Oracle is adding capabilities to its cloud marketplace that empower partners to quickly deploy Oracle and third-party applications extending the core workloads of their enterprise customers.
Two new features have been announced at Oracle OpenWorld Middle East to ease provisioning not just of Oracle and third-party solutions onto Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), but complete cloud environments to host those solutions.
"We're trying to make this as simple as possible for users to launch these applications and actually get them up and running to use them," Bruce Burns, Oracle's senior director for product development, told CRN USA before the conference in Dubai.
To that end, Oracle is going live with a feature that embeds access to the marketplace directly into the OCI console. The feature was previewed at the OpenWorld conference last October in San Francisco.
By "exposing the marketplace experience", Oracle enables enterprises to find, select and launch thousands of ISV solutions without having to leave the console for another website, Burns said.
Kash Iftikar, Oracle's vice president of cloud infrastructure and strategy, will reveal in Dubai two entirely new "click-to-launch" mechanisms.
The first is an Image Marketplace that will go GA later in the week. That feature allows partners and customers to provision an image of the application and the underlying infrastructure it runs on in minutes. ISV partners will no longer have to direct to an outside URL to import an image.
For more complex stacks, Oracle will later debut a Stack Marketplace feature that leverages Terraform, HashiCorp's open source infrastructure orchestration engine.
The Stack Marketplace allows customers to deploy a complex system; including the application, databases, compute and storage resources, and dependencies; all configured using Terraform as a service.
ISVs will be able to publish Terraform templates that layout multi-stack Oracle cloud solutions, he said.
Oracle Cloud Marketplace launched five years ago, and now hosts some 3500 applications that run on top of Oracle IaaS and PaaS from more than 1800 partners.
One of the first software vendors to list its products on the marketplace was cyber-security specialist Fortinet.
Matt Pley, Fortinet's vice president of cloud, told CRN USA the click-to-launch features coming to the Oracle Cloud Marketplace will reduce the time and complexity of provisioning its software.
"Ultimately, you're going to be able to use products faster and use them more effectively," Pley said.
The upgraded capabilities will eliminate manual processes currently involved in provisioning Fortinet's virtual firewalls and other security products for OCI, he said.
In the past, "you wouldn't necessarily look at the use case," Pley said. Instead, customers had to find a product they desired and then adapt its deployment in the cloud to what they were trying to accomplish. That involved a good amount of manual configuration and loading.
The Stack Marketplace feature enables delivery of comprehensive solutions, like bundling the load balancing software for nodes needed to apply security services, Pley said.
"We can push out a use case where it takes most of the provisioning and stitching the product together away from the user," he said.
Those features enhance Fortinet's ability "to execute in the channel," he said, incentivising Fortinet's partners to work in greater collaboration with the vendor.
"If we can get our channel partners coming in and helping us be a trusted advisor," he said, that will drive adoption and "the pipeline should grow as a result of it."
Kartik Santhanakrishnan, Oracle's vice president of product development for the marketplace, told CRN USA that Oracle can now offer a "lift-and-shift story" to its channel partners that takes advantage of two strengths of its cloud: a low price-to-performance ratio and a massive existing install base.
"We'll make your life easy in an on-prem to cloud migration," Santhanakrishnan said.
Oracle recognises it's playing catch up, but that can be to its advantage, he said.
"We're 10 years behind AWS," he said. "But one of the advantages of starting late is you can build version 2 and version 3 right away. We're taking advantage of us being late in the market and our large install base, and translating that as a win to channel partners," Santhanakrishnan told CRN.