CenturyLink connects with Oracle Cloud to serve enterprise customers

CenturyLink and Oracle are teaming up to offer cloud-based services across CenturyLink's network. (Pixabay)

Oracle customers can now access their data and business applications across North America and Europe thanks to a new cloud deal with CenturyLink.

CenturyLink is now offering dedicated and private access services to Oracle Cloud through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect. The direct connection with CenturyLink gives Oracle's business customers a secure connection that doesn't traverse the public internet.

"Oracle's particular brand of software is very geared towards enterprise-type of workloads like corporate data bases, corporate middleware and a lot of applications that have been developed for some specific purposes," said CenturyLink's David Shacochis, vice president of hybrid IT product management, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Oracle is a company that has been around for so long that a lot of the workloads that have been developed around its technology are fairly intrinsic to how a lot of enterprise organizations work.

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"Oracle's cloud is a relatively new entry into the marketplace, but we are actively seeing interest on that platform, so that's whey we're investing in it from a network connectivity standpoint."

Shacochis said CenturyLink's Cloud Connect platform is tied in to Oracle Cloud to enable access to CenturyLink's wavelengths and Carrier Ethernet services.

"The nice thing about our Cloud Connect being able to tie into the Oracle Cloud platform is that it allows our customers that want a hybrid solution that maybe leverages some of their existing, traditional Oracle software running in their data center to then make a cross connection, or a hybrid connection, into the Oracle Cloud platform," he said. "That allows them to start working with a cloud version of Oracle technology, but have it be reachable by a consistent, secure, latency optimized network with scalable bandwidth and configurable options, which is essentially what the Cloud Connect platform provides."

Shacochis said CenturyLink's deal to buy Level 3 Communications, which closed last year, not only gave it a much bigger global presence but also served as a big boost to its cloud platforms and services.

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"Level 3 was heavily invested in cloud connectivity for Layer 1 and Layer 2," he said. "CenturyLink had been making a lot of its investments into what I would characterize as cloud networking solutions at Layer 3 and above. CenturyLink and Level 3 coming together was really complementary for CenturyLink, especially in the cloud connection space. We're able to take that Layer 2 investment that Level 3 built and integrate that into our Cloud Application Manager framework to have them seamlessly work together on Layer 2 and Layer 3."

CenturyLink grows cloud ecosystem

Oracle Cloud is the latest cloud provider that CenturyLink has struck a partnership with. Last month, the telco announced support for Google Cloud Partner Interconnect, a service from Google Cloud that allows customers to connect to Google Cloud Platform from anywhere in the world.

"We're already an extensive connectivity partner for Amazon Web Services as well as Microsoft Azure and their entire Microsoft cloud platform," Shacochis said. "We're looking at a number of other cloud platforms both in the infrastructure and software-as-a-service spaces."

Service providers are striking up partnerships with cloud providers in order to stretch their business solutions into the more agile cloud environments. Earlier this year, AT&T announced its partnership with Google Cloud after reaching similar arrangements with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. In May, Verizon announced that it had picked AWS as its preferred public provider.

Shacochis said that many of the large companies in the telecom industry, such as Oracle, were converting a lot more of their software services into online cloud services. CenturyLink's Cloud Connect and Cloud Application Manager, along with the cloud partnerships, give it the tools to move those software services into the cloud. CenturyLink's Cloud Application Manager, which was launched last year, is an orchestration platform designed to simplify deployment of enterprise workloads, managed services and third-party cloud resources.

"When we say dynamic connections on our Cloud Connect platform, that fundamentally means automating those networks," Shacochis said. "Any kind of software abstraction within the networking space is an example of software-defined networking. We're using software-defined networking constructs in the integration between our cloud management solution and Cloud Connect solution.

"The road map going forward for the rest of the year is increasing the integration between our cloud management services and our cloud connectivity services to support hybrid cloud solutions for the enterprise market."