Tuesday Jul 07, 2015

Snap Cloning Databases on Exadata using Enterprise Manager

Historically, Exadata has mostly been deployed for heavy, production workloads, leaving cheap commodity hardware and third-party storage to perform as infrastructure for Development and Testing. From the viewpoint of Enterprise Manager, we have seen customers clone production databases running on Exadata to secondary storage such as ZFS Storage Appliance or even third-party NAS or SAN for the purpose of testing. Customers mainly used RMAN (with or without Enterprise Manager) to clone the databases. While the master clones (often referred to as Test Master) could be further cloned via storage efficient snapshots, there were significant limitations to the approach.

  • First of all, the testing on non-like systems from Exadata (both compute and storage) often yielded erroneous inferences.
  • Second, both the compute and storage on existing Exadata racks often remained underutilized.

Most surveys establish that there are several Dev/Test copies for every Production database, and leaving Dev/Test outside the realm of Exadata can only yield partial usage of engineered systems.




Two recent advancements in Exadata break this existing barrier. First of all, the compute nodes on Exadata can now be virtualized. Consolidated environments can now use Oracle Virtual Machine (OVM) on X5-2, X4-2, X3-2, and X2-2 database servers to deliver higher levels of consolidation and isolation between workloads. The Virtual machines can be configured on demand with the appropriate number of Virtual CPUs (vCPUs) for iterative testing. Second, with Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) release 12.1.0.2 BP5 or later, space-efficient database snapshots can now be quickly created for test and development purposes on Exadata.

Snapshots start with a shared read-only copy of the production database (referred to as the Test Master in Enterprise Manager Parlance) that has been masked and/or cleansed of any sensitive information. Snapshot technology as deployed on Exadata is "allocate on first write", not copy on write. As changes are made, each snapshot writes the changed blocks to a sparse disk group. Multiple users can create independent snapshots from the same base database, therefore multiple test and development environments can share space while maintaining independent databases for each task. The base database must remain read-only during the usable lifespan of snapshots that are created from that base database. If there is a need to create another set of snapshots from a more recent copy of production data, a new read-only base from a production database needs to be created.




Enterprise Manager 12cR5 leverages the capabilities of Exadata to extend the Snap Clone capabilities for Exadata Sparse clones. As shown in this tutorial, with Snap Clone, Enterprise Manager can create a Test Master using either Dataguard technology or RMAN preceded by data masking. The Test Master can be created either on the same Exadata rack or on a different one. Once the Test Master has been created, snapshots can then be created on the sparse disk groups using the Deployment Procedures. The Deployment Procedures also automate the post-cloning discovery and promotion of the cloned targets, making them fully managed right from inception. Internal testing confirms that for cloning a Terabyte of database with a complete discovery of all its components takes less than a minute.

Enterprise Manager also helps DBAs track the lineage of the clones by providing a report on the production database, the Test Master and its clones. Enterprise Manager Snap Clone on Exadata supports both regular as well as pluggable databases with optional ACFS configuration. In addition to support for Exadata sparse clones, Snap Clone continues to support NAS (ZFS Storage Appliance and NetApp) and SAN (certain EMC storage arrays), in case users want to deploy these for their Dev-Test environments. 



Further Reading Resources

  • To learn more about Database as a Service visit the otn page.
  • Prerequisites for setting up Exadata Snapshots are documented here.
  • Watch the video, Snap Clone Multitenant (Pluggable Database) on Exadata here.
--Subhadeep Sengupta (@Subh_here)

Monday Jul 06, 2015

Understanding Plans, Profiles and Policies in Enterprise Manager Ops Center

Enterprise Manager Ops Center uses a combination of Plans and Profiles to maximize repeatability and reuse, while giving you the degree of flexibility to provision and update what you need to in your environment. The structured building block approach will allow reuse of many of the components instead of re-entering data each time, but does make the whole thing look very confusing until you understand the relationship between plans and profiles.

The sort activities covered by plans and profiles are:

  • OS provisioning and configuration
  • BIOS and Firmware updates
  • LDOM creation
  • Zone creation
  • Boot environment creation
  • Patching and adding packages (S10 and S11)
  • Configuration files and pre/post action scripts (S10)
  • Automation using operational plans (scripts)

The Building Blocks

So, firstly, let's look at the building blocks and see what is the difference between a Plan and a Profile.

Profiles

Profiles contain the configuration information required to perform an action eg:

  • OS Provisioning plan - contains type/architecture, resourcing, OS version, software group, language, timezone, password, filesystems, name services
  • OS configuration - contains type/architecture, agent/agentless, multipathing, network configuration
  • Discovery - contains asset type, tags, IP address, credentials, grouping
  • Logical Domains - contains type, name, CPU/Cores, memory, automatic recovery, storage, networks

These are just some examples of the 16 types of profiles available in the BUI. 

Plans

Plans are objects that can be run (executed) to make something happen. Plans contain profiles, other plans, policies, or a combination of these.

Policies

In addition to these profiles, there are update and monitoring policies and credentials that can also be created and edited here.

Examples

Let's look at a couple of examples from a process prospective and how they actually look in the BUI. A side note here is the screenshots have been taken from an Ops Center 12.2.2 environment. Ops Center 12.3.0 introduces new styles of icons, but the principles are still all the same.

Process overview

For example, if we were going to provision a bare metal physical sever, you would have 2 choices:

  • A simple provision that would just lay down an operating system
  • A complex provision that
    • could update the BIOS on an X86
    • lay down the OS
    • update (patch) the OS
    • Add applications
    • Run scripts
    • Apply a non default monitoring profile
    • etc.

You choose the one that best suits what you are trying to do.

Simple OS Provisioning

If you just wanted to get an OS laid down, basic network/filesystems configured and possibly an agent installed, you would choose a "Provision OS" plan

This plan contains 2 profiles, an "OS Provisioning" profile and an "OS Configuration" profile. These profiles contain the answers to the same questions that would have been asked if you provisioned the server manually. A point to remember: it is required that you create your profiles (answering the questions that the wizard presents) before they are available to be added to a plan.

In the BUI it looks like this:

Complex OS provisioning

This plan must have the same 2 plans that the simple approach did, but has the option to add many other plans to be able to patch the deployed OS (Update OS, Update software), add software (Install, Operational plans), and further configure the OS/Application using scripts (Pre-install, Post-install, Operational plans)

In the BUI it looks like this:

The steps (profiles) you choose will be determined by what you want to achieve and if you are provisioning Solaris 10/Linux or Solaris11. 

Duplicating steps

In addition, most of these optional steps can be duplicated to allow you to execute more than one profile. To do this, add your first profile for that step, then select (highlight) that step and if it is available, the copy icon (with 1, 2 shown on it) will become active.

 Click that icon and the step will be duplicated allowing you to run more than one profile.


This makes the whole operation much more flexible, as you could have an update profile for your OS , one for web servers and one for databases. So if this plan was to build a web server, your plan would contain both the OS update profile and the web server update profile, avoiding the need to have the OS patches in 2 profiles.

 Other examples

 Another example of this would be if you wanted to build and LDOM or if you wanted to build an LDOM and deploy an OS into it (complex or simple), you would choose the appropriate plan.

Building an LDOM

Building an LDOM requires a "Create Logical Domain" plan

which only has a single step, which is a "Logical Domain" profile.

Building an LDOM and provisioning an OS

You can build the LDOM and provision the OS into it in a single action by creating a "Configure and Install Logical Domains" plan

which contains two steps, which is a "Logical Domain" profile and an "Install Server Profile"

Summary

By now, hopefully, the pattern has become clear. Plans and profiles are just the building blocks that allow you to deploy your system in the way you want. Each of the components are modular, so they can be re-used as much as possible and make it easier to maintain as you have fewer places you need to change when you want to change your configurations. There are many other types of plans offered by Ops Center that will create zones , build M-series physical domains and deploy OVM for X86 virtual machines, individually or combined with OS deployment, but they all follow the same basic structure. While how to do this is all laid out in the online documentaion, my best advice is to get yourself some test systems and try it out. There is often no substitute for having actually done it.

Regards,

Rodney Lindner


    Wednesday Jun 10, 2015

    New Enterprise Manager Release Allows Customers to Manage Their Hybrid Cloud from a Single Interface

    Oracle is today announcing Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 5, which simplifies the journey to the cloud.  For the first time, you will be able to manage your hybrid cloud as one, from a single pane of glass.

    According to a recent Computerworld survey, cloud consumers are struggling with security issues, integration headaches and performance concerns in public and hybrid cloud environments.

    The latest release of Oracle Enterprise Manager addresses these concerns through new enhancements that manage, migrate, test and deploy applications and databases across hybrid clouds, with 100% reuse of existing management tools and practices.  These enhancements will provide centralized visibility and control to Oracle customers on their cloud journey, while helping to ensure that their existing company-wide standards are applied across the estate.  The following set of hybrid cloud features is now available for those using Oracle Database and Oracle Java Cloud Services:

    • Workload portability & secure, bi-directional cloning: Replication of application artifacts and data across the hybrid estate with automated workload migration
    • Quality of service management: deep, expert performance management, diagnostics, tuning, leveraging the full breadth of Oracle’s extensive best practices for optimizing our stack.
    • Lifecycle and Cloud Management: automated patching and rapid provisioning of database and middleware with self-service access for agility.
    • Data governance & configuration compliance controls:  Configuration and compliance management, data masking, compliance frameworks and rich notifications for control.

    Clone database to Oracle Cloud with the click of a single button
    Migrate on-premises IT assets to Oracle Cloud, or from Oracle Cloud to on-premises, with a single click

    A simple, secure deployment architecture

    This rich functionality is exposed through an extremely simple deployment architecture.  Administrators will  install the Oracle Enterprise Manager Hybrid Cloud Gateway to manage and encrypt all required communication between their existing on-premises Enterprise Manager and the Oracle Cloud Platform...and that’s it!  With no additional network reconfiguration, Oracle customers can immediately begin to manage their hybrid estate as if it were one.

    Customers, partners and analysts welcome Oracle’s hybrid cloud management approach

    "e-DBA, an Oracle Platinum Partner and customer, has seen the benefits Oracle Enterprise Manager brings to our clients regardless of the size and complexity of their estate, which is why we also use it internally,” said Phil Brown, Global Lead for Enterprise Management Technologies, e-DBA.  “Reusing our existing skills will accelerate adoption of the Oracle Cloud Platform since our hybrid cloud will be a natural extension of our existing estate, all seamlessly managed as one." 

    “As Bridge Consulting has expanded our Oracle footprint to include Oracle Cloud Platform, we have recognized the importance of centralized management control over our entire hybrid estate,” said Marco Bettini, Co-founder and CTO of Bridge Consulting.  “The new Oracle Enterprise Manager capabilities are exactly what we need to ensure our hybrid cloud can be managed and consumed as one single environment, and we are especially glad we can leverage our existing best practices and knowledge across the entirety of our hybrid estate.” 

    “Our customers have consistently told us that they want to treat their hybrid cloud as a single unit, with workload portability as well as consistent governance across the entire estate,” said Dan Koloski, Senior Director of Product Management, Systems and Cloud Management, Oracle.  “The latest release of Oracle Enterprise Manager provides customers the ability to lift-and-shift applications from on-premises to cloud and from cloud to on-premises, while leveraging all of the rich quality of service and lifecycle management capabilities they use today.  We are excited to enable a hybrid cloud that truly functions as an extension of an on-premises data center.”   

    “IDC predicts that the majority of IT organizations will adopt a hybrid cloud strategy in the next five years.  For these companies, a key success factor is the ability to consistently support workload monitoring, management and portability across on premises IT and public cloud services,” said Mary Johnston Turner, Research Vice President, IDC.  “Oracle customers who are evaluating a hybrid cloud strategy spanning Oracle on premises and public cloud databases, web services, backup services and development resources will be well served to consider the new Enterprise Manager hybrid cloud management capabilities.”

    Demonstration

    One of the most appealing aspects of this solution is that it is so simple to deploy and operate

    Clear benefits

    The value of Oracle Enterprise Manager has been empirically demonstrated by numerous studies from Crimson Consulting, Pique Solutions, Forrester and IDC.  Some of the recorded benefits are:

    Clear benefits Oracle Enterprise Manager

    Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c release 5 will help you simplify your journey to cloud by managing your hybrid estate as one.  A LIVE webcast with more information and Q&A will be aired on June 25, 2015.  Please register here to learn how to overcome the challenges involved with managing IT environments where public- and private clouds and on-premises infrastructure can thrive as one 

    Resources:  

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    "THE PREVIOUS IS INTENDED TO OUTLINE OUR GENERAL PRODUCT DIRECTION. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY, AND MAY NOT BE INCORPORATED INTO ANY CONTRACT. IT IS NOT A COMMITMENT TO DELIVER ANY MATERIAL, CODE, OR FUNCTIONALITY, AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON IN MAKING PURCHASING DECISIONS. THE DEVELOPMENT, RELEASE, AND TIMING OF ANY FEATURES OR FUNCTIONALITY DESCRIBED FOR ORACLE’S PRODUCTS REMAINS AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF ORACLE.”  

    Tuesday May 26, 2015

    Data to collect when logging a Service Request on Enterprise Manager Ops Center

    If you ever have to log a Service Request (SR) on your Enterprise Manager Ops Center instance, the question often arises as to what data you should include with the SR. Including the right information when you log the SR will greatly reduce your Time To Resolution (TTR).

    So, what data should you add to the SR? That will depend on what type of issue you are experiencing.

    Basic Information for All SR's

    While the My Oracle Support (MOS) portal will help by asking you relevent questions, here is a list of things to think about while answering them:

    1. A clear problem description - Tell us about what you were attempting to do when you encountered the issue, what host(s) were involved and what error message you saw. You would be surprised how many SR's get logged with "It didn't work" or just the error message as the problem description without telling us what you were actually trying to do. 
    2. Time and date - Tell us the time and date you saw the issue. The log files are time stamped, so knowing the time the issue occurred (at least approximately) will reduce the extent of searching of the log files that will need to be done.
    3. Software Version - Always tell us what version of Enterprise Manager Ops Center you are using. To find out your version, look on your Ops Center BUI under [Administration] ==> [Enterprise Controller] and at the top of the middle panel (Summary Tab) will be listed the Enterprise Controller Version. Don't forget to include if there are any IDR's (Patches) that have been applied to your Enterprise Manager Ops Center instance.


    Additional Data to include with your SR

    The most common thing to include with your SR is an OCDoctor --collectlogs output (# /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs), but it will often depend on which part of the process Ops Center was at when the issue occurred. If your issue falls under multiple sections below, please supply the data from all relevant sections.

    It should be noted that all of the Ops Center logs will rollover over time and on a busy environment that may not be a long time. So, it is important to collect any log files as soon as possible after you have seen your issue or you should reproduce the issue just before collecting the logs.

    Browser User Interface (BUI) issues

    • Collect screen shots of what you are seeing in the browser
    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on your Enterprise Controller and collect the output file

    Job related issues (Job fails)

    • Provide the job number
    • Provide the full job logs
      • In the BUI, click through to the failed task on the job and then export the logs
      • Select the radio button for "Full Job Log" and save the job log
    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on your Enterprise Controller and collect the output file

    OS provisioning issues

    • Capture the full job log (as described above)
    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on the relevant Proxy Controller and collect the output file
    • Capture any console logs of either the physical server or, if deploying to LDOMs, capture /var/log/vtnds/[LDOM name]/console.log
    • If deploying to an LDOM, run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on the relevant CDOM and collect the output file

    Patching issues

    • Capture the full job log (as described above)
    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on the system being patched and collect the output file
    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on your Enterprise Controller and collect the output file

    Discovery issues

    • Capture the full job log (as described above)
    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on your Enterprise Controller and collect the output file
    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on the relevant Proxy Controller and collect the output file

    Agent deployment issues

    • Capture the agent install output and logfile (/var/tmp/agent_install, /var/scn/install/log)
    • Capture the agent configuration output and logfile (/var/tmp/agentadm.log)
    • If the agent has actually been installed, run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on the system you are installing the agent on and collect the output file
    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs on the relevant Proxy Controller and collect the output file

    Domain Model issues

    • Run # /var/opt/sun/xvm/OCDoctor/OCDoctor.sh --collectlogs -u [EC Master Admin User] on your Enterprise Controller and collect the output file
      • This will collect the domain model information as well as the normal output from OCDoctor log collect. Note:  this can take a long time to run
      • The [EC Master Admin User] is the user that you specified as part of the initial install. On some customer systems, this will be root but it does not have to be.

    Collecting the right information and providing it as part of the initial logging of the SR will make it easier for the engineer to analyze your issue and avoid a lot of unnecessary back and forth. Overall, it will get your issue resolved quicker. I hope this information will help you if you ever have to log a SR on Enterprise Manager Ops Center.

    Regards,

    Rodney Lindner






    Tuesday May 12, 2015

    Data Clone and Refresh (part 1)

    In mid January we released the latest version of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c, the 12cR4 Plugin Update.  This release included many enhancements in the cloud management space, making it the complete DBaaS automation solution.  The main areas of enhancement are:

    • Self Service Portal and Service Catalog, including add and remove standby capabilities, externalized database size and improved customization
    • Cloud Framework, with an improved self service portal, role and service type based access across all pages, and improved administration capabilities
    • Data Clone and Refresh, including an improved self service experience, admin flows for non-cloud cloning and refreshes, and additional storage certification
    • Fleet Maintenance, such as the ability to subscribe to database and grid infrastructure images, deploying them automatically to servers

    In this posting, I'll be focusing on the data clone enhancements.  My next post will focus on the refresh enhancements.

    Improved Self Service Experience

    Enterprise Manager ships with an out-of-box self-service portal that allows developers, testers, DBA's, and other self service users to log on and request various services. It also provides an administrative interface for DBA's to deliver one-off or special requests for services. These services include:

    • New single instance (SI) and Real Application Clusters (RAC) databases using pre-defined golden standards. This is ideal for developers asking for standard databases with or without data.
    • New SI and RAC databases along with Data Guard standby databases either within the same data-center or across different geographical regions. This is ideal for production and semi-production workloads that have high availability requirements. 
    • Schemas hosted in one or more databases, and provided as Schema-as-a-Service.
    • Pluggable databases that are hosted in one or more Oracle Database 12c Multitenant container databases provided as Pluggable Database as a Service. 
    • Database thin clones, using the Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone feature that leverages storage Copy-on-Write (CoW) technology on Oracle and non-Oracle storage. Snap Clone lets users, such as functional quality assurance testers, to create multiple copies of the database in minutes without consuming additional space, take private backups, and refresh data from the original source. Snap Clone supports cloning of databases on file and on Oracle Automatic Storage Management with block storage. 
    • Database full clones using RMAN backups or RMAN duplicates. This could be ideal for intense testing, such as database upgrades and performance testing on Exadata. 
    • All cloning services come integrated with masking, and ability to change configuration and software versions. 
    • Fleet maintenance allows administrators to patch and upgrade database software, with near zero or zero downtime. The subscription based model enables updates at scale, and across the entire cloud ecosystem thus significantly reducing the time required for maintenance activities. 
    Additionally, self service users can perform lifecycle operations like starting and stopping, checking the status, health monitoring, etc. on the requested databases and schemas. Provisioning can be done on both physical infrastructure using Deployment Procedures and on an Oracle VM virtualized server infrastructure using Virtual Assemblies and Virtual Templates. The portal provides access to a Service Catalog which lists various published service templates for standardized database configuration and versions. Users can review their past and outstanding requests, resource quotas, and current utilization as well as chargeback information for the databases and services they own. The portal also allows users to automatically backup their databases on a scheduled basis or take on demand backups. Users can restore the database to any of these backups. The self-service portal is the user's view into the cloud, thus it is designed to be easy to use and yet useful. The portal is also backed by both a command line interface and an API that can be used to request and manage cloud resources via scripts in lieu of the user interface.

    Admin Flows for Non-Cloud Cloning and Refreshes

    Often, people think of cloning as only important as a cloud operation, but  that’s not the only place that cloning can be important.  It’s ideal, for example, as a way to build environments for proofs of concept, test master creation, or indeed anywhere that you may need a one-off clone. With the Clone and Refresh functionality, you can clone from an existing snapshot of a database, or you can choose to clone to a particular point in time or SCN.  Not only that, you can integrate both masking and patching (for PSU’s) in this flow as well.  Once you have created a clone, you can then refresh it from the source later with a few clicks. And finally, once you’ve done cloning through the user interface, you might then decide to clone and refresh in a scripted manner, using the EM CLI verbs or REST API's that are provided for this.  You can even schedule the cloning through EM CLI to occur at a time that suits you.

    Now let’s look at the details of what can happen as part of this clone and refresh flow, based on the environment you can see in the image below:



    On the left hand side you can see our Production database.  In this example, this is an 11.2.0.4 database running in a 3 node RAC environment, with some RMAN backups already taken.  So what can I do with this database when I clone it?

    Firstly, I can mask sensitive data.  Generally, when you take a copy of your Production database to another environment, you want to mask some of the data in that database, such as credit card numbers, salary details and so on.  The admin flow allows you to apply a pre-defined masking format to your data as it is cloned, or indeed execute your own custom SQL scripts to change the data as you need to.

    Secondly, I can actually test patching as part of the flow.  In the example I’m showing here, I’m cloning my 11.2.0.4 Production database to an 11.2.0.4.2 test environment.

    Thirdly, I can change the configuration as part of the admin flow as well.  Again, in the example shown here we're moving from a 3 node RAC environment in Production to a single instance test environment.

    Finally, if my underlying storage supports copy on write technology, I can also take advantage of that and take a snap or thin clone of my Production environment, where blocks are only written to my test environment as they are changed in Production.  That means I can build a lot more snap clones and still require only a very small percentage of the storage of my Production environment.

    Additional Storage Certifications

    Earlier releases of the Enterprise Manager Snap Clone functionality provided two different solutions from a storage perspective.  If you already had either Oracle's Sun ZFS Storage Appliance or NetApp, you could create a vendor specific hardware solution.  If not, you could use either the Solaris ZFS File System or the CloneDB functionality provided sine Oracle Database 11g release 11.2.0.3.   More details on the EM12cR4 Snap Clone functionality is provided here.

    In the January plugin release, we added additional storage certification, so you can now also use an EMC SAN with ASM to create snap clones.  If you want more details on the Snap Clone and EMC solution, you can find details about it here.

    Further Information

    You can find more information on the material I've just covered in Part VII of the Cloud Administration Guide in the online documentation here.  You can also watch the screenwatch we recorded to show you the cloning process in action here.

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    Friday May 08, 2015

    Vote for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    Voting for the 2015 Database Trends and Applications (DBTA) Readers' Choice Awards is now open.

    In last year's DBTA Readers’ Choice Awards, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c won two awards for "Best Database Administration Solution" and "Best Database Performance Solution."

    This year Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c has been nominated again in the same two categories; Best Database Administration Solution and Best Database Performance Solution.

    Be sure to cast a vote for your favorite management tool, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

    The voting will close on May 22nd.

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    Tuesday Apr 28, 2015

    EM Compliance ‘Required Data Available’ flag – Understanding and Troubleshooting

    Overview

    Starting in release 12.1.0.3 of Enterprise Manager a new column was added to the top level Compliance Standard Results page named ‘Required Data Available’. This column is meant to convey whether the data required for proper compliance evaluation of all of the rules within the Compliance Standard for each associated target is available in the repository. If the value for a given target is ‘No’ then the compliance results for that target should not be considered valid. A value of ‘Yes’ indicates the required configuration data is being collected and results valid; at least from a data availability perspective.

    One challenge facing customers is the lack of understanding of the column and how to correct the cause of the ‘No’ status. The goal of this guide is to explain how this column’s value is derived and provide some tools to correct the situation.

    Read More


    Wednesday Apr 22, 2015

    Test Drive Oracle’s Application Platform as a Service Solution

    We've just launched a new set of workshops in several U.S. cities: Oracle Platform as a Service for Application Development.

    This follows the success of the Database as a Service workshop series (see previous blog entry). It’s another opportunity to test drive new Oracle Enterprise Manager capabilities, but it goes far beyond Enterprise Manager. This time we focus on Java development and testing in the private and public cloud, and the cloud operations needed to support them.

    So bring your laptop, connect to our live environment and try it for yourself!

    The day begins with an overview of APaaS benefits and the architectural choices for building your enterprise private or public cloud (or both). You then use step-by-step workbooks that guide you through creating an application platform / middleware cloud environment. The event is perfect for application developers, IT managers and anyone developing, testing and deploying Java applications.

    The time is evenly split between private and public cloud labs. These are the workbooks we’ll go through:

    • Middleware as a Service
    • SOA as a Service
    • Fusion Middleware Provisioning
    • Creating and Exploring Java Cloud Service
    • Building and Deploying an Application with Java Cloud Service
    • Managing Java Cloud Service Operations

    Looks interesting? Register for an event near you.

    Monday Apr 13, 2015

    New Enterprise Manager STIG Compliance Standards for Oracle Database 11gR2 Now Available

    Last Friday, Oracle released new Enterprise Manager compliance standards based on DISA’s Security Technical Information Guide ( STIG ) for Oracle Database 11.2g Version 1 Release 2. These standards are specifically for use with Oracle Database 11g Release 2, both single instance and RAC.

    This is actually the second compliance content update since February. The previous one included an update to the Oracle Database 11g STIG standard bringing support from Release 8 to 11.

    Read More

    Wednesday Apr 01, 2015

    New TimesTen Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager

    Co-contributor:  Simon Law, TimesTen Product Manager 

    Last Friday, Oracle released a new version 12.1.0.3 of TimesTen Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control. This is a landmark release with many new features for database administrators in the enterprise.

    Besides database performance and availability monitoring; the new plug-in offers administrators the ability to manage and administer their TimesTen instances and databases, such as starting and stopping TimesTen services, loading and unloading databases to and from memory, and scheduling backups and restoring databases. Additionally, users can monitor database and replication activities, memory and disk usages, workload performance statistics, and identify longest running and most executed SQL statements.

    International users will be pleased to know that the new TimesTen plug-in was globalized with its user interface translated to nine different languages, the same languages as available in Oracle Enterprise Manager.

    TimesTen plug-in 12.1.0.3.0 can be down-loaded through Enterprise Manager Self-Update.

    For more information, visit the Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange or the Oracle TechnologyNetork (OTN) TimesTen product page.



    Monday Mar 16, 2015

    Oracle Private Database Cloud: Defining Database Sizes in the Service Catalog

    Latest release of cloud plug-in (part of EM12c R4 Plug-in Update 1) brings the ability to define sizes for database cloud services (Schema and PDB services already support definition of size). Prior to this ability, customers were required to define a new template for each size – small, medium, large, etc. This will help in significantly reducing the number of templates required.

    So lets see how to use them.

    Read More

    Discover and Promote Oracle Homes as EM Targets

    Typically, Oracle Homes are discovered and promoted as targets automatically along with guided flows for addition of primary targets like databases, weblogic domains, etc, but there might be instances (not very often) where you need to discover the Homes standalone.

    There are two ways to do this – from the GUI and using EMCLI verbs.

    Read More

    Friday Mar 06, 2015

    Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor

    Recently, Oracle announced the general availability of the Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor—a new capability built into Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Tuning Pack. With this release, Oracle introduces new and extensive capabilities for managing Oracle Database In-Memory, an Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition option.

    Oracle Database In-Memory can be used to improve queries on a variety of OLTP and/or data warehouse operations. The In-Memory Advisor helps to optimize performance with recommendations to run analytics processing faster. It gives customers insight into the sizing of the workload and offers actionable recommendations for running workloads at peak performance. The Advisor analyzes workloads and related objects making specific recommendations to which objects would give you the greatest benefit and performance if they were placed In-Memory.

    Key Capabilities:

    • Assists with In-Memory size selection
    • Recommendations for tables, partitions and sub-partitions for a given In-Memory size
    • Uses workload and performance data to prioritize objects
    • Takes into account differences in disk and memory footprint, as well as compression ratios

    Actionable Recommendations

    • Workload based cost/benefit analysis
      • Cost: Offers estimated memory size with various compression options
      • Benefit: Offers estimated database time reduction metrics for workload processing
    • In-memory area population plan

    Reporting

    • Ability to vary In-Memory size to receive specific loading plan
    • Generates DDL scripts with all the tables/partitions/sub-partitions recommended
    • Top SQL benefits from any given configuration

    For more information, visit the Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor page on the Oracle Technology Network. You can download the In-Memory Advisor, via MOS note 1965343.1.


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    Friday Feb 27, 2015

    Oracle Private Database Cloud REST APIs

    While we spend a lot of time developing GUI for our private cloud features – like the self service portal, setup screens, etc, a large percentage of our customers use these features via our APIs, both EMCLI and REST based.

    Q: So why would anyone not use the out of the box cloud (self service) portal and use the APIs instead?

    A: Well, there are many reasons:

    1. You already have a custom cloud portal that you use to deploy non-Oracle products and now you would like Oracle products to be part of it
    2. You want cloud related actions to be part of a larger orchestration flow. For example, prior to provisioning, you want to integrate an approval workflow, and then post-provision update your asset management system with the service details.
    3. You want to integrate the cloud actions with our IT service desk or ticketing systems
    4. Integrate actions like cloning of databases (Snap Clone), or provisioning of middleware and applications with your continuous integration or devops process.

    Read More

    Oracle Enterprise Manager at Collaborate15

    April 12-16, 2015  •  Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas  •  #C15LV

    Since the release of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, the user community has responded to the significant increased adoption of this popular product by featuring deep-dive sessions and labs in various user conferences spread all over the globe. Nowhere is this more evident than at Collaborate, a very popular user conference being held this year in Las Vegas and comprised of the respected IOUG, OAUG and Quest User Groups.  Collaborate15 has almost 50 sessions devoted to Enterprise Manager topics ranging from Private Cloud Management, Oracle technology or “stack” management and Applications Management heavily sprinkled throughout all three groups. Although some of those sessions on new features and “inside baseball” capabilities are being delivered by Oracle folks, the majority are developed and presented by experienced Enterprise Manager customers and partners.

    Word is starting to get out. In fact, Kellyn Pot’Vin-Gorman just published an excellent blog, “Everything I Needed to Know about Enterprise Manager I Learned at Collaborate15” which takes you on a highly-descriptive day-by-day journey of all the sessions, hands-on labs, demos and SIG meetings which feature Oracle Enterprise Manager. Oracle has also published a handy guide for Collaborate15 attendees to help build their schedules, called “FocusOn Enterprise Manager at Collaborate15” which is duplicated below for your convenience.

    The Oracle Enterprise Manager product group will also have a solid contingent present through-out the conference so please stop by the Oracle Demogrounds area and check out the OEM demo kiosks. See you there!


    Sunday April 12 - Pre-Conference Day

    Title

    Time

    Room

    ID

    Primary Presenter

    Hands-on Lab: Everything I Needed to Know About Enterprise Manager I Learned at COLLABORATE

    9:00 AM start


    Kellyn Pot'Vin-Gorman, Oracle

    Courtney Llamas, Oracle

    Werner de Gruyter, Oracle

    Expanding Use of Your Enterprise Manager System

    3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

    South Seas I

    10188

    Brent Sloterbeek, Gentex

    Monday April 13 - Day One

    Title

    Time

    Room

    ID

    Primary Presenter

    Zero to Manageability in One Hour: Build a Solid Foundation for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

    Banyan B

    0

    Courtney Llamas, Oracle

    Architecting your own DBaaS in a Private Cloud with EM12c

    9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

    Reef F

    556

    Gustavo Antunez , Pythian

    The Best Oracle Database 12c Tuning Features

    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

    Palm B

    567

    Rich Niemiec, ROLTA

    Exadata Exachk and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: Keeping up with Exadata

    12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

    Banyan B

    746

    Bobby Curtis, Enkitec

    Application Management Suite Deep Dive - Patching and Cloning

    3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

    South Seas I

    10479

    Ravi Madabhushanam, Apps Associates

    The Power of the AWR Warehouse

    3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

    Banyan B

    112

    Kellyn Pot'Vin-Gorman, Oracle

    Panel: Wait, Before We Get the Project Underway, What Do You Think Database as a Service Is...

    3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

    Reef F

    598

    Steve Lemme, Oracle

    Erik Benner, Mythics

    Seth Miller, Collier IT

    Gustavo Antunez, Pythian

    The New Tool- Automatic Diagnostic Repository (ADR): How Can It Help You Troubleshoot Your Databases?

    3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

    Palm C

    241

    Michael Nelson, Northrop-Grumman

    Getting Started with Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c

    4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

    Banyan B

    856

    Leighton Nelson, World Wide Technology

    Stabilize Your Plans with SQL Plan Management Including 12c

    4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

    Palm B

    231

    Alfredo Krieg, Sherwin Williams Company

    Top Weblogic Administration Tasks You Can Automate Now

    4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

    Breakers H

    10506

    Mrityunjay Kant, AST Corporation

    Welcome Reception

    Enterprise Manager Demos:

    • Total Cloud Control with Oracle Enterprise Manager (Technology Area)
    • Applications Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager (Applications Area)

    5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

    Exhibit Hall - Oracle Demogrounds

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Team

    Tuesday April 14 - Day Two

    Title

    Time

    Room

    ID

    Primary Presenter

    Enterprise Manager Demos:

    • Total Cloud Control with Oracle Enterprise Manager (Technology Area)
    • Applications Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager (Applications Area)

    9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

    Exhibit Hall - Oracle Demogrounds

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Team

    Protect Your Identities: Managing User Access Using Oracle Identity and Access Management With Bonus Tuning Tips

    9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

    Banyan C

    100

    Ken Ramey, Centroid Systems

    Upgrading to an OEM 12c High Availability Architecture for Monitoring and Job Execution - Keeping the NOC from Knocking

    9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

    Banyan B

    741

    Bill Petro, American Express

    Enable Oracle GoldenGate Monitoring for the Masses with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Banyan B

    219

    Bobby Curtis, Enkitec

    What is My EnterpriseOne Web Users Real Experience?

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Surf C

    101760

    Frank Jordan, ERP Suites

    The Best Oracle Database 12c New Features

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Palm A

    565

    Rich Niemiec, ROLTA

    Oracle WebLogic Performance Tuning

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Banyan C

    239

    Jon Gilmore, Zirous, Inc

    Where did my day go?: Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Administration

    2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

    Banyan B

    230

    Alfredo Krieg, Sherwin Williams Company

    Automated Database Patching with Clould Control 12c: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

    4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

    Banyan B

    182

    Fernando de Souza, General Dynamics IT

    Happy Hour

    Enterprise Manager Demos:

    • Total Cloud Control with Oracle Enterprise Manager (Technology Area)
    • Applications Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager (Applications Area)

    5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

    Exhibit Hall - Oracle Demogrounds

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Team

    Wednesday April 15 - Day Three

    Title

    Time

    Room

    ID

    Primary Presenter

    Your Own Private Cloud

    8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

    Reef F

    460

    Gleb Otochkin, Pythian

    Managing and Monitoring Fusion Middleware Using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

    Banyan C

    336

    Shawn Ruff, Mythics

    You've Got It—Flaunt It: Oracle Enterprise Manager Extensibility

    8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

    Banyan B

    281

    Ray Smith, Portland General Electric

    Exadata 101 - What You Need to Know

    8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

    Banyan D

    569

    Rich Niemiec, ROLTA

    How to Comply With Audit and Make Your Life Easier

    8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

    South Pacific J

    389

    Frank Pound, Bank of Canada

    Enterprise Manager Demos:

    • Total Cloud Control with Oracle Enterprise Manager (Technology Area)
    • Applications Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager (Applications Area)

    9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

    Exhibit Hall - Oracle Demogrounds

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Team

    Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control for Managing Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2

    9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

    South Seas H

    10550

    Angelo Rosado, Oracle

    SIG: OAUG Oracle Enterprise Manager for Applications Special Interest Group

    10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

    South Seas H

    10083

    James Lui, Aramark

    Erik Benner, Mythics

    Oracle 12c Multitenant Database Lifecycle Management with Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control

    10:45 AM– 11:45 AM

    Banyan B

    108

    Krishna Kapa, UBS

    SIG: IOUG Oracle Enterprise Manager Special Interest Group Meeting

    12:30PM – 1:00 PM

    South Seas Ballroom B

    949

    Enterprise Manager Leadership Committee

    Design and Implement your Own Self-Service Enabled Private Cloud with Oracle EM12c

    2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

    Reef F

    464

    Kai Yu, Dell

    Migrate Your Cron Jobs to Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c

    2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

    Banyan B

    335

    Vladimir Lugo, Loyola Marymount University

    PeopleSoft Application and System Monitoring Basics

    2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

    Mandalay Bay Ballroom C

    100270

    Raj Garrepally, Emory University

    Migrate Your Cron Jobs to Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c

    2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

    Banyan B

    335

    Vladimir Lugo, Loyola Marymount University

    Servers and Systems and Storage, Oh my! Infrastructure Management Using OEM 12c

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    Banyan B

    453

    Erik Benner, Mythics

    Recipe for Building a Private Database Cloud with Oracle RAC 12c

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    Reef F

    656

    Leighton Nelson, World Wide Technology

    Panel: Oracle Best Practices for Managing Oracle Applications

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    Mandalay Bay Ballroom B

    104800

    Ken Baxter, Oracle

    Thursday April 16 - Day Four (Final Day)

    Title

    Time

    Room

    ID

    Primary Presenter

    Pluggable database as a service: Combining Oracle 12c Database multitenant architecture and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

    Reef F

    107

    Krishna Kapa, UBS

    Future Now: Advanced Database Management for Today's DBA

    9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

    Banyan B

    866

    GP Gongloor, Oracle

    12 Things to Consider for Migrating EBS to Exadata

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Banyan D

    660

    Arun Kumar Anthireyan, BIAS Corporation

    Anomaly Detection for Database Monitoring

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Palm B

    701

    Alex Gorbachev, Pythian

    Data Clone and Refresh Made Easy with Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Palm D

    921

    Pete Sharman, Oracle

    Under The Hood of Enterprise Manager - A troubleshooting primer

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Banyan B

    157

    Courtney Llamas, Oracle

    Werner de Gruyter, Oracle

    Best Practices for Planning and Deploying Private Database Clouds with Oracle RAC 12c Technologies

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Reef F

    729

    Mark Scardina , Oracle

    Smarter Monitoring with Adaptive Thresholds and Time Based Metrics

    12:15 AM – 1:15 PM

    Banyan B

    144

    Courtney Llamas, Oracle

    Case Studies Moving ASM Files

    12:15 AM – 1:15 PM

    Palm D

    211

    Anthony Noriega, ADN

     Updated March 10, 2015

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