Oracle Open World 2019: Ellison states ‘fully autonomous cloud’ as goal

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison said a ‘fully autonomous cloud’ is now Oracle's goal, eliminating human labour, during his main keynote at Open World 2019. AWS was, again, in his sights as an inferior rival

Oracle chief technology officer (CTO) and founder Larry Ellison said a “fully autonomous cloud” that will eliminate human labour is now Oracle’s main goal, during his first keynote address at Oracle Open World 2019 in San Francisco.

At the 2017 Open World conference, Ellison had declared the 18c version of the supplier’s database, when delivered over Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, to be “revolutionary”, since it would be self-patching, reducing the need for database administrator labour.

At this year’s conference, Ellison announced Oracle Autonomous Linux, which he described as the “world’s first autonomous operating system”, and which underlies the database. In respect of delegate applause elicited by that, he joked that it had allegedly taken “20 years of effort” to achieve. He stated that Oracle has been contributing to the open source operating system Linux since 1998.

But the serious point, he said, was that the “elimination of human error is the only way to eliminate data theft”. He asserted that rivals such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) are unable to deliver such a level of error-eliminating automation in their cloud-delivered databases.

Ellison said Amazon’s Aurora database, its RedShift data warehouse, and its RDS [relational database service] are neither “serverless nor elastic”, and added that AWS, Salesforce, and IBM SoftLayer are all now effectively using Oracle Autonomous Linux.

Doug Henschen, technology analyst at Constellation Research, said on Twitter that Ellison’s quip that “if you’re paying IBM for RedHat, just stop” – since it is now freely available as Oracle Autonomous Linux – demonstrates that “Larry’s still very much a product guy”. Red Hat is a software company that assembles Open Source components for the Linux operating system, and is owned by IBM.

In his now well-established running critique of AWS, Ellison declared that by this time in 2020, Oracle will have more [cloud datacentre] regions than AWS – 36 opposed to 25. He said that customers for full-stack Oracle Cloud Infrastructure now include Siemens, Toyota, Chipotle, and Cisco.

“When we meet next year, we’ll have more regions than AWS, and we already have 40,000 discrete customers using Oracle Cloud, in 16 hyper-scale regions,” he added.

Ellison’s mention of a special relationship Oracle has with Microsoft also drew applause from delegates. This was sealed with a partnership announced in June 2019, which aims to improve interoperability between Azure and Oracle’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS) with a dedicated, high-speed interconnect between Oracle and Azure datacentres.

Customers can now run Oracle applications on Azure infrastructure and tie them back to Oracle databases hosted on OCI, especially by way of Exadata appliances. Exadata is an in-memory database appliance that supports OLTP (transactional) and OLAP (analytical) database systems.

Ellison closed his opening speech with the announcement of an Oracle Cloud Free Tier for building applications on the supplier’s cloud.

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