Preparing for the New Era of Autonomous Databases

As we enter a new era in database technology with the introduction of Oracle’s Autonomous Database Cloud, it is time for organizations to get up to speed in terms of what it enables for the business, and for DBAs, as well, to prepare for the changes to their roles. Recently, during a DBTA webcast, Maria Colgan, Oracle's master product manager, reflected on the next generation of cloud technology, the autonomous database architecture, and what DBAs can do today to prepare for a successful transition to a cloud-driven business environment.

While it may seem revolutionary, Oracle has actually been on the journey to the autonomous database for the past 20 years since the introduction of Oracle 9i with the introduction of features such as Automatic Undo Management and Automatic Query Rewrite. And, over the years, the use of automation has steadily increased.

Highlights of the Oracle Autonomous Database are that it is self-driving because it automates database and infrastructure management, monitoring, and tuning; self-securing, in that it protects from both external attacks and malicious internal users; and self-repairing because it protects from all downtime including planned maintenance, according to Colgan.

Key benefits of the Oracle Autonomous Database include freeing DBAs from generic, operational tasks, and allowing them to work on projects that deliver higher value to their organizations; reducing labor as well as human error and cost; and providing more security and reliability than a manually managed database, said Colgan.

The autonomous database covers the full mission-critical database lifecycle—spanning activities including provisioning, migration, security, protection of data from failure or regional outages, patches and upgrades, optimization, and enabling elastic scalability.

Colgan covered what the autonomous database offers specifically, how it makes those capabilities possible, and also touched on what it will mean for the DBA role.

According to Colgan, today, DBAs spend far more time on maintenance  than innovation with the bulk of their hours devoted to generic tasks such as integration, and tuning of systems, network, and storage; database provisioning and patching; database backups, H/A, and disaster recovery; and database optimization.

With the advent of the autonomous database, DBAs will be able to devote more time to activities that deliver more value to the business and also help improve the end user experience, said Colgan.

However, she stressed, the onus is on DBAs to prepare now so they can help guide the business to what it needs and also work with developers on the features and functionality that should be used to improve end user experience. The business will look to DBAs to determine what database cloud service should be used, and DBAs will be in control of the end to end service. And, DBAs will need to know what each database cloud service offers in terms of availability, security, performance, and scalability in order to pick the best database cloud service, she added.

The Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud has been in production since March 2018 and the Autonomous OLTP Database Cloud is expected to be available starting in mid-2018.

To watch an on-demand replay of the webcast, “The Next Generation Database Cloud and How You Can Prepare for What's Next,” go here.