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OpenWorld 2019: 4 Database Innovations + the Always Free Program


At Oracle OpenWorld 2019, Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison shared four recent database innovations and announced a new free version – the Always Free program. Jeff Erickson, Content Strategist for Database and Data-Driven Innovation at Oracle, covered the Always Free program and the database innovations that Ellison shared at OpenWorld 2019 in his Forbes article.

Overview of the Always Free Program

Ellison announced that starting immediately, Oracle will offer a free version of its revolutionary autonomous database for people to build, learn, and explore on Oracle Cloud. Developers who sign up for a Cloud account under the new Always Free program will receive access to Oracle Autonomous Database and the essential Oracle Cloud Infrastructure building blocks to create applications on it – including virtual machines, object storage, and data egress. Free version users also get access to a host of free tools for building those applications, such as Oracle Application Express, and drivers for popular programming languages, REST services for publishing data, and even a popular notebook for doing data science.

This means that developers can prototype, build, and try their next big idea for free. Students can learn on the most modern Cloud and use the same database that their future employers like banks, biotechs, and global manufacturers use to run their businesses. Schools can build courses with real-world labs. Enterprises can prototype for free with no time constraints. Ellison added that it all runs on Exadata, so customers get Oracle’s “best stuff.”

As long as people use the service, Ellison said that they can keep their free account. It will never expire or go away.

The goal is for the Always Free offering to add fuel to the fire of growth for Oracle Autonomous Database – the company’s self-driving database that deploys, tunes, patches, upgrades, and secures itself. Ellison explained that this leaves no room for pilot error. It does it all while continuing to run, instead of manually taking the database to patch and upgrade, as one would do on a first-generation Cloud like Amazon Web Services.

During his OpenWorld 2019 presentation, Ellison made it clear that Oracle intends to continue to evolve its Autonomous Database and widen its appeal to people across the spectrum of database users.

Four Additional Database Innovations

No. 1: Evolving Exadata

Ellison announced a major upgrade to Exadata engineered systems, which are designed to run Oracle Database for peak performance and reliability. Exadata machines underpin the autonomous database. The new Oracle Exadata X8M offers new direct memory access and persistent memory – giving companies improved data access across workloads that demand lower latency, such as high-frequency trading and IoT data streams.

Ellison explained that the “M” in Exadata X8M is for “memory.” The new Exadata machines are, not surprisingly, faster than the X7 that came before. More CPUs, more cores, and more memory mean that everything runs faster.

No. 2: Appealing to Citizen Data Scientists

While Oracle Database has long provided a library of machine learning algorithms for data analytics, Oracle Cloud databases now offer AutoML, a feature that allows both experienced data scientists and non-experts to quickly build, test, and deploy machine learning models in the database without writing a line of code.

No. 3: Adding More Developers

Oracle announced a new blockchain table type where rows are cryptographically chained to provide a secured ledger. This should make it easier to use and more functional than existing blockchain implementations because the blockchain tables can participate in transactions and queries with other tables. In addition to native blockchain tables, Oracle also added a binary JSON datatype for increased performance. Ellison explained that it is all in one highly available, secure, autonomous system.

No. 4: Keeping Data Safe On Both Sides of the Cloud Relationship

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure now offers an added set of features, called Data Safe, that guides users of all Oracle Cloud databases as they manage their side of the Cloud service relationship. Data Safe does this by helping customers set and keep proper configurations, watch for risky users, do data audits, and spot and mask sensitive data. If it determines that there is suspicious behavior or that a customer starts drifting from a standard configuration, Ellison said that Oracle will let you know.

Data Safe is meant to complement the security features that are already in Oracle Autonomous Database, such as always-on encryption and its self-patching capability. Oracle Data Safe is available today at no additional cost in the Oracle Cloud.

To learn more about database innovations or the Always Free program, check out the additional resources attached below.

Additional Resources

COLLABORATE 20 will take place April 19-23, 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada! Don’t miss this chance to share inspiration, insights, and solutions with your peers, vendors, and the Oracle team! Register before March 6, 2020, to take advantage of Early Bird pricing.

Save the date for Quest Experience Week! This free, four-day event is jam-packed with digital education designed to provide both strategic insight and how-to-education for Oracle users of all levels. Each day is dedicated to a different product and begins with a keynote followed by afternoon breakout sessions. Join us November 12-15, 2019, for conference-quality education from the comfort of your desk!

  • Cloud Day: November 12
  • Database Day: November 13
  • PeopleSoft Day: November 14
  • JD Edwards Day: November 15