Oracle makes some certifications and cloudy content free, in case you have time on your hands

Mum? Dad? What was lockdown like? It went by in a flash, junior, because we studied for a database certification

Oracle will offer free training and learning material during the coronavirus lockdown.

The database giant's training division, Oracle University, said last night it will make all its content and certifications, including more than 50 hours of online training and six certificate exams, free until May 15.

The courses include material for Oracle's Cloud Infrastructure and Autonomous Database systems, as well as more general courses around data science, machine learning, and multi-cloud environments, such as integration with Microsoft Azure. Big Red had already made some of its courses free to developers in February, but is now opening up to all users.

"We're making high-quality videos, access to subject matter experts, and recorded demos of hands-on labs available anywhere, anytime so IT pros can accelerate their learning and gain highly sought-after skills," said Raghu Viswanathan, veep of education products and delivery at Oracle University.

Oracle's offer means it matches SAP's recent decision to make some courses free during these messy months.

Oracle closed a strong quarter earlier this month, with revenues of $9.8bn - up three percent year on year. More than two-thirds of this came from the company's subscription services, chief exec Safra Catz said in an earnings call.

Catz also said that Oracle was well situated to deal with the coronavirus fallout. "We're largely conducting business as usual with some modifications such as using video conferencing and asking our employees to postpone nonessential travel," she said.

The IT titan also today opened a new data centre in Montreal as part of a plan to expand its cloud infrastructure across the globe.

The facility will use Oracle's second-generation cloud tech, which seeks to move away from renting virtual servers as rivals AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud do, and instead focus on renting entire dedicated machines. Oracle argues that this is more secure.

The company has opened 17 Gen 2 cloud regions since 2017, and plans to have 36 operating by the end of the year. ®

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