Sunday Jan 11, 2015

WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance 12.1.3 available

image At our WebLogic Community Workspace (WebLogic Community membership required) you can find the latest presentations about WebLogic on the Oracle Database Appliance:

For more WebLogic on ODA material use the tag ODA

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Sunday Dec 14, 2014

ODA News from Oracle OpenWorld 2014 by Simon Haslam

clip_image002Oracle has been putting a lot of engineering effort into the new ODA 12c release so this is quite a long article. The latest ODA news from last week can be summarized as:

· ODA 12.1.2 database: 12c including pluggable database support, ACFS integration

· ODA 12.1.2 VP: ACFS snapshots, option to add disks to VMs

· WLS ODA 12.1.3: support for WebLogic 12.1.3, WebLogic Standard Edition, faster provisioning using ACFS snapshots, additional single VM topology, new Coherence option

· Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: sneak peak at up-coming plug-in for ODA

There were no announcements about an ODA X5-2 although, given that Intel has recently released Hawell-EP processors (E5-2600 v3 family) – and based on the v2 update last year – it seems likely that there will be a new version of the ODA hardware at some point.

Now to discuss each of these topics in a little more detail:

WLS ODA 12.1.3

Frances Zhao-Perez, the Product Manager responsible for the WebLogic implementation (and related components) on ODA and I described WLS ODA 12.1.3 in our joint presentation Oracle WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance: Combining High Availability and Simplicity [CON8004]. I wrote about that yesterday, but the enhancements are:

· Support for the new WebLogic Server 12.1.3 version (and dropping support for 12.1.1 and possibly 12.1.2).

· Coherence can now also be provisioned, creating up to 6 additional VMs (as part of a specific WebLogic domain and with Coherence lifecycle managed via console/Admin Server etc).

· VMs may now be created from an ACFS snaphot of the template leading to far quicker provisioning time (for a 6 VM topology I’d expect around 30 minutes instead of 60, and the saving will be greater for larger clusters).

· Additional domain topologies available for a single Admin Server with no Managed Servers (for a development environment for example), or Admin Server co-located with a Managed Server (if you like that idea please read my Admin Server Separation – Pros and Cons article and comments).

· Some minor changes to the user interface of the ‘configurator’.

Read the complete article here.

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Thursday Jun 05, 2014

The Fantastic New WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance 2.9 Release is Here!

O-box SOA Appliance running multiple environmentsLast week was a big day in virtualised ODA-land as it saw the launch of WebLogic on ODA 2.9. Admittedly it doesn't sound like a very exciting release but it is one that we at O-box have been looking forward to for quite some time.

Let me explain why, then we'll look into the details...

The ODA X4-2 has 48 Intel Xeon cores. That is a lot of compute power. Whilst the largest O-box SOA Appliance single environment configuration can in theory use all those cores (currently with 40 vCPU of SOA!) the vast majority of O-box users will want smaller configurations. Prior to 2.9 the Oracle WebLogic implementation only supported one domain per ODA, so the conundrum O-box development faced last year was either: offer customers only one SOA environment on their O-box for now (but have the benefit of a standard, easily supportable WebLogic installation), or build our own WebLogic/OTD OVM templates from scratch.

One of our driving goals with O-box is to give the best possible experience and make the appliance as supportable as possible. Therefore we took the gamble that we would stick with the Oracle's one-domain WebLogic configuration initially, and just hope that it would deliver multi-domain support for us in a timely manner (note: this is probably not a strategy that business textbooks would recommend!).

Anyway, we've been working closely with Oracle Product Management for a few months now and I'm delighted to see 2.9 as the fruits of their labour. This also neatly ties in with several recent requests for O-box to include OSB as well as SOA/BPEL (which we have always wanted to have in separate domains). The diagram below is the neatest way to summarise what the new 2.9 release will allow us to deliver, i.e. previously only one 3D box was possible: Read the complete article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Saturday May 10, 2014

WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance X4-2 (ODA) presentation

At our WebLogic Community Workspace ( WebLogic Community membership required) you can find the latest ODA presentation: WL on ODA X4-2 SalesBasics-PARTNERS.pptx.

The presentation includes

  • ODA:
    • Why we did it
    • Customers to target
    • Leading questions to discover opportunities
  • Recap: What’s new with WebLogic on ODA?
  • Positioning and sales plays
  • Resources

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Tuesday Feb 25, 2014

WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance Downloads

WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance Downloads
WebLogic 12.1.2 image is available for the Oracle Database Appliance. For details and download please visit the OTN website.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Tuesday Feb 18, 2014

WebLogic Hackathon: Automated Provisioning using Puppet by Ronald van Luttikhuizen

This presentation accompanies a hands-on-lab session in which Puppet will be used to automatically provision Oracle WebLogic Server. Puppet is a tool to automate configuration management.

Together with Chef it's one of the more popular configuration management tools at the moment. Puppet allows you to describe the desired (to-be) state of your servers by declaring resources. These declarations can describe user accounts, security settings, packages, directories, files, executable statements, services, and so on.

Manifests are the files in which resource declarations are listed. Puppet periodically applies manifests by translating manifests into specific commands (catalogs) and executes those on the managed servers. Puppet is capable of inspecting the machines so it only applies those changes that are necessary. If a machine is already in the desired state Puppet will apply no changes.

Read also the post: Hands-on-lab material available for WebLogic provisioning using Puppet !!

Get the presentation here.


WebLogic Partner Community

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Tuesday Oct 29, 2013

WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance updates

  • WLS on Oracle Database Appliance 2.6 is now available 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 - OTN.
  • Webcast: Oracle WebLogic Server on ODA Updates and HA Demo - Replay.
  • Data Sheet.
  • Whitepaper: Oracle WebLogic Server on ODA - PDF.
  • Installation templates for WebLogic on the latest ODA hardware, X3-2 now available - OTN.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Monday Sep 16, 2013

Virtualised Oracle Database Appliance POC – #4 WebLogic… We have lift-off! By Simon Haslam

To readers who have been following my ODA posts this one will come as a bit of a surprise, given that my last post (#3) was about physical networking: I now have Oracle Traffic Director and a 4 node WebLogic cluster up and running! Note: this work was actually done about 3 weeks ago but I have only just found time to write about it.Simon's hand searching for buttons to press on the ODA X3-2

What's happening is that my customer's DBAs have been beavering away on Dom1 (aka "ODA Base") creating a RAC database and importing data, whereas I am focussed on WebLogic. Therefore once Dom1 was running we've been able to work in parallel. There are actually some really interesting aspects about running databases on the virtualised ODA too, but to be honest I was too excited by this WebLogic stuff to blog in a more logical order!

Deploying WebLogic to Your ODA

So, once you have your ODA installed, booting from the virtual image, ODA Base loaded and configured, you're ready to install WebLogic. To do this firstly you need to  scp the special "WebLogic for ODA" VM template to both hosts - currently you can choose either 11g (10.3.6) or 12c (12.1.1) - and, if you're going to run Oracle Traffic Director (OTD), the special OTD template (11.1.1.7) too.You also need to scp and extract the clumsily-named "Oracle WebLogic Server Configuration for ODA Utility" (wls_configurator_...tar.gz) onto ODA Base (apparently this should be on Node 0, presumably because it does operations on the second node and assumes that will be Node 1). The next step is to log into ODA Base, set the DISPLAY to point to an X server on your desktop, and run up this WLS Config Utility (as I'll call it). Note you can actually pre-create the configuration elsewhere but you still end up running the utility interactively anyway as far as I could tell (albeit the pre-created configuration file would pre-fill fields).

WebLogic Server Configuration for Oracle Database Appliance - WebLogic Domain InformationAs Frances Zhao points out on the official WebLogic blog, there aren't many forms to fill in for the WLS Config Utility. As this was a Proof of Concept I had asked for a block of generic DNS names/IP addresses to play with. I wanted to build a 4 node WLS cluster (this is what the customer has at the moment for their main application) so I actually needed 9 IP addresses (3 for OTD, 1 for the application VIP, 1 for the admin server and 4 for managed servers). Following from the Welcome screen (which allows you to load a previously created configuration file) you start entering details of your required environment: Read the full article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Friday Sep 13, 2013

The WebLogic on ODA Good News: Installation templates for X3-2 available

The installation templates for WebLogic on the latest ODA hardware, X3-2, now available on OTN.

Any questions - please contact frances.zhao@oracle.com oralexandra.huff@oracle.com.

Don't forget - we are highly looking for WebLogic on ODA customer success stories - interested please contact alexandra.huff@oracle.com.

Who is running WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance #ODA? We want to invite you for a special #OOW reception! Contact us #WebLogicCommunity @wlscommunity.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

Virtualised Oracle Database Appliance POC – #3 Physical Networking by Simon Haslam

The Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) is one of Oracle's "Engineered Systems" - an implication of which is that you can't change the hardware components at all. Therefore it is important that its specification provided meets your requirements, and will do so for the expected lifespan of the system.

I briefly described the networking for ODA X3-2 in an earlier earlier post. In this one I will discuss the ODA's physical networking in more detail, how you configure it, and its suitability for my customer in this particular Proof of Concept (POC).

ODA X3-2 Physical Networking

Each of the servers in the ODA X3-2 has the following ethernet connections:

  • 4 on-board 10GbE (10Gbase-T copper) ports - for connection to your own networks
  • a dual port PCI card (10Gbase-T copper) - for the internal connection between virtual machines (e.g. RAC interconnect, WebLogic administration channel)
  • a Fast Ethernet (100base-T) port for the ILOM management controller

These are configured within the ODA (virtualised ODA 2.6.0 image) as shown in the diagram below (which is taken from p14 of the Oracle X3-2 and X3-2L System Architecture white paper but with my own annotations added): Read the full article here.

Simon Haslam ‏@simon_haslam Result for @JulianDyke's CPU test on Virtualised ODA X3-2 (E5-2690, 11.2.0.3.0 RAC, OL 5.7 UEK): 9.09s.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Virtualised Oracle Database Appliance POC – #3 Physical Networking by Simon Haslam

The Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) is one of Oracle's "Engineered Systems" - an implication of which is that you can't change the hardware components at all. Therefore it is important that its specification provided meets your requirements, and will do so for the expected lifespan of the system.

I briefly described the networking for ODA X3-2 in an earlier earlier post. In this one I will discuss the ODA's physical networking in more detail, how you configure it, and its suitability for my customer in this particular Proof of Concept (POC).

ODA X3-2 Physical Networking

Each of the servers in the ODA X3-2 has the following ethernet connections:

  • 4 on-board 10GbE (10Gbase-T copper) ports - for connection to your own networks
  • a dual port PCI card (10Gbase-T copper) - for the internal connection between virtual machines (e.g. RAC interconnect, WebLogic administration channel)
  • a Fast Ethernet (100base-T) port for the ILOM management controller

These are configured within the ODA (virtualised ODA 2.6.0 image) as shown in the diagram below (which is taken from p14 of the Oracle X3-2 and X3-2L System Architecture white paper but with my own annotations added): Read the full article here.

Simon Haslam ‏@simon_haslam Result for @JulianDyke's CPU test on Virtualised ODA X3-2 (E5-2690, 11.2.0.3.0 RAC, OL 5.7 UEK): 9.09s.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Monday Aug 26, 2013

Virtualised Oracle Database Appliance POC – #2 Unboxing & Connecting Up by Simon Haslam (in Hardware)

Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 comes in 3 large boxesWell, just like all the best blog posts about new mobile phone models, today I bring you "Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 unboxing!" Whilst technically this may not be the most interesting article in my ODA POC series, we'll see what subtleties we can tease out from just what's on the outside.

On the right you will see the ODA packaging or, more precisely, the 3 separate boxes the it arrives in. In case you needed any further convincing following my previous posts, the X3-2 is two servers and one (or two) array(s) loosely connected together, not a kind of 2 node blade system like the ODA v1.

Looking on the bright side, at least no individual box is all that heavy - compare this to something like an HP blade enclosure which is 10U tall and certainly not a one person job to install in a rack without a fancy fork lift. Read the full article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Friday Aug 23, 2013

Oracle Database Appliance With WebLogic Server (ODA X3-2) by Jacco H. Landlust

On April 3rd the new ODA X3-2 was released. Sadly I was sick from April 1st  on so I had to miss the launch, and I was so well prepared… others had the scoop. Anyway, as an administrator that not only manages databases this release is pretty exciting since it brings not only virtualization but also WebLogic to ODA. This would make ODA a pretty good appliance for some of my customers, so I did a little investigation in the product.

This blogpost is the first result of that investigation. My main focus was the WebLogic part of the box. The questions that arose with me were either answered by documentation or by product management. Obviously that doesn’t guarantee that I understood everything correct :)I left out references to documentation on  purpose, it would be smart for everyone interested in the product to hit the documentation thoroughly.

The most import slide in the slide deck I received about the ODA launch is this.

It does some pretty smart claims that can be verified easily. The three simplified statements call for some clarification. Here’s what my questions were, plus the answers I found:

Simplified provisioning / install

Q: Can we test any of this without ODA?
A: No, although I was able to get a virtual ODA in a virtual box environment. This is by no means supported and requires altering of the images that Oracle sends you. Read the full article here.

oda-slide

WebLogic Partner Community

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Thursday Jul 18, 2013

Virtualised Oracle Database Appliance Proof of Concept – #1 Planning by Simon Haslam

Next week I start working with a customer on a Proof of Concept (POC) on the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) and they have kindly given me permission to share the (non-confidential) findings on my blog. I have been following the Virtualised ODA pretty closely since last autumn, particularly with regards to running WebLogic and other Oracle Fusion Middleware products on it, so this promises to be pretty interesting.

ODAMy responsibility on the POC is for the WebLogic and Fusion Middleware side, so I probably would not be spending much time on the initial provisioning or how RAC runs on the ODA Base VMs. However, as part of planning my work, I've been thinking about the aspects of WebLogic on ODA we need to understand more about:

· Connectivity: the public network on the ODA is provided via 4 onboard 10Gbase-T (copper) ports (as compared to the ODA 1 which had PCI cards with SFP+ slots). This is fine for connecting into our public network as that's 1GbE, but we have an additional 10GbE network for storage (see below) which is uses active Twinax cables with built-in SFP+ so have had to get hold of a 10GBase-T switch module. This has been more of a problem for those, such as @fuadar, only using fibre for their 10GbE network since there's no obvious upgrade option for an ODA to provide SFP+.

· Installation/configuration: we know that the WLS ODA "Configurator" can build a single cluster domain with various resources but how much can that be changed afterwards? Our current build system is already highly automated - scripted product installations, patches, domain creation, security configuration and so on. Maybe this is atypical for Oracle's target market for the "WLS on ODA", but using the ODA WLS configuration tool will mean work to our existing deployment approach. The trick will be not to break Oracle's "one button patching", though I'm not sure how much investigation of this is possible given that I don't think there are any WLS patches yet.

· Real-world application considerations: Whilst we have a custom Java EE application running on WebLogic, the production virtual machines also run Oracle HTTP Server (OHS), Identity Management, Oracle Reports plus some other bits and bobs. It will be interesting to see whether it's better for us to use a provisioned VM template approach, or just have a standard VM (maybe even kick-started) and then install into them as we do now (the latter will be the easiest).

· Load balancing: currently we have a single OHS VM and use VMware to protect it (nice and simple). I would like to see how easy it is to replace the web tier for a real application by Oracle Traffic Director and whether it justifies the WL Suite licences it will use up.

· Storage: the local storage provided to the VMs, carved from the mirrored 600GB 10k SAS-2 disk pair in each server, seems to me to be virtualised ODA's biggest weakness. Even though middle tiers are, in theory, light on I/O, in practice applications often put more stress on their storage than you expect, whether that's due to excessive logging, for transactions or in this case, PDF output reports. Fortunately Oracle supports the use of external NFS storage with ODA, and we've got some NetApps, so I'll certainly be trying that out (hence the 10GbE requirement above).

· Admin Server high availability: in production we have the Admin Servers on their own separate management VM and, like OHS, protect them from hardware failure using vMotion. We'll need an alternative approach with ODA.

· Performance: the ODA X3-2 has E5-2690 SandyBridge-EP processors running at 2.9GHz, a generation newer than we have in production. Currently the POC has no objective to reduce cores used so I do not anticipate processor performance issues. We ran full load testing on the production environment prior to deployment but getting that set up can be quite resource intensive (especially during holiday season) so we may just have to do some sanity tests.

· Management: I would like to see how easily ODA hooks into an existing EM 12c, and what visibility it gives us across the stack down to hardware. Read the article here.

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Tuesday Jun 11, 2013

WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance by Frances Zhao

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? ODA

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

Oracle WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 2.5 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 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.

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

  • Overview of WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance - OTN
  • Webcast: Introduction to Oracle WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance - Replay
  • Webcast: Technical Specifications of Oracle WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance - Replay
  • Partnercast: Oracle Database Appliance WebLogic Server - Replay

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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