Oracle Updates Exadata with AI and Machine Learning Capabilities

Oracle has updated its Exadata Database Machine X8 server line with hardware and software enhancements enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the company announced recently.

The update introduces such ML-driven capabilities as Automatic Indexing, which allows the system to learn continuously and tune database as usage patterns change. It also provides new automated performance monitoring, which combines AI with "years of real-world performance triaging experience," the company said in a statement, to detect performance issues automatically and determine the root cause without human intervention.

The hardware enhancements in Exadata X8 include the newest Intel Xeon processors and PCIe NVME flash technology; Oracle is claiming this upgrade provides a 60% increase in I/O throughput for all-Flash storage and a 25% increase in IOPS per storage server, compared with Exadata X7. Also, each Exadata X8 storage server now features 60% more cores to offload Oracle Database processing and 40% higher capacity disk drives to support massive data growth and database consolidation strategies, the company said. And Oracle said there's no price increase with this update.

Exadata is the foundation of Oracle's Autonomous Database, a cloud database that uses ML to provide the tuning, security, backups, updates, and other routine management tasks traditionally performed by database administrators (DBAs). The company describes the system as "self-driving," "self-securing," and "self-repairing."

Carl Olofson, research VP in the Data Management Software group at IDC, sees Exadata as "a key means for Oracle Database users to make the leap from on-premises data centers to the public cloud. "As the foundation for Oracle Autonomous Database, the new Exadata X8 brings a high degree of machine learning to both cloud and on-premises Oracle Database deployments, while requiring minimal user effort to set up," Olofson said in a statement. "Oracle Exadata and Oracle Recovery Appliance are helping enterprises lower costs, simplify operations, increase security and boost performance for their Oracle Database environments."

Oracle expanded its database and enterprise software business in 2009 with its acquisition of Sun Microsystem and that company's existing hardware lines. Oracle would shut down most of that business by 2017. Exadata, the company's purpose-built database server line, and its Exalogic general purpose appliance line survived.

"For the past 10 years, Exadata has been running the most critical workloads for thousands of customers around the world," said Juan Loaiza, EVP of Oracle's Mission-Critical Database Technologies group, in a statement. "…Today, we are improving the performance and capacity of the platform, and adding a broad range of capabilities based on artificial intelligence and machine learning to further increase Exadata's advantages."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].