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article imageOracle's new database uses AI to keep itself secure

By James Walker     Oct 2, 2017 in Technology
Oracle has announced a new automated database technology that uses AI to automatically install updates, detect threats and run optimisations. The system is supposed to take the pain out of database management, letting developers concentrate on their apps.
The technology, called Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud, was announced at the company's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco during the weekend. The event saw Oracle CEO Larry Ellison introduce several new database products described by the company as "revolutionary." Autonomous Database Cloud is possibly the most innovative of the services unveiled.
An end to database headaches?
The autonomous aspects of the database management system (DBMS) are supposed to address some of the biggest headaches around traditional DBMS platforms. Databases can be difficult to upgrade and patch as they scale, providing a point of entry for attacks and risking data theft. Most databases are still manually upgraded, requiring downtime for the application they support and opening the door to human error. A single malformed database command could cause catastrophic data loss.
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Oracle's Autonomous Cloud uses AI to solve some of these issues. The database can automatically upgrade itself and then tune its performance once installed. The company claimed that annual downtime could be reduced to just 30 minutes, allowing businesses to maximise the time their apps can create revenue. The risk of human error is eliminated and the AI ensures the database is properly protected against external impostors.
"Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud eliminates the human labor required to manage a database by enabling a database to automatically upgrade, patch and tune itself while running," said Oracle. "With no more scope for human error or requirements for human performance testing, Oracle is able to minimize costly planned and unplanned downtime to less than 30 minutes a year and guarantee that organizations can cut their costs in half compared to Amazon."
Oracle sets sights on Amazon
Much of the rest of Oracle's keynote was spent on an all-out attack against cloud rival Amazon. Oracle announced a slew of new technologies which it claims offer significantly enhanced performance than Amazon's while costing less to run.
Autonomous Cloud is one of the pillars Oracle's using to fend off Amazon, claiming it's five to eight times less expensive to maintain than an Amazon database running the same workload. Ellison also pointed out that many of Oracle's competitors use its own technology, stating Amazon is "one of the biggest Oracle users on the planet Earth."
David and Goliath
While the language is confident, Oracle is having to respond to the industry shift towards providers like Amazon. Amazon is by far the biggest provider, with over 40 percent of the market. Microsoft comes second, with 10 percent share, followed by everyone else. If Oracle needs a new technology to attract customers, Autonomous Database Cloud seems like it's the one to take on the task though.
Proactive and automated software maintenance systems are expected to be one of the next big demands of cloud companies, letting developers focus on the future without being held back by legacy systems. Offering to solve the challenge of keeping databases secure could give Oracle a strong footing in the next stage of the cloud wars. AI-powered systems maintenance is just around the corner and it seems Oracle's now the first large-scale provider to offer it, although Amazon and Microsoft are unlikely to be far behind.
More about Oracle, Cloud, Ai, Artificial intelligence, Databases
 
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