Monday Apr 22, 2013

Connect Oracle VDI with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Oracle is a datacenter company that can provide a complete integrated stack of hardware and software. The integrated stack gives a lot of benefits for Oracle's customers: engineered solutions, pre-tested, faster rollouts, one support contract and one-stop-shop. But due to its open architecture an Oracle solution is also flexible for customers who prefers to integrate with components from other vendors.

Oracle VDI is a perfect example of this strategy, it includes all necessary Oracle software to deploy a secure, server-hosted full VDI desktop over the network. At the same time the Oracle VDI product integrates with Desktop Virtualisation products from other vendors such as VMware or Citrix. It may even run the different vendor solutions in one, combined Oracle VDI deployment. No vendor lock-in !

Since Oracle VDI 3.5 there is another typical Oracle component integrated in the Oracle Desktop Virtualisation stack: Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12cR2. The main objective of the integration is to make systems monitoring easier for the Administrator. With the Enterprise Manager Plug-in for Oracle VDI, the entire installation can be monitored from a central management console.

For a customer demonstration, to demo the capabilities of the plug-in, I installed and configured my own OEM 12c server and connected it to my Oracle VDI 3.5 demo system. I would like to share my very positive experiences of the installation and configuration.

Basic installation

I installed OEM 12c on a bare-metal Oracle Linux server with 8GB of RAM. For the basic setup I used this excellent article from the Oracle-Base website:

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Installation on Oracle Linux 5.8 and 6.3

This is a how-to guide to install all the components before you can start working with the Oracle VDI plug-in. The installation steps that I used for my server are:

I was impressed by these how-to guides, it made my installation much more simpler and after a few hours I had a running OEM 12c server.

Oracle VDI plug-in Installation

The Oracle VDI plug-in is a software component that you have to import and deploy on the OEM 12c server. There is no need to touch your running Oracle VDI production servers to install additional agents. In the below figure you see the architecture diagram from the Oracle VDI documentation.

Oracle VDI - OEM 12c Plug-in Architecture

The Management Agent in the OEM 12c server establishes a secure connection to the Oracle VDI center agent. This is the component that controls your Oracle VDI hosts to provide a reliable and highly available service. 

I followed the steps in chapter two from the Oracle VDI Plug-in User's Guide (PDF) to import, deploy and configure the connection to my Oracle VDI demo server:

  • Importing and Deploying the Plug-in; this is done through the OEM 12c Management Console (browser GUI);
  • Configuring Oracle VDI Targets; these are the VDI specific targets for monitoring your Oracle VDI servers;
  • Provide Oracle VDI Center properties; here you provide your Oracle VDI server address and credentials for your Oracle VDI Administrator account.

Oracle VDI is using a delegated administration mechanism where you can setup multiple users as Administrator with different privileges. For OEM 12c it is recommended to setup a dedicated Administrator account with only company monitor and provider monitor privileges.

Start Monitoring Oracle VDI Targets

After you have deployed and configured the Oracle VDI plug-in for OEM 12c you need to give the system some time to collect all the data from your Oracle VDI Center. The default collection interval is 15 minutes, but after 24 hours you have a full picture. Future configuration changes in your Oracle VDI Center are picked-up automatically with an default interval of 24 hours.

To use the OEM 12c Management console you connect with the web-browser to the following address: http://<your-OEM12c-server:7803>/em. After you logged on as OEM 12c Administrator, you can navigate to the Oracle VDI Targets as shown in the diagram below.

OEM 12c Management Console for Oracle VDI Targets

OEM 12c is collecting metrics with an interval of 15 minutes for most of the targets and an interval of 5 minutes for critical data. The data is visualized in the Oracle Enterprise Manager Console for recently collected data as well as for historical data. This allows you to identify possible bottlenecks and take pro-active or corrective actions.

OEM 12c is also used to report on critical events that require attention of the Administrator. For all of the metrics thresholds can be defined  which triggers events when the threshold is crossed.

Summary

Enterprise-scale deployments need Enterprise-scale tools, right? This is a phrase from Fatbloke's Blog article "What's new in Oracle VDI 3.5". True!

But at the same time, I had a lot of fun installing, configuring and testing the integration in my tiny demo server installation. So, when you are running a smaller Oracle VDI deployment with just a few servers (for 250 VMs for example) I'm sure you will be very happy with OEM 12c and the Oracle VDI plug-in to monitor your environment.

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I post here hands-on examples which I have used in my Oracle VDI Desktop Virtualization projects at customers and partners.

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