Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Oracle Automates Database Service 

Oracle Corp. extended its cloud automation push this week with the release of a “self-driving” cloud database service aimed at autonomous online transaction processing while supporting data warehousing.

The cloud competitor is making greater use of machine learning and other automation capabilities as it upgrades its traditional databases while differentiating its cloud services from competitors like Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN).Oracle released an automated data warehouse cloud in March the company touted as reducing costs, speeding application development and improving database security via a platform of automated services.

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) said Tuesday (Aug. 7) its cloud database leverages machine learning to handle financial and other applications while supporting high-end transaction processing along with batch and analytics workloads. The company maintains that greater database automation would help reduce IT infrastructure and database administration costs by as much as 80 percent. Those savings are attributed to the efficiencies derived from a “self-optimizing” database as well as pay-per-use cost structure on the Oracle cloud.

Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison has long insisted that system failures and other outages can often be traced to human error. Hence, the cloud database vendor’s autonomous services are promoted as a way to reduce risks associated with user errors or insider security threats.

Conversely, the elimination of database maintenance via automation is designed to shift administrators’ focus to data analytics while developers can spin up and use databases that require no manual tuning. The company noted that among the toughest jobs for database administrators is maintaining transactional databases.

Oracle touts its self-driving service as enabling users to create new autonomous databases or convert existing ones. “The user defines service levels [and] the database makes them happen,” said Juan Loaiza, Oracle’s senior vice president for database systems technologies. That includes provisioning the creation of scale-out clusters with disaster recovery, data encryption, secure configurations and automatic security updates.

The database vendor also stressed the ability of its cloud database service to handle government applications. That assertion follows the company’s pre-award protest filed earlier this week over the terms of a huge Defense Department cloud contract. The company protested the Pentagon’s decision last month to award its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract to a single vendor. The JEDI contract is worth up to as much as $10 billion over ten years.

Meanwhile, Oracle said its autonomous database supports data warehousing, online transaction processing along with mixed workloads as well as an autonomous cloud for application developers.

The database service runs in the Oracle cloud or in users’ datacenters, Loaiza added.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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