What is our primary use case?
Oracle Autonomous is a self-repairing version or cloud-based version of the Oracle Database. I typically use the new Data Warehouse capacity so I'll use it if I'm building anything connected to finance, HR, plus any of the standard business products. We also use it for other Oracle products if they're cloud-based; such as with ACM and all their other ERP tools, where the data resides on ADW. We're a consultancy so we partner with Oracle as well as other companies. I'm the principal consultant of the company.
What is most valuable?
I like the fact that the solution is self-patching, that it's running machine-learning generally across its logs all the time in order to identify any issues and to self-repair. It means that I don't really need a DBA for the most part. I can do everything myself.
The product is also smart enough that it doesn't need me to set indexes because it's in the memory log so I don't have to specify them, it will actually learn and build the ones that are necessary.
I'm reasonably happy with what they're packaging. Because they've got the cloud offering, there's a lot of things that aren't part of ADW, yet interact with ADW. Purely as a database, it does what it needs to do. And then I've got the detailed analytics and machine learning, so I'm happy with that. It's a capable product.
What needs improvement?
Ease of interconnectivity could be improved by which I mean setting up the VPN access and the like from on-premises to cloud. If that was a little easier, it would certainly make my life easier.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using Oracle databases since 2011 and Oracle Autonomous for the last two and a half years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This is a stable solution, I haven't had any issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
This is an easy solution to scale, it's just a matter of changing parameters, and it will restart itself, although in the latest update the restart might not be required anymore.
How are customer service and technical support?
I've had contact with technical support many times. Normally I fill out a service request and they have a set of processes that they run. And even if you understand those and give them all of the information they require before they ask for it, I find they're still likely to delay the process to give themselves time. They will move the bug fix or the investigation up to a higher level of technical skill if required.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Other solutions I use are the standard on-premise Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL. Obviously we do a lot of web development, but I use MySQL for that. The product I use at any one time depends on the client. As a consultant, I work with whatever technology is required, but typically it's on an Oracle setup.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is extremely simple. If you know in advance what you intend to set up, it takes less than five minutes before you're actually running or creating tables and placing data. It's very quick. We do the setup ourselves, specify capacity, username, password and then it should be up and running in a matter of minutes.
It doesn't require any maintenance on our part, that's all controlled by Oracle. The patching is done automatically, typically with zero outage and there's no performance tuning really, because it does the majority of it itself. Internally, we'd have a couple of hundred people dealing with the product at any one time.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Licensing costs are typically arranged by Oracle CPU. You pay for the access and then you can scale. If you have a fairly intensive database activity, you'd scale up by CPU, and you're paying by the CPU and the uptime. So there's a marginal uptime cost. If your operations are only running 12 hours a day, you can put your database offline after that and reduce costs. If you had multiple databases supporting the same environment, let's say a development, a test, and a production, you could just turn off the development and the test when you're not fixing anything or developing, and that would reduce your costs. There is also a free version of ADW that can be accessed if you create a cloud account. I think it allows for 20MB of space that is free.
What other advice do I have?
It's worth looking at what Oracle has available because their ETL tool, for example, which is called ODI, Oracle Data Integration, is free if the target of the platform is Oracle ADW. So you can build an entire ETL or ODI process on a very capable tool and not have to pay for that tool if the target is an ADW database.
I would rate this solution a nine out of 10.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?