Oracle Turns On Autonomous Capabilities Throughout Cloud Platform

Self-driving services use AI and machine learning to help enterprises get predictive insights into their businesses and learn about customer experiences.

Oracle.Autonomous.Cloud

Oracle, which once shuddered at the idea that cloud computing was the wave of the future because it was cutting in on its heavy-metal on-premises systems, now embraces its new business model—cloud services—as if all that history never happened.

There’s lots of evidence about this old criticism 10 years ago of the biggest trend in IT since client-server; you can look it up. We all make mistakes, and companies and founders of companies are no exceptions. Good thing for Oracle shareholders that the company saw the light a half-dozen years ago, read the trend correctly and came up with its own cloud service business (in 2012) before it was too late.

Advancing the timeline to Feb. 12, 2018, Oracle President of Product Development Thomas Kurian (who wasn’t with the company back when it was criticizing clouds, by the way) demonstrated the latest advances in Oracle Cloud Platform at the CloudWorld conference in New York City.

The company has expanded its Oracle Cloud Platform Autonomous Services beyond the Oracle Autonomous Database, introduced last October, in order to make all Oracle Cloud Platform services self-driving, self-securing and autonomic, Amit Zavery, Oracle’s Executive Vice-President of Product Development, Cloud Platform, Middleware and Java, told eWEEK.

Adding AI, Machine Learning to the Whole Platform

With its enhanced suite of autonomous Cloud Platform services, Oracle said it is applying AI and machine learning to its entire next-generation Cloud Platform services to help customers lower cost, reduce risk, accelerate innovation and get predictive insights.

To accelerate creation of applications to aid in smarter decision making, Oracle Cloud Platform is incorporating additional autonomous capabilities specific to application development, mobile and bots, app and data integration, analytics, security and management, Zavery said. 

“The future of tomorrow’s successful enterprise IT organization is in full end-to-end automation,” Kurian said onstage. “At Oracle, we are making this a reality. We are weaving autonomous capabilities into the fabric of our cloud to help customers safeguard their systems, drive innovation faster, and deliver the ultimate competitive advantage with smarter real-time decisions.”

Oracle’s autonomous capabilities include the world’s first autonomous database, which uses advanced AI and machine learning to eliminate human labor, human error and manual tuning delivering unprecedented availability, high performance and security at a much lower cost.

Services Being Rolled Out All Year Long

Multiple autonomous database services, each tuned to a specific workload, will become available in the next 12 months, Zavery said. These will include Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Service for analytics, Autonomous Database OLTP for transactional and mixed workloads and Autonomous NoSQL Database for fast, massive-scale reads and writes, he said.

In addition to the Autonomous Database, the Cloud Platform autonomous capabilities for application development, mobile and bots, integration, analytics, security and system management, are scheduled to be available in the next 12 months, Zavery said.

According to the company, Oracle Cloud Platform services all share foundational autonomous capabilities, including:

  • Self-driving to lower costs and increase productivity: Eliminates human labor to provision, secure, monitor, backup, recover and troubleshoot. Automatically upgrade and patch itself while running. Instantly grow and shrink compute or storage without downtime.
  • Self-securing to lower risk: Protects from external attacks and malicious internal users. Automatically applies security updates while running to protect against cyberattacks; automatically encryps all data.
  • Self-repairing for higher availability: Provides automated protection from all planned and unplanned downtime with up to 99.995 percent availability, resulting in less than 2.5 minutes of downtime per month including planned maintenance.

Examples of additional autonomous capabilities being added to functional areas across the rest of the Oracle Cloud Platform include: 

Application Development:

  • automated artifact discovery, dependency management, and policy-based dependency updates increasing code quality and developer productivity;
  • automated identification and remediation of security issues throughout the CI/CD pipeline significantly reducing security risks; and
  • automated code generation with single button deployment enabling rapid application development even by line of business users.

Mobile and Bots:

  • self-learning chatbots observing interaction patterns and preferences to automate frequently performed end-user actions freeing up time for higher productivity tasks;
  • unsupervised, smart bots using machine learning to learn from user conversations enabling fluid, contextual conversations; and
  • automated caching of API calls to the nearest data center in real time for lowest latency responses based on end user location.

Application and Data Integration:

  • self-defining integrations automate business processes across different SaaS and on-premises apps; and
  • self-defining data flows with automated data lake and data prep pipeline creation for ingesting data (streaming and batch).

Analytics:

  • automated data discovery and preparation; and
  • automated analysis for key findings along with visualization and narration delivering quicker real time insights.

Security and Management:

  • machine learning-driven user and entity behavior analytics to automatically isolate and eliminate suspicious and malicious users;
  • preventative controls to intercept data leaks across structured and unstructured data repositories;
  • unified data repository across log, performance, user experience and configuration data with applied AI/ML, eliminating need to set and manage performance and security monitoring “metadata” such as thresholds, server topology, and configuration drift.

At the NYC conference, Oracle also demonstrated a single Oracle Digital Assistant for users to interact across Oracle’s SaaS and PaaS services, including analytics. The digital assistant provides centralized connection for the user to converse across the user’s CRM, ERP, HCM, custom applications and business intelligence data and uses AI to intelligently correlate data and automate user behavior.

Oracle Digital Assistant capabilities include:

  • integration to speech-based devices such as Amazon Echo (Alexa), Apple Siri, Google Home and Speech, Harman Kardon (Cortana), and Microsoft Cortana;
  • deep neural net based machine learning algorithms to process the message from the voice based devices to understand end user input and take action;
  • intelligent routing to the Bot with the knowledge to process the end user input; and
  • deep insights into user behavior, context, preferences and routines that is used by the Oracle Digital Assistant to self-learn to recommend and automate across all data sets on behalf of the user.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...