After overviews of all the different Oracle virtualization
technologies available to customers, in our closing article we come to
an interesting guide for simplifying life. One GUI to manage them all
Not quite really all of them though, because Oracle VM Virtual Box
and VDI - described in the previous two episodes - have their own
management tools. So it’s about centralized management for Oracle
server virtualization technologies.
Ops Center as a Management Tool for Virtualization
For datacenter management Oracle offers Oracle Enterprise Manager, aka 'OEM'. OEM is actually a product suite: OEM 12c Cloud Control and OEM 12c Ops Center are the two products within the suite which are relevant to management of physical and virtual environments.
To many people, the term 'Oracle Enterprise Manager' is synonymous with the OEM Cloud Control product, or its predecessor OEM Grid Control.
However, since 2010 there has also existed OEM Ops Center. Cloud
Control and Ops Center are still two different products with separate
installations. If preferred, they can be coupled together for data
exchange. Looking forward, you will likely have just the one product to
install; Oracle Enterprise Manger which should offer the combined
feature set of both.
So what is Ops Center?
Ops Center offers complete infrastructure management with a focus on
Oracle hardware (servers, switches, storage appliances) and Oracle
operating systems, plus non-Oracle Linux variants that are supported on
“Focus on” means not “limited to”, but this is a different story.
Using Ops Center, it's possible to manage the complete life cycle of a system:
- Install / check the firmware revisions
- Configure built-in RAID controllers and BIOS settings for x86 systems
- Install an operating system
- Install software applications
- Keep the installation updated via patch or update management.
Instead of installing Solaris or Linux as the base operating system on the server, you can (for example) install Oracle VM Server for x86
on the bare metal system using Ops Center. From there, you can then
deploy virtual guests. Ops Center is used to deploy the hypervisor, then
allows integration with Oracle VM Manager so that both hypervisor and
virtual guests can be managed from the same console.
Another example. If the server is running Solaris, use Ops Center to deploy and manage Solaris Zones on top of it. With the appropriate underlying hardware you can also deploy and manage Oracle VM Server for SPARC (aka LDOMs).
Ops Center has an effective and easy to use interface. It provides an
intuitive graphical overview of the physical and virtual environments
you are running, and makes them easy to manage and maintain.
On the left hand side of this first screenshot, I have selected the
object ('test-paas-zone-03') that I’m interested in doing something
You see a nice grouping:
't6320-paas-045-sc' on the top is the handle I select for managing and monitoring the hardware on which my software stack is running.
The underlying hardware is, as the name suggests, a T-Series server.
T-Series servers do have a built-in hypervisor. This is represented by
the next icon: 't6320-paas-045' . This was the object I selected during setup of the environment.
Relating to this system, the initial Ops Center job I ran from the
GUI was effectively telling Ops Center to 'Build me a Control Domain on
Afterwards other jobs for defining and installing guest LDOMs were run. Logical domains 'Test-paas-ldom-03' and 'test-paas-ldom-04' were created. Both have an anchor point for resource management and possible live migration (the icons 'test-paas-03' and 'test-paas-04').
And one of my guest LDOMs, test-paas-ldom-04, is running a non global zone: test-paas-zone-03. Yes – this was also built with the Ops Center GUI.
Selecting the test-paas-zone-03 zone object , I can inspect
the zone's configuration details in the next screenshot. On the right
hand side are the possible actions I may perform on this zone .
“Edit Configuration” gives me the chance to change resource definitions for this zone:
One may argue that in general, when using Solaris command-line you
have more flexibility, for example while setting up your Control
However, using Ops Center offers an additional benefit. You can group servers of compatible architecture together,
assign them shared storage where virtualized guests may run, define the
type of virtualization technology to be used (Oracle VM server for
SPARC, Oracle VM Server for x86, Oracle Solaris Zones – SPARC, Oracle
Solaris Zones – x86) and then define a server pool.
For the server pool itself you define characteristics such as:
- Placement Policy: how to determine on which physical server (for example) a new virtual guest is to be deployed
- Auto Balancing Policy: do you like Ops Center to
watch if the server pool is for example equally utilized or is there an
optimization via migration of a guest possible? Do you want Ops Center
to perform this migration job without further invention or do you want
to be alerted?
- Automatic Recovery: do you like Ops Center to power
off a failing physical server and migrate the virtual guests to other
physical servers which are part of the pool?
Hopefully this gives you some valuable insight into the
virtualization management features available to you from within Ops
Center. And there is much more to discover in this tool.
As the full product name 'Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Ops Center'
implies, cloud features are offered at the infrastructure level.
Ops Center allows users to build the managed assets into Virtual Data Centers, or vDCs.
A vDC provides a full stack of coordinated resources for cloud
computing, including systems, network infrastructure, storage,
virtualization hosts and a self-contained user and permission model. Ops
Center users can leverage this functionality in two ways: by logging
directly into the Ops Center UI, or by using the programmatic API and
command line tools for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These
features enable Ops Center to greatly speed the deployment and
management process for cloud-based infrastructure.
Besides the various benefits a graphical management tool offers,
please be aware of the another important advantage Oracle provides to
Customers who maintain an Oracle Premier Support for Systems or
Oracle Premier Support for Operating Systems agreement can download and
use Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center to manage their covered Oracle
systems at no additional cost with support included. This Ops Center Everywhere program has been in place since November 2011.
This series of 9 is now completed with the above article and had the following entries:
- December 2011: Introduction to Virtualization (Matthias Pfützner)
- January 2012: Oracle VM Server for SPARC (Matthias Pfützner)
- February 2012: Oracle VM Server for x86 (Matthias Pfützner)
- March 2012: Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers (Detlef Drewanz)
- April 2012: Resource Management (Detlef Drewanz)
- May 2012: Network Virtualization and Network Resource Management (Detlef Drewanz)
- June 2012: Oracle VM VirtualBox (Detlef Drewanz)
- July 2012: Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) (Matthias Pfützner)
- August 2012: Ops Center as Management Tool for Virtualization (Elke Freymann)
If you have questions, feel free to contact me at Elke Freyman, or contact the maintainer of this series, Uwe Strahlendorf.