Oracle Advances AI Effort to Automate DevOps

Oracle today announced the general availability of an expanded Oracle Cloud Platform service that promises to automate most back-end DevOps processes by relying on a combination of machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI).

The Oracle platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment has also been expanded to include Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, Oracle Data Integration Platform Cloud and Oracle API Platform Cloud alongside existing continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) cloud service. Oracle also revealed today that later this year it will also add blockchain, security and management and support for additional database workloads, including OLTP and NoSQL, that expand on existing Oracle Database, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud, Oracle Analytics Cloud, Oracle Integration Cloud and Oracle Visual Builder services.

Siddhartha Agarwal, vice president of product management and strategy at Oracle, said via the cloud service, Oracle plans to automate DevOps processes to the point where organizations will be able to allocate most of their time and effort to building applications. Today, developers are spending as much as 50 percent to 60 percent of their time on DevOps processes rather than writing application code, he said, and the Oracle Cloud platform automates a broad range of operational functions including tuning, patching, backups and upgrades.

Oracle Cloud Platform is designed to be an infinitely elastic autonomous cloud service that can both anticipate application requirements and dynamically adjust to changing workload conditions. Over time, the platform also will be able to increasingly provide recommendations based on the characteristics of the application workloads being built and deployed, Agarwal said.

The Oracle API Platform Cloud service, for example, already continuously learns about usage patterns to recommend allocation limits, configurations and policies using predictive algorithms, he said.

Meanwhile, the Oracle Cloud Mobile Enterprise service provides access to machine learning algorithms that make it much easier to incorporate chatbots into mobile applications, Agarwal said. Machine learning algorithms are now also relied on to create Big Data lakes and the data pipelines needed to make that data available to application developers.

Those services are all extensions of an Oracle Developer Cloud service for building applications that supports build frameworks such as Maven, Ant, Gradle, npm, Grunt, Gulp and Bower, as well as command line interfaces for Docker, Kubernetes and Terraform. Frameworks such as JUnit and Selenium for both logic and UI testing are also included.

Agarwal said one of the primary reasons DevOps process have not been as widely adopted across the enterprise is that it’s simply too complicated for most IT organizations to set up and then continuously manage all the underlying infrastructure required. By moving more of the responsibility for the operations side of the DevOps equation on to an autonomous cloud service managed by Oracle, he said, it becomes simpler for enterprise IT organizations to focus their energy on application development processes.

It may take some time for enterprise IT organizations to get comfortable with ceding that level of control to a cloud service provider. But whatever DevOps path they choose, it’s apparent that machine learning algorithms coupled with other AI advances are about to automate broad swaths of the DevOps universe. 

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