Thursday May 21, 2015

Appliance Manager 12.1.2.3 is now available

In keeping with the ODA quarterly patching strategy, Appliance Manager 12.1.2.3 is now available. Updates in this patch include new oakcli commands:
  • show dbstorage – view the amount of storage used
  • show fs – view file system details and the disk groups usages
  • *show ib – view IB details
  • *show iraid - view internal RAID and local disk information
  • **show raidsyncstatus - view the status of the RAID rebuild after a failedlocal disk is replaced

The patches can be downloaded from MOS.

For complete information on applying this patch to your ODA, please view the README!

Starting with this release, the older versions of the ODA Documentation is now archived.  You can find the latest and previous versions http://docs.oracle.com/en/engineered-systems/#oracle-database-appliance.

Note:  *Only for ODA X5-2 hardware generation.   **Only for ODA  V1, X3-2, and X4-2 hardware generations

Thursday Apr 23, 2015

Downloading the ODA EM PLUG-IN using Self Update

To download the ODA EM Plug-In using EM Self Update, here are the steps:

Click on Setup --> Extensibility --> Self Update

Click on Check Updates

This does require that you can connect to My Oracle Support (MOS).  Make sure to set your MOS credentials in EM as well.

An Update job will start.  Once the job has completed, then click on PLUG-IN Updates. Search on 'appliance' and you will see the Oracle Database Appliance.

You will need to click on the  to download the plug-in.

After ODA Plug-In has been successfully downloaded, navigate to the EM Plug-In page by selecting Setup --> Extensibility --> Plug-Ins.

Scroll down to Engineered Systems and expand it.  You will then see the Oracle Database Appliance Plug-In.  It is now ready to deploy on your OMS and Agents.

Tuesday Apr 14, 2015

Oracle Database Appliance Plug-In for Enterprise Manager

With the Oracle Database Appliance plug-in, you can monitor Oracle Database Appliance targets using Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c. The plug-in provides configuration and monitoring information about any Oracle Database Appliance target running Appliance Manager 12.1.2.2 or higher. Features include:

  • Monitoring of the Oracle Database Appliance as an Enterprise Manager target
  • Monitoring a dynamic group of Oracle Database Appliance systems using tags
  • Oracle Database Appliance components (DB, ILOM, HOST, Virtual Machines, Hypervisor, ASM, and Oracle Appliance Manager) are grouped and can be monitored under a target

The Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) Plug-In for Enterprise Manager is now available. It can be updated via the Self Update feature of Enterprise Manager, which updates components whenever new or updated features become available. The ODA Plug-In is now available via the Enterprise Manager Store, an external site that is periodically checked by Enterprise Manager Cloud Control to obtain information about updates ready for download.

The documentation can be found in the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Documentation 12c Release 4 Plug-Ins library.

Update your Enterprise Manager today and check out the ODA Plug-In!

Monday Oct 13, 2014

Oracle Database Appliance 12.1.2 release new features to support a Test/Dev environment in minutes!

Oracle Database Appliance release 12.1.2 supports database and VM snapshots to create storage-efficient and fast instances of the database and guest VMs.  This capability is now enabled with each Oracle Database Appliance running with the latest Appliance Manager 12.1.2 update.

Each new Oracle Database version 12.1.0.2 or 11.2.0.4 will be created in Oracle’s clustered file system, ACFS. ACFS is a highly performant and highly available cluster file system that is built on top of Oracle ASM.  It is fully integrated with the Grid Infrastructure and is database-IO aware. 

With a new single command, a database snapshot is created in minutes ready to be used for testing.

oakcli create snapshotdb –db <snap-shot-db-sid> -from <existing-db-sid>

Oracle Database 12.1.2 release also includes the support of:

  • Database version: 12.1.0.2, 11.2.0.4, 11.2.0.3, 11.2.0.2
  • Choice of CDB and non-CDB database for new 12.1.0.2 databases
  • VM Snapshots
  • VDisk Support

The ODA OTN Page has updated FAQ, Data Sheet, and whitepaper.


The Oracle Database Appliance Documentation has a new book - Administrations and Reference Guide and updated Getting Started Guide.

Download the latest Oracle Database Appliance 12.1.2 patch release from My Oracle Support (MOS)!

Monday Jun 16, 2014

Deploy Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Solution-in-a-Box on Oracle Database Appliance

The new Oracle White Paper title Solution-in-a-box: Deploying Highly Available Monitoring Infrastructure using Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c and Oracle Database Appliance is now available.

This white paper outlines the process of setting up the complete stack of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c on Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform. Now you can deploy a highly available Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c configuration including Oracle Management Repository (OMR) database servers and Oracle Management Service (OMS) servers almost instantaneously. The setup uses virtual machines all in a single Oracle Database Appliance environment. If you are considering "trying out" or evaluating Oracle Database Appliance, Enterprise Manager Cloud Control may be an great choice for your first system to build on Oracle Database Appliance and in the process learn all about it and see it prove its value.

Oracle Database Appliance already provides standard, pre-tuned templates to setup fully optimized OMR databases quickly. A new pre-built, ready to deploy VM Template is provided to facilitate rapid deployment of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c.

The white paper can be accessed through My Oracle Support Note 1673246.1 or through Oracle Tehnnology Network using the following link:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-appliance/documentation/oda-oemcloudcontrol-2209378.pdf 

Thursday May 29, 2014

Try the Oracle Database Appliance Manager Configurator - For Fun!

If you would like to get a first hand glimpse of how easy it is to configure an ODA, even if you don’t have access to one, it’s possible to download the Appliance Manager Configurator from the Oracle Technology Network, and run it standalone on your PC or Linux/Unix  workstation.

The configurator is packaged in a zip file that contains the complete Java environment to run standalone.

Once the package is downloaded and unzipped it’s simply a matter of launching it using the config command or shell depending on your runtime environment.

Oracle Appliance Manager Configurator is a Java-based tool that enables you to input your deployment plan and validate your network settings before an actual deployment, or you can just preview and experiment with it.

  1. Simply download and run the configurator on a local client system which can be a Windows, Linux, or UNIX system. (For Windows launch the batch file config.bat for Linux/Unix environments, run  ./ config.sh).
  2. You will be presented with the very same dialogs and options used to configure a production ODA but on your workstation. At the end of a configurator session, you may save your deployment plan in a configuration file. If you were actually ready to deploy, you could copy this configuration file to a real ODA where the online Oracle Appliance Manager Configurator would use the contents to deploy your plan in production.
  3. You may also print the file’s content and use the printout as a checklist for setting up your production external network configuration. Be sure to use the actual production network addresses you intend to use it as this will only work correctly if your client system is connected to same network that will be used for the ODA. (This step is not necessary if you are just previewing the Configurator).

This is a great way to get an introductory look at the simple and intuitive Database Appliance configuration interface and the steps to configure a system.

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Expanding the Storage Capabilities of the Oracle Database Appliance

The Oracle Database Appliance X4-2 comes with a total of 18 TBs of raw shared storage and depending on availability requirements can be configured in a mirrored configuration yielding 9 TBs of usable storage or configured in a tripled-mirrored maximum availability configuration for a total of 6 TBs of usable storage. In most cases this is a sufficient amount of storage but if users require additional storage, there are two options for storage expansion depending on their requirements.

Storage Expansion Shelf

The first option is to add the Storage Expansion Shelf that effectively doubles the raw storage and usable storage. The additional storage shelf is directly cabled to the storage controllers and zero-admin is required for the storage to be added to the Oracle Database Appliance.  After you have cabled and turned it on, The Appliance Manager software configures and re-balances the data across both storage shelves which effectively scales in a linear fashion providing approximately twice the I/O throughput as all spindles are used for the data re-balance.

This is a great option when additional high performance locally attached shared storage is needed, especially for virtual environments where user defined virtual machines need storage space.

Networked Attached Storage

Customers can use Oracle compatible NFS-attached storage with Oracle Database Appliance.

An excellent option is to use Oracle’s ZFS Storage Appliance. There are several features of the Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance that make it the ideal choice for expanding the storage capabilities of the Oracle Database Appliance. These features include intuitive management tools, real-time performance analysis, data compression, multiprotocol integration, de-duplication, cloning and Hybrid Columnar Compression, (HCC).

NFS storage is also a great option to create external database disk backups. Network attached storage for database backups allows isolation of backups from the internal storage, and opens a range of possibilities for management of the backups including replication to a remote site, snapshots for additional copies of backups, compression of backups by the ZFS Appliance, and sharing of the backups with another database server. For a good discussion of network storage backups, (See - Backup and Recovery Strategies for the Oracle Database Appliance).

Tuesday May 06, 2014

Why Does ODA Use Enterprise Edition?

All of Oracle’s Engineered Systems, including ODA, engineer their solutions for optimal Availability, Performance, Security and Scalability. When we compare Enterprise Edition with Standard Edition we see some significant features in Enterprise Edition that provide maximum Availability, Performance, Security and Scalability to provide ODA with an optimal Enterprise Database Solution.


AVILIBILITY:
In the area of Availability, Enterprise Edition has many unique features that enhance availability not found in Standard Edition including:

RAC One Node

Data Guard—Redo Apply

Data Guard—SQL Apply

Data Guard—Snapshot Standby

Active Data Guard

Rolling Upgrades—Patch Set, Database, and Operating System

Online index rebuild

Online index-organized table organization

Online table redefinition

Duplexed backup sets

Block change tracking for fast incremental backup

Unused block compression in backups

Block-level media recovery

Lost Write Protection

Automatic Block Repair

Parallel backup and recovery

Tablespace point-in-time recovery

Trial recovery

Fast-start fault recovery

Flashback Table

Flashback Database

Flashback Transaction

Flashback Transaction Query

Flashback Data Archive (Total Recall)


PERFORMANCE:
When we look at Performance, Enterprise Edition has the Parallel Query feature not found in Standard Edition. In benchmarking on ODA, with real customer workloads, we have seen better performance when compared to Standard Edition. For many workloads this means a requirement for fewer cores to execute the same workloads while maintaining the same service levels.

When we couple this performance advantage with ‘on-demand’ software licensing, (an exclusive ODA feature), it can result in a significant reduction in the overall cost of Enterprise Edition licensed cores.

SECURITY:
Security is an imperative for all enterprise customers and especially important to financial, public sector, healthcare and retail customers.
ODA using Enterprise Edition is able to offer security features not supported in the Standard Edition:

  • Oracle Advanced Security
  • Oracle Label Security
  • Virtual Private Database
  • Fine-grained auditing
  • Oracle Database Vault
  • Enterprise User Security

SCALABILITY:
To protect our customer’s investment in the ODA Engineered System, and extend its useful life, Enterprise Edition offers features that extend system Scalability that do not exist in Standard Edition including:

  • Quality of Service Management Performance                                       
  • Client Side Query Cache                
  • Query Results Cache     
  • PL/SQL Function Result Cache
  • In-Memory Database Cache      
  • Database Smart Flash Cache

Wednesday Apr 30, 2014

ODA Makes Service Easier, Before You Need it and When You Need It!

One of the many features that helps make ODA systems administration much easier for customers is a feature called Auto Service Request, (ASR).

There are times when ODA Administrators spend time detecting and diagnosing hardware problems, and resolving them. Managing these problems can be time consuming and a distraction from other more important activities. ODA’s ASR is a secure, optional customer-installable support feature that provides automatic service generation and priority service request handling for certain hardware faults that might occur in the ODA.

Let’s take a closer look at how ODA’s ASR works. When a hardware fault is detected, ASR opens an Oracle Support Service Request, (SR), and automatically transmits detailed electronic fault diagnostic information to Oracle Support to help them expedite the diagnostic and problem resolution process. (It can also be configured to notify the local administrator or anyone else on the customer end). If parts are necessary to correct the problem they will be dispatched upon receipt of the SR, and in many cases, Oracle engineers will begin working to resolve the problem before others are even aware it exists!

ODA’s ASR only requires an outbound, secure Internet connection to Oracle (based on SSL and https). Customers configure ASR options using the ODA Configurator and may configure ODA ASR during a Custom deployment. They may also configure ASR after deployment (either Typical or Custom) using the oakcli configure asr command.The command prompts for inputs and after all of the required information is supplied, it completes the ASR configuration and is very simple and easy to use.

An ASR configuration requires an administrator to enter their My Oracle Support account user name and password. If you’re using a proxy server for Internet access to Oracle, then the proxy servers name will need to be supplied. A complete description of all the steps and options for ASR configuration are outlined in the Oracle Database Appliance Getting Started Guide, page 5-2, Configuring Oracle Auto Service Request.

ODA doesn’t require a dedicated ASR server like other Oracle products and this makes ASR simpler to install and use. However, if you are using an ASR server for other Oracle hardware then ODA is flexible enough to allow you to connect to and use the existing ASR dedicated server optionally.

If your ODA system is covered under an Oracle Premier Support for Systems plan or is under product warranty, you can take advantage of ODA’s ASR at no additional cost.

ODA’s ASR feature can help improve your system availability and reduce the time to resolve issues.  Make sure you take advantage of this excellent support feature to simplify service requests and compress the time to repair.

Friday Mar 21, 2014

Oracle Open World 2014 Call for Proposals is Now Open!

Every Oracle Database Appliance customer has a great story to tell. Share yours! 

If you're an Oracle technology expert, conference attendees want to hear it straight from you. So don't wait and submit your proposal today. 

Proposals must be submitted by April 15.

Conference location: San Francisco, California, USA
Dates: Sunday, September 28 to Thursday, October 2, 2014
Website: Oracle OpenWorld (http://www.oracle.com/openworld/index.html)
Key 2014 Dates
Call for Proposals—Open Tuesday, March 18
Call for Proposals—Closed Tuesday, April 15, 11:59 p.m. PDT

Final notifications for accepted and declined submissions sent Mid-June

Visit http://www.oracle.com/openworld/call-for-papers/index.html today! 

Wednesday Feb 26, 2014

Oracle Appliance Manager Version 2.9 (OAK 2.9)

Oracle Appliance Manager patch bundle 2.9 (OAK 2.9) was released on February 18th, 2014 and is available for download as patch 17630388.

As always there are features, enhancements, and some bug fixes included with this release.


Some notable enhancements are as follows:

1  Import of http based templates directly on Oracle Database Appliance
2. Send Key support to user VMs via xenstore to facilitate configuration of user VMs from Oracle Appliance Manager
3. Shared storage (JBODs) monitoring on X3-2 and X4-2 systems using OAKCLI
4. Out-of-place update of Grid Infrastructure from 11.2.0.3.x to 11.2.0.4.0
5. Oracle Database Patch Set Update (PSU) 11.2.0.4.1 and 11.2.0.3.9 available
6. Improved VM stack - better module level logging (TINT ID), better exception handling in oakd 
7. Mutithreading of XML rpc agent and oakd adapter to allow parallel VM commands

Refer to Oracle Database Appliance Getting Started Guide for more information about these features and enhancements.

Tuesday Feb 04, 2014

Now deploy complete multi-tier application stacks on Oracle Database Appliance!

The Solution-in-a-box: Best practices for deploying JD Edwards EnterpriseOne on Oracle Database Appliance white paper is now published. A first in a series of "solution-in-a-box" white papers! The white paper is available at  http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-appliance/oda-jde-soln-in-a-box-technical-2120907.pdf

This white paper illustrates the process of deploying a complete multi-tier application architecture stack on the Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform. This includes deployment of the database, application and web tiers on a single Oracle Database Appliance system. The operation and management of the entire stack is facilitated by Oracle Appliance Manager command-line interface (oakcli). Take advantage of virtualization with extreme simplicity.

This vertical integration of technology stacks on Oracle Database Appliance is a very substantial, powerful capability that produces a quantum jump in the already strong value proposition of Oracle Database Appliance. Imagine the consolidation factor you can achieve by implementing the solution-in-a-box model for your applications!

Beat that!

Friday Jan 24, 2014

Why Virtualized Platform is the best deployment option for Oracle Database Appliance

Recently a user asked, what are the considerations for using the Virtualized Platform configuration or the Bare Metals configuration on Oracle Database Appliance? Certainly, the Virtualized Platform configuration seems to provide everything that the Bare Metals configuration does plus more.

Listed below are some of the considerations for why you may want to prefer to use the Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform option.

1. A single hardware environment for deploying both database and applications

2. Database runs in a Virtual Machine (ODA_BASE) with direct access to storage (for native performance)

3. Control licensed CPUs by configuring ODA_BASE domain with the required number of CPU cores (and memory)

4. CPU cores (and memory) not assigned to the ODA_BASE domain are not wasted and are available for use by other, non-database Virtual Machiness

5. Oracle provided pre-configured VM application templates enable rapid deployment for both the database and applications

7. Use VLAN to provide separate networks to different Virtual Machines

8. Use shared repository to grow storage for VM repository

9. No VM expertise needed; Oracle Appliance Manager (oakcli) makes it easy to setup and manage the virtualized environment

Thursday Jan 23, 2014

BI-In-A-Box Webcast Replay

In case you were unable to join us today for the Oracle BI-in-a-Box webcast, the replay can be found here.

https://oraclemeetings.webex.com/oraclemeetings/lsr.php?RCID=42bdeb404681e17ea68aa4a3fd61ed1e

We look forward to your feedback!

Thanks. 

Wednesday Jan 22, 2014

BI Solution-in-a-Box -- Enterprise Class BI for the Mid Market

Attend the Webinar on January 23rd @ 12 noon ET, 9:00 am PT 

Tammy Bednar, Will Hutchinson, Rob Klaassens, and Mike Mrazek,  Oracle Corp.

 

Since the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) started supporting Oracle Virtual Machine (OVM) twelve months ago, we have seen several groups develop purpose built offerings on top of it, called “Solutions in a Box,” where they combine an application or middleware on top of the robust, cost effective ODA platform. The newest member of this family combines enterprise class business intelligence, data integration and Oracle’s enterprise class database at a price mid market organizations can afford. In our prior post, we described the need IT industry analysts see for mid market organizations adopting business intelligence. In this post, we will talk about how Oracle addresses this need.

To address this need, Oracle has developed the BI Solution-in-a-Box. It contains the Oracle database with partitioning, diagnostics, and tuning, BI Foundation Suite, and Oracle Database Integrator, all running in two virtual machines on the Oracle Database Appliance. It is packaged to let customers license only the cores they need, expand as they grow, and be easy to buy and support, all supported by a single vendor. Because it is based on standard Oracle products, one can add other hardware, database or BI products if desired, like more storage, RAC, Advanced Analytics or an Oracle BI Application.

By providing enterprise class BI in a pre integrated package, Oracle has brought enterprise class functionality to the mid market. Enterprise class organizations, no matter what size, recognize that they stay enterprise class by adopting solutions that minimize their total cost of ownership. By pre integrating the hardware, firmware, operating system, virtualization, database, ETL, and BI, Oracle has provided a package that minimizes the total cost of ownership by eliminating integration challenges and minimizing the effort needed to stand up a business intelligence system. In addition, the tools themselves are regarded as having industry leading total costs of ownership. All these advantages help midsize organizations increase their agility while minimizing their labor costs. Labor costs, according to Gartner, are at least 75% of the total cost of ownership of a business intelligence system.

In addition, to make this solution easier to buy, Oracle has pre arranged financing through Oracle Finance Division to make the purchase either a loan or a lease depending on whether customers would prefer to treat the expenditure as a capital expense or an operating expense.

Oracle will be introducing and discussing the Oracle Database Appliance and BI Solution in a Box on a Webinar on January 23rd. For more information and to register for the event, please register to attend the event:

http://www.oracle.com/us/dm/245722-nafs13054094mpp037-se-2052054.html

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The Oracle Database Appliance saves time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of high-availability database solutions. This blog is dedicated to sharing updates about the Oracle Database Appliance from your product team.

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