Oracle Database 18c is NOT an Autonomous Database!



From the get-go Oracle has been talking about the Autonomous Database as a cloud service based on Oracle Database 18c, but I can’t remember them once saying Oracle Database 18c is an Autonomous Database. There is a reason for that. It’s because it isn’t. It’s not meant to be. It’s basically a big patchset on what we already have. We currently have and Oracle 18c is, with a different name because of the new yearly release cycle.

I am not disappointed by this, but I am disappointed at how lazy the Oracle blog-sphere has been in reporting this. I keep reading posts where people mention that 18c is autonomous and how 18c will be the death of DBAs. Come on people, we can do better than this. I know what’s going to happen. Oracle 18c will be released and when it doesn’t contain all the autonomous goodness people will lose their minds and say, I told you it wouldn’t work!

Let me say this loud and clear!

  • Autonomous Database : It’s a cloud service that happens to use the Oracle 18c database.
  • Oracle Database 18c : It’s not autonomous!

This is not the first time I’ve said this. I mentioned it here when I wrote about the Autonomous Database announcement. I even mentioned using the cloud service here when I did the hands-on lab at OOW17.

Can we please have a little integrity and stop this junk reporting, or have we also entered the post-truth, fake-news world too? If you’ve written a blog post describing Oracle 18c as autonomous, please go back and correct it because you are making yourself look foolish and misleading people.

Sorry for the rant, but I felt it had to be said!



Update: At least one person seems not to have understood this post. I am not saying the Autonomous Database Cloud Service isn’t autonomous. I’ve used it briefly and from what I can see it seems pretty cool. This post is totally about the misreporting of the Oracle Database 18c product by bloggers (and some news outlets), which is not and doesn’t claim to be autonomous.

Update 2: So now I’m getting people asking me if I’m sure about this. As I said, people are being mislead by rubbish reporting. Come on people, fix your stuff! If you don’t believe me read what Maria Colgan said when she retweeted my post here.

Update 3: Some extra bullet points above to make things even more explicit.

  • If you buy an Autonomous Database Cloud Service on Oracle Public Cloud or Cloud@Customer, that’s a service that specifically includes the words “Autonomous Database” in the name of the service, you are getting an Autonomous Database.
  • If you buy regular 18c DBaaS on Oracle Public Cloud or Cloud@Customer you are not getting an Autonomous Database.
  • If you install 18c yourself on any cloud provider, including Oracle Public Cloud or Cloud@Customer, you are not getting an Autonomous Database.
  • If you install 18c yourself on-prem you are not getting an Autonomous Database.

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

10 thoughts on “Oracle Database 18c is NOT an Autonomous Database!”

  1. So basically autonomous database is Oracle writing scripts and code to manage what DBAs and Oracle shops have been doing with their own scripts for a long time.

    Seems Oracle doesnt want to reveal those scripts so wants to keep the “magic” in cloud.

    You can also forgive people assuming the big feature of 18c was autonomous database when many of Larry’s own slides from OOW are titled “Oracle 18c Autonomous database”.

  2. Trevor: There’s one thing I’ve learned from 11 visit to OpenWorld. You never base your judgements on what Larry says in his keynotes. You base them on the information that comes out over the following few days, which doesn’t container the Ellison-factor… 🙂

    I agree good DBAs do a lot of this stuff themselves, but there are a lot of companies out there without good DBAs. Added to that, the tuning aspect is interesting if they can deliver…



  3. Dominic Giles was very clear about the difference in his 18c session at UKOUG in December, so it’s definitely misinformation coming from bloggers and reporters, rather then from Oracle, as you rightly say.

  4. Tim,
    in OOW, Larry states that 18c autonomous is a offering only for the Oracle Cloud – so you are 100% right.

    For example, how autonomous would be a database running on premises, in need for storage? Not so autonomous, right? So, its very clear that only on a complete environment controlled by Oracle this can be achieved.

    I really beleive that the next step will be to deploy (maybe in 19c perhaps) this autonomous feature for engineered systems – exadata, oda, supercluster, mini-cluster, and so on…only there Oracle will have the full control of OS, Storage, networking..

    Hope you the best, and a great 2018!

    Kind Regards,

  5. Leo: Once it’s released on Oracle Public Cloud you might be able to run it on-prem using Cloud@Customer. That’s assuming it’s a service they are happy to run under that system. I don’t know if that is the case or not.



  6. Hi Tim

    I’m pretty sure that this will all be available on Cloud@Customer in that this is the only conceivable way non-US customers with data sovereignty issues can use this for some period of time. It will of course require the Exadata Cloud at customer platform but if you’re lucky enough to have this, you should get access to the Autonomous DB services. Time will tell for sure…

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