Database giant Oracle wants you to know you’ll probably have a better experience with generative artificial intelligence if it doesn’t involve moving your data from where it lives — which could very likely be inside an existing Oracle database — especially if you’re an enterprise user.On Monday, at a partner event in Dubai, Oracle announced the general availability of OCI Generative AI Services, a managed service for AI first offered in beta back in September. The company also unveiled two new offerings, still in beta: OCI Gen AI Agents and OCI Data Science AI Quick Actions.
The company makes the pitch that building an enterprise generative AI application on top of the existing data store is going to be both more effective in terms of using unique data, but also more economical compared with buying lots of additional infrastructure.
The acronym “OCI” refers to Oracle’s Oracle Cloud Infrastructure; that is, all the network and compute resources, and attendant software such as the Oracle Autonomous Database, that the company uses in data centers throughout the world to deliver cloud services. That includes what Oracle calls “super-clusters” of Nvidia GPU chips on which Oracle has spent billions of dollars.
“We’re essentially bringing AI to the data,” said Erik Bergenholtz, Oracle’s vice president for strategy and operations, in a briefing with ZDNET before the announcement. “Our Fusion applications, such as ERP and HCM, have exabytes of data — we’re bringing AI there,” he said. “Our database, obviously, there are petabytes, exabytes of data there — we’re bringing generative AI there.”The virtues of building on top of Oracle’s database, middleware, and Fusion suite of apps are practical ones, said Bergenholtz.
Companies could, observed Bergenholtz, try to buy additional software for the data management piece, such as a vector database like Pine Cone. “The drawback, of course, is you have yet another piece of infrastructure that raises the cost of cloud, and you now have to actually move and potentially synchronize data across your originating data store, whether that be apps or your Oracle database; and now you have an additional piece of infrastructure.”Using the OCI services, Bergenholtz added, “just eliminates that barrier, that friction, for our customers.”