Interconnect setup.

Database Provisioning

As already mentioned, ODSA provides a portal with an Azure look and feel using the same Azure technical terminology. You don’t need to learn how to navigate through the OCI Console if you are only familiar with the Azure cloud.

If you have an Interconnect, there are no additional portals, and you use the OCI Console to provision your Oracle Database resources.

Database Management

The ODSA portal offers common database management tasks like create, delete, backup, restore, clone, start, stop, and scale a database. Additional tasks are to be added in the future. Until then, log into the OCI Console and execute these tasks. You are also free to use the OCI Console for all management tasks.

While using the Interconnect, all management tasks are done in the OCI Console as no additional portal is provided.

Monitoring

The ODSA service streams OCI database metrics to Azure Application Insights and provids database events to Azure Log Analytics.

Monitoring is customer-managed while using the Interconnect.

Identity Provider

For ODSA, creating a user federation for your OCI account with Azure Active Directory as the identity provider is mandatory when using the fully-automated configuration and optional when using the guided account linking. You always use your Azure credentials when accessing the ODSA portal.

To access the OCI Console, you choose to use Azure Active Directory as your identity provider or manage users through OCI IAM.

Support

Whether using ODSA or a customer-managed Interconnect, the same collaborative support model for troubleshooting and resolving issues applies.

Architecture

While we talk more about multicloud in the context of ODSA, we still have a multicloud configuration while using a customer-managed Interconnect. Multicloud is when using resources from two or more cloud providers, independent of how the resources are connected. It is also Multicloud if the network connection is established via a 3rd party network service provider, e.g., at locations where no Interconnect is available or other clouds than Azure are involved.

Conclusion

Use the Interconnect when you:

  • Want to connect Azure resources to any OCI resources.
  • Have the experience to set up and manage the Interconnect using Oracle FastConnect and Azure ExpressRoute.
  • Are aware of the additional cost for ports and gateways.
  • Are familiar with the OCI Console to provision and manage OCI resources.

Use ODSA when you:

  • Simply want to provision Oracle databases in OCI as they were Azure resources without dealing with any networking setup or learning to navigate through OCI. Even though the latter is recommended and very easy to achieve.
  • Want to save the Interconnect cost.
 Oracle Database Service for Azure​OCI-Azure Interconnect
Azure to OCI ConnectivityOracle-managedCustomer-managed
Interconnect CostFreePort and Gateway charges
Network ingress/egress CostFreeFree
Network Latency<2ms<2ms
Regional Availability11 locations globally11 locations globally
Use CasesConnect Azure resources to Oracle Databases in OCIConnect Azure resources to any OCI resources
Available DB Services in OCIBase Database, Exadata Database, Autonomous SharedAll database services
Database ProvisioningODSA Azure-like portalOCI Console
Database ManagementODSA Azure-like portal or OCI ConsoleOCI Console
MonitoringMetrics and Events in Azure App Insights and Log AnalyticsCustomer-managed
Identity Provider for OCI ConsoleAzure Active Directory (or OCI IAM)Azure Active Directory or OCI IAM
SupportCollaborative Support ModelCollaborative Support Model
ArchitectureMulticloudMulticloud

Further Reading

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