Oracle has unveiled an operating system that runs without the need for human oversight, part of a raft of new software tools meant to ease the company’s rocky transition to cloud computing.
The operating system expands Oracle’s line of autonomous products beyond databases, the company’s flagship software. Chairman Larry Ellison announced the new Linux-based product on Monday during remarks at OpenWorld, Oracle’s annual user conference in San Francisco.
“If you eliminate human error in autonomous systems, you eliminate data theft,” Ellison said on stage. The feature makes Oracle’s products more secure than those sold by cloud leader Amazon Web Services, he said.
Ellison said the operating system, which the company’s Autonomous Database runs on, will update itself without any downtime.
The world’s second largest software maker has sought to revive sales growth after years of almost stagnant revenue. Oracle hopes that a line-up of “self-driving” programs could help differentiate the company’s offerings against products from Amazon.com and Microsoft. Those companies are the top two in the market to rent storage and computing power, which is projected to reach almost US$39-billion in 2019. The tools may also entice longtime Oracle customers to upgrade their technology to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities.
Leave of absence
Oracle disclosed last week that Mark Hurd, one of the company’s two CEOs, would take a leave of absence to treat an unspecified illness. Ellison and Oracle’s other CEO, Safra Catz, said they would fill in for Hurd, who has overseen the company’s sales and marketing efforts.
The Redwood City, California-based company also announced a variety of changes and new programmes to bolster its partner ecosystem.
It unveiled an agreement with VMware to bring virtualisation software to Oracle’s cloud, similar to deals VMware has signed with Microsoft and Google.
Customers will be able to buy software made by other companies in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, which may help company partners including Cisco Systems and Palo Alto Networks.
Oracle also said it expanded a relationship with cybersecurity company McAfee to bring its security incident software to Oracle’s infrastructure cloud.
Ellison said Oracle would offer a free version of its Cloud Infrastructure, giving developers, students and others perpetual access to the company’s autonomous database, computing and storage.
The company plans to launch 20 additional cloud data centre hubs, called “regions”, by the end of 2020. Ellison said the company would have more regions around the world than AWS.
Oracle will let customers run the autonomous database in their own data centers next year, and unveiled new servers with updated memory components from Intel. — Reported by Nico Grant, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP