What’s Common Between a Self-Driving Car and an Autonomous Database

What’s Common Between a Self-Driving Car and an Autonomous Database

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After decades of research and hard work, self-driving cars have become a reality and are slowly being manufactured by more and more companies. A self-driving car has multiple automated features and can drive on its own without manual intervention. What started as a small car only capable of driving a few miles in a single lane without manual intervention, has now evolved to be an autonomous vehicle which can breeze through heavy traffic in a city like San Francisco. My objective for this article is to give readers an introduction to one of the most revolutionary ideas, not only in the Oracle space, but in the database technology space in general.

At Oracle OpenWorld 2017, Larry Ellison introduced the latest Oracle innovation. The Autonomous Database Cloud which is available starting in the 18c version. It is said to be a self-driving and self-repairing database thus reducing the need for human intervention and making it less prone to errors. A self-driving car can exit the highway when the destination is nearby, change lanes and park on its own. The Autonomous Database can apply security fixes, scale resources up and down as needed, provide the best optimal plan for a SQL query and perform zero downtime activities and more. The technologies behind the Autonomous Database that make these fantastic features possible are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). As a Database Administrator (DBA), these are both exciting and worrisome times based on what I am hearing from other DBAs. Let’s talk about the negative effects this could have for DBA’s for a moment. I have seen questions posed by many DBAs in blogs and during conference sessions asking how the Autonomous Database could impact their own job and in turn their career. Some of the tasks the Autonomous Database perform are currently being done manually by a DBA. In my opinion, I do not think this is something to worry about for the following two reasons.

  1. Like many other new technologies, I sense that even the Autonomous Database Cloud needs some time to evolve, which is not possible without the help of DBAs. Using another analogy, just like a self-driving car still needs a driver with a legal license sitting in the driver seat, the Autonomous Database needs DBAs to be directing it towards the right decisions. Such as which patch is better suited for a particular application, is the scaling of resources really required for the available budget, is it required to use a complex process for a Development Database, and so on.
  2. Even in the long term, the Autonomous Database comes as a blessing in disguise for many operational DBAs, who now have an opportunity to work closely with the application and business teams, which will help in better decision making and strategic thinking.

I have two suggestions for all DBAs, system engineers and some managers out:

  1. Start testing out the Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud and see how it can help in your database ecosystem and help current business move forward. This can be done using the one-month free trial (worth $300 of free credits) offered by Oracle.
  2. Start planning on how you can take the next steps on providing optimized solutions for multiple OLTP and data warehousing applications, now that the boring tasks are handled by the Autonomous Database Cloud. Stay ahead of the curve in the current database cloud market by evolving each and every day.

At BIAS, we hear questions from customers about how the Autonomous Database Cloud can help them with deployments. We have enabled BIAS consultants to work with our customers to embrace this new technology and understand how it can be customized for them.

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