Oracle announces Oracle Autonomous Linux

Billed as the world's first autonomous operating system, Oracle Autonomous Linux provisions itself, scales itself, tunes itself and patches itself while running.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Oracle on Monday announced Oracle Autonomous Linux, an autonomous operating system. Autonomous Linux provisions itself, scales itself, tunes itself and patches itself while running. 

"Autonomy is the defining technology of a second-generation cloud," Oracle co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison said in his keynote address at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. Two years ago, Oracle introduced the Autonomous Database. The company's ultimate goal,  he said, is to build "the world's first complete and truly autonomous cloud."

Autonomous Linux is based on Oracle Linux, which powers Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Systems. 

Any Red Hat application will run unchanged on Oracle Autonomous Linux, Ellison promised. At the same time, he asserted that Oracle Autonomous Linux is designed for "extreme performance, for high reliability, for security... and we're autonomous."

Ellison also promised a "literally instantaneous migration." 

The OS is free for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure customers. "If you're paying IBM, you can stop," Ellison said. 

Oracle also introduced Oracle OS Management Service, a highly available Oracle Cloud Infrastructure component to monitor and control systems,  whether they run Autonomous Linux, Linux or Windows. Combined with resource governance policies, the service enables users to automate capabilities to execute common management tasks for Linux systems. 

Both Oracle Autonomous Linux and Oracle OS Management Service leverage advanced machine learning. The new OS offers automatic security updates daily to the Linux kernel and key userspace libraries, with no downtime. Known Exploit Detection provides automated alerts if anyone attempts to exploit a vulnerability that has been patched by Oracle.

In his keynote address, Ellison stressed how autonomy can deliver more secure services. He cited the massive Capitol One data breach disclosed earlier this year, which was the result of a configuration vulnerability. The vulnerability exposed to data stored with Amazon Web Services. 

"One simple rule to prevent data theft: Put your data in an autonomous system," Ellison said Monday. "No human error, no data loss. That's the big difference between us and AWS."

To augment the security benefits of an autonomous system, Oracle on Monday also announced a series of new security services, including Oracle Data Safe -- a unified control center for monitoring security issues with data, users and configuration. In addition to monitoring database activity, customers can use it to identify sensitive data and mask databases to minimize or eliminate security risks. Oracle Data Safe is included with all Oracle Database Cloud services. 

While Oracle's cloud infrastructure business significantly trails that of Amazon and Microsoft, Oracle is eyeing the large market of enterprises still using on-premise solutions and next-generation cloud businesses that have yet to come online. 

On Monday, Ellison boasted about the momentum that Oracle Cloud has seen, opening 12 regions in the past year. Oracle Cloud currently operates 16 regions globally and plans to launch 20 new regions by the end of 2020. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is expanding into new countries, and it's opening new, geographically separated regions within some countries so that customers can meet business continuity and compliance requirements. The widened OCI footprint will include regions in the US, Canada, Brazil, UK, the EU, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, as well as new government regions in the UK and Israel. 

Further expanding its reach, Oracle announced it's expanding its regions interconnected with Microsoft Azure. In addition to Ashburn and London, Oracle is globally expanding the interconnect to US West, Asia, and Europe. 

Ellison made a series of other announcements in his OpenWorld keynote: 

  • The CTO introduced the Oracle Cloud Free Tier, which lets anyone use Oracle's Autonomous Database and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for free for an unlimited time. The free tier, announced during Oracle's OpenWorld conference, is aimed at developers, students or anyone else who wants to try out Oracle's cloud services. 
  • Customers will be able to run VMware Cloud Foundation on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Ellison announced. This will let customers migrate VMware vSphere workloads to Oracle's Generation 2 Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle will also provide technical support for Oracle software running in VMware environments, both in on-premises data centers and Oracle-certified cloud environments. 
  • Oracle announced new additions to its Exadata portfolio, with the availability of Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at customer and the latest release of its Exadata platform, Oracle Exadata X8M. With Oracle Generation 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer, users access the Cloud Control Plane via Oracle's public cloud, giving the user the benefits of Oracle Exadata Cloud from within the data center. Meanwhile, Exadata X8M integrates new technologies, including remote direct memory access over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) as the high-bandwidth low-latency network fabric. The Exadata X8M system can deliver 2.5X more I/Os and 10X lower I/O latency compared to the previous release, Oracle says.
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