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Database, SQL and PL/SQL

Autonomous in Action

Choose self-managing, self-repairing, and self-securing Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud to focus on innovation—not on administration.

By Chris Murphy and Jeff Erickson

September/October 2018

Your job is about to get better—autonomously. Oracle has now released multiple services as part of Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud, and the first question in many organizations is how will they prepare to administer these new services? To answer that question, consider the administrator requirements for Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud described by Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison.

“You know what you have to learn? Nothing. It’s the same thing with a self-driving car,” Ellison said. “When you get in that self-driving car, how hard is it to drive? What do you need to do to drive that self-driving car? Well, you have to tell it where you want to go.”

Like a self-driving car, Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud now automatically takes care of a maze of complicated things that a person used to do—and still must do for other databases. That includes setting up the database; optimizing its performance; monitoring for security breaches; patching it; and deciding how much compute, storage, and network capacity is needed.

Ellison took the stage on August 7 at an event at Oracle headquarters to announce the availability of Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing Cloud, the second of Oracle’s cloud-based autonomous databases. The first, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud, is optimized for analytics. Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing Cloud is optimized for a complex set of high-performance transactions as well as for mixed workloads, so it can handle batch processing, reporting, IoT data, and much more.

“Between these two systems…Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud now handles all of your workloads,” Ellison said. “All of them.”

That autonomous capability enables lower operating costs, improved security and reliability, and lower IT labor costs, and it gives database administrators more time to focus on new ideas instead of tuning databases and allocating storage.

Developers, Ellison said, now can get all the features and performance of Oracle Database in a service that’s easier to set up and use than even lesser-featured databases.

Oracle Database was very complicated to learn. That’s all gone now. Now we’re as simple to use as the simplest databases on the planet.”–Larry Ellison, Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO

“Oracle Database was very complicated to learn,” Ellison said. “That’s all gone now. Now we’re as simple to use as the simplest databases on the planet.”

Autonomous for Innovation

Perhaps the member of the IT team who benefits the most from autonomous databases is the DBA, who can turn attention from database maintenance toward improving application performance and leading data-driven innovations.

Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing Cloud free trial

“There are more in-house developers at our enterprise customers than ever before, and they all need access to data and database services,” says Maria Colgan, master product manager for Oracle Database. If DBAs are spending less time provisioning, patching, and tuning databases, they can engage developers and help them understand what the database can do. “If developers can do something their application needs inside the database and just get results back, they can save themselves a whole lot of effort and make their application more efficient,” Colgan says. Likewise, a DBA’s knowledge of datasources, formats, and policies is in high demand by data scientists and business analysts. With less time spent managing the database and more time helping the company use data to innovate, “DBAs can become even more valuable partners for developers and business leaders,” Colgan adds.

Automatic Patching Means Better Data Protection

“Most people who’ve suffered data theft suffer data theft long after the vulnerability was known about and a patch was available to fix the vulnerability,” Ellison said at the August 7 event. “That makes it all the more embarrassing and costly.” With Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud, “there is no time delay,” he said.

With no humans maintaining the database, machine learning takes over, applying security patches in the background while the database remains online. IT ops and security pros no longer must weigh how big a risk a vulnerability poses against the cost and inconvenience of taking a system down. Even more important, there’s no risk of just overlooking a database that needs patching.

“People have thousands or tens of thousands of databases, believe it or not, at large companies,” Ellison said. “It’s very difficult just to keep track of all of them, take them down, and make sure they’re patched. When this is a manual process, human beings make errors. When it’s a manual process, it’s a riskier process. Now it’s completely automated, and it’s immediate.”

Automatic patching is also part of why Oracle can promise 99.995% uptime—with no exclusions for scheduled downtime for tasks such as patching and upgrading—which translates to maximum downtime of less than two and a half minutes a month.

Autonomous in Common

The technology in Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing Cloud and Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud run on the modern Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and support the core autonomous ideas of self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing. That technology includes artificial intelligence and machine learning in different services and features, including the decision engine in Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing Cloud and Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud.

Next Steps

WATCH Think Autonomous.

LEARN more about Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud.

TRY Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing Cloud.

Illustration by Pedro Murteira

Jeff Erickson
Jeff Erickson is Editor-at-Large for Oracle Content Central.