Thursday Feb 26, 2015

OpenWorld Double Dose: Maximum Availability in the Cloud

Integrated, high availability IT infrastructure capabilities are critical for reducing downtime and costs, and creating ideal performance and SLA results. In this next session of the Oracle Open World 2014 series, Shari Yamaguchi and Frances Zhao from Oracle’s Product Management team share best practices on how to architect highly available multi-data center solutions. They also share what real world customers are doing to achieve maximum available architectures with WebLogic Server—so be sure to check out the video itself here (http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions) for those highly relevant case studies and proven strategies.

What is Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA)?

Maximum availability architecture (MAA) incorporates the high availability solutions that Oracle has invested in and built out across the stack. The key focus is on ensuring customers’ businesses and applications can fully meet their end-user community’s needs and requirements. In today’s world, downtime is no longer an option, but a given—and this is why Oracle has strategically invested in end-to-end MAA solutions to ensure your systems stay up and running across the board. At the end of the day, the #1 priority is that your end users can get to the environments and applications they need to within a specified period of time.

MAA Strategy & Investment

Within IT, customers need a quick way to easily get a view of what's going on across all their data centers, environments, and applications so that in case of a sudden performance degradation or failure, alerts are immediately sent to the right administrators. Given the importance of manageability, Oracle has invested significantly in Enterprise Manager Grid Control (EMGC), building tools within EMGC for easier monitoring and management such as job systems for automated patching and backup. The Oracle Traffic Director has also been a key tool in connecting the management console to the middle-tier—it is a front-end WebLogic Server that handles web-tier requests and routes them to different clusters.

From a Database 12c perspective, features like Flashback provde significant capabilities especially for those connected to applications, because customers can bring up a test environment, read and write against that environment, validate, shut it back down, flash it back to a previous state, and continue rolling forward through a recovery. Active GridLink, Data Guard, and Site Guard are also key investment areas that allow seamless and automatic failover between different RAC instances. Finally, Coherence is another big investment area as it is a high-end caching product that provides an integrated solution with WebLogic. With session replication, Coherence can be used not only to offset your data from database, but also could be high-availability disaster recovery solution for your WebLogic Server session state.

Core Technologies and MAA Features

To support these core investments in maximum availability, there are three primary areas of technology that Oracle focuses on implementing to support MAA in its platform architecture. The first area is management configuration monitoring—with Enterprise Manager and Site Guard, we monitor your product across different data centers. The second area is in RPO (recovery point objective)—which is related to how fast you can move your data for replication and for recovery—Oracle is investing in file base data replication. And finally, for RTO (recovery time objective)—which is related to how fast you can recover your transactions—one huge new feature is XA transaction recovery, removing the need to write every transaction statement in the T-log and making transactions automatically recoverable.

In conclusion, MAA is extremely critical to your business, which is why it is a huge priority for Oracle. The complete Oracle Solution is a global-level management configuration with Enterprise Manager, RPO, and RTO runtime for the middle-tier (including WebLogic, Coherence, and Oracle Traffic Director), and an integrated back-end database. Any one-tier disaster recovery adds value but the real importance lies in connecting all the pieces together, to maximize operational efficiency and minimize risk. 

Tuesday Feb 24, 2015

Next Up: WebLogic Server Management Session from OpenWorld

by Jess Brown, Oracle Tech Cloud Account Strategist

Continuing on from the past weeks, wherein we have been promoting key OpenWorld session content, today we want to highlight the session which focuses on how the new management, monitoring, and administration features in WebLogic 12c and Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c can help simplify and automate the management of your WebLogic environments. The session highlights new features and best practices that apply to managing your Java platform with an emphasis on private cloud scenarios: configuring domains, enabling elasticity with Dynamic Clusters, Managed Coherence Servers, and REST Management APIs, and simplified monitoring with WLDF, along with automated patching, lifecycle management, self-service, and multi-domain management, all from a single pane of glass in Cloud Control. The session also includes a discussion of strategic directions and roadmap for WebLogic management (i.e. Multitenancy which will allow for high-density configuration).

Here is how to access it, in case you missed it at OpenWorld, or even if you attended the session but may want to review the content. Contents of many more sessions along demos are hosted at  http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions

Monday Feb 23, 2015

Sonatype Nexus 2.11.2 supports Oracle Maven Repository

The Sonatype team have announced the release of the Nexus 2.11.2 repository manager that now works with the Oracle Maven Repository.

With the new Nexus 2.11.2 release we are supporting the authentication mechanism used for the Oracle Maven repository in both Nexus OSS and Nexus Pro. This allows you to proxy the repository in Nexus and makes the components discoverable via browsing the index as well as searching for components. You will only need to set this up once in Nexus and all your projects. Developers and CI servers get access to the components and the need for any manual work disappears. On the Nexus side, the configuration changes can be done easily as part of your upgrade to the new release.

Check out their blog @ Using the Oracle Maven Repository with Nexus

Friday Feb 13, 2015

OpenWorld 2014 Round 3…Highlighting Oracle Java Cloud

by Ancy Dow, Oracle Tech Cloud Account Strategist

[I was wondering if I was the only one getting excited about these videos. So I asked my friend Ancy. She took a peak and not only did she like the videos, she wrote up this blog herself!]

In this session, Anand Kothari, Product Manager for Oracle Java Cloud Service and Oracle JaaS, and Harshad Oak, Oracle ACE Director, demonstrate how you can transform your development experience with Oracle’s Java Cloud. The ease and flexibility of developing in Java Cloud is unmatched, as customers can quickly build and deploy applications—be they existing Java applications, simple extensions to Oracle SaaS services, or new applications on-premise or in the cloud, using tools and techniques developers already use and love.

Oracle’s differentiating factor is that it is one of the only companies that has services across the stack—with the largest breadth of SaaS products—so it is a winning choice for customers who want a single vendor to be able to give them everything they want. Because of this, Oracle can go beyond just spinning up virtual machines, but rather, offer a first-class experience on Database, Java, or any service in the stack, abstracting these services so they are extremely simple to use in the Oracle cloud. Hybrid solutions are also possible, and workloads running in your private cloud can seamlessly be brought onto public and back because the same services are offered in both. And because it is cloud, this enterprise-grade technology comes with all the cloud economics, infinite scale, and capacity.

Currently, there are two Java Cloud Services available on cloud.oracle.com. The JCS SaaS Extension is purpose-built for you to build SaaS extensions to our Oracle SaaS services. Because it is abstracted, customers don’t have access to the infrastructure, but users interact with it much like any SaaS service, which means that there is no patching or backing up required.

Java Cloud Service is a full production environment built using our best practices at all tiers. At the web tier, at the app tier, at the database tier, everything was built so that you get a complete environment with one click that has been fully integrated by Oracle and is meant for production. Java Cloud Service itself is fully customizable, and comes with the complete app container so that customers can bring their applications without any code changes to the Oracle Cloud environment. Customers have access to the underlying infrastructure so they can customize applications to fit their needs, and because there is built-in high availability, you can have a multi-cluster, multi-node cluster on it. There is also a choice of versions, and it is similarly simple to the SaaS Extension service, with automated tooling around patching, backup, restore, and scalability, to make it extremely flexible and easy to create and maintain environments in the cloud.

For test and development use cases, customers may not need rollback capacity or certain features, so Oracle also created JCS Virtual Image, a highly simple environment to get started on. Oracle gives you the same SLA’s so you can put a production application on it, and because there’s less automation, it is more affordable, In Virtual Image, Oracle starts you off with a single VM for a simple use case. Mostly you'll do functional development on the Virtual Image, and then when you test clusterability and high availability, you use Java Cloud Services. Because tooling is not there, you still have underlying infrastructure access and can create clusters yourself, but that's the whole premise: an extremely simple environment optimized for test and dev.

There are many more capabilities about the Java Cloud Service suite that I can’t sum up in one blogpost, but check out the video of the session hosted here at http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions to see the exciting demos themselves!


Wednesday Feb 11, 2015

Is your IT private PaaS ready? Take this 10-minute Assessment to find out

By the end of 2015, end-user spending on cloud services is expected to exceed $180 billion[1]. The shift toward cloud is undeniable, as is the need for hybrid cloud. Driven by legal, political, security, control, historical, cultural [add more reasons here] needs, organizations will continue to run some of their applications inside their firewall (in addition to running many of their applications on a public cloud), which will ultimately drive the need to create a private cloud infrastructure.

From the extensive insights we’ve compiled as leaders from our product and consulting teams have engaged with customers architecting their cloud infrastructure, we have developed an assessment for you to determine your IT organization’s private PaaS readiness. The tool comes with a 4-tiered dashboard based on the cloud adoption & maturity levels we’ve seen from hundreds of our customers, ranging from “preliminary” to “strategic.” Your organization’s current readiness rating is coupled with specific action items to help you reach the “strategic” level.

Take 10 minutes now to begin your private PaaS journey. Once you go through this assessment, you will receive a comprehensive 12-page report describing your PaaS adoption vis-a-vi your business strategy, governance, organization, integration and more. Not only that, we will compare your maturity with those of your peers, hundreds of whom have already taken the assessment, and include that comparison data in the report so you have a benchmark of your PaaS adoption readiness. Don’t get left behind. Take the assessment now!


[1] Gartner: http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/infrastructure-as-a-service/gartner-tells-outsourcers-embrace-cloud-or-die/d/d-id/1110991

Tuesday Feb 10, 2015

Oracle Maven Repository - Viewing Contents in Eclipse

Our own Steve Button has published a great blog on using the new Oracle Maven Repository with Eclipse.
Get started here, and then read the full entry.



With the Oracle Maven Repository now accessible one way to have explore its contents is to use the Maven Repositories viewer feature available in most development tools. I've seen the repository contents displayed easily in NetBeans so I decided to take a look at what it looks like in Eclipse as well.

I had to make a few minor setting changes to get it to work so decided to document them here.  If you've gotten it to work with less setting changes, let me know!

As initial setup, I configured my local maven environment to support access to the Oracle Maven Repository.  This is documented here https://maven.oracle.com/doc.html.  I also installed maven-3.2.5 that includes the updated Wagon module that supports authentication.

Next I downloaded and used the new network installer that the Oracle Eclipse team has published on OTN to install the latest version of Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse.



This network installer lets developers select the version of Eclipse to install and the set of Oracle extensions --  Weblogic, GlassFish and other stuff -- to add in to it.

 Once Eclipse is installed, you can add the Maven Repository viewer by selecting   Window > Show View > Other > Maven Repositories from the Eclipse toolbar.



I also added a Console > Maven viewer to see what was happening under the covers and arranged them so they were visible at the same time:


With the Maven views ready to go, expand the Global Repositories node. This will show Maven Central (any other repositories you may have configured) and the Oracle Maven Repository if you have configured it correctly in the settings.xml file.

The initial state of the Oracle Maven Repository doesn't show any contents indicating that its index hasn't been downloaded to display.

Right mouse clicking on it and selecting the Rebuild Index option causes an error to be shown in the console output indicating that the index could not be accessed.


To get it to work, I made the following changes to my environment.  

Configure Eclipse to Use Maven 3.2.5

Using the Eclipse > Preferences > Maven > Installation dialog, configure Eclipse to use Maven 3.2.5.  This is preferred version of Maven to use to access the Oracle Maven Repository since it automatically includes the necessary version of the Wagon HTTP module that supports the required authentication configuration and request flow.


Configure Proxy Settings in Maven Settings File

** If you don't need a proxy to access the Internet then step won't be needed **

If you sit behind a firewall and need to use a proxy server to access public repositories then you need to configure a proxy setting inside the maven settings file.

...Read the rest on Steve's blog!

Monday Feb 09, 2015

Reaching 10K

Today we reached the 10K mark in our twitter channel @OracleWebLogic. We are super excited with this focus and interest from our community. Our tweets earned over 40,000 impressions just over the last month, with about 2000 followers in the US, 1200 in India, and over 200 followers in Indonesia. We bring you news about WebLogic OpenWorld sessions before these are even approved [well almost], talk about the brand new Java Cloud Service & Developer Cloud Service, highlight developer focused projects such as improvements to our Maven repository, the Docker project, and focus on customer stories like those of 7-Eleven, The City of Las Vegas and many more.