There’s a difference between ‘Automated’ and ‘Autonomous’. While the former means a system automatically performing tasks based on some pre-set conditions, the latter entitles a self-governing system that monitors, manages, upgrades, upscales, and secures itself with data-based intelligent decision-making. In short, businesses need to simply plug in such ecosystems within their environments and need to think twice about maintaining or administering day in and day out. No surprise, the heart of such autonomous, self-governing and self-managing systems is AI.
Think for a minute about what such autonomous systems can do for IT environments? Or a next-level cloud environment that is built with autonomous systems at the core? It transforms everything we know and do with ITOps. Firms and their over-stretched teams need to allocate only ‘thin bandwidths’ to routine administration of their vast IT ecosystems, instead focusing on core architecture building, IT expansion strategies, supporting new products and services, etc. From the big picture perspective, that immediately translates to quicker innovations and doing tons more magic with much leaner teams. Think about it again, doesn’t it sniff like an industrial revolution? Or, like the foundation of whatever Industry 4.0 promises to the world?
Well, Oracle surely does and that’s why, after years of experimentation, they have rolled out a next-generation enterprise cloud platform, dubbed as the Gen 2 Cloud. This blog would shadow on what that fundamentally means.
Oracle Gen 2 Cloud: Enabling the Autonomous, Intelligent Enterprise
Oracle Gen 2 Cloud is built on a fully revamped architecture, that stretches all the way down to high-fidelity hardware infrastructure, modern ultra-low latency networks, renovated platforms and databases, and super-available and easily integrable applications. Oracle dubs it as the new cloud that helps do everything associated with hosting, integrating, building, and connecting your mission-critical applications and environments within a single-stop intelligent platform. And, that extends to all Oracle and non-Oracle applications, on-prem or third-party, and multiple other clouds such as Azure. In addition, the cloud platform is built ground-up in a multi-layered architecture that infuses and embeds cutting-edge tech such as AI, ML, Analytics, Automation, and Self-Healing.
Effectively hence, enterprises can migrate-modernize-integrate their entire IT ecosystem, however disparate and distributed, hassle free onto the Oracle Gen 2 Cloud that in due course of time, autonomously governs, monitors, manages, secures, and repairs with next to zero-level manual intervention. Of course, IT teams can then shove away most of their routine maintenance tasks off the board while focusing more on the tasks that bring in real business value; setting IT objectives, blueprinting product releases and architecture expansions to different regions, tying up with development teams to make their work faster and agile, creating foundations for new innovations, designing systems that can supercharge business operations across core departments. Even better, the Oracle Gen 2 Cloud, leveraging its integrated AI-ML-Analytics capabilities and autonomously supporting end-to-end operations, can help enterprises with visual insights and reports to aid in data-based business decision-making.
The cloud effectively evolves from a virtual ITOps system to a business transformation ecosystem, catalyzing the holy grail ambition of an autonomous, intelligent enterprise. But how does the system achieve it, at the core?
Autonomous Databases: The Foundation of Oracle Gen 2 Cloud
Let’s not underrate. Organizational databases are at the core of everything that helps run an application, in fact the entire IT ecosystem. Much like the DNA that keeps cells alive, critical business applications leverage databases to authorize users, manage input and output functionalities, fire up memories, churn out analytical reports, deliver personalized experiences, automate tasks, and more. Hence, it was only fair that Oracle would need to make databases autonomous even before selling the dream of autonomous IT Ops on the cloud. Today, intelligent autonomous databases drive the enterprise platforms on Oracle Gen 2 Cloud and beyond.
Unlike traditional databases, these special cloud-powered databases make common DBA operations fully autonomous; DB provisioning, tuning, backups, upscale-downscales, upgrades, security monitoring, routine administration, and more. Autonomous databases can perform all the above activities, akin to a fully managed database service, without manual intervention. That not only steeply reduces human errors that could be catastrophic for the organization otherwise, but it also frees up database administrators to focus on the more fundamental and objective activities; database modelling, helping architect new product plans, blueprinting data modernization and transformations, building data intelligence capabilities, and so on.
Major Characteristics of Autonomous Databases
Oracle basically divides its autonomous database functionalities into two broad components: Data Warehouse and Transaction Processing. The former ensures maintaining the entire data operations lifecycle including storing, processing, managing, monitoring, securing, upgrading structured and unstructured data pools of the organization. The latter entitles more real-time functions when the database comes into action for any application, service, or functionality; finding security gaps and patching, real-time analytics, personalization, fraud detections, etc.
Both the major components though have the three foundational characteristics described below:
- Self-driving: The database system entirely manages itself from the root infrastructure level to its exchange with the end business applications. This includes the provisioning of fault-tolerant systems, governing performance, generating insights, repeated optimizations and tunings, scaling up and scale down the servers running underneath, and more. This leaves the DBA teams to focus less on routine database administration and more on the strategic and business-focused innovation activities.
- Self-securing: The database continuously monitors every segment and query, automatically scanning millions of rows and columns. Its pre-integrated capabilities quickly recognize any malicious entry or activity, suspicious behaviors, probable room for breaches, or risk points. Once found, the database applies patching and remedial techniques to self-heal and secure itself. On top, the Oracle autonomous database architectures are pre-augmented with multi-layered security protocols and cutting-edge encryption techniques to ensure bullet-proof security against any external practice.
- Self-repairing: The database system ensures that all components along with its main data tables and tools are working frictionless day in and day out through 24/7 automated monitoring and backups, self-updates. This prevents downtimes to staggeringly lower levels. In case there’s one, the database attempts to self-repair itself and re-boot as soon as possible without any damage to its core information bases.
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