E-Handbook:

Oracle Autonomous Database shifts IT focus to strategic planning

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Autonomous Database seeks more cloud buy-in by Oracle users

In a June 2019 report, Gartner said cloud databases are driving most of the growth in the database market and becoming the primary focus of vendor R&D work. "The thesis: cloud is now the default platform for managing data," Gartner analyst Adam Ronthal wrote in a blog post about the report. "On premises is the past, and only legacy compatibility or special requirements should keep you there."

Oracle has bought into that thesis. Its strategy now centers on Oracle Autonomous Database, a cloud service launched in 2018 that adds machine learning and automated administration capabilities on top of its Oracle Database software. The company says Autonomous Database essentially manages itself, from provisioning system resources for databases to tuning performance and applying software patches.

For Oracle users, the cloud service offers a database management system (DBMS) "that's far easier and less costly to procure and scale up and down than an on-premises counterpart," said Robert Hamel, vice president of customer service delivery at consultancy Pythian Services.

But, in an August 2019 blog post, Hamel added that there are some missing features from Oracle Database and other potential drawbacks to be aware of before signing on to use the cloud DBMS technology. For example, users can't control database initialization parameters and tablespaces or database instance memory sizes and configurations in Oracle Autonomous Database, Hamel wrote.

This handbook looks more closely at Autonomous Database and what it holds in store for prospective users. First, we examine how it changes the role of database administrators and deployment issues that organizations need to address. Next, we detail new options and Oracle's development plans for the cloud service. We close by recounting the experiences of some early adopters of Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, the data warehousing version of Autonomous Database.

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