Some nice new features in Oracle Appliance Manager 2.8 (OAK 2.8)
By Ravi.Sharma-Oracle on Jan 06, 2014
Oracle Appliance Manager 2.8 (aka, OAK 2.8) has a number of new, useful, and important features that further enhance ODA product capability and flexibility. In a nutshell, the following are the key new enhancements in OAK 2.8. You can find details of each of these new features in the Oracle Database Appliance Getting Started Guide.
Support for a shared repository for virtual machines and templates – If you are an ODA Virtualized Platform user, then this may be a big enhancement for you. In the earlier versions of Oracle Appliance Manager, the VM repository was stored only on local disks on each ODA server node. That restricted the amount of storage available for the storing and sizing VMs to the free space available on the local 600GB disks, which was 250GB on V1 ODA hardware and 350GB on the X3-2 ODA hardware. However, the newly available shared repository implementation allows for the creation of the VM repository on the shared storage, thereby significantly increasing the storage available for the VM repository.
You can create a shared repository using the “oakcli create repo <repository-name> -dg <disk-group-name> -size <size in GB>” command. You can place the repository in the DATA or the RECO ASM disk group. Placing the repository on the shared storage not only increases the capacity of the repository, it also makes the repository accessible on both server nodes, thereby facilitating VM failover capabilities.
Support for VLANs - With the 10GB network interfaces available on ODA, there is plenty of network bandwidth on the servers. VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) provides a means to secure network traffic and isolate networks using logical identifiers. Broadcast propagated in one VLAN is thus not transmitted to the other VLANs. This also improves security as by placing devices in different broadcast domains, it is possible to limit access through the use of address filters and access lists. For communication across VLANs the traffic must pass through a layer-3 routing device, which can be configured to control and monitor access among different devices.
You can create and manage VLANs using OAKCLI commands. For example, use the "oakcli create vlan <vlan name> -vlanid <vlan tag id> -if <interface name> -node <0|1>" command to create a VLAN on ODA. Similarly, "oakcli show vlan", "oakcli delete vlan" commands are available to see VLAN configuration, delete a VLAN configuration, etc.
Database setup is now optional at the time of initial deployment – In the earlier versions of Oracle Appliance Manager, during the initial deployment, you had to create an initial database as part of the deployment. Sometimes, at the time of initial deployment users were not quite ready to create the database and needed to plan for its size, naming, and other configuration settings etc. With OAK 2.8, you now have the option to forgo the creation of this initial database.
Instead, you may choose to create the database after the initial deployment using the “oakcli create database …” command. Note that you may use the default parameter file (/opt/oracle/oak/install/dbconf/default.dbconf) that specifies the block size, database language, characterset, etc. or create a new db configuration parameter file using the “oakcli create db_config_params …) command before issuing the “oakcli create database…” command.
Hardware monitoring using OAKCLI – OAKCLI becomes even more powerful. From OAK 2.8 onwards, you can now monitor all hardware components (except storage, currently) of ODA using the OAKCLI command-line interface. This includes monitoring of servers, processors, memory, network interfaces, cooling units, and power units, etc.
To monitor a component, simply issue the “oakcli show <component-name>” command. Where component name may be “server”, “processor”, “memory”, “power”, “cooling”, or “network”.
Flexibility to have additional customizations – In the earlier version of Oracle Appliance Manager, standard UID/GID and usernames were used for Oracle and Grid users. If you need to adhere to certain local standards for usernames and ID numbers that you may have in place within your organization, then using the advanced deployment option of Appliance Manager you can now specify non-default UID/GID and usernames for Oracle and Grid owner users.
The advanced deployment option is invoked simply by issuing the “oakcli deploy –advance” command.