Friday Jan 24, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Maximizing Oracle Linux Performance

Happy Friday!

Our spotlight this week is on a fantastic screencast video by Oracle's Greg Marsden. In the video, Greg covers a number of specific tips to help maximize performance of your Oracle Linux deployment. Give it a watch by clicking below:

See you next week!

-Chris 

Friday Jan 03, 2014

Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight - January 3, 2014

Happy Friday and happy new year! Our spotlight this week is on an excellent webcast from our archives titled "Oracle Linux Management Demystified." It describes the integration between Oracle Linux and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, allowing you to do provisioning, patching, monitoring, and administration all from a unified console. This is an on-demand webcast, so it will play as soon as you enter your details. Enjoy and we'll see you next week!

View the webcast

-Chris 

Friday Dec 20, 2013

Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight - December 20, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone! Just a quick note, this will be the last Friday Spotlight of 2013, we'll pick up again in the new year.

Our spotlight this week is on our excellent new screencast series, covering a variety of topics on Oracle Linux.

(click to jump to Oracle Media Network to play) 

Managing Your Oracle Linux Environment 


Oracle Linux: Maximize Performance, Minimize Downtime 


Oracle Linux – Reliability, Availability, and Scalability


We'll see you in the new year!

-Chris 

Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12cR1 Agent Preinstall RPM for Oracle Linux 6 has been released

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Agent Preinstall RPM installs the required software packages and prepares the operating system for Oracle Enterprise Manager Agent deployment. It has recently been made available for both x86_64 and i386 platforms from the ol6_addons repository on the public-yum server and the Unbreakable Linux Network.

The Oracle Management Agent (Management Agent) is one of the core components of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control that is deployed on each monitored host. It is responsible for managing and maintaining the hosts and its targets and communicating that information to the middle-tier Oracle Management Service. The Management Agent also allows you to monitor non-Oracle components (such as third-party databases) through management plug-ins and connectors.

Once the Oracle Enterprise Manager agent is deployed on an operating system, the operating system and applications running on that host can be monitored and manged using the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c console.

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Agent Preinstall package installs the required software packages and sets system parameters necessary to deploy and run the Oracle Enterprise Manager Agent on Oracle Linux 6. In particular, it performs the following tasks to enable the agent deployment:

  • Installs the required packages like sudo or openssh (via RPM package dependencies which will be resolved by the yum package manager)
  • Creates and configures the oracle user and group accounts
  • Modifies the user hard and soft file limits set in /etc/security/limits.d/
  • Installs sudo configuration templates

This RPM may be installed on an existing physical or virtual Oracle Linux 6 system, or may be included in an Oracle VM Template or Oracle Virtual Assembly. Note that the actual agent installation requires 2 GB of free space and 512 MB swap space, and therefore the system image should be configured to meet these requirements.

A. Installing on physical or virtual Linux machine

  1. Subscribe the system to the Oracle Linux 6 Addons channel in ULN (ol6_addons on public-yum).
  2. Install the RPM via yum:
    yum install oracle-em-agent-12cR1-preinstall
  3. Check that there is at least 2 GB free disk space in the agent install location (e.g. by using "df -h") and at least 512 MB of swap space (e.g. by running "swapon -s")

B. Including the RPM in the system.img disk image inside of an Oracle Virtual Assembly

  1. Place System.img and vm.cfg in the same folder
  2. As the root user, run the following command:
    # modifyjeos -f System.img -a <addrpm.lst> -m <rpm_directory_for_the_os>
    (where addrpm.lst contains the list of additional RPMs to install)
  3. Check if the root partition has a minimum of 2 GB of free disk space. If not, use the following command to increase the free space:
    # modifyjeos -f System.img -T <total new amount of disk space in MB>
  4. Check if there is a minimum of 512 MB of swap space. If not, use the following command to increase the swap space;
    # modifyjeos -f System.img -S <total new amount of swap space in MB>

An Oracle Enterprise Manager installation can be configured such that the Enterprise Manager agent is pushed on the Guest VMs automatically when the Oracle Virtual Assembly is deployed.

To configure the Oracle Management Server (OMS) for automatic agent push, update the following properties in the <OMS_HOME>/sysman/prov/agentpush/agentpush.properties file:

oracle.sysman.prov.agentpush.defaultPdpSetting=/bin/su - %RUNAS% -c "%COMMAND%"
oracle.sysman.prov.agentpush.enablePty=true

Monday Apr 29, 2013

Installing Spacewalk to manage Oracle Linux

Spacewalk is a popular Linux management tool that can be used to manage several operating systems, including the Red Hat Enterprise Linux derivatives like CentOS and Scientific Linux, Debian and even Solaris.

While the Spacewalk installation instructions are very thorough, here is a brief guide to installing Spacewalk on Oracle Linux 6. It is possible to install on Oracle Linux 5, but it requires a lot more manual intervention as the Unbreakable Linux Network packages installed on Oracle Linux 5 conflict with some Spacewalk packages. You should use both the Spacewalk installation instructions in combination with this guide to install Spacewalk.

Pre-requisites

This guide assumes that you are familiar with the Oracle Linux 6 installation process, as well as basic system administration tasks, including registering with the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) or configuring YUM to use public-yum.oracle.com.  The Oracle Linux 6 Administrator's Solutions Guide provides more information on these tasks.

Oracle Linux 6 Installation

This guide uses Oracle Linux 6.4 (x86_64). Download Oracle Linux 6.4 from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud or one of the mirrors. You can choose either to do a "Basic Server" install, or a "Minimal" install. I recommend performing a "Basic Server" install as this provides basic system administration tools. If you are using a previous version of Oracle Linux 6, please ensure it is either registered with the Unbreakable Linux Network or is configured to use public-yum.oracle.com for updates.

You should assign both a fixed hostname as well as a fixed IP address for your Spacewalk server. The hostname should be resolvable via DNS on your network.

Pre-Requisite Installation

Binary packages of Spacewalk are available through YUM repositories at http://yum.spacewalkproject.org/. To use this repository, install the spacewalk-repo package with commands below:

# rpm -Uvh http://yum.spacewalkproject.org/1.9/RHEL/6/x86_64/spacewalk-repo-1.9-1.el6.noarch.rpm

Additional repositories and packages

For Spacewalk on Oracle Linux 6, additional dependencies are needed from JPackage. Please configure the following yum repository before beginning your Spacewalk installation:

cat > /etc/yum.repos.d/jpackage-generic.repo << EOF
[jpackage-generic]
name=JPackage generic
#baseurl=http://mirrors.dotsrc.org/pub/jpackage/5.0/generic/free/
mirrorlist=http://www.jpackage.org/mirrorlist.php?dist=generic&type=free&release=5.0
enabled=1
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=http://www.jpackage.org/jpackage.asc
EOF 

We specifically want the 5.0 generic directory in the above URL.

Spacewalk requires additional dependencies from the Enterprise Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository. To enable this repository run the following command:

# rpm -Uvh http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm 

Database Server

Spacewalk supports either Oracle Database 10g or higher or PostgreSQL 8.4 or higher to store its primary data. While Oracle Database XE is supported by Spacewalk, it is not supported by Oracle. Therefore, we recommend either using an existing Oracle Database Standard or Enterprise Edition server or using PostgreSQL. 

Oracle Database Setup

Installation of an Oracle Database server is outside the scope of this walk-through. We assume you have an existing Oracle Database server installed and available. The spacewalk user needs to have the CONNECT and RESOURCE roles as well as the ALTER SESSION, CREATE SYNONYM,CREATE TABLE and CREATE VIEW system privileges.

You will also need to make the following code change on your Spacewalk server, after you have installed the Spacewalk software:

# diff -u /etc/sysconfig/rhn/oracle/main.sql-20110504 /etc/sysconfig/rhn/oracle/main.sql
--- main.sql-20110504	2011-04-08 21:40:53.000000000 +0200
+++ main.sql	2011-05-04 14:20:24.000000000 +0200
@@ -38940,6 +38940,12 @@
 
 
 -- Source: data/common/rhnPackageSyncBlacklist.sql
+
+select lookup_package_name('gpg-pubkey') from dual;
+
+select lookup_package_name('rhns-ca-cert') from dual;
+
+select lookup_package_name('rhn-org-trusted-ssl-cert') from dual;
     
 insert into rhnPackageSyncBlacklist (package_name_id)
 	values (lookup_package_name('gpg-pubkey')); 

Without this change, the Spacewalk installation fails with the following error in /var/log/rhn/populate_db.log:

ORA-02291: integrity constraint (SPACEWALK.RHN_PACKAGESYNCBL_PNID_FK) violated - parent key not found 

The Oracle Instant Client packages can be installed from ULN by subscribing to the Oracle Software channel and running the following command:

# yum install oracle-instantclient11.2-basic oracle-instantclient11.2-sqlplus

If you are not subscribed to ULN, you can download the Oracle Instant Client RPMs from the Oracle Technology Network and install them manually.

Once the Oracle Instant Client has been installed, you need to add the library path to ldconfig:

# echo /usr/lib/oracle/11.2/client64/lib > /etc/ld.so.conf.d/oracle-instantclient11.2-basic.conf
# ldconfig

Spacewalk Installation

If you want to use the PostgreSQL embedded backend on the same server as Spacewalk:

# yum install spacewalk-setup-embedded-postgresql 
# yum install spacewalk-postgresql

If you want to use an Oracle Database backend:

# yum install spacewalk-oracle 

The rest of this guide uses an Oracle Database backend. Don't forget to make the code change listed under Oracle Database Setup before continuing!

The Spacewalk binary packages are missing a dependency on the geronimo-jta-1.1-api RPM, so install it manually:

# yum install geronimo-jta-1.1-api

Configuring Spacewalk

Your Spacewalk server should have a resolvable FQDN such as 'hostname.domain.com'. If the installer complains that the hostname is not the FQDN, do not use the --skip-fqdn-test flag to skip.

If you installed spacewalk-setup-embedded-postgresql above, run

# spacewalk-setup --disconnected

If you set up the database server manually (either on the same or on a different machine), run

# spacewalk-setup --disconnected --external-db

A sample interactive install:

 # spacewalk-setup --disconnected --external-db
* Setting up Oracle environment.
* Setting up database.
** Database: Setting up database connection for Oracle backend.
Database service name (SID)? orcl.domain.com
Database hostname [localhost]? spacewalk-db.domain.com
Username? spacewalk
Password?
** Database: Testing database connection.
** Database: Populating database.
*** Progress: ############################################################
* Setting up users and groups.
** GPG: Initializing GPG and importing key.
** GPG: Creating /root/.gnupg directory
You must enter an email address.
Admin Email Address? your.email@domain.com
* Performing initial configuration.
* Activating Spacewalk.
** Loading Spacewalk Certificate.
** Verifying certificate locally.
** Activating Spacewalk.
* Enabling Monitoring.
* Configuring apache SSL virtual host.
Should setup configure apache's default ssl server for you (saves original ssl.conf) [Y]?
** /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf has been backed up to ssl.conf-swsave
* Configuring tomcat.
** /etc/sysconfig//tomcat6 has been backed up to tomcat6-swsave
** /etc/tomcat6//server.xml has been backed up to server.xml-swsave
** /etc/tomcat6//web.xml has been backed up to web.xml-swsave
* Configuring jabberd.
* Creating SSL certificates.
CA certificate password?
Re-enter CA certificate password?
Organization? Oracle Demo
Organization Unit [spacewalk.domain.com]?
Email Address [your.email@domain.com]?
City? Redwood Shores
State? CA
Country code (Examples: "US", "JP", "IN", or type "?" to see a list)? US
** SSL: Generating CA certificate.
** SSL: Deploying CA certificate.
** SSL: Generating server certificate.
** SSL: Storing SSL certificates.
* Deploying configuration files.
* Update configuration in database.
* Setting up Cobbler..
Processing /etc/cobbler/modules.conf
`/etc/cobbler/modules.conf' -> `/etc/cobbler/modules.conf-swsave'
Processing /etc/cobbler/settings
`/etc/cobbler/settings' -> `/etc/cobbler/settings-swsave'
cobblerd does not appear to be running/accessible
Cobbler requires tftp and xinetd services be turned on for PXE provisioning functionality. Enable these services [Y]?
cobblerd does not appear to be running/accessible
* Restarting services.
Installation complete.
Visit https://spacewalk.domain.com to create the Spacewalk administrator account.

Once your install is complete, visit https://spacewalk.domain.com to create the initial Spacewalk administrator account. Documentation on using Spacewalk can be found on the Spacewalk wiki

Oracle Linux YUM Repositories

The following channels on public-yum.oracle.com  contain errata information that can be ingested by Spacewalk: 

  • ol5_i386_latest
  • ol5_x86_64_latest
  • ol6_i386_latest
  • ol6_x86_64_latest

Each repository stores ALL packages released since the first Generally Available (GA) release of each version. This means the storage requirements for each of these repositories is between 20GB-30GB each. Care should be taken to ensure you have enough disk space to mirror each repository.

Adding the Oracle Linux 6 (x86_64) Latest channel

Goto Channels -> Manage Software Channels -> Manage Repositories. Click "create new repository" and provide the following configuration:

  • Repository Label: External yum repo - Oracle Linux 6 (x86_64)
  • Repository URL: http://public-yum.oracle.com/repo/OracleLinux/OL6/latest/x86_64/

Then click "create repository".

After creating the repository, you need to link it to one or more Software Channels. Goto: Channels -> Manage Software Channels. Click "create new channel" and provide the following configuration:

  • Channel Name: Oracle Linux 6 (x86_64)
  • Channel Label: oraclelinux6-x86_64
  • Architecture: x86_64
  • Yum Repository Checksum Type: sha256
  • Channel Summary: Oracle Linux 6 (x86_64)
Then click "create channel". Once the channel is created, click the "Repositories" tab that appears and select the "External yum repo - Oracle Linux 6 x86_64" repository and click "Update Repositories". Once you've enabled the repository, click the "Sync" tab and either click the "Sync Now" button to trigger an immediate sync, or schedule a sync. Note that the initial repository sync can take 2-3 days to complete for each repository.

Tuesday Nov 13, 2012

OS Analytics with Oracle Enterprise Manager (by Eran Steiner)

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center provides a feature called "OS Analytics". This feature allows you to get a better understanding of how the Operating System is being utilized. You can research the historical usage as well as real time data. This post will show how you can benefit from OS Analytics and how it works behind the scenes.

The recording of our call to discuss this blog is available here:

https://oracleconferencing.webex.com/oracleconferencing/ldr.php?AT=pb&SP=MC&rID=71517797&rKey=4ec9d4a3508564b3

Download the presentation here

See also:

Blog about Alert Monitoring and Problem Notification

Blog about Using Operational Profiles to Install Packages and other content


Here is quick summary of what you can do with OS Analytics in Ops Center:

  • View historical charts and real time value of CPU, memory, network and disk utilization
  • Find the top CPU and Memory processes in real time or at a certain historical day
  • Determine proper monitoring thresholds based on historical data
  • Drill down into a process details

Where to start

To start with OS Analytics, choose the OS asset in the tree and click the Analytics tab.

You can see the CPU utilization, Memory utilization and Network utilization, along with the current real time top 5 processes in each category (click the image to see a larger version):


 In the above screen, you can click each of the top 5 processes to see a more detailed view of that process. Here is an example of one of the processes:


One of the cool things is that you can see the process tree for this process along with some port binding and open file descriptors.

Next, click the "Processes" tab to see real time information of all the processes on the machine:


An interesting column is the "Target" column. If you configured Ops Center to work with Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, then the two products will talk to each other and Ops Center will display the correlated target from Cloud Control in this table. If you are only using Ops Center - this column will remain empty.




The "Threshold" tab is particularly helpful - you can view historical trends of different monitored values and based on the graph - determine what the monitoring values should be:

You can ask Ops Center to suggest monitoring levels based on the historical values or you can set your own. The different colors in the graph represent the current set levels: Red for critical, Yellow for warning and Blue for Information, allowing you to quickly see how they're positioned against real data.

It's important to note that when looking at longer periods, Ops Center smooths out the data and uses averages. So when looking at values such as CPU Usage, try shorter time frames which are more detailed, such as one hour or one day.


Applying new monitoring values

When first applying new values to monitored attributes - a popup will come up asking if it's OK to get you out of the current Monitoring Policy. This is OK if you want to either have custom monitoring for a specific machine, or if you want to use this current machine as a "Gold image" and extract a Monitoring Policy from it. You can later apply the new Monitoring Policy to other machines and also set it as a default Monitoring Profile.

Once you're done with applying the different monitoring values, you can review and change them in the "Monitoring" tab. You can also click the "Extract a Monitoring Policy" in the actions pane on the right to save all the new values to a new Monitoring Policy, which can then be found under "Plan Management" -> "Monitoring Policies".


Visiting the past

Under the "History" tab you can "go back in time". This is very helpful when you know that a machine was busy a few hours ago (perhaps in the middle of the night?), but you were not around to take a look at it in real time. Here's a view into yesterday's data on one of the machines:


You can see an interesting CPU spike happening at around 3:30 am along with some memory use. In the bottom table you can see the top 5 CPU and Memory consumers at the requested time. Very quickly you can see that this spike is related to the Solaris 11 IPS repository synchronization process using the "pkgrecv" command.

The "time machine" doesn't stop here - you can also view historical data to determine which of the zones was the busiest at a given time:


Under the hood

The data collected is stored on each of the agents under /var/opt/sun/xvm/analytics/historical/

  • An "os.zip" file exists for the main OS. Inside you will find many small text files, named after the Epoch time stamp in which they were taken
  • If you have any zones, there will be a file called "guests.zip" containing the same small files for all the zones, as well as a folder with the name of the zone along with "os.zip" in it
  • If this is the Enterprise Controller or the Proxy Controller, you will have folders called "proxy" and "sat" in which you will find the "os.zip" for that controller

The actual script collecting the data can be viewed for debugging purposes as well:

  • On Linux, the location is: /opt/sun/xvmoc/private/os_analytics/collect

If you would like to redirect all the standard error into a file for debugging, touch the following file and the output will go into it:

# touch /tmp/.collect.stderr  

The temporary data is collected under /var/opt/sun/xvm/analytics/.collectdb until it is zipped.

If you would like to review the properties for the Analytics, you can view those per each agent in /opt/sun/n1gc/lib/XVM.properties. Find the section "Analytics configurable properties for OS and VSC" to view the Analytics specific values.

I hope you find this helpful! Please post questions in the comments below.

Eran Steiner


Thursday Feb 02, 2012

New article on OTN: How I Used CGroups to Manage System Resources In Oracle Linux 6

We just published a new article on OTN: How I Used Cgroups to Manage System Resource in Oracle Linux 6 by Ginny Henningsen.

In this article, Ginny explains how to use the Linux kernel's built-in resource control mechanisms (called "Cgroups") to manage the allocation of CPUs and memory to processes and how to configure disk I/O throttling for certain groups of processes. Cgroups is a very powerful and flexible feature of the Linux kernel. We hope you will find this article useful!

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