OOW 2013 Summary for Fusion Middleware Architects & Administrators by Simon Haslam

OOW 2013 Summary for Fusion Middleware Architects & Administrators by Simon Haslamclip_image001

This September during Oracle OpenWorld 2013 the weather in San Francisco, as you see can from the photo, was exceptionally sunny. The dramatic final few days of the Americas Cup sailing competition, being held every day in the bay, coincided with the conference and meant that there was almost a holiday feel to the whole event.

Here's my annual round-up of what I think was most interesting at OpenWorld 2013 for Fusion Middleware architects and administrators; I hope you find it useful and if you think I've missed something please add a comment!

WebLogic and Cloud Application Foundation (CAF)

The big WebLogic release of the year has already happened a few months ago with 12.1.2 so I won't duplicate that here.

Will Lyons discussed the WebLogic and Coherence roadmap which essentially is that 12.1.3 will probably be released to coincide with SOA 12c next year and that 12.1.4, the next feature-rich WebLogic release, is more likely to be in 2015. This latter release will probably include full Java EE 7 support, have enhancements for multi-tenancy and further auto-scaling features to support increased density (i.e. more WebLogic usage for the same amount of hardware). There's a new Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder (OVAB) out already and an Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) 12c release round the corner too.

Also of relevance to administrators is that Oracle has increased the support lifetime for Fusion Middleware 11g (e.g. WebLogic 10.3.6) so that Premier Support will now run to the end of 2018 and Extended Support until 2021 - this should remove any Oracle-driven pressure to upgrade at least.

Java Mission Control

Java Mission Control (JMC) is the HotSpot Java 7 version of JRockit 6 Mission Control, a very nice performance monitoring tool from Oracle's BEA acquisition. Flight Recorder is a feature built into the JVM which records diagnostic events into, typically, a circular buffer which can then be used for historical analysis, particularly in the case of a JVM crash or hang.

It's been available separately for WebLogic only for perhaps a year now but, more significantly, it now includes JVM events and was bundled in with JDK7 Update 40 a few weeks ago. I attended a couple of interesting Java One sessions on JMC/Flight Recorder and have to say it's looking really good - it has all the previous JRMC features except for memory leak detector, plus some enhancements around operative sets and ECID filtering I think.

Marcus also showed how you could add your own events into flight recorder by building your own event class - they are then available for graphing alongside all the other events in JMC. This uses a currently an unsupported/undocumented API, but it's also the same one that WebLogic uses for WLDF events so I imagine it is stable. I'm not sure quite whether this would be useful to custom applications, as opposed to infrastructure services or ISV packaged applications, but it was a very nice demonstration.

I've been testing JMC / FR enabling on several environments recently and my confidence is growing - it feels robust and I think could very soon be part of my standard builds. Read the full article here.

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