Friday Aug 30, 2013

Introducing Elastic JMS

In WebLogic 12.1.2, we enhanced the way that you can configure JMS servers, stores, and subdeployments so that the JMS subsystem can automatically scale with the Managed Servers in a cluster. We call this Elastic JMS. My friend Maciej Gruszka calls it Magic JMS!

 Here are some details:

JMS Servers: In releases before WebLogic Server 12.1.2, each JMS Server was individually configured and targeted at a single Managed Server. It didn’t matter whether or not that Managed Server was part of a cluster. Starting in WebLogic Server 12.1.2, you can target a JMS Server at a cluster. Under the covers, WebLogic spins up a JMS Server on each managed server in the cluster. If you add or remove servers from the cluster, JMS Servers are added or removed automatically.

WebLogic Persistent Stores: Like JMS Servers, in releases before WebLogic Server 12.1.2, each WebLogic Persistent Store (file store or JDBC store) was individually configured and targeted to a single Managed Server, clustered or not. In WebLogic Server 12.1.2, you can target a WebLogic Persistent Store at a cluster. Under the covers, WebLogic creates a store instance on each Managed Server in the cluster. Each instance of a file store uses the same path to either a shared file system or to a local file. Each instance of a JDBC store uses the same JDBC data source, but gets its own underlying tables.

Subdeployments: A subdeployment defines the list of JMS Servers that will host a queue or topic. In releases before WebLogic Server 12.1.2, when you defined a subdeployment for a distributed queue or topic, you listed each JMS Server in the cluster. When you scaled up the cluster by adding a Managed Server and a corresponding JMS Server, you also needed to update the subdeployment with the new JMS Server. Starting in WebLogic Server 12.1.2, subdeployments are much simpler. You can list a single JMS Server that is targeted at the cluster. When you scale up the cluster, the distributed queue is automatically extended to the new JMS Server instance without any changes to the subdeployment.

Pulling it all together: By using cluster targeted JMS Servers and Persistent Stores, you get some nice benefits:

  • Simplified configuration – Even initial JMS configuration is much simpler than it was in the past: no need for individually configured JMS Servers and related items.
  • Elastic scalability – As you scale the cluster, the JMS services automatically scale with it. 
  • Support for Dynamic Clusters – Because Dynamic Clusters require homogenous targeting of services, the new configuration options make it possible to run JMS on Dynamic Clusters. 

  • Check out the documentation at http://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1212/wls/JMSAD/dynamic_messaging.htm or see my video at for more details.

    WebLogic Active GridLink for RAC: Check out NEC results!

    Oracle WebLogic Active GridLink for RAC is the market-leading mid-tier integration solution leveraging additional Oracle RAC advancements. Oracle and NEC have jointly invested on verifying and testing the Active GridLink for RAC solution which provides a high-availability, scalability and high performance solution for helping customer building mission critical applications. In addition, WebLogic Server is the only application server which has been fully integrated and certified with Oracle Database without losing any capabilities in Java EE implementation with respect to security, transaction, connection pooling , management, and more.

    NEC has constructed high availability systems with WebLogic Server and Oracle Real Application Cluster. It investigated advantages and features of the GridLink data source focusing on high availability and flexibility that GridLink data source achieves in integrating with Oracle RAC. The purpose of these tests is to get high serviceability by diverting system integration know-how of JDBC data source already storing, in addition to using these functions. The following are functions which the GridLink data sources were tested for.

    1. Runtime Connection Load Balancing(RCLB)

    2. Web Session Affinity

    3. Fast Connection Failover (FCF)

    4. Performance Improvement by Dynamic Changes in RAC Topology

    Join us in this OpenWorld session as we discuss the detailed Active GridLink capabilities and the testing results obtained by NEC. We will also discuss the new functionality introduced with Oracle Database 12c.

    Friday Aug 23, 2013

    New WebLogic Server 12.1.2 Installation and Patching Technology


    WebLogic Server 12.1.2 has many new features, but the first new feature you are likely to notice is the change in installer technology. WebLogic Server and Coherence 12.1.2 are installed using Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) installer technology. We have also changed WebLogic Server patching technology from SmartUpdate to OPatch, the patching tool used to patch OUI installations. Note that installation and patching technology used for prior versions of WebLogic Server has not changed.

    The primary motivation for this change is to provide consistency across the Oracle stack. Prior to WebLogic Server 12.1.2, Fusion Middleware customers were required to use different technologies to install and patch, for example, Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) with WebLogic Server. Now users can perform installation and patching across products more efficiently by using the same technologies, and by using new installation packages that simplify installation of Fusion Middleware products with WebLogic Server. Check the YouTube video that describes how to install  WebLogic Server 12.1.2 using the  OUI installer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDT3UMXSAFc.

    The following WebLogic Server distributions are now available on the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/weblogic/overview/index.html  under OTN license, and from Oracle Software Delivery Cloud (OSDC)  https://edelivery.oracle.com for licensed customers:

    wls_121200.jar - This OUI installer package includes WebLogic Server and Coherence and is targeted at WebLogic Server users who do not require other Fusion Middleware components such as ADF. This generic installer can be used to install WebLogic Server and Coherence on any supported operating system, and is intended for development or production purposes. This is available on OTN and OSDC.

    · wls1212_dev.zip – This zip package includes the same core WebLogic Server and Coherence technology provided in wls_121200.jar, but removes certain Oracle components that are only required for production use cases. It is intended as a lightweight download for development purposes – unzip and run the included script. It is available on OTN only, along with a supplemental examples package. Note that patching of the zip distribution is not supported.

    August 21, 2013: an updated package of the WebLogic Server 12.1.2.0.0 zip distribution was released to OTN. This update resolves a minor problem in the original (GA) WebLogic Server 12.1.2.0.0 zip distribution when starting the Configuration Wizard GUI.

    · OEPE  Installers – including WebLogic Server, Coherence, ADF, Fusion Middleware Control, and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse (OEPE). These OUI installers contain the latest updates to Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, Oracle’s Eclipse-based IDE, with distributions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. These installers are intended for development purposes and are available on OTN only.

    · wls_jrf_121200.jar - This OUI installer package includes everything that is included wls_121200.jar, and adds software components required to run ADF and Fusion Middleware Control. This installer is intended for development or production purposes and is available on OTN and OSDC.

    · JDeveloper Installers – including WebLogic Server, Coherence, Oracle JDeveloper, ADF and Fusion Middleware Control. These OUI installers contain the latest updates to Oracle JDeveloper 12.1.2, Oracle’s strategic IDE for developing Fusion Middleware applications, with distributions for Windows, Linux and generic operating systems. These installers are intended for development purposes and are available on OTN and OSDC.

    For more information on the above, refer to the appropriate product documentation, for example, for documentation on installation of wls_121200.jar, see http://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1212/core/WLSIG/planning.htm#WLSIG237.

    Let us know if you have questions or comments.

    Monday Aug 19, 2013

    New Oracle WebLogic Suite 12.1.2 Technical Whitepaper Published

    We have just published a new technical whitepaper covering WebLogic Suite.   It is available here.

    This whitepaper provides an overview of the major features, functions and capabilities in WebLogic Suite, with a primary emphasis on WebLogic Server.   It includes a description of the new features in WebLogic Server and WebLogic Suite 12.1.2, and how they help to provide a modern development environment, native cloud management capabilities, and a mission-critical cloud platform.

    We hope this whitepaper will be useful to you whether you are just learning about WebLogic Server, or have experience with WebLogic Server and WebLogic Suite, and want an overview of what has changed in the 12.1.2 release.    It is intended to complement the business whitepaper mentioned by Ruma Sanyal in her recent blog post.

    For detailed "how to" instructions on using WebLogic Server 12.1.2, please refer to the product documentation updated on July 11:

    http://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1212/wls/index.html

    Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

    Announcing WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 2.6

    Would you like to learn a solution that saves time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of high availability Oracle Database and WebLogic Server?

    We are announcing exciting news of the availability of “Oracle WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 2.6”!

    www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/weblogic-oda/overview/index.html

    Oracle WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 2.6 offers a complete solution for building and deploying enterprise Java EE applications in a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage, and networking that delivers highly available database and WebLogic services. Built with world’s most popular database, Oracle Database and the industry’s best application server, Oracle WebLogic Server, and with its One-Button deployment capability, it delivers the combined high availability and simplicity. It reduces IT cost with the unique capacity-on-demand software licensing model.

    For fully redundant system, storage, Oracle Database Appliance Manager Information, please check out the Oracle Database Appliance data sheet.

    Oracle WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 2.6 provides:

    • Highly available WebLogic Server with two, four or eight node cluster options that provide the foundation for customers to build and deploy enterprise Java EE applications with support for new features in WebLogic 11g (10.3.6) and 12c (12.1.1).
    • Simple, reliable, affordable platform for deploying end-to-end solutions leveraging not only Oracle Database Real Application Clusters, but also WebLogic and the software load balancer for customers’ Java EE and Database investments.

    The following new features are included in this new release:

    • WebLogic on ODA 2.6 is fully certified with Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 hardware
    • Oracle Traffic Director becomes optional during provisioning process
    • User input the licensed core count, provisioning then it creates pools on the compute nodes and configure Traffic Director and WebLogic Server VMs to use the pools.
    • Oracle Traffic Director 11.1.1.7 template for the load balancer tier

    Please check out the white paper, howto, FAQ, etc for more information.

    www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/weblogic-oda/overview/index.html

    Monday Aug 12, 2013

    Announcing Web Socket Proxy and Apache 2.4 support for WebLogic Server plug-in customers

    We are happy to announce the following enhancements to Oracle WebLogic  Plug-In 12.1.2 release:

    - Apache 2.4 Support - WLS Plug-In 12.1.2+ is now supported with vanilla Apache 2.2.x and 2.4.x Web Servers. Customers interested in using WLS Plug-In with vanilla Apache 2.4.x Web Server can download our latest  WLS Plug-In 12.1.2  patch from OTN - http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/ias/downloads/wls-plugins-096117.html

    - WebSocket Proxy Support  -  WLS Plug-In 12.1.2+ for Apache HTTP Server 2.2.x , 2.4.x Web Servers can now front-end WebSockets applications deployed within WLS 12.1.2. This WebSocket Proxy capability is currently unavailable for OHS and other 3rd party web servers like IIS and iPlanet Web Servers. 

    - This enhancement is tracked via bug - 17085296  and is available only for WLS Plug-In 12c release. Also, these enhancements are NOT available for OHS 12.1.2 release. OHS 12.1.3 will deliver the WebSocket Proxy capability.  Our FMW 12.1.2 certification matrix is being updated to reflect that WLS Plug-In 12.1.2 supports Apache 2.4 Web Server.  

    - This enhancement is downloadable either as a patch, for a corresponding platform, from Oracle Support - or from OTN - http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/ias/downloads/wls-plugins-096117.html . 

    - This enhancement, like any other WLS Plug-In patch, is delivered as a complete zip file and the installation experience is same as WLS Plug-In 11g/12c release. The 'README' provides more information regarding these new capabilities. The next doc refresh for WLS Plug-In 12c product documentation will include this information as well. 

    - Last but not least, any future patches for WLS Plug-In 12.1.2 will include these enhancements as well.  This enhancement addresses several of our customers long standing wish regarding Apache 2.4 Web Server support. 


    Sunday Aug 11, 2013

    Customer White Paper on Active GridLink

    There's a new white paper available at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/weblogic/overview/activegridlinkwhitepaperoraclenec-1987937.pdf that is jointly written by NEC and Oracle.

    It starts out by covering terms and features in Oracle RAC, Oracle database 11gR2 and 12c, and WebLogic Server Active GridLink (AGL).  The remainder of the paper focuses on some detailed test scenarios of the 11gR2 Oracle database features with Active GridLink. These are real-world testing results (not all of them turn out as expected) on some fast hardware.   The results include some interesting graphs and tables.  I will include some summary remarks here but I recommend reading the full paper.

    You can use a Single Client Access Name (SCAN) address to take advantage of adding a RAC node without changing the WLS configuration.   SCAN combined with Runtime Connection Load Balancing (RCLB) evens out the connection load across the currently available instances using load balancing advisories.

    Fast Connection Failover (FCF), which you get by default with AGL when Fast Application Notification (FAN) is enabled, can significantly improve response to abnormal events like loss of the public network (15 second response) or loss of the interconnect (33 seconds) compared to waiting for a TCP keep-alive timeout.  However, it needs some network to be available on which to receive event information.  It also didn't help when a process stalls.  Other Oracle timeout mechanisms can be used to help free up the client in these situations (e.g., setting oracle.jdbc.ReadTimeout).  There is a reference in there to NEC ClusterPro to solve the stalled process case - the reference is in Japanese but an internet search will turn up some English documentation.

    There are some interesting tests with setting RLB_GOAL to SERVICE_TIME or THROUGHPUT to enable RCLB.  When additional load is added to one of the instances, the response time initially goes up significantly but RCLB evens it out over time by reducing the connections used on the overloaded instance. However, an issue was found in the case that the load is high (over 80%) that the performance does not improve as expected when using SERVICE_TIME.;  this seems to lean toward using THROUGHPUT for the RLB_GOAL setting (this issue is still being investigated).

    Web Session affinity can significantly reduce interconnect traffic between the RAC instances and thus reduce the related response time (in one test, the response time was cut in half and interconnect traffic basically disappeared).   Also note that session affinity works across session replication in a cluster so even if there is a WebLogic Server failure, cache fusion is reduced when continued on another server with the same session affinity.

    The conclusion is that AGL easukt provides a lot of complex functionality.  Features like session affinity and RCLB is complete transparent to the application (no coding).  AGL fits in well with existing applications.  If you look at this earlier blog Migrating from Multi Data Source to Active GridLink, you will see how easy it is to update the configuration to move from Multi Data Source to AGL and no changes are needed to the application. AGL provides high performance, availability, scalability and serviceability,

    If you are running WebLogic Server 10.3.4 or later and using RAC 11gR2 or later, check out Active GridLink..



    Friday Aug 09, 2013

    Oracle and NEC Joint White Paper: WebLogic Server Active GridLink for Oracle RAC Testing Scenarios and Results

    Oracle and NEC have been jointly invested on verifying and testing the Active GridLink for RAC solution implemented within Oracle WebLogic Server which gives the rich functionality for  Oracle Database Real Application Clusters integration.
    The combination of Oracle WebLogic Server Data Source and Connection Pooling solutions and Oracle RAC provides a high-end mission-critical environment offering performance, high scalability and availability features. Load-balancing and Affinity capabilities offersignificant performance improvement for online transaction processing scenarios, as well as improving throughput and total response time. Failover solution gives end-to-end rapid failure detection supporting graceful shutdown for planned and unplanned Oracle RAC node outages.
    In this paper, we start with a brief introduction to Oracle RAC and an overview of the Oracle RAC features supported in Oracle WebLogic Server 11g and 12c. We then focus on details of the effort that have been jointly done with Oracle and NEC with all the detailed testing scenarios and testing results, along with the analysis. The background and overview of NEC’s test of Active GridLink for RAC will be covered in details. The technical details about Runtime Connection Load Balancing, Web Session Affinity, Fast Connection Failover, and how to remove and add the additional RAC node with zero-downtime will be discussed with different use cases.


    Download the white paper! And please share your comments
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/weblogic/overview/activegridlinkwhitepaperoraclenec-1987937.pdf


    Enjoy!

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