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Larry’s Keynote – The World’s 1st Autonomous Database October 2, 2017

Posted by Duncan in OOW.
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Larry Elison came on stage last night to pumping rock music and laid out the details on Oracle’s latest big product unveilings – Oracle Autonomous Database and Highly Automated Cyber Security. Wearing a black polo shirt, faded blue jeans and a pair of ASICS running shoes he was relaxed and candid, obviously talking in an area that is comfortable for him.

Cyber Security

This session was mostly on the Autonomous Database, however Larry spent some time striving to convince us all that the safest place to store your data is in an Oracle database – where they do everything they can to prevent human intervention, and therefore the risk of human error. The upcoming Cyber Security product – the subject of his Tuesday keynote – is designed to detect threats when they first occur, and then handover to the database to automatically apply patches rather than wait for humans to notice the breach, schedule downtime and then implement new security measures or patches. He made the point that the worst security breaches in history were made after the patches to fix the vulnerability being exploited were available – the issue was that the patches weren’t applied.

Much of what he said must be ringing in the ears of Deloittes after their cyber leak– where the breach went unnoticed for months and lax security processes allowed hackers to easily access customer data.

It seems that much of the cleverness behind these advances is machine learning, where the system watches events and looks for patterns that do not fit normal usage – e.g. someone logging in through an IP address on the TOR network, or from an unusual country.

Autonomous Database

Larry claims that the new 18c Autonomous Database reduces 100% of the human labour needed to run a database – it automatically provisions, upgrades, patches and tunes itself while running. The SLA guarantee is 99.995% – meaning less than 30 minutes downtime a year (planned and unplanned).

Adding to this, he added that it would run at 50% of the cost of Amazon and that Oracle would write that into your contract. The database is called 18c due to the calendar year, however the data warehouse version will be available in Dec 2017, with the OLTP database coming in June 2018.

Larry then continued with several examples of Oracle pricing being cheaper than AWS due to Oracle’s faster processing (both Oracle on Oracle Public Cloud vs Oracle on AWS and Amazon’s DB on AWS)… “If you want the extra security, if you want the extra automation that Oracle provides, you’ve got to be prepared to pay less.” Of course vendor produced comparisons should always be treated with a level of scepticism, however if Oracle are willing to write the savings into your contract then that does underline their claim.

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