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Announcing the Oracle Cloud observability and management platform

Clay Magouyrk
Executive Vice President, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Engineering

I’m excited to announce the new Oracle Cloud Observability and Management platform. The platform is a set of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services that enable visibility and insight across cloud native and traditional technology, whether deployed in multicloud or on-premises environments, with broad, standards-based ecosystem support. It’s designed to help enterprises better manage their increasingly diverse and distributed IT portfolios, while reducing troubleshooting time, preventing outages, and enabling IT to manage applications from a business perspective.

Where management services stand now

The prevalent model for observability and management services has evolved over several decades but still lacks a holistic approach and is instead focused on a layer-by-layer or product-centric approach. Cloud vendors have tools for their clouds. Pure-play providers have tools for their specialization, such as APM and logging. Technology providers have tools for their products, such as storage and database. But real environments are a mix of all the above!

With the rise of polyglot application models, serverless computing, legacy virtual machines services in the cloud, and cloud native services running on-premises, the patchwork of tools, repositories, and methods has multiplied. The effect is that IT operations and DevOps practitioners are often unable to maintain high service levels across applications that span on-premises or in multiple clouds. Furthermore, they lack the visibility to see all of their IT footprint, across all layers and all platforms. The insights they get might conflict across specialized tools, which have only partial coverage.

The impact of this gap is clear. According to Unisphere Research, over eighty percent of outages are reported first by end-users, not discovered by monitoring tools. With application owners constantly in reactive mode, there’s no good way to align tuning efforts to achieve maximum impact. Customers need an integrated, cross-platform solution that can see from core infrastructure all the way up to user experience with application responsiveness.

How Oracle can improve the situation

Oracle is uniquely positioned to address this problem for customers. As a cloud provider of both cloud infrastructure and complex enterprise SaaS, we have deep experience in operating and delivering cloud solutions and understand the complexity that comes from the different layers of IT and DevOps. We also have decades of experience in data management and in delivering mission critical on-premises applications, databases, and systems in the enterprise. We’d like to show you how we approached this undertaking and show you the capabilities of our new platform.

The news hasn’t gone unnoticed by leading analysts.

“With the release of the new Observability and Management solution, Oracle delivers another industry first,” says Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research. “This end-to-end approach for on-premises and multicloud management not only clearly benefits customers, but also provides an open platform for partners to plug in their offerings. The integrations with Grafana, PagerDuty, and Slack and support for standards from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), such as CloudEvents and OpenTracing demonstrate Oracle’s commitment to interoperability.”

Meanwhile, Omdia Research has selected Oracle as a leading provider of hybrid and multicloud management solutions.

Centralized log management

Our platform starts with bringing together key data into one place. With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Logging, available now, DevOps, site reliability, and IT operations engineers can simply turn on logging in their OCI environment and manage, search, and correlate events from one secure service. We focused on solving two key customer challenges: simplifying event correlation and parsers.

Logging uses fluentd, a widely adopted, open source data collector, so customers can not only centralize audit, infrastructure, database, and application logs, but easily ingest logs from custom sources. Logs are stored in a CNCF CloudEvents-compatible format to maximize portability and enable visibility across all logs in one clean cross-stack view. Customers can then create rules to automatically act on logs to trigger a function, send a notification using PagerDuty, or send logs to nearly any destination or tool through our Kafka-compatible Streaming service.

Rather than taxing customers for log collection, retention, and delivery, our Logging service charges only $0.05 per GB per month for log storage, and the first 10 GB is always free. This offering makes it simpler and less expensive for customers to adopt logging across their entire portfolio and retain adequate history for correlation and compliance purposes.


Figure 1. View of logs from multiple sources in a single time series.

Powerful native log analytics

We’ve incorporated all of our best practices and experience in IT infrastructure and cloud service analytics into our new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Logging Analytics service. Logging Analytics addresses complexity head-on, with built-in faceting and visualizations to help customers find patterns and outliers quickly. Customers can pinpoint anomalies with applied, built-in machine learning (ML), such as Cluster and Link, that deliver instant insights out of massive log data volumes without requiring data scientist interventions.

Our customers typically have large on-premises IT environments and use multiple cloud providers. In addition to access to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Logging, Logging Analytics offers over 250 parsers for Oracle and non-Oracle technology components. Unlike Amazon CloudWatch or Azure Monitor, Oracle Cloud Logging Analytics explicitly supports logs from applications running on other clouds and a full stack of on-premises technologies. To simplify workflows and optimize costs, you can archive and recall logs by policy.


Figure 2: Views of network traffic load by traffic type (top) and impacted systems (bottom).

Deep visibility into user experience

The most important criteria for application success is end-user experience. Too often, IT and DevOps take an infrastructure-centric view. Complete visibility requires a view from the outside-in. Our customers now have access to digital experience monitoring capabilities as a native service with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Application Performance Monitoring, in limited availability today. Application Performance Monitoring offers real and synthetic end-user monitoring, server monitoring, and distributed tracing, compatible with the open source OpenTracing and OpenMetrics frameworks. We then deliver this information in the form of enterprise dashboards, providing end-to-end visibility across the entire IT estate. The service comes preconfigured with dozens of dashboards and can be extended to provide custom views.

Distributed tracing provides out-of-the-box instrumentation for modern microservices applications, while more traditional applications can be monitored with various industry-leading techniques such, as browser and server-side instrumentation. Using these collection techniques, customers can monitor end-user experience with each interaction, including load time, time to first byte, and derive industry-standard user satisfaction scores, like Apdex. You can trigger synthetic transactions from global vantage points to provide a more holistic picture of application availability and performance.


Figure 3: Customizable enterprise dashboards provide an end-to-end glance at the entire IT environment.

The best of Oracle Enterprise Manager database management, now as a cloud service

Tens of thousands of customers worldwide use Oracle Enterprise Manager for their most critical Oracle Database and Oracle Exadata deployments. We’re now making those capabilities available as a cloud service called Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Database Management. The service includes the following features:

  • Performance Hub

  • Automatic Workload Repository (AWR)

  • Active Session History (ASH) analytics

  • Blocking session details

  • Real-time SQL monitoring

Oracle customers expect a centralized view of their entire database fleet, including their configurations, storage, users, and objects, regardless of whether the database is on-premises or in the cloud. They need to monitor and tune performance, from the session down to individual SQL queries. Database Management enables customers to have a unified view for monitoring, management, and performance optimization for Oracle databases deployed in OCI, other clouds, and on-premises.


Figure 4: Oracle Enterprise Manager’s popular Performance Hub and more delivered as a service.

Prevent outages by looking forward

What about turning the lens forward using historical insights and ML-based forecasting techniques? Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Operations Insights service retains and analyzes longer-term telemetry to provide insights on future resource demand and application performance. Our capacity planning features enable customers to forecast resource requirements and impending issues. Our SQL Warehouse capabilities help customers identify systemic and recurring SQL issues such as degraded performance and execution plan changes to address them holistically, rather than one SQL query at a time. Using these features, customers can act today to prevent issues tomorrow.


Figure 5: Get insights on how to address seasonal demand spikes, systemic problems, and demand growth over long periods of time with Operations Insights.

Connecting to your favorite tools and an ecosystem of hundreds of partners

The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Service Connector Hub, available at no cost, centralizes the management of log data movement, tracking, and securing customer data workflows across Oracle and partner tools. With a single click, customers can emit log-based metrics or archive to Oracle Cloud Object Storage. The Service Connector Hub can also facilitate remediation or alerting by automatically triggering Functions or Notifications. This service includes first-class support for notifications through PagerDuty and Twilio, among other common tools. We can also output data into Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Streaming, which can push data to over 100 other technologies and cloud service targets using the popular Kafka Connect. We work out of the box with partners like Grafana.

“Adopting DevOps just got easier,” said Steve Gross, senior director of Strategic Ecosystem Development at PagerDuty. “Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s one-click integration with PagerDuty allows customers to use their existing investments in incident management. With this capability, customers can easily configure, manage, and receive critical, real-time alerts for their Oracle infrastructure and workloads.”

“The Oracle and Twilio partnership has enabled COVID-19 patients to connect with healthcare providers, and researchers to understand efficacy of drug therapies,” sayid Ott Kaukver, CTO of Twilio. “Oracle and Twilio are collaborating to provide SMS messaging, which makes it even easier for customers to use messaging on OCI.”

“We’re excited to announce two Grafana certified plugins for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” said Anthony Woods, CTO of Grafana, “Making it easier for our customers to gain end-to-end visibility of any application, database, and infrastructure on OCI—in addition to other environments. Now there’s another reason for developers to adopt Grafana.”


Figure 6: Service Connector Hub provides central management of data movement across Oracle and partner tools and secures the workflows associated with them.

Customers and partners are benefiting from Oracle Observability and Management

We’ve designed our platform to make it simple to look across application tiers, deployment environments, and across an ecosystem of tools. The following people stand among the many who started using our platform to centralize visibility, and resolve issues faster:

“With Oracle’s Observability and Management solution we can resolve 95% of critical issues before users are impacted,” said Steven Chang, CIO of Kingold Group. “Our developers are also able to identify code level performance issues 10 times faster.”

“OCI is a single point of information,” said Genilson Cavalcante, CEO of Green. “With a single, multifunctional data platform, Oracle Cloud has simplified our telemetry with user experience, application and database metrics, traces, and logs.”

“With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s cross-tier view of applications, database, and infrastructure, we resolve issues in minutes instead of hours,” said Peter Gawroniak, senior director of global infrastructure at Integra LifeSciences. “We can check utilization, health, and network traffic flows more conveniently via OCI dashboards instead of using various different solutions.”

“We improved our student’s experience by reducing performance glitches by 90%, and lowered our effort and costs using Oracle’s Observability and Management solution,” said Longin Gogu, associate vice chancellor of enterprise applications at Lone Star College. “We’re excited to use the single pane of glass capabilities for better observability across our data centers and cloud environments.”

“The availability and provision of timely, accurate insights is vital for any business,” said Michael Wolf, CEO of Promata. “We’re using Oracle’s Observability and Management solution’s embedded machine learning to cut troubleshooting times and the risk of application downtime by 50%. With the expanded capabilities, we can reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary observability tools.”

“Safexpress resolves performance issues in minutes rather than days and supports non-stop Logistics Operations with Oracle Observability and Management solution,” said Sanjay Bakhshi, senior program manager of Safexpress.

“Drop Tank is a leading loyalty technology and rewards company,” Timothy Miller, CTO at Drop Tank. “We’re using Oracle technology to automate monitoring and management of loyalty applications for gas station operators. By removing the old manual processes for monitoring and performance management, we can focus on innovation that drive growth and create powerful partnerships with gas station operators. As we move more critical applications to Oracle Cloud, we’re excited to use Oracle’s latest Observability and Management solution to gain visibility and insights across our cloud and on-premises environments, driving growth and expanding partnerships.”

“We have helped several companies migrate their Oracle Applications environments to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” said Sankar Venkatraman, vice president and global head of Oracle Service Line at Wipro, “And we continue to help our customers to make strategic decisions on managing critical data and applications on-premises. Oracle’s integrated Observability and Management solution is a game changer for removing barriers for future migrations and managing workloads in the cloud and on-premises.”

“We use Oracle’s Observability and Management solution for automated network traffic log monitoring and alerting,” said Jason Lester, managing consultant of Capgemini. “The single pane for analyzing all logs has proven to be invaluable for quickly figuring out the root-cause and impact of network issues.”

“Mythics is an award-winning Oracle partner with experience successfully migrating many customers to Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud,” said Erik Benner, vice president of Mythics. “With the addition of enhanced Observability and Management solutions available as native services, customers can now realize unparalleled cost and performance benefits for applications running in the cloud and in their data centers.”

“Our customer-centric business relies on Oracle’s Observability and Management solution to deliver exceptional user experience by using a single pane of glass to trace application performance and drill down to root cause of the problem 20% faster,” said Marco Bettini, CEO and managing partner of Bridge Consulting and the Kirey Group.

Want to know more?

I’m excited to have shared this announcement with you today. To learn more or get hands-on, use the following resources:

-Clay

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