Thursday Feb 16, 2012

Managing Oracle Database 11g—Questions and Answers from the Oracle Enterprise Management Online Forum

We received tons of questions from our recent Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Online Forum, we wanted to continue to provide answers to the most popular ones. In this installment, we'll cover questions from the DBA and developer track.

Q. What kind of testing do you recommend for upgrading from Oracle Database 11gR1 to 11gR2?
A. Oracle Real Application Testing using Database Replay and SQL Performance Analyzer's capabilities are recommended for any Oracle Database upgrade. Check out these resources for more details: Oracle Real Application Testing datasheet and OTN for details on upgrading your database.

Q. Can I manage Oracle Exadata and traditional Oracle Databases from the same console?
A. Yes, you can manage Oracle Exadata and single instance and/or RAC databases from the same Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control console, as well as WebLogic and many other targets. Check out this demo to see how.

Q. I thought Active Session History (ASH) was intended for real-time?
A. ASH can be use for both real-time and historical analysis. It is a black box that records session activities and helps to analyze across several performance dimensions. Click here to see a quick demo.

Q. What is the difference between Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and Oracle Database Control?
A. Database Control is a subset which runs off a single database. Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is a central repository which allows administrators to manage and monitor from a single console.

Q. How does Real-Time Automatic Database Diagnostics Monitor (ADDM) work – the database is hung right?
A. Real-Time ADDM, included in the Oracle Diagnostic Pack for Oracle Database, uses 2 different modes of connection to the database. A normal connection and a diagnostic mode that is a lock less, latch less connection which allows only few actions. Using the diagnostic mode connection Real-Time ADDM performs a hang analysis and determines any blockers in the systems. Check out this demo to see how Real-Time ADDM works.

Q. Can we achieve all the new functionality in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c using terminal?
A. No. Features like ASH Analytics, Real-Time ADDM and Compare Period ADDM are only available using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c's console.

Q. Is Real-Time ADDM available only in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?
A. Yes, Real-Time ADDM is a new feature in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

Q. Can you explain the difference between Oracle Database 11g Monitor in Memory Access Mode vs. Real-Time ADDM direct access to SGA?
A. Real-Time ADDM does not use Memory attach mode. We use a proprietary connection method which connects using a lock less, latch less connection bypassing the SQL Access layer.

Q. Is there any limit on the number of days on which ASH can be used for analysis?
A. The in memory ASH data is typically available for 1 hour or till the point the memory buffer is flushed to disk. You can find out ASH retention by using: select min(sample_time), max(sample_time) from sys.WRH$_ACTIVE_SESSION_HISTORY;

From more Oracle Database Management product information check out these resources:

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Thursday Feb 09, 2012

NEW STUDY: Oracle Database 11g Delivers Significant Savings over Microsoft SQL Server

ORC International: Oracle Database 11g is 49% Easier to Manage and 46% Less Complex

Oracle Database 11g Release 2 continues to outperform Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Release 2 by a substantial margin, according to a new ORC International study. In the report, "Database Manageability and Productivity Cost Comparison Study Oracle Database 11g Release 2 vs. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Release 2," Oracle once again demonstrates its leadership in overall database self-manageability with significant productivity and complexity savings.

The study found that Oracle Database 11g Release 2 took half the amount of time and effort to complete four routine database administrator (DBA) tasks compared to Microsoft. The study measured typical tasks such as initial database setup, routine daily administrative tasks, and backup and recovery, as well as performance and tuning tasks.

In one particular scenario, the study illustrated how a DBA could perform database diagnostics and tuning tasks 143 times faster using Oracle Database 11g over Microsoft SQL Server 2008. The report concluded that Oracle allowed IT organizations and DBAs to

  • Perform administrative tasks 49% faster than Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • Save time with 46% fewer steps for the same set of standard routine functions versus Microsoft
  • Increase productivity and save businesses up to US$58,800 per year per DBA by using Oracle Database 11g over Microsoft SQL Server 2008

This report, along with similar competitive studies ORC International conducted including one against IBM DB2 9.7, reaffirms Oracle Database 11g as an industry leader with its unique self-managing automation and performance capabilities. Oracle Database 11g, along with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database Management Packs, continue to help DBAs become more productive at getting their jobs done faster and with less effort.

More information
To learn more about Oracle Database 11g and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, please visit:

Tuesday Feb 07, 2012

Solaris and SPARC virtualization management features of Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center including "Live Migration"

This blog provides a short history of how Oracle technology in the Solaris and SPARC world has progressed to where we are with the SPARC-T4 Server family and Oracle VM Server for SPARC (formerly Logical Domains).  The entry continues with observations of why these technologies are relevant to business and IT stakeholders, today.  And finally, how Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center is piquing customer interest in moving forward with Logical Domains, followed by a short demonstration of LDom Migration in action.
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Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

What's new in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Agents

After the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c was announced, you may have seen a lot of collateral, documents and demos on various new functionality introduced with this major release. In my first blog, I thought of sharing what's new in agent land for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?

The enterprise manager agent has been entirely rewritten to meet the following goals:

  • plug-in life cycle support

  • first failure diagnostics built-in

  • robustness

  • scales to 10,000 targets

  • improved manageability

In this first blog of a blog series, we will focus on how Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c meets these goals. Subsequent blogs will go into further details about each of the areas above.

By and far the biggest change is the plug-in model. Plug-ins offer the following advantages over the previous target modeling supported by the agent:

  • independent life cycle from the agent

  • can be installed/updated without bouncing the agent

  • simple registration of user supplied libraries as needed

  • scheduled based or on-demand discovery of targets

A plug-in consists of two pieces; the discovery component and the monitoring the component. Plug-in upgrades currently require the agent to be restarted for the new plug-in version to take affect although the install of the new plug-in can be performed while the agent is still running. There is one exception to this – the first time a plug-in is deployed and installed the agent is not required to be stopped.

The discovery component of the plug-in works with the new discovery framework .Discovery can now be performed by on-demand and scheduled with the typical schedule occurring daily. As the discovery process finds additional targets to monitor, the administrator is prompted if they wish to monitor those targets. Once the decision is made, the management server ensures that the agent has the proper monitoring plug-in and then proceeds to add those targets to the agent.

The monitor component of the plug-in contains the metric definitions, the non-static properties, the default collection schedule and any additional scripts/libraries required by the plug-in to monitor. Also new in 12c are metric extensions which allows user/administrators to add additional metrics to a target with user supplied scripts.

Diagnosis of issues is always a difficult process, but the new agent, being written from the ground up has put in a significant amount of diagnostic tools. Even in the face of all that additional processing, the new code base consumes less CPU on average than the previous versions and is capable of scaling to large number of targets. To date, we've successfully measured target counts of approximately 5000 targets being monitored with near linear scaling. We therefore believe that 10,000 targets is realistic.

Below is a graph comparing the average CPU consumption of the 12c version of the agent (in green) against the 11g version (in red) for database targets.

The rewrite of the agent also includes an improved EM agent home page as well as a much enhanced agent side metric browser. There are numerous enhancements to enable the agent to continue functioning in the face of 'failures', such as three strikes suspension based policies for collections, as well as more control services available to the administrator.

My next next blog will focus on some of the diagnostic tools that are available for both administrators and Oracle personnel.

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Tuesday Jan 10, 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center plug-in for Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c is now available

Systems monitoring plug-in to connect Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 1 ( and Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g Release 1, Update 3 ( is now available in Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c self update software catalog (see screenshot below).

This Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g plug-in for Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c increases the efficiency of datacenter operations by sharing event and target attribute information between the business service owners and the infrastructure operations staff.  This enables business service owners to be fully aware of hardware, virtualization, and operating system event information while troubleshooting application issues.  They can see hardware component level details from the user interface they are comfortable working from within EM Cloud Control 12c. 

At the same time, the operations staff can see which Oracle applications are running on which infrastructure asset within Ops Center before taking maintenance actions and disrupting business.  

More information on this plug-in can be found in the following user guide:

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g plug-in for Enterprise Manager Grid Control 10g and 11g is located within the Ops Center 11g product media.  No additional download is required.  More information can be found in the following user guide:

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Tuesday Dec 20, 2011

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g UPDATE 3 is now available - Learn more in a webcast on December 22

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g UPDATE 3 was released last week. The update 3 is now available for download via the Ops Center user interface. You will be able to download it soon at  You can read the updated readme file for all changes and installation instructions.

Here is a summary of what's new with Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g UPDATE 3 :

  • Operating Systems support
    • Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.6, 5.7
    • Red Hat 5.6 and 5.7
    • Solaris 10 Update 10 (X86 and SPARC)
  • Enhanced support of SPARC T4 systems
    • LDOM provisioning
    • Component firmware provisioning
    • RAID support
    • Hardware management provided by HMP
  • Added driver for Netra SPARC family
  • Disconnected Mode Improvements
    • Major upgrade to harvester utility
    • Improve the upload process of offline content on the Enterprise Controller
  • Many other performance related and general product improvements

The Oracle Enterprise Ops Center engineering team will be hosting a webcast on Thursday, December 22 at 8:00 A.M. Pacific time to review the key enhancements in the Update 3. The webcast will also cover download and upgrade instructions . You will also have an opportunity to ask questions to the experts from the Ops Center engineering team in this webcast.

Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011
Time: 8:00 A.M. Pacific time, 11:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)

The recording of the call is now available at:

The presentation may be downloaded from:


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