Webcast: Zero to Manageability in One Hour—Build a Solid Foundation for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Jan 16, 2015
January 21, 2015
1:00 p.m. EST | 10:00 a.m. PST
The goal in every Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c rollout is to take it from zero to manageability in the shortest possible time. This presentation will show you how to accomplish this feat. Oracle experts will demonstrate how to properly architect and deploy Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, including designing a highly available and scalable environment. Through this demonstration a list of essential techniques and tips compiled from Oracle Enterprise Manager Development’s Strategic Customer Programs team will also be shared. Topics such as; users, roles, groups, templates, and incidents will be discussed, plus key architectural decisions.
By attending this webinar, you will learn how to:
Featured Speaker: Courtney Llamas, Principal Member of Technical Staff, Oracle
IOUG eBrief: January Edition Now Available
Check out January's issue of the IOUG eBrief featuring all the latest news and highlights from IOUG and the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Special Interest Group (SIG).
A database as a service approach can improve service to database users while simultaneously reducing database management costs.
Developing More Rapidly, with Increased Security
Any customer with more than a handful of servers will struggle to take advantage of Ops Center's full features, unless they embrace the use of groups. The ability to group a number of like servers into a logical target, that can then be operated on, means you can do a single action instead of running the same action hundreds of times, once for each server in the group. Grouping also allows you to view and manage your environment in line with your current organizational units and business practices.
Groups avoid the need to select individual servers and can be used as a target for:
Groups can also:
Groups are totally logical constructs. An asset (Server, OS, Zone, LDOM) can be a member of as many groups as you like. Deleting a group, does not delete the assets it contains. While most often groups will contain assets of all the same type (eg: System LOMs), as this will give you a group where an action like "power off" makes sense to all the members of the group, it is also possible to create a group that is made up of differing asset types eg: all the assets (OS/LOM/Zones) that are part of a physical server. This type of group would normally be used to restrict the permissions of users so that they could only view/manage the servers for which they are responsible. A key fact to remember when thinking about groups is that an asset that is a member of one group is not precluded from being a member of other groups.
As a starting point, Ops Center provides a number of predefined groups found under the [ Navigation ==> Assets ] menu.
While most of the groupings are what you would expect, there are a few that require a little more explanation.
[ All Assets ] - Not really a group as everything turns up here
[ Engineered Systems ] - A grouping of all discovered Engineered Systems (SPARC SuperCluster). Note that each Engineered System is also its own sub-group
[ Operating Systems ] - Grouping based on OS type, release and version
[ Servers ] - Grouping based on physical servers
[ Chassis ] - 6000/8000 blade based chassis and their server blades
[ Network Switches ] - Managed InfiniBand and network switches. Ops Center only manages a limited number of switch models and these will normally be found as part of an Engineered System (Exadata/Exalogic/SPARC Super Cluster).
[ Racks ] - Both Engineered System racks and manually declared racks. It is not commonly known that you can declare all the racks in your data center in Ops Center and place all your servers in their respective racks, giving you a useful data center view.
All the predefined groups are useful but as you can see, they are based on broad brush physical characteristics of a server and its OS. There is no allowance for how you actually use your servers. For that you will need to build your own "User Defined Groups".
User Defined Groups are an extremely powerful addition to Ops Center and allow you to model your application, organizational units and business constraints into Ops Center's management interface. Basically, it makes Ops Center capable of working much more in alignment with the way your business operates. Before we go onto how to create "User Defined Groups", let's go over, in a little more detail, what you could use them for:
These are just a few of the many things for which groups can be used. Setting up groups will greatly decrease your day to day workload and increase the manageability of your environment. Without the use of grouping, it is unlikely that you will be able to scale your Ops Center environment efficiently beyond about 30 servers.
First select the "Create Group" action [ Navigation ==> All Assets ==> Create Group ]
Static groups are just as the name suggests, you define a group and place static members in it.
The default action of the "Configure Group" wizard is to create a Static Group. As long as the "Configure group rules" checkbox is unchecked this will be a static group.
Give the group a name (mandatory), a description (Optional), and one or more group tags (Optional) and click "Next" and "Finish" to complete the wizard and launch the job that creates the group.
Tagging is another powerful feature that will be the topic of another blog, but in summary, it is a way of storing an arbitrary tag (value pair) with an asset or group, which means you can store any important information with the asset, such as Asset Number, Production status, etc.
Now, one by one, navigate to your servers and manually add the server to the group you have created.
Select your individual servers page and select the "Add Asset to Group" action.
Select the Group you want to add to (our example group is "Static Group") and the click then [Add Assets to Group] button.
Dynamic (smart) groups are once again much as the label says. An asset(server/OS etc) will become part of the group based on it matching one or many criteria. The criteria is evaluated every time the group is accessed. So if you deploy a new server, create a zone or update any other matched attribute, it will change the group membership. The next time you access the group its membership will be automatically updated to include the current view of the environment. There is a large number of attributes that can be used to make criteria and the criteria can be combined to make complex grouping rules. There is more than enough to discuss on building these rules for another blog, but today, let's just go with a single example to give you the feel for the capabilities of dynamic grouping.
We will launch the "Create Group" wizard, as we did for the static group, but this time we will give it a more descriptive name and description. Last but not least, we will check the "Configure group rules" check-box, which will make the group we create a dynamic group.
Rules can be as simple as "hostname" starts with "prod" or as complex as having multiple rules each with multiple criteria matches. This is why I will be going into more details on building these rule sets in another blog in the next few weeks.
For this example, I have chosen a moderate level of complexity. We have a single rule, but we will only match on any asset that has all 4 of the attributes set.
Click [Next] to see the preview screen and to check that we matched the assets we want.
You can see that we have matched on 4 Solaris 11 zones. Now let's see how that looks in the BUI [Navigation==>Assets ==>All User Defined Groups (pull-down)].
You see we have our static group and our dynamic group we have just created.
OK, let's create a second group, but this time for managed Non Global zones of the 10.187.56.0/24 network.
Create a new name and description.
Configure our rule, but this time look for Non Global Zones on the 10.187.56.0 network.
Preview shows no matching hosts, which in this case is correct, as I have not deployed a zone on that network yet. Finish the wizard and now let's look in the BUI to see what we have.
Checking the [All User Defined Groups] pull-down, we now see our static group and 2 different S11 NGZ groups, one with 4 members and one with no members. (I was not quite consistent with the group naming, but I could fix that using the [Modify Group action].)
Now if I go off and deploy a few new zones, we can then see what our smart groups look like. I have deployed 2 zones on the 10.187.56.0 subnet and one more zone on the 192.168.20.0 subnet.
As you can see, the new zones automatically appear in the correct groups.
There are far too many attributes to go through here ( a few are listed below) and I will be writing a further blog to show you how to use some of the more useful ones.
But I will call out one special criteria (attribute) that is probably the most useful one of all - the Semantic tag. A Semantic tag is an arbitrary tag or a tag/value pair that can be added to any asset to basically store descriptive information about that asset. You can add a tag to an asset by simply clicking the [Edit Tag] action.
Examples of Semantic Tags (Key):
| Tag Name
|PRODUCTION||Describes the production status|
|SALES||Describes the business unit that owns the server|
Examples of Semantic Tags/Value pairs (Key and Value):
|PRODUCTION_STATUS||DEV/UAT/PROD||The value describes the production status DEV/UAT/PROD
||firstname.lastname@example.org||The value describes the name/group of the administrator of the system (could even be their email)
|Business_Unit||SALES/ENGINEERING/ACCOUNTS||The value describes the business unit that owns the server
|Application||DataBase/Web/ApplicationServer||The value describes the application running on the asset
As you can see, you can create a Semantic Tag to store any information about your server that you require. These tags and tag/value pair scan be used as attributes to create Dynamic groups.
Configure a group using a "Semantic Tag Key & Value".
And the group based on the tag/value pair is ready to use.
One final feature of groups is that you can nest them (have a group that contains 1 or more other groups).
Create a group as before. This time click the check-box for "Configure subgroups".
Then you must drag the subgroups you want to include to the "Selected Group" icon.
Repeat this procedure until you have all your required groups selected.
Now click [Next], [Next] and [Finish], then check what our new group looks like.
You can see the S11-Zones group contains both S11 NGZ groups.
And by highlighting the S11-Zones group, we can see its membership and incident information for all included assets.
I hope this has given you a good understanding of groups and how they can make your use of Ops Center more productive.
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|IOUG Webcast: Long Term and Cross-Database Performance Analysis for Oracle Databases Using Automatic Workload Repository Warehouse|
January 15, 2015
The Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) feature in Oracle Database has been the standard used by DBAs to diagnose database performance problems.
In this session, you will learn about the new AWR Warehouse capability, which enables DBAs with capacity planning and performance analysis for Oracle Databases without the constraint of the retention period and without any overhead on critical databases.
Learn how AWR Warehouse can tell why performance was slow this month compared to the same period last year or give administrators an annual report of problems in your mission-critical databases.
Featured Speaker: Jagan Athreya, Senior Director of Product Management, Oracle
One of Enterprise Manager Ops Center's core functionalities is to be able to provision the OS to bare metal servers. If the network you are provisioning across is connected to one of the onboard ports (on the first onboard network chip), all is well and provisioning will work as expected. This would be the case for 95% plus of all customers, but if you are trying to provision across a network that is connected to a port on a card in an expansion slot (or a second onboard network chip), your provisioning job will fail due to the incorrect MAC address being set in the JET/AI/Kickstart server. If you are one of the people who has hit this issue, please read on. If you are provisioning over an onboard NIC port, stop reading now and happy OS provisioning.
When Ops Center discovers the ILOM (ALOM/XSCF and all the other various LOMs) of a server, there are only certain pieces of information that can be collected from the LOM while the OS is running. We maintain a policy of creating as little impact as possible during discovery, so we do not force you to shutdown the OS during discovery.
Information we can collect:
Information we can NOT collect:
Since the LOM only provides the first MAC address, Ops Center must calculate the MAC addresses of the remaining network interfaces. Ops Center will get the MAC addresses for the onboard NICs correct but its calculated MAC addresses will be wrong for any NICs not on the first onboard network chip.
If we have an example system that has 4 onboard network ports (on the motherboard) and an expansion network card in the PCI-E/X slot with an additional 4 network ports, Ops Center's view of that server, based on the information from the LOM, would not match the physical server.
|Interfaces Name||Ops Center's Mac Address - Calculated ( from LOM)||Actual Mac Adress||Correct|
|Number of Network interfaces||8||8||YES|
|Mac Address for interface 0 (onboard)||net0||00:21:28:17:72:b2||00:21:28:17:72:b2||YES|
|Mac Address for interface 1 (onboard)||net1||00:21:28:17:72:b3||00:21:28:17:72:b3||YES|
|Mac Address for interface 2 (onboard||net2||00:21:28:17:72:b4||00:21:28:17:72:b4||YES|
|Mac Address for interface 3 (onboard||net3||00:21:28:17:72:b5||00:21:28:17:72:b5||YES|
|Mac Address for interface 4 (PCI-E/X card)||net4||00:21:28:17:72:b6||00:14:4f:6b:fd:28||NO|
|Mac Address for interface 5 (PCI-E/X card)||net5||00:21:28:17:72:b7||00:14:4f:6b:fd:29||NO|
|Mac Address for interface 6 (PCI-E/X card)||net6||00:21:28:17:72:b8||00:14:4f:6b:fd:30||NO|
|Mac Address for interface 7 (PCI-E/X card)||net7||00:21:28:17:72:b9||00:14:4f:6b:fd:31||NO|
You can confirm that the Mac addresses for an expansion network card has been calculated, by looking at the Network tab in the BUI for the LOM object.
You can see the displayed MAC addresses for GB_4 and GB_5 are just a simple increment of 1 from that of GB_3 which should not be the case as GB_4 and GB_5 are on a PCI-E/X expansion card. While most Oracle(Sun) servers have 4 on-board network interfaces of the same type, some servers may have 2 x 1GBit interfaces and 2 x 10Gbit interfaces. In this case, only the first on-board network interfaces will display the correct MAC addresses.
It should be noted that if you have discovered the LOM and discovered the running operation system, Ops Center will have been able to identify the correct MAC addresses for all the network interfaces as it combines the information gathered from the LOM and the Operating System to display the full picture (correct values). Unfortunately, you can not rely on these when re-provisioning, as part of the OSP job will delete the OS object (we are re-provisioning it after all) and the cached values for the MAC address may expire before the JET/AI/Kickstart server is configured.
If you were to provision across net0, net1, net2, or net3 all would work well, but if you selected net4 or above for provisioning, the job would fail due to a timeout in the "Monitor OS Installation" task as the Jet/AI/Kickstart server would have been configured with the wrong MAC address and so it would have not responded to the OSP request. Please note that a misidentified MAC address is not the only possible cause of a timeout in the "Monitor OS Installation" task. This error only indicates that some step of the OS provisioning has failed and can be caused by a number of different issues.
There are 2 ways of provisioning to secondary network interfaces
In Ops Center 12.2.0, we introduced an option to specify the MAC address to provision across directly in the BUI. When running the "Install Server" Action/Wizard, the "Boot Interface Resource Assignments" page has a check-box [Identify Network Interface by MAC Address]. Selecting this check-box will change the wizard from using netX interface names that rely on the discovered MAC address, to letting you manually enter the MAC address. This entered MAC address is used to setup the JET/AI/Kickstart server and is used to interrogate the OBP of the server to workout the netX interface that is required for wanboot.
It is as easy as that and your provisioning job will progress as normal.
Assuming you have already discovered and managed the systems LOM, you can overload (update) the discovered/calulated network interface MAC addresses.
In the BUI, select "Assets" ==> "All Assets" ==> "Add Assets"
then choose "Manually declared server to be a target of OS provisioning"
While this could declare multiple servers using an XML file, in this example, we will just be doing a single server. This wizard normally lets us declare a server network interfaces but as some of the MAC addresses we will be declaring are already part of an existing discovered server LOM, Ops Center will identify the overlaping MAC address and merge this data with the existing server. The matching interfaces will stay the same but the new MAC addresses will overload (replace) the incorrect addresses.
Select Declare a single server, then click the [Green Plus] icon
Enter the port name [GB_X] and the actual MAC address.
Repeat this for all the interfaces, up to and including the one you want to provision across.
Do not skip any interfaces as the interface numbering is based on the order the entries are stored in the database.
When you have entered all required interfaces, you then have to fill in the server details.
Once completed, click the [Declare Asset] button and wait for the job to complete. Normally, this will just take a few seconds.
You can check in the BUI that the updated MAC addresses have been applied.
Now, just run your provisioning job as per normal and the correct MAC address will be configured in the JET/AI/Kickstart server.
As you can see, if you have updated your Enterprise Controller to Ops Center 12.2.0 or higher, option #1 is the simpler method.
All the best with your OS provisioning,
How are you keeping up with the challenges and demands from the business? Are you able to innovate or just keeping the lights on?
Read the latest business brief on Oracle Database Performance Management to get better insight into the challenges facing IT and find out ways to overcome them.
Check out the latest SearchOracle article featuring Brett Curtis, System Administrator from IDEXX Laboratories. Read how Brett outlines how IDEXX is benefiting from using Oracle Enterprise Manager to not only monitor both middleware and database systems, but use it for provisioning as well.
Many enterprises run their EM 12c environments in the offline mode (no direct internet connection). These customers have the additional task of downloading the plug-ins, connectors, agents, etc on a machine with access to internet, and then upload them to EM. The current solution makes the task of fetching the download url rather cumbersome, so in this blog i discuss a quick hack to list all download urls for plug-ins and agents.
Check for compliance and automate patching of Oracle Database fleet using EM12c
Oracle along with its regular Quarterly Database PSU/SPU/CPU update this October 2014 released Oracle JAVA VM PSU patch, the patch is recommended to be applied to all databases in your fleet (esp. the ones that uses JAVA). (For more information, support Note- 1929745.1 explains it in detail).
The mandate primarily is to apply the patches against the databases that use JAVAVM option. Ideally, you would need to apply it against all databases, so in case a new database is created in the ORACLE_HOME it is covered.
Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c provides support features of Compliance Management and automated Patching of databases. Using both these features you could identify the databases in your fleet that needs the patch and automate applying them.
To get started, download the starter kit here. It contains utilities to jump start on your compliance, the kit contains a readily importable Compliance Standard and a step-by-step guide.[Read More]
The latest issue of the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c newsletter is out. Read all about the latest news and information around the award winning Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c solution. This month's edition features the Oracle Application Users Group (OAUG) survey results, new study on middleware management cost reduction, and the latest details on Oracle Enterprise Manager for MySQL Database plug-in.
Oracle Database 12c contains many new capabilities including Oracle Multitenant, in-memory column stores and much more. Oracle Real Application Testing gives you verifiable functionality and performance testing capabilities to take advantage of all the new enhancements. Combining your database upgrade with Oracle Real Application Testing assures you that your database will perform as required, whether you’re implementing an in-memory column store, consolidating to a database as a service model, or doing an in-place upgrade—join us in this webcast to learn more.
Latest information and perspectives on Oracle Enterprise Manager.