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News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Linux operating system and upstream Linux kernel work

  • Wednesday, July 4, 2018

New Oracle Linux Home Target and Ksplice patching with Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c version 13.3

By: Simon Hayler | Senior Technical Product Manager

From Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c version 13.3, we have introduced a new Oracle Linux Home target which enables a simplified approach to the management of Oracle Linux in a single place including the ability to patch using Ksplice for both kernel and user space updates. We view Oracle Linux Home from the Cloud Menu via Enterprise > Cloud > Oracle Linux Home:

This new home page exclusively for Oracle Linux enables customers to perform management and monitoring of Oracle Linux hosts from a single page; main features include:

  • Oracle Linux host administration and management
  • Bare Metal Provisioning (BMP)
  • Oracle Linux OS Patching
  • Oracle Ksplice patching (provides the ability to update the Oracle Linux operating system kernel and key user space libraries while the OS is running, without a reboot or any interruption).
  • Add a new Oracle Linux host which directs the user to the Setup > Add Target > Add Targets Manually wizard to push an Oracle Enterprise Manager agent to the Oracle Linux host

This new target is also visible from the All Targets view:

We can navigate to Oracle Linux Home from either the Enterprise or All Targets page.

Oracle Linux Home has the following regions:

  • General
  • Overview of Incidents and Problems
  • Host flux
  • CPU
  • Memory
  • Linux patching compliance / summary
  • Ksplice patching compliance / summary

General

The general region shows a summary of the Oracle Linux hosts showing total numbers of each Oracle Linux version as well as their status.

From here we can click on the OS Version, which will show us in a tabular view all the Oracle Linux hosts matching that version. We have a similar view when we click on any of the total or Green arrow links. This view displays useful information such as CPU and Memory utilization as well as the total IO/second. These metrics have links which when clicked will take you to the metric monitoring area for that host. Other useful information such as Logical memory, CPU load, Network interface rate and swap utilization are available.

Overview of Incidents and Problems

From here, we can see any incidents or problems affecting our Oracle Linux hosts with respect to Availability, Performance, Security and others.

Host flux

When Oracle Linux hosts are retired or added, we show when these events occurred over a period of the last 30 days.

CPU

Here we display CPU utilization over a range of Oracle Linux hosts. In our example, we have 12 Oracle Linux hosts where 100% of them have a CPU utilization between 0 – 25%.

If we click on the CPU 0-25 bar we see a table view of each host with individual CPU utilization.

Memory

For memory, we take a similar approach to CPU. Our example shows 12 Oracle Linux hosts split with regard to their memory utilization.

If we click on the Memory, 25-50 bar we see a table view of each host with individual Memory utilization.

Oracle Linux Patching Status / Compliance

Here we show two regions: Oracle Linux Status and Compliance.

The status region shows us how many Oracle Linux hosts are compliant with respect to Oracle Linux packages present on the Oracle Linux host compared to packages within ULN based or custom patching groups.

We can change the Compliance region view between Hosts or Patching groups. Both views show any hosts or patching groups that have out of date or rogue packages. A rogue package is one that exists on the Oracle Linux host but not in ULN based or custom patching groups.

Ksplice for Oracle Linux

Ksplice updates the Oracle Linux operating system kernel and key user space libraries, whilst the operating system is running, without a reboot or interruption. To enable Oracle Enterprise Manager Ksplice management all Oracle Linux Hosts must have an Oracle Enterprise Manager agent installed and configured with Ksplice software. For further details, refer to the Ksplice portal and user guide.

Ksplice Configuration metrics are collected on every monitored Oracle Linux Host configured with Ksplice software (Uptrack v1.2.45 or Enhanced Ksplice v1.0.29 or higher). To access these Metrics: From the Host menu on a host's home page, select Configuration > Latest:

This view is for an offline Ksplice host, which is up to date for the kernel but out of date for user space:

This view is for an online Ksplice host, which is up to date for the kernel but out of date for user space:

The following metrics are collected:

  • Ksplice Version

This reports the version of the Ksplice software installed on the Target Host.

  • Ksplice Status

This reports if the host is configured to receive updates from the Ksplice Server or if it is Ksplice offline.

  • Base Kernel Version

This queries the stock (base) Kernel running in the system; this version does not represent the patched version, only the one that booted the system.

  • Effective Kernel Version

This reports the Effective Kernel, which means the Kernel version after the live Ksplice patching including security fixes and others. This also reports the last applied patch date.

  • Kernel Status

This reports if the kernel of the host is up to or out of date. A system is up to date if it has all available Ksplice patches installed.

  • Kernel Patches Installed

This reports the count of Ksplice packages installed on the system.

  • User Space Status

This reports if the host's User Space Ksplice aware packages are up to or out of date. If this in an offline Ksplice host then the status is based upon the local repositories configured on the system.

  • User Space Packages Installed

This reports the count of Ksplice user space packages installed on the system.

  • Kernel Installed Patches

This reports the installed Ksplice patches in the system.

  • Kernel Available Patches

This lists the available Ksplice patches for the kernel, in essence it list the patches that have not yet been installed. This information is gathered based on the Ksplice configuration. In the case of an online Ksplice host configured with Ksplice server, it gets that information from the ULN (Unbreakable Linux Network).

In the case of an offline Ksplice host, it reflects the data based on the uptrack-updates-`uname -r` package installed on the system.

  • User Space Installed Packages

This reports the Ksplice User Space packages installed on the system.

 

The Ksplice Patching region on the Oracle Linux Home Page uses the metrics collected detailed earlier to collate the Ksplice status over all the Ksplice enabled Oracle Linux Hosts monitored; it contains 2 sub regions:

  • Ksplice Status Region

This region shows the total number of Ksplice enabled Hosts; clicking on that number will open a list of Hosts.

The Ksplice Status Region contains two pie charts:

  • Kernel Status
  • User Space Status 

Each pie chart shows the status of all hosts. i.e. how many hosts are compliant, non-compliant or compliance unknown. Clicking on a particular compliance status will open another page with associated hosts.

  • Ksplice Summary Region.
    This region shows the table of hosts that lists the following
  • Ksplice Status (Online/Offline)
  • Kernel Status (Compliant/Non-Compliant/Compliance unknown)
  • User Space Status (Compliant/Non-Compliant/Compliance unknown)
  • Effective Kernel Version

By clicking on the number next to Ksplice Enabled Hosts (in screenshot above “10”), we are taken to the Ksplice Linux Hosts page, which contains a table displaying the following:

  • Ksplice Enabled Hosts with Ksplice Software
  • Ksplice software Version
  • Ksplice Status (Online – Green / Offline - Grey)
  • Kernel Status (Compliant/Non-Compliant/Compliance unknown-in case of unconfigured/offline systems)
  • Number of Kernel Installed Patches
  • User Space Status (Compliant/Non-Compliant/Compliance unknown-in case of unconfigured/offline systems)
  • Number of User space Installed Patches
  • Base Kernel Version
  • Effective Kernel Version. 

Notice from the above screenshot the last two hosts have a version of 1.2.47. This denotes that the Ksplice Enhanced client is not installed (uptrack client) and therefore no User space patches are listed.

By clicking on a host name in the Ksplice detail table, a new page will be opened. This page will list the installed Ksplice patches on that host. If this host is a Ksplice Online host, it will also list what updates are available; these updates can be added or removed from this page. 

If the host is a Ksplice Offline host, this page will show all the Ksplice kernel or user space patches available in the local repository. If the Ksplice Enhanced Client Software is installed on the host, then it will display list of intall/available user space patches. Otherwise, it will show message "Install/Upgrade/Configure Ksplice Enhanced Client Software". With a Ksplice Offline host, the Ksplice status will be a grey rather than a green dot which denotes an Online host. In addition, with an Offline host two dotted clocks are present for the Kernel and User space status as we can only determine the latest updates from the Offline repository, which may not be the latest from the ULN.

Notice the Refresh button; this refreshes the latest data to the dashboard. When clicked, there will be a dialogue box, which will take confirmation from user.

For any install or remove update you have to select and enter root privilege or credentials. We offer the use of the uptrack or the enhanced client features. Best practice is to install all updates; therefore, we follow this model even for the uptrack client to keep our deployment model consistent. The removal of updates for Kernel is possible by ID / individually, however for User Space it is only possible to remove all updates.

Summary

The Oracle Linux Home target brings Oracle Linux Management into a single page providing a simplified Oracle Linux management portal. The existing Oracle Linux Patching and Bare Metal Provisioning (BMP) frameworks can be accessed here from the Oracle Linux Home main menu:

For information on Oracle Linux refer here; for information on Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c 13.3 refer here.

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