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!

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. 

Friday Jan 17, 2014

BI for the Mid Market

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

Oracle and industry analysts have seen a rapid expansion of business intelligence and data warehouse solutions into midsize and smaller organizations.  The need to understand how they are serving their customers, how their suppliers are serving them and the opportunity to drive growth and cost reductions requires insights into data. ERP, Performance Management systems and CRM/CX systems are great way to collect data but do not provide and easy and flexible way to combine data from multiple sources for in depth analysis.

Traditionally, midsize and smaller organizations have relied on spreadsheets or downloads of data to a personal database to meet these needs. However these solutions do not scale and suffer from problems of inconsistent data, errors, manual work and non-repeatable processes for gathering and analyzing data, leading to the inability to respond quickly. In the past, these organizations have not invested in business intelligence because the perception was that a Business Intelligence or Data Warehouse Strategy was too expensive to install and maintain. One would have to buy and configure hardware, a database, BI and ETL tools, and other middleware. The time, effort and cost to support these types of solutions would typically overwhelm most midsize IT staffs. Also, deploying these systems can cost several hundred thousand dollars over five years, after taking into account both out of pocket costs and the time the staff spends on BI, time which if it were available could effectively be spent elsewhere.

Register today to attend and learn how you can replace those Excel spreadsheets and Access databases with the type of analytics big companies have, analytics you thought you could never afford.

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

Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

Managing Oracle Database Appliance

There are three key tools that you can use to manage the Oracle Database Appliance. Together, these tools are adequate to completely manage, maintain, and operate Oracle Database Appliance including the hardware platform, the operating system, and the databases running on the system.

Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager (a.k.a., Oracle ILOM)

Oracle ILOM provides a “just like being there” experience and allows you to completely manage your system remotely (including powering it up and shutting it down) over a dedicated network interface. You can start the Remote Console over a web interface to connect to an Oracle Database Appliance server node, check status of hardware components, manage faults (if any), monitor system temperature and ambience, re-image server, and so forth. Point your web browser to the IP address you have configured for the server’s ILOM network interface, and there you are. You typically configure Oracle ILOM interface on Oracle Database Appliance server nodes at the time of initial deployment using the Configurator (when you issue the "oakcli deploy" command). Alternatively, you can configure ILOM before the deployment using the server’s BIOS utility (pressing the F2 key during system boot), or using the “ipmitool” utility from the server operating system command line. You can also configure Oracle ILOM on Oracle Database Appliance after the initial deployment of the system using any of the latter two methods (BIOS or ipmitool).

Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Control (OEM)

Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Control is a no-cost tool to manage Oracle databases and it can be automatically configured at the time of initial deployment of Oracle Database Appliance. Database Control provides a web user interface to manage, maintain, and operate the Oracle database. This includes administering users, data structures, database and instances, user sessions, backup and recovery, analyzing performance, tuning SQL, instance, and database, and so forth. Alternatively, if you use Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control or Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control in your organization, you can use it to manage databases running on Oracle Database Appliance. An Oracle Database Appliance plug-in may also become available for Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control in the future.

Oracle Appliance Manager (oakcli)

Oracle Appliance Manager command-line interface (oakcli) provides unique abilities to manage, maintain, and operate the Oracle Database Appliance platform. This includes setup and deployment of the system, running diagnostics on servers and storage, patching server, storage, and network, and creating multiple Oracle homes and database environments, and so forth. Starting with Oracle Appliance Manager 2.8, you can also monitor the hardware (servers, CPUs, power, cooling, and so forth) using oakcli. You can invoke Oracle Appliance Manager command-line interface using the /opt/oracle/oak/bin/oakcli command from an Oracle Database Appliance server node.


Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Comparing Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) with manually built and assembled systems

I thought I ought to have this note to outline the differences between typical old-style system building approach and the engineered system approach used for Oracle Database Appliance. Oracle Database Appliance is a unique, modern product that is revolutionary and disruptive. It is an Oracle engineered system that serves as a highly available database and application server. Its benefits are unique and unparalleled. However, as with any new, disruptive product, users may not readily recognize all the benefits. Often new customers ask for the benefits of choosing Oracle Database Appliance versus building your own system. The matrix below tries to summarize the benefits.

Oracle Database Appliance

Manually assembled systems

Single vendor – Customer only needs to contact Oracle for any and all problems with the system. Oracle is able to rapidly diagnose the problem, match it with a fingerprint of the issue, and provide immediate solution.

Multiple vendors – Servers, storage, networking gear, and software components may be sourced from different vendors, that causes finger pointing and makes it hard to obtain support quickly and effectively

No integration required – Oracle Database Appliance is a pre-integrated, pre-tested, pre-tuned configuration. It requires no integration, other than simply plugging in some cables.

Extensive integration required – The components sourced from multiple vendors must be compatible and interoperate successfully.

Instant deployment – Deployment of Oracle Database Appliance in a customer environment is as easy as plugging in the cables, powering on the system and issuing a command.

Long drawn error prone deployment process – Deployment of a manually built system requires setting up and validating each component, going through multiple steps to configure operating system, networking, storage, database, and so forth. A missed-step can be costly.

Best practices are included – Oracle Database Appliance is built from the grounds up with Oracle’s best practices in mind. These best practices cover operating system, networking, storage, database, and performance and availability best practices.

Best practices implementation requires considerable extra effort - Best practices must be identified and implemented for each component. This may not be an easy task by any measure.

Patching is quick and predictable – With a known hardware and software configuration, Oracle is able to provide pre-tested, complete patch bundles that cover the entire firmware and software stack. Further, Oracle is able to structure and tune the patching process so that it executed flawlessly in an optimal amount of time with predictable results.

Patching is time consuming, risky and unpredictable – Customers often patch one component at a time, thereby increasing the frequency of patching. Patching process is unpredictable and therefore risky. Vendors have no way of testing the exact configuration that a customer may be using.

Problem diagnostics are immediate – Oracle knows exactly which information and logs are required for instant diagnosis of problems as well as how to collect it. Oracle makes it trivial for customers to collect the information. Quick diagnosis results in rapid problem resolution.

Problem diagnostics is complex and long drawn – Multiple experts may be needed to diagnose problems. Often it may not be readily apparent what information is relevant and required for a corresponding problem. Longer diagnosis results in delayed problem resolution.

Performance is predictable – An engineered system makes deploying workloads a science not an art. The system capacity and capability can be quantified exactly and workloads can be deployed using simple mathematics.

Performance may not always be predictable – Making workloads perform on manually assembled systems remains an art. Due to the various components and stack layers from different vendors, typically configured using an imprecise math, it is usually not possible to define capacity and capability correctly.

Service requests can be opened automatically – In case of a problem, such as hardware failure, a service request can be opened automatically by the system using Oracle Auto Service Request. A solution may be available even before the customer recognizes the problem.

Service request initiation and management is complex – In case of a problem first the correct vendor needs to be identified. The service request needs to be manually managed and diagnostics data needs to be identified, manually collected, and sent to the vendor. Manual analysis of diagnostics further delays solution that may need to be tested before it is deployed.

Storage is integrated and managed as a whole – Storage is pre-integrated with the servers and the system is managed end-to-end as a whole, including monitoring, management, diagnostics, and repair of storage.

Storage is separate and managed separately – Storage is managed, monitored, diagnosed and repaired separately, typically provided by a different vendor and managed by storage administrators

Pay-as-you-go licensing saves costs substantially – Significant CPU power available but only CPUs used need to be licensed while the remaining CPU power is available for instant deployment if and when needed

Must pay for all CPUs on the system upfront – All CPUs present in the servers must be licensed upfront whether fully used or not. Additional CPU addition typically requires costly hardware upgrades

Versatile system with support for both native and virtualized environments – The same system and software supports both native and virtualized implementations, switching from one to the other is easy

Typically vendor specialized hardware sold for native or virtualized implementations – Implementation of native and virtualized environments could be fundamentally different.

Host both application and database in a single system (system in a box) – Supports hosting of entire application stack in a single system; virtualized platform makes it possible to segregate different tiers of application stack into different virtual machines that are easy to size and tune

Application is typically hosted on separate hardware (one system many boxes) – Application, web, and database tiers are typically hosted on separate hardware and storage; it is not easy to resize these environments unless hardware is replaced

It is amazing!

Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 Generally Available Now

Good news! The second generation Oracle Database Appliance to be known as "Oracle Database Appliance X3-2" was released on March 5th, 2013. Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 is built using the Sun Server X3-2 servers (the same servers that are used as compute nodes in Exadata environments) and is a substantially more powerful system with a small price differential from the earlier model. Storage Shelf consists of a 2 rack-u unit and an identical expansion storage shelf is also available. You now have 18TB of raw storage which is expandable to 36TB of raw storage (all ASM managed) within a single Database Appliance architecture and configuration. The maximum CPU power increases from 24 cores before to 36 cores, while the new system now has 512 GB of memory (2x256 GB), a quantum jump from the 192 GB (2x96GB) before. The local available disk storage capacity increases from 500GB to 600GB.

Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 when used as a Virtualized Platform (support for virtualization on Oracle Database Appliance was announced in February 2013) can be an extremely powerful system with very substantial further improvement in the already compelling value proposition of Oracle Database Appliance. On Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 you can consolidate multiple database environments. With the Virtualized Platform deployment, you can consolidate entire multi-tier environments within a single Oracle Databse Appliance X3-2 system. The older model continues to be available until May 31st, 2013. You can find more details on the newly announced Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 at http://www.oracle.com/us/products/database/database-appliance/overview/index.html

Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

Oracle Database Appliance Performance White Paper Released

A new white paper titled "Evaluating and Comparing Oracle Database Appliance Performance" was recently released. This white paper outlines a quick and simple process to evaluate the performance of Oracle Database Appliance for both OLTP and DSS workloads and compare it to the same workloads when run in your local environment. The testing for this paper was conducted using Swingbench's Order Entry (OLTP) and Sales History (DSS) workloads. Users can review already the documented results and conduct a reverse-POC (proof-of-concept) in their legacy environment by running Swingbench and then simply compare relative performance. 

For the testing conducted during the course of writing this white paper, Oracle Database Appliance was able to support up to 10,000 Swingbench users for the OLTP workload (while maintaining sub-second response times) and provided throughput of more than 2400 MB/Second for the DSS workload. Both are significant numbers. The white paper provides the results of various core configurations tests (related to the pay-as-you-grow feature) in a matrix form.

The paper also covers some minor tweaks to the standard configuration that can enable even greater workload performance. I invite you to take a look at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/engineered-systems/database-appliance/documentation/oda-eval-comparing-performance-1895230.pdf

Thursday May 24, 2012

Oracle Database Appliance Unplugged @ Northern California Oracle Users Group

The Oracle Database Appliance is Simple, Reliable, & Affordable.  Still skeptical about the 'reliability'?

Join Sohan DeMel, Vice President, Product Strategy and Business Development, at the Northern California Oracle Users Group to demonstrate the fault-tolerance of the Oracle Database Appliance.

 A recent addition to Oracle’s Engineered System category, the Oracle Database Appliance offers customers a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage and networking in a single box that delivers high availability database services for a wide range of applications. Oracle Database Appliance has fault-tolerance built-in: The hardware is fully redundant. Oracle RAC protects against server failure and database instance failure. Oracle ASM triple mirroring maintains data redundancy. Storage multi-pathing and network bonding are built-in. In this demo-based presentation, members of the audience will be invited on-stage to literally unplug the Oracle Database Appliance – pull-out power cords, pull-out network cords, pull-out server trays, and pull out disks, all while the database is processing SwingBench transactions on the big screen.

When: May 31, 2012

Where: The NoCOUG Spring Conference

Go to the NoCoug.org web site for more information and to RSVP to this very exciting presentation and conference!


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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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