Oracle launches 18c, its autonomous database and automated cybersecurity system

The fewer humans involved with the database and cyberdefense the more secure data will be, argued Oracle CTO Larry Ellison.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison unveiled the company's autonomous database called 18c as well as a cybersecurity system that rides shot gun with it. The aim: Automate the database and cyberdefenses because human processes stink.


Ellison's keynote Sunday, which kicked off Oracle's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, focused on automation and how machine learning is as revolutionary as the Internet. He said Oracle's autonomous database and cybersecurity system were developed together. Why? The cybersecurity system, to be outlined more Tuesday, alerts the database, which can patch itself on the fly.

Oracle preps autonomous database at OpenWorld, aims to cut labor, admin time

Machine learning enabled the automation of Oracle's next gen database as well as cybersecurity system, which is in the process of becoming fully automated. "These were developed together and designed to prevent data theft. We do everything we can to avoid human intervention," said Ellison. "Cybersecurity system detects threat than passes along. Database system has to patch itself and not wait for a human to schedule downtime to gracefully implement a patch in a month or two."

What Ellison is getting at is one jarring fact to anyone following data breaches. "The worst data threats in history have occurred after a patch was available," said Ellison.

Now a lot of what Ellison was preaching about machine learning isn't new. Other companies--Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, IBM and a host of others--have talked up machine learning. For Ellison though, the new spin on machine learning is that it can adapt and tune the database.

"This is a big deal by the way. No one else does this," said Ellison. "This is the most important thing we've done in a long, long time."

What Ellison was also pitching was that Oracle's next-gen autonomous database is more secure and cuts down on labor. Ellison said that more automation won't cost database administrator jobs, but free those professionals up for more high-level work like security. "It's not like these admins are sitting around with nothing to do," said Ellison.

Naturally, Ellison took aim at Amazon Web Services. Ellison said Oracle 18c can halve AWS costs. Oracle will also put it in writing, said Ellison.

Oracle 18c is available on-premise, in Oracle's public cloud and cloud at customer. The data warehouse version of Oracle 18c is available in December. The OLTP version will be available in June 2018.


Autonomous will be available for data warehouse, OLTP, Express and NoSQL in 2018.


Ellison said the primary feature in Oracle 18c is really automation. The less humans involved with the database, the fewer insider threats to data.

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