I’m excited to announce the availability of Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c Release 5. This release has been in the making for over a year and represents major breakthroughs in monitoring and management automation for Oracle environments. Read on to learn what we are doing to help you manage migrations with confidence, lower complexity and risk in managing large hybrid cloud deployments of Oracle technologies and finally, how we do all this by offering extensibility, increased industry compliance standards support, and platform resiliency.
Oracle Enterprise Manager is our flagship management product for the Oracle stack. Tens of thousands of customers rely on Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM) every day for their business and mission-critical applications. Many of our customers and partners have offered support for this release, some of whom provided quotes that I am happy to share below. So many of our customers use EM because of its core capabilities that can’t be found in any other technology for managing Oracle infrastructure across various deployment models.
Figure 1: Oracle Enterprise Manager Core Capabilities
Hyper-scale observability & management
A single EM deployment can scale up to monitor and manage millions of targets. In addition to hyper scalability, EM provides smart features and approaches to manage at scale including Dynamic Groups, Monitoring Templates, Event Compression, and more. You cannot practically manage large environments without utilizing such features.
Integrated full-stack management
EM provides in-depth management of the entire Oracle stack. We call this application-to-SSD monitoring and management – covering packaged applications such as E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and Siebel, custom-built apps, middle tier/application server, database, operating system, and virtual infrastructure.
EM also provides comprehensive support for Oracle Engineered Systems such as Oracle Exadata, Oracle Database Appliance (ODA), Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance (ZDLRA), and Private Cloud Appliance (PCA)—supporting integrated hardware and software monitoring and management of these systems as well as lifecycle management of the databases running on Exadata, PCA, and ODA.
Leader in data management
EM has been a companion for the Oracle Database, middle-tier and applications for over 20 years. As Oracle Database has evolved and improved over that time, EM has kept pace, with features that enable DBAs to take advantage of those advancements and help manage growing environments in a scalable fashion. This may help explain why Oracle is ranked # 1 for 2019 market share in the worldwide database development and management tools software market share report. [source IDC “Market Analysis Perspective: Worldwide Database Management Systems and Database Development and Management Tools, 2020” By Carl Olofson, September 2020]
Figure 2: Systems Management Requirements are Evolving
Now, I’d like to share some thoughts on the key challenges we hear from our customers and how they influenced our efforts to bring the next release of EM to you.
Many companies are managing on-premises environments with one set of tools and practices, and cloud environments in a completely different way, creating operations and data silos, which are inefficient and error-prone. Furthermore, it’s difficult to operate at cloud speed if you must perform a lot of manual operations. The more you can automate your operations, the better the quality-of-service you can provide. Finally, customers are constantly streamlining IT tooling and information sharing. There is a need to facilitate coexistence, interoperability, and integration across different classes of tooling.
Here’s how EM is addressing these challenges.
Figure 3: Announcing Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c Release 5
Let’s look at each of these areas in detail.
Figure 4: Oracle Enterprise Manager Hybrid Cloud Management
Hybrid Cloud Management
With this new release of Enterprise Manager, you can manage targets running anywhere, on-premises, or in the cloud. You don’t need to learn or deploy new tools. Your existing best practices, scripts and jobs can be applied to cloud resources just like on-premises resources. Specifically, for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) resources, EM understands the native cloud APIs for management operations and leverages them to provide a seamless experience.
If you are using or are considering using Oracle Cloud databases such as Autonomous Database, Exadata Cloud Service, or Exadata Cloud@Customer, you can comprehensively manage them with EM.
EM Hybrid Database-as-a-Service now supports self-service provisioning across on-premises and OCI (VM, Baremetal, Exadata Cloud Service and Exadata Cloud@Customer) and provides self-service governance tools for effective cloud resource utilization.
Here is how the $2.8B Link Group uses EM to manage their mixed IT environments.
“We depend on Enterprise Manager to optimize our Oracle Database and Exadata fleet, which provides a mission-critical shared service for all of our most important business functions. The latest release of Enterprise Manager will allow us to adopt newer innovations around operational analytics and deep performance insights, and to continue our use of Enterprise Manager’s comprehensive management automation capabilities across our entire hybrid database fleet.”
Jones John, Database Services Manager, Technology & Operations Division at Link Group
Database Migration Workbench provides a complete platform to help DBAs move databases between on-premises and OCI. This workbench helps you plan the migration, performs pre-requisite checks to make sure that migration can occur successfully, then selects the best data movement technology (e.g., Data Pump, RMAN, etc.) based on the source and target choices, such as database versions and type of database, and then executes the actual migration plan. Post-migration, it uses the SQL Performance Analyzer feature to make sure your workload on the migrated platform will perform well. If any performance regressions are detected, it reports them to you so that you can take proactive actions before opening up the database for end-users.
$76B IT solutions provider Dell Technologies, one of our early adopters, is excited about the upcoming release.
“We use Oracle Enterprise Manager to monitor our entire fleet of the Oracle stack comprising thousands of databases and applications environments from a central unified console. We are excited about the latest innovations and modernization in the Oracle Enterprise Manager platform including near-zero downtime patching and migration automation capabilities. We look forward to adopting the new release of Oracle Enterprise Manager.”
Pan Lee Chin, Advisor, IT Infrastructure, Dell Technologies
And as IDC’s leading Data Management Software analyst, Carl Olofson, recently said:
“In today’s hybrid IT environment, it’s crucial that customers not only be able to monitor and manage Oracle Databases across both cloud and on-premises, but also seamlessly to move them. The new Migration Workbench in Oracle Enterprise Manager should help customers make the database transition to cloud easier and with very high levels of confidence.”
Carl Olofson, Research Vice President, Data Management Software, IDC
Another new feature we are introducing, OCI bridge, you can think of that as a connection from EM to Oracle Cloud. The bridge is used to copy data from the EM repository and the targets it manages to the designated OCI object store, where it is accessed by OCI services such as Logging Analytics and Operations Insights. These cloud services provide deep analytics and identify data patterns which can help prevent outages and achieve better application and database performance regardless of where your databases are deployed.
Figure 5: Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Automation
We are also delivering several new capabilities in this release that will enable better operations automation.
Smart Event Compression automatically groups multiple separate but related events into a single incident. For example, when a host goes down, the resulting availability events on the host and all targets on that host will be automatically compressed into a single incident. Working with a smaller set of actionable incidents enables Operations teams to better triage, respond, and manage incidents.
Dynamic Runbooks speed up incident resolution by encapsulating subject matter expertise for diagnosing and resolving incidents into actionable Runbook procedures in EM. In this release, these teams can create these runbook procedures directly inside EM. This allows teams to encapsulate in EM their operational expertise in diagnosing and resolving incidents. When an incident is raised, IT Ops teams have easy access to the appropriate runbook, and can quickly execute the specified procedures. These procedures can dynamically invoke metric charts or execute an SQL or an OS command. This promotes more consistent and faster incident response times, and reduces overall Mean-Time-To-Recovery (MTTR).
In the area of performance management, we have a very cool new feature called Automatic Workload Analysis. With this feature, EM constantly compares the current database performance with the baseline workload, and any divergence from this baseline is highlighted on the database home page. Examples of changes highlighted include:
If you are a DBA with interest in performance, this feature will be of immense interest to you.
CTDI is a global leader in wireless and wireline engineering, repair, and logistics market. They discuss how they maintain their high service levels.
“We manage 100+ mission-critical databases with 100 branches globally. Enterprise Manager is essential for us to sustain high service levels with features like automatic workload analysis to identify potential issues. We’re excited about adding EM 13.5 alerting and giving self-serve DevOps visibility to our branches like the new performance hub blocking sessions dashboard.”
Naveen Garg, Senior Manager, Database Administration, CTDI
EM Warehouse provides continuous extraction of EM data and uses the OCI bridge to put it in Autonomous Data Warehouse running on OCI. You can now use rich EM metrics, configuration, and target data to do all kinds of analysis without impacting EM’s core function—monitoring and management. On this data lake, you can do performance trending, you can do capacity planning, and any other kind of analysis using your tool of choice.
The robust EM Compliance Framework has been enhanced with new out-of-the-box compliance standards for CIS for Oracle Database 19c and STIG/PCI-DSS/HIPAA for OL7 / OL8. In addition, you can leverage the Oracle Autonomous Health Framework (AHF) compliance standards to secure all engineered system components.
A new Fleet Maintenance UI eases patching and upgrading of the entire database fleet. It provides intelligent tracking of every step of the upgrade and/or patch operation with actionable insights to diagnose issues. A built-in library of prerequisite checks improves the reliability and diagnosability of the upgrade process.
Wipro, the $39B global IT Services leader, uses EM to increase DBA productivity and lower risk.
"We rely on Oracle Enterprise Manager to manage our Oracle fleet of Applications and Database environments in the cloud and on-premises across the globe. We are able to improve the productivity of our DBAs by more than 80% leveraging EM. We are excited about the new EM release that will further simplify and lower the risk in our journey migrating workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with improved visibility and better quality-of-service."
Bidhin Desai, Global Practice Head, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Apps DBA Services, Wipro
In the area of extensibility, we have a number of noteworthy improvements as well.
Figure 6: Oracle Enterprise Manager Extensibility
You can now use REST APIs to execute management operations in EM. This means that now you can invoke EM from your automation tools of choice, such as Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Terraform, and others, by directly calling REST APIs in place of EM CLI commands and perform management operations such as agent deployment, creation of new targets, alert configuration, job execution, credentials management, and more.
Figure 7: Oracle Enterprise Manager Federation
Some large organizations have multiple EM deployments to support different parts of their business. EM Federation provides a single pane-of-glass for monitoring and incident management across all EM sites. Data silos created by multiple EMs are now a thing of the past by aggregating availability and monitoring information from these EM sites.
Figure 8: Oracle Enterprise Manager Custom Dashboards and Grafana Integration
The new EM dashboard feature offers native capability for users to build custom dashboards with out-of-the-box widgets for data visualization. There is also an EM App for Grafana, to create Grafana dashboards from EM data. We have added new dashboards for WebLogic Server and JVM Performance Reports.
In closing, I’d like to say a few words about a critical aspect of this release that makes everything else possible. It’s the effort we put into making EM’s platform resilient. We have made several advancements in this area.
Optimized EM Patching and Upgrades
Near-Zero Downtime Patching is a new feature in this release. With the monthly Release Update (RU) model from the EM 13.4 version, staying up with the latest RU on EM can be challenging due to the downtime to apply the patch. Meeting SLAs for planned maintenance and losing sight of critical targets was always a question when moving to the latest RU. In this release, we are introducing Near-Zero Downtime Patching for applying RUs on EM while it is up and running, thereby ensuring that critical monitoring and alerting is mostly available during planned maintenance. You should see up to a 90% reduction in downtime during EM patching with this enhancement.
Figure 9: Oracle Enterprise Manager Resilient Platform
Here’s AT&T, the $220B telecommunications and media leader, discussing its use of EM:
“Enterprise Manager’s architecture supports stringent HA/DR which enables us to manage all our 16,000+ Oracle Databases without interruption. The new capabilities in Enterprise Manager, including near-zero downtime patching and self-monitoring, we believe can further improve the resiliency for monitoring our databases.”
Adam Craig, Technical Operations and Vendor Manager, AT&T
Flexible Deployment Options with High Availability
We started supporting EM on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure over a year ago. This blog outlines the steps for deploying and running your EM instance on OCI. Now with the new release, we have introduced OCI HA support to make EM resilient on OCI for monitoring cloud databases/applications and leveraging the OCI tools to make the EM site available during disaster scenarios.
Here is how Cerner, the $23B healthcare IT leader, manages its mission-critical databases:
“Our team supports 4,500 Oracle databases, 1,200 of which are mission-critical clusters. Enterprise Manager is our tier 1 service to monitor all instances. The new near-zero downtime patching and agent system patch will help us keep current on patches and enhance security, our highest priority.”
Nick Vargo, Lead Production Owner, Cerner
Enhanced Self-Monitoring and Diagnostics
A number of new enhancements improve the self-diagnostics capabilities of EM and provide proactive health monitoring of the various EM subsystems.
We have new Job Diagnostics dashboards to drill down into the performance and real-time status of the jobs running in or blocking the system. This includes what jobs are being retried, what job queues are blocked and why.
We have introduced compliance standards for maintaining the health of EM sites with sizing recommendations for Oracle Management Service (OMS) and EM Repository, based on workloads running on the system.
Lastly, we are making EM patching simpler and more agile. In this release, we have consolidated the distributed agent patches into one single system patch for an agent. The agent system patch will include the Agent Platform and Agent Plug-in patches in one bundle. The benefits of using Agent System Patch are reduced overhead and greater agility for staying current with agent patches.
This wraps up my overview of the new features in Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c Release 5. In the next few months with each new Release Update, you will get a chance to use these new capabilities. Here are some resources to help you get started.
Mughees oversees product management and strategy for MySQL Database, Enterprise Manager and OCI Observability & Management technologies. He has more than 20 years of experience developing some of the most widely used Oracle technologies like AWR, ASH, DB Replay, SQL Profiles, etc., and is currently working on MySQL Heatwave, the next generation of cloud databases. He holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Washington University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is currently senior vice president in Oracle’s Corporate Architecture organization.