Leading Industry Analyst Views on Oracle Globally Distributed Autonomous Database

March 4, 2024 | 6 minute read
Youko Watari
Product Marketing Director
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Oracle has just announced the general availability of Oracle Globally Distributed Autonomous Database. It delivers the benefits of Oracle Autonomous Database while giving you control over data distribution and data placement policies using Oracle’s proven sharding technology. With Globally Distributed Autonomous Database, you can automatically distribute and store data in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) data centers around the world and transparently access it without changing your applications. Globally Distributed Autonomous Database helps you address data residency requirements and achieve the highest possible levels of scalability and availability—all while benefitting from autonomous operations that can reduce operational complexity and costs. 


What Industry Experts Are Saying

Commenting on the announcement, leading industry analysts stated the following:

Many database systems feature one or another sharding technique to help users manage a set of data across multiple databases and, in some cases, achieve a distributed database capability. These usually involve placing a heavy burden on application developers to write code that will segregate and orchestrate shard updates in such a way that they avoid conflicting data and illogical data combinations. Oracle’s approach to sharding avoids all that, making application interaction with databases transparent and reliable, In addition, Oracle’s proven RAC clustering technology extended to this distributed database approach enables it to offer a rich variety of data distribution models, replication methods, and shard deployment options that are easy to manage, straightforward to develop against, and enable Oracle Database to meet unique customer requirements. Taken together, these capabilities make Oracle a key player in the distributed database category.”
— Carl Olofson, Research Vice President, Data Management Software, IDC

Constellation Research
Oracle is once again demonstrating why its converged approach to database architecture is superior to specialized databases in driving Enterprise Acceleration. Take the data sovereignty use case. Customers typically have three or more specialized databases (OLTP, analytics, AI, document, etc.) which means that each one has a different architecture with different APIs, different capabilities, and unique limitations. Each database and data flows between databases have to be manually configured, tested and maintained over release changes to meet data sovereignty requirements. None of this is necessary with Oracle’s new Globally Distributed Autonomous Database. As a converged database, it provides unified features to support data sovereignty for all data types and all workloads. Besides that, the autonomous capabilities eliminate many of the manual tasks, improving operational efficiencies and reducing costs.” 
—Holger Mueller, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Oracle is bringing its truly serverless and pay-per-use Autonomous Database innovations to the world of distributed databases and changing the dynamics of the competitive landscape. For example, from fault-tolerant Exadata to Active Data Guard for in-country replication, Oracle meets the strictest HA/DR SLAs—and other distributed database providers can’t match it. And for data distribution methods, Oracle supports six data sharding methods, while Google Spanner and CockroachDB support only one. Clearly Oracle has surpassed the competition and their rather limited distributed database capabilities.” 
— Ron Westfall, Senior Analyst and Research Director, Futurum Research

theCUBE Research
"The challenges of having dozens of databases in several countries is becoming more problematic. Imagine you have forty different databases in a half dozen countries that you have to manage, protect, make resilient, establish recovery procedures for and keep current. The labor required, the security risks and compliance edicts would be a constant headache. With its latest announcement of a globally distributed autonomous database, Oracle is attacking this problem head on by applying artificial intelligence. The company's AI and ML-powered capabilities like automatic scaling of database consumption at a granular shard level is just one example. When it comes to mission-critical workloads, Oracle's track record is unmatched and we continue to be impressed with its depth of capabilities and ongoing investments to minimize labor costs."
— Dave Vellante, Chief Analyst, theCUBE Research

The new Oracle Globally Distributed Autonomous Database obliterates major distributed database obstacles. Distributed databases were previously only practical for large enterprises with highly skilled staff due to the expertise and time required to manage dozens to hundreds of shards across several countries. Oracle's latest offering makes distributed databases easy to deploy and manage—and possible for everyone to obtain their benefits.
—Marc Staimer, Senior Analyst, theCUBE Research

NAND Research
The first thing that Globally Distributed Autonomous Database brings to market is AI-powered automation that other distributed database vendors simply can’t match. The second thing it delivers is data unification with support for all data models and types—including vectors. In sharp contrast, Google Spanner, CockroachDB and Yugabyte all have very limited SQL functionality—let alone other data types. Third, it’s architected and integrated with Oracle Database, while other offerings are an odd combination of software that was never meant to work together. For example, Yugabyte is a convoluted architecture, with a PostgreSQL front-end which is not distributed, glued on top of a RocksDB distributed key-value store. For these three reasons, Oracle has delivered a better engineered solution for organizations of all sizes.
 — Steve McDowell, Chief Analyst, NAND Research

Moor Insights & Strategy
In the modern economy, data is generated, used and stored around the globe. As such, the intelligence-driven enterprise requires a database environment that can scale while accounting for the data privacy and security requirements that exist from country to country. While many organizations turn to the cloud to resolve these challenges, IT organizations are faced with requiring dedicated teams to implement the controls and measures to accommodate local requirements. With the general availability of Oracle’s Globally Distributed Autonomous Database, customers can distribute shards across on-premises, the cloud and multiple clouds—managing the entire environment as a single logical database. This industry first combination of autonomous database management and unified features designed to address local data sovereignty requirements should be a significant cost and time saver for IT organizations.
—Matt Kimball, Vice President & Principal Analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy

KuppingerCole Analysts
Distributed databases have been a holy grail for developers of cloud-native, large-scale applications for years, and for some specialized DB vendors, this capability is their primary claim to fame. Unfortunately, designing a distributed relational database that is consistent, scalable, and performant is a massive challenge. Just bolting a SQL layer on top of a NoSQL engine or refactoring a traditional SQL database inevitably leads to technical limitations, sometimes obvious but often hidden. Data sovereignty is growing in importance due to regional compliance regulations, and it can only be efficiently addressed with a universal distributed database with sophisticated sharding capabilities. Oracle was able to deliver a full-featured distributed relational database because of its decades-long expertise with scale-out clusters now elevated to the global level.”
—Alexei Balaganski, CTO and Lead Analyst, KuppingerCole Analysts

Enterprise Strategy Group
Oracle is clearly way ahead of the competition when it comes to distributed databases. Others started with NoSQL engines to get to market fast but now have to retrofit SQL on top as well as scale-out architectures—this will take years. In contrast, Oracle started from a foundation of an established, clustered SQL engine and extended it to distributed scale out. Oracle is going another step ahead by automating many of the boring system management tasks with Globally Distributed Autonomous Database. This provides Oracle with not just a better solution, but also a more cost effective one.
— Stephen Catanzano, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

There has been no standard recipe for distributed databases, especially on the relational side. While all have prioritized distributing data for fast local reads, the primary differences are how ACID transactions are handled and how the database handles scaling. Some distributed relational databases rely on a single primary node to handle all writes while others delegate it to local, distributed nodes in different ways. The same goes with scaling, which can vary from vertical scale-up to horizontal scale-out. For most enterprises with global data, the need is to process and access data where it lives. Oracle Globally Distributed Autonomous Database uses sharding to enable enterprises to manage data globally but literally act locally. And it does so with the benefits of a database that runs itself.
 — Tony Baer, principal, dbInsight

Oracle continues to offer innovative architectural options available with no other database product: Globally Distributed Autonomous Database is unique as are Cloud@Customer, JSON Relational Duality, and Autonomous Database itself.
 — Richard Winter, CEO, WinterCorp


Dig Deeper:

Youko Watari

Product Marketing Director

Youko Watari is a Product Marketing Director for Oracle database products. Youko spent most of her 25-plus-year career in data and analytics, and she has an end-to-end perspective in data platform implementation as well as analytics and application product development.

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