The Autonomous Database and other Takeaways from Oracle OpenWorld





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The Autonomous Database and other Takeaways from Oracle OpenWorld

Stefano Oddone | Oct 10, 2017

Last week marked the return of Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle's annual event focused on highlighting key cloud trends and their business impact for customers and partners alike. With thousands of in-person attendees and millions of online watchers, the event is arguably Oracle's most important event of the year. So what did we learn?

The Autonomous Database and Other Takeaways from Oracle OpenWorld 2017 #OOW2017

Introducing Oracle 18c: The Autonomous Database

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison took the stage on Sunday October, 1st to announce the world's first "self-driving" database: Oracle 18c. That's right, Oracle's new database is autonomous - requiring zero human intervention for administration, tuning and patching tasks.

Oracle's new autonomous database applies Machine Learning to DB Management, resulting in a DB that is able to fine-tune itself, apply patches and fixes, as well as optimize performances - all while running. As a consequence of this, no human errors are possible, thus allowing Oracle to grant 99.995% system availability, which translates to less than 30 minutes per year of planned or unplanned downtime. Oracle 18c is available on the Oracle Cloud and, thanks to auto-tuning capabilities, requires less compute and storage than running Oracle DB on Amazon. In fact, Oracle grants that the same workloads cost half when running on Oracle Cloud versus AWS... The competition is really heating up!

Patching is a Key Success Factor in Thwarting Cybersecurity Risks

If Oracle made one thing clear at the OpenWorld conference, it's that all companies running applications should have two key targets: provide users with the best, optimized, high performing experience and with the most reliable and secure architecture.

For a reliable and secure architecture, patching is a key enabler. Patching is a cornerstone to running up-to-date software that complies with an organization's security needs. But, not all companies have a real strategy in place and this key activity likely leads to lengthy processes, mainly based on human-driven tasks which are always difficult to plan for and which could take months to be completed, exposing business to unpredictable risks.

Oracle claims to provide the most secure and reliable Cloud services, regardless the kind of Cloud you choose to adopt; for instance, the SaaS model can dramatically simplify the patching needs of many organizations. With SaaS deployment, Oracle is able to scale, industrialize and optimize patching and upgrade processes, ensuring that your systems are at the highest level of security without any upfront investment or resource allocation, everything is included in the subscription fee. Oracle SaaS Applications running in Oracle Public Cloud receive frequent, automated updates to ensure that the environments are always kept at the maximum level of security available.

Oracle Cloud Strategy 

Oracle is placing the power back in customers hands when it comes to Cloud adoption, a move that today has been classified as "inevitable" in order to successfully face various disruptions (i.e. market pressure, new business models, new types of competitors, etc...) that dramatically change the rules of the game. With Oracle's advanced cloud strategy, they are providing the infrastructure, platform and applications to enable companies to move or start the business directly in the cloud.

Customers will be able to choose the path and speed with which they move to the cloud depending on where they are today in terms of innovation, architectures and business processes, making the overall cloud migration process increasingly transparent for customers.

In fact, Oracle Executive VP Cloud Business, Dave Donatelli, identified six clear paths to the cloud for organizations in different positions:

  1. Companies running on-premises Apps can optimize those by leveraging Oracle Engineered Systems, while moving new coming workloads in Oracle Public Cloud.
  2. Oracle can bring its Public Cloud Services behind Companies Firewalls, if they prefer. This deployment model termed "Oracle Cloud at Customer" is an Oracle box installed into Customers' Data Centers which is remotely managed by Oracle, thereby providing the same level of innovation, maintenance, performances and costs structure granted by Oracle Public Cloud Services.
  3. Lift & Shift: which is the progressive move and improvement of current workloads from on-premise applications to Cloud by leveraging Oracle's IaaS.
  4. Greenfield: New Workloads and Applications can be deployed and managed directly in Cloud with Oracle's PaaS.
  5. Companies running traditional ERP, EPM, SCM or CX On-premise Applications can compliment or move their business processes into Oracle SaaS, which today is the largest Cloud application offering on the market.
  6. New companies born in the Cloud can adopt a SaaS offering with zero on-premise footprint.

Predictions about the Future of Cloud

Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd has, over the past few years, made a few "by 2025" predictions when it comes to cloud. During Oracle OpenWorld 2017, Oracle took the opportunity to perform a sort of reality check on where the world stands today in comparison to those predictions. Those predictions include, just to name a few - By 2025:

  • 80% of Production Apps will be in Cloud
  • 100% of Application Development and Testing will be in Cloud
  • The number of Corporate-owned data centers will have decreased by 80%
  • 80% of IT Budgets will be spent in Business Innovation and only 20% on Application Maintenance

Actual data from third parties sources are thus far confirming Hurd's predictions. For instance, in 2017, the number of corporate data centers decreased by over 15% compared with the previous year and, as of today, 52% of Apps Dev and Testing is running in Cloud with a CAGR of 20%.

So, are the predictions true? I guess we have a few more years to find out, but let's say what is evident is that entering the cloud space is no longer a question of "early adoption" but instead, "joining the herd".

Let's Recap on Oracle OpenWorld '17

Cloud adoption is becoming increasingly mainstream and with several benefits to the companies planning to adopt this model; it's no longer a matter of "if" and it's not even a matter of "when", with Oracle Cloud offering covering IaaS, PaaS and SaaS it' s merely a question of "how"; movement to Cloud is in full swing! Oracle's customers that already embraced the Cloud indicated innovation, scalability, reliability and security as main reasons behind the move, the new Oracle 18c autonomous database further strengthen these aspects providing highly secure environments to organizations who are increasingly at risk for cybersecurity threats, while providing the high-availability and performance that Cloud has always been best known for.

Organizations planning to migrate applications or entire landscapes to the cloud can take on one, or a blend, of the six approaches previously outlined, with the time they need in order to stay competitive in the increasingly complex digital business landscape.

All of the events keynotes are available here ondemand through the Oracle OpenWorld Website.