Upcoming Oracle DB Hits All Buzzwords

With AWS in the crosshairs, Oracle dropped hints at a new version of its database coming October 1.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

September 15, 2017

3 Min Read
Upcoming Oracle DB Hits All Buzzwords

Oracle dropped hints about an upcoming database announcement that will be chockful of machine learning, artificial intelligence and other major buzzwords.

Larry Ellison, Oracle chairman and CTO, wins at buzzword bingo for his quote in the company's quarterly earnings press release Thursday: "In a couple of weeks, we will announce the world's first fully autonomous database cloud service ... Based on machine learning, the latest version of Oracle is a totally automated 'self-driving' system that does not require human beings to manage or tune the database. Using AI to eliminate most sources of human error enables Oracle to offer database SLA's that guarantee 99.995% reliability while charging much less than AWS."

Fully autonomous, based on machine learning, totally automated, self-driving, using AI -- it's greased lightning!

On Thursday's earnings call with analysts, Ellison dropped a few more tidbits. The database's 99.995% reliability means less than 30 minutes of planned or unplanned downtime per year. "AWS can't do any of this stuff," he said.

The "self-driving nature" of the database eliminates the personnel cost of managing the database, as well as human error. He noted that a self-driving hired car is better than a manually driven car because you don't have the cost of paying the driver, or the danger and costs of accidents and human error.

The software will automate human resources and security, Ellison said.

Not mentioned by Ellison: Self-driving cars don't exist in production. They're still experimental. Perhaps Oracle's next-generation database will also partake of the qualities of other nonexistent technologies, such as Star Trek transporters and Doctor Who's sonic screwdriver.

Oracle had better get moving on making that database real; Ellison said the software will be introduced at Oracle OpenWorld October 1. The conference runs through October 5.

As for the earnings themselves:

Cloud revenues helped drive Oracle to 7% year-over-year growth for the first quarter of 2018, ending August 31, with cloud revenue booming 51% to $1.5 billion. However, cloud is only part of Oracle's overall $9.2 billion revenue for the quarter.

Cloud applications -- aka software as a service (SaaS) -- revenue was $1.1 billion, up 62% year-over-year. Platform- and infrastructure-as-a-service -- aka PaaS and IaaS -- were up 28% to $400 million.

Non-GAAP earnings per share increased 12%, to $0.62.

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In addition to calling out AWS, Oracle called out competitors Salesforce.com and Workday.

"The sustained hyper-growth in our multi-billion dollar cloud business continues to drive Oracle's overall revenue and earnings higher and higher," Oracle CEO Safra Catz says in the statement -- technically true, but non-cloud revenue still represents most of Oracle's revenue.

Cloud applications business is growing at twice the rate of Salesforce, says CEO Mark Hurd in the statement. "ERP is our largest and most important cloud applications business. We now have about 5,000 Fusion ERP customers plus 12,000 NetSuite ERP customers in the Oracle Cloud. That's 30 times more ERP customers than Workday."

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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