Oracle Adds Transaction Processing to its Autonomous Database Cloud

Claiming a number of exclusive capabilities, and slamming competitor Amazon as more expensive, Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison announced that new transaction processing features are now available for the Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud.

Ellison at OpenWorld 2017

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison on Aug. 7 announced the release of new transaction processing features for the Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud, the latest milestone for the cloud database since the company introduced autonomous data warehousing capabilities earlier this year.

Ellison said that with the addition of transaction processing Oracle offers a comprehensive, autonomous solution.

“With the immediate availability of transaction processing, the database can optimize itself for transactions. It can run batch programs, reporting, Internet of things and mixed workloads. With these two systems, warehousing and transactions, Oracle handles all of your workloads,” Ellison said during an Oracle webcast Aug. 7.

He went on to compare the autonomous database capabilities to self-driving cars.

“Everything is optimized; there’s nothing to learn and nothing to do. How hard is it to learn a self-driving car? What class do you take? It seems strange, but there is nothing to learn.”

Oracle uses machine learning and related artificial intelligence technology to create database services that learn and adapt on their own. One of the big benefits of the technology that Ellison has touted since announcing the Autonomous Database last fall is its ability to automatically apply security patches and updates to what is typically a manual and time-consuming process.

Ellison also couldn’t resist another opportunity to bash Oracle’s top cloud rival, Amazon Web Services in discussing the Oracle Autonomous Database’s ability to allocate more system capacity as needed and de-allocate compute and other resources when they’re not needed.

“Amazon says they have an elastic cloud, but their databases aren’t elastic,” said Ellison. “Oracle allocates storage, compute and memory automatically, but when you run your application and you’re not using all that capacity, say in the middle of night, Oracle starts de-allocating servers or it automatically adds servers whenever they’re needed.

“Performance is sustained if you scale up or down and you don’t pay for what you don’t use. Amazon can’t do that. It can’t dynamically add a server or take one away when there is no demand. They’re not serverless.”

During a customer panel David VanWiggeren, CEO of Drop Tank, a customer loyalty services company, said he’s seeing a lot of benefit from the autonomous features. Five years ago Drop Tank had a hundred gas stations in its customer network and has since branched out to other industries and has 3,500 partners.
“There’s been a ton of integration that started with Oracle Cloud Integration services,” said VanWiggeren, noting deals the company has with Southwest Airlines and La Quinta Inns & Suites, among others.

He said an airline partner sent a promotional email to millions of members and Drop Tank was able to see a rapid increase in sign-ups within 15 minutes. “The system handled it smoothly, which gave us a lot of confidence in the autonomous capabilities,” said VanWiggeren.

Ellison Previews the next version of Oracle Cloud

Ellison also previewed some features that will come in Oracle Database 19c, the next version that the said will be available by January, 2019 if not sooner.

“As you upgrade to 19c, there are no performance regressions, everything will run faster or—worst case—the same. There’s no more need for regression performance testing, which is huge, because the system does it for you,” said Ellison.

He also said that most customers will want to go with the serverless features of 19c that enables customers to provision server resources, but if they’re not used the system makes them available to other tenants or another Oracle Cloud customer.  

“We think a lot of people want that. It’s the lowest cost and that’s where most customers end up,” said Ellison.

“However, some of our largest customers say, ‘I don’t want to share my Exadata with anyone, not anyone near me. I want to rent the entire neighborhood myself.’ We give you the ability to have dedicated infrastructure if you’re like a bank or phone company and anything you partition belongs to you,” said Ellison.

“No other cloud company offers this kind of isolation inside their public cloud,” he asserted.

Ellison said there is interest from big companies in regulated industries “who want all their stuff behind their own firewalls. The advantage is you get a very high-speed network right in your own data center. Some of these big companies want the autonomous capabilities, but they want us to stick it on our floor, not the public cloud.” 

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...