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Oracle raised the stakes in its rivalry with Amazon with the introduction of Oracle Database 18c, which incorporates machine learning so that the database can run itself.


  • Applying ML to database operation is an idea whose time has come.
  • The autonomous database will be a journey; Oracle’s first step (targeting analytics with the goal of consistent performance) is a realistic one.
  • The biggest challenge for Oracle will be winning trust among database administrators that autonomy will be “better” than human control.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes how "autonomous" or "self-running" differs from "automation" in managing and running a database.
  • Analyzes Oracle's competitive gauntlet, and half-price guarantee, versus Amazon.

Key questions answered

  • What makes Oracle Database 18c autonomous?
  • How do "autonomous" databases differ from "automated" databases?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

The features of Oracle Database 18c

  • General outline of the release

What makes Oracle Database 18c "autonomous"?

  • Database automation is nothing new
  • ML is coming
  • Self-running ("autonomous") functions
  • How autonomy works
  • Autonomy is an evolutionary journey
  • So how does Amazon compare?
  • More grist for Amazon: Oracle is guaranteeing autonomous database to be half the price
  • Oracle to DBAs: You still have a job
  • Oracle is first out of the gate, but expect others to follow soon
  • Beyond autonomous, the other updates are largely incremental


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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