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)

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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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 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

Monday Feb 02, 2015

Snap Clone using EMC SAN and ASM

Recently we announced the latest update to Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 4.  One of the enhancements in that release is support for Snap Clone on Automatic Storage Management (ASM) and EMC Storage.  Before we examine the details of this specific enhancement, let's look at a quick refresher on what Snap Clone provides for you.

What is Snap Clone?

Snap Clone is a storage agnostic and self service approach to creating rapid and space efficient clones of large databases (and by large, we’re talking terabytes or more). Now that’s probably more buzz words in one sentence than anyone’s brain can deal with without exploding, so let’s explain some of those terms more:
  • Storage agnostic – by that I mean Snap Clone supports all storage vendors, both NAS and SAN. It can leverage storage layer APIs or layer a ZFS filesystem on top to provide copy on write.
  • Self service – in the XaaS world – where X can be any of I, MW, P and DB :) – one of the key features is empowering the end user to do the work, rather than waiting on some techie to find time in their otherwise busy schedules. So it’s the end user who makes the adhoc clones here, not the storage admin
  • Rapid – People simply don’t have the time to wait weeks for provisioning to happen any more, so you have to support the functionality to clone databases in minutes rather than the days or weeks things used to take.
  • Space efficient – When you’re working with terabyte or larger databases, you simply may not have the storage to create full-sized clones, so you have to significantly reduce the storage footprint to start with.
Over the various EM releases,  more and more functionality has been added to Snap Clone:
  • EM12cR2 provided Snap Clone for NAS storage (NetApp and Sun ZFSSA).  It provided RMAN backup based clones, and included the Snap Clone Analyzer to show you the storage savings you could make using Snap Clone
  • EM12cR3 added in support for Snap Clone using the Solaris File System (ZFS) and admin flows for Snap Clone for PDB’s (pluggable databases)
  • EM12cR4 added a lot more:
    • Snap Clone using CloneDB – this is the biggie, as it means Snap Clone can now be used with ANY Oracle database release that supports CloneDB, regardless of what storage it’s on
    • Data Guard standby as a test master – allows offloading the impact of creating the test master from your Production environment
    • NetApp Ontap 8.x cluster mode support
    • Certification for engineered systems, with I/O over Infiniband
    • Support for NFSv4
  • And in the latest plugin update that's just been shipped, we added:
    • Integrated data lifecycle management
    • Snap Clone using EMC SAN and ASM
    • Admin flows for test master creation
    • Integration with masking, patching, upgrades etc.

Snap Clone using EMC SAN and ASM

Most NAS technologies offer storage efficient clones in the form of Snapshots. The snapshots make use of underlying volumes, knows as flexvols (Netapp) or shares (ZFS). Unfortunately, SAN storage does not provide native snapshotting capability unless a file is created on it by leveraging TCP/IP over iSCSI over Ethernet. However this defeats the purpose of having high speed fiber channel fabric, not to mention that it makes little sense to overlay SAN with a filesystem. Another complaint we heard from our customers is that cloning is a data intensive operation that could flood the corporate IT backbone if Ethernet is used. Consequently, lot of our customers want native support for SAN for cloning purposes, especially, the ones who run ASM on SAN. And they are quite a lot in number.

Using Snap Clone on ASM and EMC storage provides the ability to create ‘live’ thin clones of databases that are on ASM. A live clone is NOT snapshot based but rather a live copy of the database, residing on copy-on-write storage technology, that can be within the same cluster or indeed another one. Both single instance and RAC are supported – supported versions are 10.2.0.5 or higher of the database, 11.2 and higher of the Grid Infrastructure code. This functionality works on both EMC VMAX (with Time Finder VPSnap) and VNX storage appliances.

Diagrammatically, the configuration looks like this:



Why Use Snap Clone with EMC SAN and ASM

There are a number of major challenges that Snap Clone can be used to address:
  1. Lack of automation - Manual tasks such as provisioning and cloning of new databases (for example, for test or development systems) is one area that many DBA’s complain is too time consuming. It can take days to weeks, often because of the need to coordinate the involvement of different groups, as shown in the image below:

  2. When an end user, be it a developer or a QA engineer, needs a database he or she typically has to go through an approval process like this, which then translates into a series of tasks for the DBA, the sysadmin and storage admin. The sysadmin has to provide the compute capacity while the storage admin has to provide the space on a filer. Finally, the DBA would install the bits, create the database (optionally on Real Application Clusters), and deliver that to the user. Clearly, this is a cumbersome and time-consuming process that needs to be improved on.

  3. Database unfriendly solutions – Obviously, when there is a need looking for a solution, different people take different approaches to solving that need. There are a variety of point solutions and storage solutions out there, but the vast bulk of them are not database aware. They tend to clone storage volumes rather than databases and have no visibility into the database stack, which of course makes it hard to triage performance issues as a DBA. They also lack the ability to track configuration, compliance and data security issues, as well as having limited or no lifecycle capabilities. As mentioned before, DBAs would like to leverage the native FDDI protocol of SAN for cloning.  This will make cloning fast and efficient without disrupting regular network traffic.

  4. Storage issues and archaic processes – Of course, one of the main issues is storage. Data volumes are ever increasing, particularly in these Big Data days, and the growth can often outpace your storage capacity. You can throw more disks at the problem, but it never seems to be enough, and you can end up with degraded performance if you take the route of sharing clones between users. There can also be different processes and different priorities between the storage team and the DBA team, and you may still have fixed refresh cycles, making it difficult to clone on an adhoc basis.
So the end result of all of this is that far too often, there are competing priorities at odds. Users want flexibility – simplified self service access, rapid cloning, and the ability to revert data changes. IT, on the other hand, want standardization and control, which allows a reduction in storage use, reduction in administrative overhead, visibility into the complete database stack and lineage tracking.  

Snap Clone on EMC storage helps you to address all these competing priorities, using hardware you may already own.  Indeed, EMC is well established as an Oracle database storage vendor over many years, and that integration has become tighter and tighter over the past few years.  In addition to that, the actual setup and configuration can be simpler than is the case when using other hardware, as you do not need to create Database Profiles in this configuration.  Service Templates are created directly on either a single instance or RAC database that resides on ASM.  Because you're using this combination of ASM and EMC SAN storage, the database is already Snap Clone enabled as it resides on copy-on-write storage technology.

In my next post, I'll discuss more details of what else is new in the Snap Clone product in this latest release, so stay tuned for more details on that soon!

For More Information

You can see more details on how you actually set Snap Clone up on EMC storage by viewing the following screenwatches:

For more details on using Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c to provide Database as a Service functionality, visit the OTN page located here.

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Tuesday Jan 27, 2015

Top Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Questions

Guest contributors: Courtney Llamas and David Wolf

What are the steps involved for upgrading from Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 to Release 4? Is it an upgrade in place or a new install/migration
Answer: Yes, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c R3 to R4 is an out-of-place upgrade, which means the installer will install in a new Oracle Home and migrate the application over. You will need the additional space for a new Oracle Home. You can reduce downtime of the upgrade by performing a “Software Only Install”, and then upgrade later. See the upgrade documentation here.

Do the patch and upgrade functionality work on Oracle Database 11g targets or only on Oracle Database 12c targets?
A: Yes, patching and upgrading can be performed on any certified target version. For more details on database patching and lifecycle management visit this page.

Where can I find a full list of new enhancements compared to Release 3?
A: The new features are listed in Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Introduction Guide.

Is there a list available of new features by management pack?
A: The new features are listed in Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Introduction Guide. They are listed by plug-in, not management pack. For the license information read this page.

What are the best hardware configuration and setup in order to provide high availability capabilities for database as a service (i.e. Oracle RAC, Oracle Exadata)?
A: The more you rely on Oracle Enterprise Manager, the more you need to think about high availability. The best recommendation is to have a multi-OMS system with a standby for disaster recovery. You can scale up to this as the environment grows, but starting with a multi-OMS system will give you the availability and scalability you need. A standby database with Oracle Data Guard and a software replicated standby OMS would be the next step. Please read this whitepaper Deploying a Highly Available Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control for more information.

Can Snap Clone be used with EMC storage or is Oracle ZFS storage required?
A: Yes. Snap Clone can be used with either EMC VMAX and/or VNX Block Storage, both are supported. More details can be found on this page under the section: Database Cloning and Dynamic Data Refresh.

Does Oracle Enterprise Manager support monitoring of hypervisors?
A: Oracle Enterprise Manager supports monitoring of Oracle VM natively and VMWare via a Blue Medora third party plug in. More details on managing physical and virtual host can be found here.

Is the metering and chargeback functionality part of the base product or does it requires an additional management pack?
A: Metering and Chargeback for Oracle Database is part of the Oracle Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database. Metering and Charge back for guest virtual machines (VMs) and hosts are included with the base product and does not require a separate license. Read this whitepaper for more on Metering and Chargeback with Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Does Enterprise Data Governance require additional licensing?
A: Use of the Enterprise Data Governance capabilities within Oracle Enterprise Manager requires an Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack license.

How is the new AWR Warehouse feature different from the existing AWR report in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3?
A: The existing AWR report in Oracle Enterprise Manager pulls AWR data from the source database and relies on the AWR retention setting of that database. This is typically only saved for 8 days. There’s been a big demand for saving this data for 30-60 days and even longer. AWR Warehouse, automates the extract of the source AWR data and loading to a warehouse database so that data can be retained without affecting the performance and storage of the source database. The reports are the same, it just allows you to dig back further in time. Read this article for more details.

Does this new release require more disk space for the AWR Warehouse? More CPU and memory?
A: Not for the OMS. The recommendation is to setup the AWR Repository in a separate database, outside of the Oracle Enterprise Manager repository database. Hosting on the same server would be fine, so long as there is sufficient memory and CPU for both instances. Read this article on AWR Warehouse for more details.

Does AWR Warehouse also support Oracle Database 10g and/or 11g AWR?
A: AWR Warehouse must be installed on Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 or higher or version 11.2.0.4 with the appropriate patch. It also must be an equal or higher database version of the source databases it accommodates. Check out this demo to understand AWR Warehouse. Read the AWR Warehouse documentation.

Is there a list of 3rd party technologies that can be managed by Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?
A: Check out the Oracle Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange for a list of the available 3rd party plug-ins and connectors.

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Friday Jan 09, 2015

Innovating to Optimize: Creating Room in the IT budget for Initiatives that Boost Business

Read the latest Economist Intelligence Unit whitepaper called Innovating to Optimize: Creating Room in the IT budget for Initiatives that Boost Business. The paper outlines new ways executives can use technology to improve IT operational processes in order to drive innovation and optimize their business. The Economist interviews industry experts and thought leaders, revealing candid insights and new emerging trends.

Download the whitepaper

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Wednesday Jan 07, 2015

Webcast: Oracle Database 12c Performance Analysis

IOUG Webcast: Long Term and Cross-Database Performance Analysis for Oracle Databases Using Automatic Workload Repository Warehouse

Thursday, January 15, 2015
1:00 p.m. EST | 11:00 a.m. PST

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

Registered Now

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Friday Dec 19, 2014

Business Brief: Optimize Your Database Performance - Spend Less Time Keeping the Lights on and More Time Innovating

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.

Read the business brief.

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Monday Nov 24, 2014

Download Urls for Self Update Entities in Offline Mode

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.

Read More

Thursday Nov 13, 2014

Will the REAL Snap Clone functionality please stand up?

Possibly one of the least known pieces of functionality that is provided as part of the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c product suite is the Snap Clone product. In simple terms, Snap Clone is a storage agnostic self service approach to rapidly creating space efficient clones of large databases (and by large, we're talking terabytes or more).  I blogged on that a few months back, but a few months can be an eternity in software development terms, so here's an update that covers not just the functionality in the product but also addresses some of the misleading statements some of our competitors have been making about it of recent times.

Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c R2 U1 Released

We are happy and excited to announce that on July 20, 2014, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c Release 2 Update 1 was released for all platforms including Oracle Solaris SPARC/x86 and Linux.

Ops Center 12cR2 PSU1 is an update release containing improvements and enhancements in the following areas: performance, new hardware support and general quality improvements.

In the performance area we have made improvements in core Ops Center components such as the Enterprise Controller, Proxy Controller and Virtualization Agent. We have reduced the Enterprise Controller memory footprint and enhanced start up times for the Enterprise Controller and agents. We have looked at areas such as deployment wizards and the management of LUN's and made improvements in the performance of these areas.

For new hardware we support the discovery, monitoring and provisioning of both OS and Firmware for: X4-4, X4-8, M4000 and M10. We also made improvements for firmware management of the X4-2 and introduced enhanced support for add / modify hardware configurations for Oracle SuperCluster. 

In the general quality area we improved security, refined logging, made improvements to OS provisioning and enhanced areas such as LDAP and the UI.

For customers with a support contract historically any new updates to the Ops Center components would automatically appear in the Download window of the UI. However, we have noticed a bug which prevents this new version appearing. A fix / IDR is in place and is described in the release notes for this version available here. There is also a MOS note 1908726.1 which describes the IDR and procedure to enable the download.

Software downloads outside of this automatic process will be available on the OTN and edelivery in the coming days.

Before upgrading your Enterprise Controller please check the upgrade guide available here.

There is also an excellent blog which gives advice on pre upgrade tasks to ensure a smooth and successful upgrade experience here.
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