Oracle Expands AI-Driven Autonomous Cloud Database Offerings

Oracle is extending the capabilities of its enterprise Autonomous Database in the cloud with the addition of autonomous analytics, application integration and developer services.

Oracle Autonomous Cloud Database additions

REDWOOD SHORES, CALIF. – Oracle has made several additions to the Autonomous Database it announced with great fanfare at its Oracle OpenWorld conference October 2017. 

Kicking off its third Media Day of the year, Oracle announced the availability of Oracle Autonomous Analytics Cloud, Oracle Autonomous Integration Cloud, and Oracle Autonomous Visual Builder Cloud. The Autonomous Database for data warehouse workloads was released earlier this year. 

CEO Mark Hurd also announced a significant change in Oracle’s service plans, making what used to be the premium priced Platinum grade services the standard offering. 

Customers of Oracle’s Fusion SaaS applications—including Enterprise Resource Planning, Enterprise Process Management, Human Capital Management, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Sales and SaaS—can now get a more comprehensive set of support services at no extra cost including 24/7 rapid response technical support, proactive technical monitoring, “success planning” consultation and adoption guidance. Oracle has also set up a new on-demand education resource portal that includes 2,000 new training guides.

“It’s no longer enough to go live with technology or get it to a stable point, we need to help businesses manage the many changes throughout their lifecycle,” said Catherine Blackmore, Oracle’s group vice president for customer success, who joined Hurd to expand on the details of the new service offerings.

While some customers already pay for the Platinum level of services, Blackmore said Oracle came to the realization that it was important that customers of any size have access to support services when critical applications, such as payroll or other financial services go down.

“We think whenever you have a critical issue you should be able to talk to us,” said Blackmore.

Oracle said it’s also launching a set of Advanced Services that will available to customers at an extra charge. These services will offer companies specific expertise as they look to grow their deployments.

Hurd said the Advanced Services will all be available a la carte as needed. “Competitors make you buy for up to three years, but you can buy these proactive services for two days or a year. Whatever you need.”

Hurd and other executives also emphasized security features and the use of artificial intelligence in the autonomous database to help ensure they run smoothly and are kept up to date.

Hurd said it takes as long as eight to 10 months to deploy security patches in enterprise database systems while an autonomous database doesn’t have to rely on IT to get the job done. “It’s updated, optimized, secured and tuned automatically without any human intervention,” said Hurd. “Most attacks are made on data sets where the patch to the vulnerability has been available for nine months. All those problems go away with the Autonomous Database.”

If the autonomous database proves as effective as Oracle claims it will impact the role of database administrators. “There are hundreds of thousands of DBAs. If all companies changed to autonomous databases that number changes to zero,” said Hurd.

Oracle customer Erik Dvergsnes, a former DBA who is now an architect with oil exploration and development company AkerBP, backed up Hurd’s claim. “We had Windows and Linux on an on-premises Exadata system that we’re consolidating,” said Dvergsnes. “One system had 300 million rows another one had 800 rows (of data) and we moved it all over to Oracle and it worked. It was easy.”

Specific features of the new Autonomous offerings include the Autonomous Analytics Cloud that uses AI and built-in machine learning algorithms to automate and eliminates key tasks that would typically have been carried out by IT or by data scientists.

Potential benefits include speedy delivery of predictive insights and automatic natural-language explanations powered by machine learning. Rather than seeking answers from the IT department or data scientists, Oracle said users can access the Analytics Cloud on their mobile devices using natural language queries.

The Autonomous Integration Cloud spans both Oracle and non-Oracle Software-as-a-Service and on-premises applications through a combination of machine learning, embedded best-practice guidance and pre-built application integration and process automation. Among other features it offers self-driven and tuning Integrations to help companies manage large workloads intelligently. 

The Autonomous Visual Builder Cloud automates code generation using the latest industry-standard technologies with single click deployment for rapid application development that Oracle said can be used by line-of-business and other personnel who aren’t professional developers. It also automates delivery of mobile apps across multiple platforms including iOS and Android. 

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...