Oracle announces first autonomous database service, promises to ‘redefine cloud database’

Larry Ellison praised Amazon for ‘inventing’ the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market – but with the announcement of the first service based on Oracle’s much-touted autonomous database, the company aims to go bigger and better than the IaaS behemoth.

At an event yesterday, Ellison announced the launch of the Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud. As the company put it, the new product ‘delivers all of the analytical capabilities, security features, and high availability of the Oracle Database without any of the complexities of configuration, tuning, and administration’.

This news had been coming. Last month saw updates to the autonomous database cloud by making all Oracle Cloud Platform services ‘self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing’, in the words of Thomas Kurian, president of product development. When Oracle reported its latest financials earlier this month, Ellison promised more of the same, expecting to deliver autonomous analytics, mobility, application development and integration services over the coming months. Attendees yesterday were told this was the ‘first of several’ autonomous PaaS services Oracle will deliver this year.

Ellison espoused his views on AWS during an impromptu break to fix slides at the beginning of his presentation. “Everyone knows, and everyone gives rightful credit to Amazon for kind of inventing the market for infrastructure as a service. They noticed that in a lot of ways it’s more efficient to rent computers than buy computers.

“Amazon pioneered the notion… but the way Oracle plans on – and is in the process of – differentiating itself from Amazon is to offer a complete suite of platform services that are at a higher level than low level infrastructure stuff,” added Ellison. “Rather than developing database applications like you used to develop, you’ll use these new PaaS services.”

Back in October, Ellison ran a series of benchmark demonstrations around running an Oracle database on an Amazon cloud, and on its own cloud, joking to the audience that he would have to skip some of the Amazon demos because they took too long to complete. The company still promises to cut Amazon bills in half running the same data on an Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud service, with the offer valid until the end of May 2019, which you can find out more about here.