Autonomy will bring tremendous benefits to computer technology, not just by reducing the cost of labour, but also eliminating human error and preventing data loss.

That’s the view of Larry Ellison, Oracle founder, CTO and chairman, who outlined Oracle’s vision to build a fully autonomous cloud at the company’s conference in San Francisco this week.

“Autonomy is the defining technology of the second generation cloud,” Ellison told OpenWorld attendees.

Last year Oracle launched its Autonomous Database, and is continuing to develop autonomous services to add to its cloud, “as we march toward our ultimate goal of delivering the world’s first, complete and fully autonomous cloud.”

This year the Oracle announced another major milestone in the company’s autonomous strategy with the availability of Oracle Autonomous Linux, which uses advanced machine learning and autonomous capabilities to deliver cost savings, security, and availability and frees up critical IT resources.

Ellison used the example self driving cars to demonstrate the benefits to autonomy, saying by “eliminating pilot error, autonomous systems are going to save tens of thousands of lives”.

“Autonomous systems eliminate human labour, and when you eliminate human labour you eliminate pilot error,” Ellison said.

“The scale of the benefit of eliminating human labour is enormous when brought into computer systems. We spend much more on people then we do on storage, or compute or anything else.”

Ellision argued that eliminating human labour is one of the economic benefits of the second generation cloud, layered on top of the economic benefits of the first generation cloud — sharing resources to only pay for what you use.

As well as the economic benefits, autonomous systems also provide security benefits, Ellison said, referencing the Capital One data breach where a hacker gained access to more than 100 million Capital One customers’ information via “firewall misconfiguration” in AWS Cloud.

“The Amazon data breach where Capital One had 100 million of their customers lose their personal information, happened because someone made a mistake, someone made a configuration error. It was a pilot error,” Ellison

Ellison argued the autonomy removes the risk of this kind of error occuring, like a driverless car and the car gets you home safely.

“In the Oracle Autonomous Cloud, when you use the Oracle autonomous database it configures itself. It’s not possible for customers to make misconfiguration [errors] because there are no pilots to make errors. The system configures itself.

“In the AWS Cloud, if you make an error and it leads to catastrophic data loss, that’s on you. In the Oracle cloud, if you use the autonomous database, the database automatically provisions itself, the system automatically encrypts itself, it automatically backs itself up.”

Oracle announces plans to launch 20 new Oracle Cloud regions by the end of 2020, for a total of 36 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure regions, including one in Melbourne, Australia. Customers will now have access to all Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services including Oracle Autonomous Database; as well as Oracle Fusion Applications, in these regions.

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