Oracle announces a new automated database that can patch cyber security flaws itself
Larry Ellison didn’t wait long after coming onto the Oracle OpenWorld conference stage in San Francisco on Sunday before announcing a new set of cyber security-oriented products.
In his first keynote of Oracle’s annual use conference, the executive chairman announced a new autonomous database that can patch itself from cybersecurity flaws without having to go offline.
The automated database, called Oracle 18c, can instantly patch itself while still running, which Ellison says is a big advantage over the current system, in which humans have to schedule downtime for a database.
“It didn’t work at Equifax,” Ellison said, in reference to the consumer credit reporting company that announced a major security breach in early September.
“It doesn’t work. We have to automate our cyber defenses. And you have to be able to defend yourselves without taking all of your computer systems offline or shutting down your databases,” Ellison said.
At the heart of this new database machine learning, which Ellison said will continuously tune itself without human intervention.
“There is no pilot error anymore, because there is no pilot,” Ellison said. “Therefore, we can guarantee an availability time of 99.95%. That’s less than 30 minutes a year of planned or unplanned downtime.”
While the idea of a human-free database maintanence is compelling on its own, Ellison spent the second half of his presentation comparing Oracle 18c to Amazon Web Service’s database product, Redshift.
Ellison claimed that Oracle’s new database is more elastic than Redshift, which means it can quickly adapt to workloads without wasting resources in the process.
“Amazon’s database, Redshift, cannot automatically increase the number of processors to run a bigger workload and then free up those processors. It just can’t do it,” Ellison said.
Another important point for Ellison was the price comparison between the two products. He said that because Oracle is able to process data faster, it costs less to use than Amazon. He followed up his point with several case studies, and two live demos which illustrated Oracle’s speed.
“It will be less than one half of what Amazon charges you. We will write that in your contract,” he said to applause.
His final point also related to cost. Ellison said that because the new database is automated, customers will also save money on labor costs, since the database is supposed to patch and maintain itself.
Oracle will also announce a new security product on Tuesday.
April 18, 2019