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Data Security is a Main Reason for Oracle's Autonomous Cloud Strategy

The most important benefits from autonomous systems will come from eliminating human errors. In cars, this can mean avoidance of errors that can cause accidents, and in technology, it can mean eliminating common user errors that can expose data to hackers. The combination of Oracle database, infrastructure, and other IT services result in systems that are more secure, reliable, flexible, and cost-efficient than competing cloud services, according to Oracle.

At Oracle OpenWorld 2019, Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison focused on two pillars of the company’s autonomous cloud strategy: Oracle Autonomous Database and Generation 2 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Oracle Autonomous Database leverages machine learning algorithms to automatically patch, tune, back up, and upgrade itself without manual intervention while the system is running.

“Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous systems are so fundamentally different from what came before, it marks a new generation in computer technology,” he said.

Oracle expects to add more than 1,000 Autonomous Database customers in this quarter alone, and that pace of adoption is accelerating, according to Oracle.

To help make it easier for anyone to learn about the Autonomous Database, Oracle announced an Always Free program for companies, developers, students—and anyone else who wants to experiment with its cloud services. That program includes two autonomous databases, each with 20GB of storage; two compute virtual machines, each with 1GB of memory; as well as gigabytes of block, object, and archive storage.

For customers who want or need to manage their Oracle Autonomous Databases in their own data centers for regulatory or other reasons, Oracle plans to offer Gen 2 Exadata Cloud@Customer starting in mid-2020.This new offering, which functions like the Oracle Database running in the public cloud, will be easier to install and use than the company’s Generation 1 Cloud@Customer, he said. Oracle engineers will perform a free upgrade.

As for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, on which Oracle Autonomous Database runs, the Generation 1 architecture was pay-per-use resource sharing—customers pay only for as much storage, compute, or network capacity as they consume. The main economic benefit of Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure, Ellison noted, is its autonomous capability, which eliminates human labor for administrative tasks and thus reduces human error. That capability is particularly important in helping prevent data theft against increasingly sophisticated, automated hacks, he said during his keynote.

An autonomous database should run on an autonomous operating system, Ellison said. This is the reason for Oracle's introduction of Oracle Autonomous Linux, available now.

Oracle is developing all of its products—database, applications, middleware—on Oracle Autonomous Linux. Like Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Autonomous Linux features automatic provisioning, scaling, tuning, patching, and updating, as well as automatic threat monitoring, exploit detection, and remediation functionality.

Oracle offers two deployment options: Shared, which is its most simple and lowest cost option) and Dedicated (which provides customers with their own private cloud database, running on isolated Oracle Exadata servers).