Can Your Organization Pass a Database Administrator Challenge?

January 18, 2022 | 6 minute read
Steve Lemme
Senior Principal Product Manager
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Figure 1:  Enterprise Manager Fundamentals Database Lifecycle Management Hands-on Lab

 

First, let’s take a quick quiz to see if this challenge is for you. Read through the list of questions and, for every question, answer TRUE or FALSE. (keep count of how many times you answer TRUE or FALSE)

  1. My business does not use any Oracle Databases? (This challenge is not for you)
  2. We have more than 20 Oracle Databases 
  3. Only Oracle Autonomous Databases are used in our business 
  4. Our Oracle Databases never change, the data in them never changes 
  5. When an Oracle Database changes, it’s immediately known, along with what changed 
  6. When a new Oracle Database is deployed, change and configuration of it is tracked and compared to other databases for any differences or drift over time 
  7. Should there be an audit, we can demonstrate how we adhere to Industry Standards and Best Practices for Oracle Databases 
  8. Downtime is no issue for our business, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to upgrade or migrate Oracle Databases 
  9. Whether provisioning or patching Oracle single instance, multitenant, or RAC databases we have that automated 
  10. We have set up Database as a Service so others can perform their work without having to wait for a DBA 

If you found yourself answering FALSE for several of the questions, fear not, you have not yet failed this challenge.

While such Database Lifecycle Management activities are essential, we have heard of others who had good intentions of accomplishing them someday. The problem is that the longer you wait, it’s costing your business and increasing the risks of a database outage or, worse, a security breach.

To help you with this challenge, we’ve created an on-demand workshop environment on Oracle LiveLabs with hands-on lab exercises built by Oracle Database and Enterprise Manager experts. Performing those exercises on the Oracle Cloud eliminates the problem of having to find the resources and spending the time to build out your own environment. It’s a guided lab so you don’t have to read all the documentation first. Here’s a link for reference if you would like to learn all the capabilities you can perform for the challenge.

To get started, access the Oracle Enterprise Manager Fundamentals workshop directly or by searching for it by name, from the Oracle LiveLabs catalog.

Figure 2:  Automated Enterprise Manager Environment Deployment 

Lab Environment Setup

First challenge is no problem, just follow the documented steps and in approximately 20 minutes you have configured a running environment accessible from your browser. 

Figure 3:  Automated Enterprise Manager Environment Deployment

Multitenant Database Lifecycle Management 

Your challenge could be that others are always waiting for a DBA to do something and you need to set-up self-service abilities in your existing environment to speed up or offload repeating requests. Enterprise Manager Database Lifecycle Management (DBLM) can help with that challenge. 

Enterprise Manager DBLM comes with out-of-box deployment procedures to provision, clone, and patch various configurations of the Oracle Database. It provides new capabilities that simplify support for the entire lifecycle of pluggable databases, including migration, plugging, and unplugging from the self-service portal, PDB patching and upgrades, and PDB relocation to new platforms.

In Lab 4, learn how to overcome that challenge by enabling users to request Pluggable Database (PDB) for testing, and perform other lifecycle operations like Clone, Plug/Unplug, in a self-service manner. It is easy to provision, resize, and even delete a PDB while utilizing the self-service interface. View the video on how to standardize and automate Oracle Databases on Exadata.

Figure 4:  Tasks to Set up Pluggable Database as a Service

Patching Oracle Databases

Too often the challenge of the DBA is that they are only able to manage a specific number of databases manually (a number that varies by factors like the environment, amount of data, complexity, etc...). Often the business is unable to hire more DBAs, resulting in essential administration work being delayed or not being performed at all. 

Such a challenge can be addressed using advanced technology and automation capabilities designed into every Oracle Database. For example, you don’t have to increase risks or compromise your databases just because database patching and upgrades are taking up most of the DBAs time. 

In Lab 6, you experience how Oracle Enterprise Manager DBLM Fleet Maintenance enables DBAs and others to automate patching, upgrade, and maintenance of a wide range of Oracle Database standard and complex configurations. It helps you tackle an all-to-common business challenge, “How can we keep all our Oracle Databases patched, secured, and protected?” View the video to see how automated patching improves security of Oracle Databases. 

Figure 5: Tasks to Automate Patching of Databases

Migration of Oracle Databases

Another challenge we hear is “How can we check, upgrade, and keep all our Oracle Databases running at the same release level? Or how can we upgrade a database with  limited downtime? This can be especially difficult when each deployment could be on a unique platform, release or patch level.

The good news is that you don’t have to write a script or use some separate 3rd party tool.  This capability is built in your Oracle Databases. Using the Enterprise Manager DBLM software standardization capability allows you to analyze the Oracle Datbases you have. Then, when you’ve identified any databases not at the proper version, you can automate their upgrade and do it in a manner to minimize any downtime.

In Lab 7, you overcome challenges by analyzing databases using the software standardization functionality to locate and understand the different database configurations prevailing in an environment. The standard functionality identifies configuration pollution and provides a recommendation to standardize the environment and reduce the number of configurations required. View the video on migrating Oracle Databases with minimal downtime.

Figure 6:  Tasks to Automate Database Upgrade to Oracle Database 19c

Configuration Management and Compliance of Oracle Databases

No matter what you try and do, changes to databases or hosts configuration properties inevitably happen. One little change could impact an application or system in a negative way, or worse, compromise your databases security.

With Enterprise Manager Database Lifecycle Management configuration management capabilities, you can automate continuous monitoring and tracking of configuration drift against a reference configuration for Oracle Databases in your data center and cloud. Using the DBLM compliance management functionality, you can run automated, continuous security checks based on industry standards and best practices, such as the Center for Internet Security (CIS), Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

Lab 8 helps you solve the challenge of “what changed and where?” and shows you a way you can attest to an auditor that you are managing your databases to industry-standard best practices. View the video on securing Oracle Database configurations to Center for Internet Security (CIS) and other industry standards.

Figure 7:  Tasks to Automate Database Configuration Management and Compliance

To Learn More About Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Lifecycle Management Capabilities

Check the resources listed. 
•   Demonstration of Enterprise Manager Database Migration Workbench
•   See how Comcast solved their business challenges
•   Enterprise Manager demo series playlist on YouTube
•   Enterprise Manager blog series
•   Product page on Oracle.com
•   Product Documentation

Steve Lemme

Senior Principal Product Manager


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