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Archive for November, 2018|Monthly archive page

Autonomous Data Warehouse, Autonomous Transaction Processing or Something Else?

In DBA on November 30, 2018 at 14:37

First things first: there is nothing else. Let me explain why.

Both Forbes and the Wall Street Journal wrote about the top 5 industry early adopters of Autonomous Systems.

According to the article, “in the IT industry, the pioneering product is Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud, a cloud-based database that configures, optimizes and patches itself with minimal human intervention. Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison says the machine learning technology that underpins the company’s autonomous data warehouse, as well as autonomous integration, developer, mobile and other platform services that will follow, is as revolutionary as the internet.”

To make it clear, the new Autonomous Data Warehouse and the Autonomous Transaction Processing databases are not based on newly written software. It is the same Oracle database with a lot of automation and mathematical algorithms embedded into the original database software. Think of machine learning and computer intelligence.

If you are looking for something similar among other database brands – good luck! Finding all areas of Self-Securing, Self-Automation and Self-Repairing outside Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud is mission impossible. And here are the areas:

Four Areas of Self-Securing of Autonomous Databases:

1. Self-securing starts with the security of the Oracle Cloud infrastructure and database service. Security patches are automatically applied every quarter or as needed, narrowing the window of vulnerability. Patching includes the full stack: firmware, operating system [OS], clusterware, and database. There are no steps required from the customer side.

2. Oracle encrypt customer data everywhere: in motion, at rest, and in backups. The encryption keys are managed automatically, without requiring any customer intervention. And encryption cannot be turned off.

3. Administrator activity on Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud is logged centrally and monitored for any abnormal activities. Oracle have enabled database auditing using predefined policies so that customers can view logs for any abnormal access: UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL

4. Built upon Oracle Database Vault, unique to Oracle Cloud, operations personnel have privilege to do all administrative tasks without any ability to ever see any customer data.

Four Areas of Self-Automation of Autonomous Databases:

1. Self-Automation: automatic provisioning of pluggable databases and automatic scaling – PDB resource manager.

2. Automatic tuning: SQL Plan Management, Adaptive Plans, SQL Tuning Advisor – Automatic SQL Tuning, Storage Indexes, Automatic Storage Management, Automatic detection and correction of regressions due to plan changes, Automatically tune memory, process, sessions.

3. Automatic Fault Tolerant Failover: RAC and Data Guard. Automatically kill run-away transactions and SQL. Automatically kill inactive session.

4. Automatic Backup and Recovery: RMAN, Flashback.

Seven Areas of Self-Repairing of Autonomous Databases:

Both Maria Colgan and Franck Pachot wrote on the differences between ADW and ADP:

How does Autonomous Transaction Processing differ from the Autonomous Data Warehouse? by Maria Colgan

ATP vs ADW – the Autonomous Database lockdown profiles by Franck Pachot

But here are in short the four main areas of differences between ADW and ADP:

1. Settings and parameters:
– In ADW: the majority of the memory is allocated to the PGA – joins, aggregations in memory
– In ATP: the majority of the memory is allocated to the SGA – minimize I/O

For DBAs: ADW runs on 94 non-default parameters out of which 35 are underscore. In ATP, the corresponding numbers are 94 and 36. Not same 94 though! And these numbers may slightly vary.

2. Data formats:
– In ADW: data is stored in a columnar format as that’s the best format for analytics processing – ADW uses DBIM option features like in-memory columnar flash cache under the covers
– In ATP: data is stored in a row format

3. Statistics/CBO:
– In ADW: statistics are automatically maintained as part of bulk load and DBMS_CLOUD activities
– In ATP: statistics are automatically gathered when the volume of data changes significantly enough to make a difference to the statistics

4. Client services/connections:
– In ADW: only one service (LOW) automatically runs SQL statements serially, all is parallel
– In ATP: the PARALLEL service does no longer exist (as of 12.11.2018)

FAQ for Oracle Autonomous Database

In order to show the other side of the coin, here are two perspective from IBM and SAP point of view:

Oracle Autonomous Database – is it truly self-driving? by Danny Arnold

How Real is The Oracle Automated Database? by Shaun Snapp

But if you prefer more neutral reading check Oracle’s next chapter: The Autonomous Database and the DBA and Will Autonomous Database Entice Big Business To The Cloud?

Bottom line: if you need extreme high reliability, top-level security, 100% automation of DBA routine tasks and no funny surprises – start testing and using the Oracle Autonomous Database. Really!

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