Oracle Offers New Autonomous Database

Warren Curry October 02, 2017
Oracle Offers New Autonomous Database

Oracle Corp. announces its new autonomous database technology that will cost customers less than half what Amazon charges for Redshift, a similar service.

In his first keynote of Oracle's annual user conference, the executive chairman announced a new autonomous database that can patch itself from cybersecurity flaws without having to go offline.

The automated database, called Oracle 18c, can instantly patch itself while still running, which Ellison says is a big advantage over the current system, in which humans have to schedule downtime for a database.

“This is the most important thing we have done in a long, long time,” he said. “If you eliminate human labor, you eliminate human error. By the way, it’s always embarrassing for me to admit this, but my autopilot flies my plane a lot better than I do.”

Amazon’s Redshift also offers near perfect reliability, although Ellison argued that 18c is better because the e-commerce giant’s figures exclude downtime for adding computing or storage capacity, planned maintenance, upgrades and patching, regional outages and software bugs.

"It didn't work at Equifax," Ellison said, in reference to the consumer credit reporting company that announced a major security breach in early September.

"It doesn't work. We have to automate our cyber defenses. And you have to be able to defend yourselves without taking all of your computer systems offline or shutting down your databases," Ellison said.

At the core of this new database machine learning, which Ellison said will always tune itself without human intervention.

"There is no pilot error anymore, because there is no pilot," Ellison said. "Therefore, we can guarantee an availability time of 99.95%. That's less than 30 minutes a year of planned or unplanned downtime."

Ellison also claimed that Oracle's new database is more elastic than Redshift, which means it can quickly adapt to workloads without wasting resources in the process.

"Amazon's database, Redshift, cannot automatically increase the number of processors to run a bigger workload and then free up those processors. It just can't do it," Ellison said.

Oracle, which is known for enclosing its product strategy around competitive threats, also guaranteed that customers will pay much less for 18c when it is launched in December.

“You take a Redshift Amazon database workload that’s already running at Amazon and you move it to the Oracle autonomous database and we will guarantee in writing, contractually, before looking at the workload, that any of those Redshift workloads will move to Oracle and your bill will be one half or less than what Amazon charges you,” Ellison said. “We will write that in your contract.”


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Warren Curry

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