This week at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, Oracle is following up on its promise from two years ago, when it launched its autonomous database, to bring its customers more efficient and easily managed services with automation. This time around, Oracle is providing automation in the form of Oracle Autonomous Linux, which the company says in a statement will be “the first and only autonomous operating environment that eliminates complexity and human error to deliver unprecedented cost savings, security, and availability for customers.”
With Autonomous Databases, Oracle provides users with a database that is part managed service and part infrastructure-as-code, where a database can be instantiated via an API call, while Oracle handles all of the manual tasks that might otherwise be dealt with by a DBA. In an interview with The New Stack, Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux and Virtualization development at Oracle, explained that Autonomous Linux functions in much the same manner as Oracle’s Autonomous Database and was born of the same intent.
“If we do all these things on the operating systems side in an automated way to make it possible to run an automated database service, then developers and other customers might want to do the same thing. They might have an app they want to run and not have to worry about the operating system aspect of it,” said Coekaerts. “So, just like with Autonomous Database, you have a Linux application that you can deploy in an Autonomous Linux environment and you don’t have to worry about that part. Autonomous Linux is basically taking the Autonomous Database concept and bringing that to your Linux OSPs.”
Autonomous Linux was released alongside the Oracle OS Management Service, which the company describes in a statement as “a native, highly available Oracle Cloud Infrastructure product to help users choose which of their servers to automate or control manually […] that will execute common management tasks for Linux systems, including patch and package management, security and compliance reporting, and configuration management.” In much the same way that Oracle’s Autonomous Database straddles the line between managed service and infrastructure-as-code, Autonomous Linux can also be auto-scaled according to demand and may provide long-lived or ethereal environments. Coekaerts explained that Autonomous Linux automates these operating system management tasks without downtime, and at the same time provide an automatically optimized environment for the specific application living inside it.
“We do updates and apply security vulnerability fixes on the fly. When a new fix gets released, within two or three hours that fix will be automatically applied to your running Autonomous Linux environment. You don’t have to worry about it. There’s no downtime. We can patch the Linux kernel and gLibC and openSSL and all these core libraries without having to bring down your app,” said Coekaerts. “We monitor network traffic on the kernel and we can say ‘This server is running application that does lots of large packets and network transfers over the internet.’ The Linux kernel has different congestion algorithms in the network stack and we automatically tell that running instance to change the congestion algorithm for the network. Depending on the block I/O traffic you do at your application, we can change the scheduling algorithm of a running VM.”
Both Oracle Autonomous Linux and Oracle OS Management Services are available immediately and included with Oracle Premier Support at no extra charge to users with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure compute services.
Oracle is a sponsor of The New Stack.