Tuesday Mar 12, 2013

Monitoring virtualization targets in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12C

Contributed by Sampanna Salunke, Principal Member of Technical Staff, Enterprise Manager

For monitoring any target instance in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12C, you would typically go to target home page, and click on the target menu to navigate to:

  • Monitoring->All Metrics page to view all the collected metrics
  • Monitoring->Metric and Collection Settings to set thresholds and/or modify collection frequencies of metrics
The thresholds and collection frequencies modified affect only the target instance that you are making changes to.

However, some of virtualization targets need to be monitored and managed differently due to changes made to the way data is collected and thresholds/collection frequencies are applied. Such target types include:

  • Oracle VM Server
  • Oracle VM Guest

As an optimization effort to minimize number of connections made to Oracle VM Manager to collect data for virtualization targets, the performance metrics for Oracle VM Server and Oracle VM Guest targets are “bulk-collected” at the Oracle VM Server Pool level. This means that thresholds and collection frequencies of Oracle VM Server and Oracle VM Guest metrics need to be set on the Oracle Server Pool that they belong to. For example, if a user wants to set thresholds on the “Oracle VM Server Load:CPU Utilization” metric for Oracle VM Server target, the sequence of steps to be performed are:

1. Navigate to the homepage of the Oracle VM Server Pool target that the Oracle VM Server target belongs to

2. Click on the target menu->Monitoring->Metric and Collection Settings


3. Expand the view option to “All Metrics” if required, and find the “Oracle VM Server Load” metric and change the thresholds or collection frequency of "CPU Utilization" as required.


Note that any changes made at the Oracle VM Server Pool for a “bulk collected” metric affect all the targets for which the metric is applicable in the server pool. In this example, since the user modified the “Oracle VM Server Load: CPU Utilization” threshold, the change is applied to all the Oracle VM Server targets in the server pool sg-pool1.

To summarize – the differences between “traditional” monitoring and “bulk-collected” monitoring is that the thresholds and collection frequencies of metrics are modified at the parent target, and the changes made are applied to all the children targets for which the metrics are applicable. However, data and alerts uploaded continue to appear as normal against the child target.

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Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Snap Clone: Instant, self-serviced database-on-demand

Snap Clone: Introduction
Oracle just released Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2 plugin Update 1 in February, 2013. This release has several new cloud management features that, such as Schema as a Service and Snap Clone. While the relevance of Schema as a Service is in the context of new database services, Snap Clone is useful in performing functional testing on pre-existing data.

One big consumer group of cloud is QA Engineers or Testers. They perform User Acceptance Tests (UAT) for various applications. To perform an UAT, they need to create copies of the production database. For intense testing, such as in pre-upgrade scenarios, they need a full updateable copy of the production data. There are other situations, such as in functional testing, they need to perform minimal updates to the data, but at the same time, need multiple functional copies. Enterprise Manager 12c supports both the scenarios. In the former case, it leverages RMAN backups to clone the data. In the latter case, it leverages the “Copy on Write” technology at the storage layer to perform Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone (or just Snap Clone). Currently, NAS technologies viz. Netapp and ZFS Storage Appliance are supported for Snap Clone. By using this technology, the entire data does not need to be cloned, but the new database can physically point to the source blocks within the same filer and only needs to allocate new blocks if there are updates to the cloned copy.

Underlying “Copy on Write” technology
To cover the underlying technology, let us look at the Netapp  and Sun ZFS storage technologies. First of all, Netapp supports pooling of storage resources and creating volumes on top of those. These volumes are called Flexvols. NetApp FlexClone technology enables true data cloning - instant replication of the Flexvols without requiring additional storage space at the time of creation.  Each cloned volume is a transparent, virtual copy that can be used for a wide range of operations such as product/system development testing, bug fixing, upgrade checks, data set simulations, etc. FlexClone volumes have all the capabilities of a FlexVol volume, including growing, shrinking, and being the source of a snapshot copy or even another FlexClone volume. Data ONTAP makes it happen by Copy on Write technology. When a volume is cloned, ONTAP does not allocate any new physical space but simply updates the metadata to point to the old blocks of the parent volume. NetApp filers use a Write Anywhere File Layout (WAFL) to manage disk storage. When a file is changed, the snapshot copy still points to the disk blocks where the file existed before it was modified, and only the changes (deltas) are written to new disk blocks. A block in WAFL currently can have a maximum of 255 pointers to it. This means that a single FlexVol volume can be cloned upto 255 times. All the metadata updates are just pointer changes, and the filer takes advantage of locality of reference, NVRAM, and RAID technology to keep everything fast and reliable. I found this documentation on the Netapp site specially useful to understand the concept. The following picture provides a graphical illustration of how this works.



Oracle  ZFS employs a similar copy-on-write methodology that creates clones that point to the source block of data. When one needs to modify the block, data is never overwritten in place. Oracle Solaris ZFS then creates new pointers to the new data and a new master block (uberblock) that points to the modified data tree. Only then does it move to using the new uberblock and tree. In addition to providing data integrity, having new and previous versions of the data on disk allows for services such as snapshots to be implemented very efficiently.

The best way to think of storage snapshots is that it is a point-in-time view of the data. It’s a time machine, letting you look into the past. Because it’s all just pointers, you can actually look at the snapshot as if it was the active filesystem. It’s read-only, because you can’t change the past, but you can actually look at it and read the data. NetApp and SunZFS snapshots just write the new information to a special bit of disk reserved for storing these changes, called the SnapReserve. Then, the pointers that tell the system where to find the data get updated to point to the new data in the SnapReserve.

Space efficiency: Since we are only recording the deltas, you get the disk savings of copy-on-write snapshots (typically a few hundred kilobytes for a 1 terabyte database).

Time efficiency: Because the snapshot is just pointers, to restore data (using SnapRestore), we simply update the pointers to point to the original data again. This is faster than copying all the data back. So taking a snapshot completes in seconds, even for really large volumes (like, terabytes) and so do restores. A typical terabyte database therefore takes only a couple of minutes to clone, backup and restore.

So, what is the additional benefit of Enterprise Manager Snap Clone over storage level cloning?

Snap Clone is complementary to the copy-on-write technologies described above. It leverages the technologies mentioned above;  however it provides additional value in:

  1. Automated registration and association with Test Master database: Registering the storage with Enterprise Manager in context of the Test Master database. For example, it queries the filer to find the storage volumes and then associates those with the volumes that the datafiles are associated with. It provides granular control to the admins to make a database clonable, since there could be databases that DBAs do not want cloned off.
  2. Database as a Service using a self-service paradigm: Provides a self-service user (typically a functional tester) to provision a clone based on the Test Master. The self-service capability has administrator side feature like setting up the pool of servers which will host the databases, creating a zone, creating service templates for provisioning and setting access controls for the users both at the zone level and the service template level.
  3. Time travel: Functional testers often need to go back to an earlier incarnation of a database. Enterprise Manager provides the self service users to take multiple snapshots of the database as backups. The users can then easily restore from an earlier snapshot. Since the snapshot is only a thin copy, the backup and restore are almost instantaneous, typically a couple of minutes. During restore a large part of that is spent in actually starting the database, for example and discovering its state in Enterprise manager and not in the actual restore.
  4. Manageability: Finally, Enterprise Manager provides the complete manageability of these clones. This includes performance management, lifecycle management, etc. For example, when cloning at a storage volume level, sysadmin tools have little idea on the databases and applications that are consuming those volumes. From an inventory management, capacity planning and compliance it is important to track the storage association and lineage of the clones at the database level. Enterprise Manager provides that rich set of manageability features.


So how does this work in Enterprise Manager 12c?

In order to understand the Snap Clone feature of Enterprise Manager and its relevance to DBaaS, it is important to understand the sequence of steps that enable the feature and the DbaaS.


Step 1: Setting up the DbaaS Pool
First of all the Sysadmin has to designate few servers (which become Enterprise Manager hosts when the agent is deployed on them) to constitute the PaaS Infrastructure Zone. Each of these servers should have the connectivity to be able to mount the volumes participating in the Snap Clone process.

The DBA intrinsically knows the exact versions and flavor of databases being used within each LoB along with the operating system version compatibility. As the next level of streamlining he/she can add each unique type of the database configuration to a single place called Pool. For example, single Instance 11.1.0.7, cluster database 11.2.0.2 …etc.

A database pool contains a set of homogeneous resources that can be used to provision a database instance within a PaaS Infrastructure Zone. For Snap Clone in particular, the administrator needs to pre-provision the same version of Oracle Homes either on standalone hosts or in a RAC cluster, which should be a part of the PaaS Infrastructure Zone.


Step 2: Setting up the Test Master
In the first step the administrator has to set up a Test Master as a clone of the production. Sometimes, the administrator has to create another copy of production at the source itself for masking and subsetting. The solution would vary depending on the customer's specific need and infrastructure. One can use one of RMAN, Dataguard, Golden Gate or even storage technologies such as Netapp Snapmirror, but usually our customers have figured out one way or other to do it. If the customer wishes to use EM for this, they can also use the Database Clone feature to clone the data (this leverages RMAN behind the scenes) or even use data synchronization feature of the Change Manager (part of Database Lifecycle Management Pack) to keep production and Test Master consistent. There is no unique way of accomplishing this; it all depends on the specific use case. There can be cases where the customer may need to mask or subset the data at source for which they can use those EM features as well.



The test master has to be created on ZFS Storage Appliance or Netapp Filer. Currently, the versions supported are:
·    ZFS Storage Appliance models  7410 and 7420
·    Any Netapp storage model where Version ONTAP® 7.2.1.1P1D18 or above of Netapp is supported.  The Netapp interoperability matrix is available here

Here’s a sample of database files on a Netapp filer that could constitute the Test Master database.
·    /vol/oradata (datafiles and indexes): [8-16 luns]
·    /vol/oralog (redologs only): [2-4 luns]
·    /vol/orarch  (archived redo logs ):[2-4 luns]
·    /vol/controlfiles (small vol for controlfiles):[2-4 luns]
·    /vol/oratemp (temp tablespace):[4-8 luns]

Step 3: Register the storage and designate the Test Master
Once the Test Master database has been created, one has to
1.    Discover the Test Master database as an EM target
2.    Register the storage with Enterprise Manager. Enterprise Manager uses an agent installed on Linux x86-64 bit to communicate with the filer. For NetApp storage, the connection is over http or https. For Sun ZFS storage, the connection is over ssh.

 Enterprise Manager associates a database with a filer by deriving the volumes  from the data files and then associating the volumes with those seen by the filer. For a database to participate in Snap Clone, it should be wholly located on flexvols or shares with Copy on Write enabled. Enterprise Manager performs the necessary validations for that.

Step 4: Creating the service template using the Profile
Finally, the Test Master needs to be exposed as a source of cloning to functional clones to self-service users. This is done by creating a provisioning profile. Provisioning Profile, in general, is an Enterprise Manager concept that denotes a gold image-whether in the form of a “tarball” archive or an RMAN backup or a Test Master.  The concept of profile makes the process repeatable by several users, such as QA testing different parts of the application.

The profile is exposed to the service catalog via a service template which also includes the provisioning procedure, pre and post scripts for deploying the image.

Finally, comes the user side experience
. Enterprise Manager supports a self-service model where users can provision databases without being gated by DBA. The self-service user can pick a service template (which indirectly via the provisioning profile links to the Test Master) , specify the zone where to deploy and the database gets provisioned.  This new database is actually a "thin clone" of the Test Master and new blocks will get allocated only when the data is updated. The user can also take backup the cloned database, which are essentially read-only snapshots of the database. If the user needs to restore the database the latest incarnation of the database is simply pointed to the snapshot, so that the restore is instantaneous. This literally enables the self-service user to go back in time, in a "time travel" fashion. In addition to provisioning and backup, self-service users can also monitor the databases-check their statuses, look at session statistics, etc.



Before concluding this blog entry, let me point to a bunch of collateral related to DBaaS that we recently published. Check out the new whitepaper, demos, and presentation. We will soon publish a technical whitepaper on performing E-Business Suite testing using Snap Clone. Till then...

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Thursday Feb 28, 2013

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) now available on OTN

Contributed by Martin Pena, Director, Product Management, Oracle Enterprise Manager

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 (12.1.0.2) software binaries, updated with the new plug-ins and updated plug-in versions, are now available for download from Oracle Technology Network (OTN). Note that this is not a patch or patch set release; the new and updated plug-ins have simply been integrated with the binaries to make it easier for users to deploy the plug-ins as part of installing or upgrading Cloud Control. The management agent software binaries have not been changed.


+  New Management Plug-Ins:  The following new and updated plug-Ins are now available as part of this release. In addition to providing new and enhanced functionality, the plug-ins incorporate numerous bug fixes.

Plug-In Name / Version
*Enterprise Manager for Oracle Database (DB) 12.1.0.3 (new)
*Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization (VT) 12.1.0.4 (new)
*Enterprise Manager Storage Management Framework (SMF) 12.1.0.1 (new)
*Enterprise Manager for Oracle Cloud (SSA) 12.1.0.5 (new)

How  to access  Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) :

Follow the option that is relevant for your installation to deploy the latest plug-in releases and updates into your environment:

+  If you have not yet installed Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c, download the Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Update 1 (12.1.0.2) binaries from Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and install the new version. The plug-ins will be deployed as part of the installation process.

+  If you already have Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.1) installed [with or without Bundle Patch 1], download Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) from Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and upgrade to the new version. The plug-ins will be deployed as part of the upgrade process.

+  If you have already installed or upgraded to 12c Release 2 (12.1.0.2), you do not need to download the binaries from from Oracle Technology Network (OTN), but can instead deploy the new and updated plug-in versions using Cloud Control's Self Update feature. To deploy all of the plug-ins in simultaneously, use the deploy_plugin_on_server emcli command as shown below:

           emcli deploy_plugin_on_server -plugin="plug-in_id[:version][;plug-in_id[:version]]" [-sys_password=sys_password] [-prereq_check]

For example:

           emcli deploy_plugin_on_server -plugin="oracle.sysman.vt;oracle.sysman.ssa;oracle.sysman.db"

For more information, refer to the Plug-in Manager chapter in the Enterprise Manager Administrator's Guide, available here:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/doc.121/e24473/plugin_mngr.htm

To review more install/upgrade usecases and the FAQ, please refer to the Getting Started chapter in the Basic Installation Guide, available here:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/install.121/e22624/getting_started_overview.htm

Join live webcast "Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-In Update 1 Installation and Upgrade Overview" learn more and ask questions on Friday, March 01 - 9:00 AM PT

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Wednesday Feb 27, 2013

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-In Update 1 Installation and Upgrade Overview

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-In Update 1 Installation and Upgrade Overview

Friday, March 01, 9:00 a.m. PT

Register Now

Join us for this live technical presentation to learn about Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 release and how it impacts you. This webcast is a must-attend event for users who have EM 12.1.0.x in their environment or are planning to deploy EM 12.1.0.x or upgrade to EM 12.1.0.x from older Enterprise Manager versions.

Oracle has recently released new and updated Enterprise Manager Plug-ins which enables optimum utilization of compute resources giving customers more flexibility and control during application development, leading to faster time-to-market for delivering IT services. These plug-in provide enhanced support and extend EM's capabilities for Database as a Service (DBaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and introduce new features for Testing as a Service (TaaS).

During this presentation we will review the following topics:

  • Overview of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1
    • Does it have new features or bug fixes?
    • How do I get EM 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 binaries?
    • Various Install/Upgrade/Additional OMS Usecases
    • What happens to Agent Binaries?
    • Go over Install/Upgrade FAQ on EM 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1
  • Quick overview of new version /revision of plug-ins
  • How to deploy new plug-in in your existing EM 12.1.0.x environment
    • In Offline or Online mode
    • Using emcli to reduce OMS downtime
  • Documentation
  • Q&A

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Monday Feb 25, 2013

New and updated Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Plug-Ins for Infrastructure as a Servce ( IaaS )

With the recent announcement of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2 Plugin Update 1 (12.1.0.2), building and managing Infrastructure as a Service ( IaaS ) cloud is simpler than ever. Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization (VT) plug-in 12.1.0.4 now support Oracle VM 3.2.1 which is enhanced for building much more secure and scalable enterprise class infrastructure cloud. Particularly, we were able to see significant performance improvement in handling parallel operations in the area of storage and VM management. Some of the key features supported for Oracle VM 3.2.1 include:

• Virtual Machine Tagging- During deployment, users specify tags (that can be edited later) for the machines they are creating, and search based on the tags.

• Periodic Storage Repository Refresh - Synchronization between data on the repository and that on the Oracle VM Manager can now be automated

• Oracle VM Agent password update support - Oracle VM Agent password can now be updated via the EM UI

• Virtual Server Roles support – Servers can be marked for playing different roles, such as utility role or virtual machine role

• VM start policy – Users can set the policy on where the VM should be started on (e.g., Current Server, Best Server or based on Pool Policy)

• OCFS2 timeout support – Users can set heartbeat timeout for servers in a clustered server pool

More details on Oracle VM 3.2.1 features can be found here

Enterprise Manager for Oracle Cloud (SSA) 12.1.0.5 enables the new capabilities provided by Enterprise manager for Oracle Virtualization plug-in 12.1.0.4 for self service users through self service portal.

Some of the key features and improvements in Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization 12.1.0.4 and Enterprise Manager for Cloud 12.1.0.5 plug-ins for building Infrastructure as a Service cloud include:

• Faster and consistent synchronization with Oracle VM Manager – Any VM status change is reflected in Enterprise Manager must faster than before and more consistently. Both target status and OVM status of VM target instance in EM are consistently updated when VM goes through any status changes

• Improved UI page performance – Many of key UI pages for cloud management load much faster now

• Improved assembly deployment – There are multiple enhancements in this area including better error handling, improved and more robust Storage Repository selection for better distribution on storage usage, and enhanced network placement logic.

• Out of box assembly support - Database assemblies available in Self Update Console can be downloaded and used in Self Service Portal for easy deployment of database in your cloud. Deployment is completely integrated with EM agent deployment so that host and applications like database instance can be discovered and managed when the assembly deployment is complete

Follow the steps below to enable the latest functionality using these plug-ins:

1.    Apply patchset update (PSU) patch 14840279 to EM 12c Release 2 (12.1.0.2) OMS $ORACLE_HOME. This is a recommended patch on 12.1.0.2.0
2.    Deploy the Oracle Virtualization Plug-in 12.1.0.4.0 and Oracle Cloud Plug-in 12.1.0.5.0 on the OMS using the Enterprise Manager 12c console. If you plan to use the database assemblies, also deploy the Oracle Database Plug-in 12.1.0.3.0

To deploy the above three plug-ins use the following EM CLI command:

$ emcli login -username=sysman -password=<password>
$ emcli deploy_plugin_on_server -plugin="oracle.sysman.vt;oracle.sysman.ssa;oracle.sysman.db"

3.    Apply the Virtualization Plug-in patch 16235354 on to the Plug-in $ORACLE_HOME. (Make sure PSU mentioned in step 1 is applied before this step.)
4.    Deploy the Oracle Virtualization 12.1.0.4.0 Plug-in on the Enterprise Manager Agent managing Oracle VM Manager using the Enterprise Manager console. (This is the agent used when registering the OVM Manager to Cloud Control)
5.    Apply patch 16219750 on this same Agent used to manage the Oracle VM Manager target. This can be done via a Patching Plan in the Enterprise Manager Console.
6.    Apply the Virtualization Plug-in patch 16235337 on the Agent. (Make sure patches mentioned in steps 3 and 5 are applied before this step - this can also be applied via a Patching Plan)

Refer to support note 1371536.1 for more details.

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Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

SquareTwo Financial uses Oracle Data Masking for Compliance and Improves Performance by 96%

Watch as leading financial services firm, SquareTwo Financial, talks about maintaining compliance while increasing IT productivity and performance by replacing in-house data masking with Oracle Data Masking solution.

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Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Coles Deploys Oracle Exadata and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

Read the latest news about Coles Supermarkets, one of Australia's largest grocery chains with more than 100,000 employees and 2,000 stores country-wide. Learn how Coles completely revamped their data warehouse with Oracle Exadata and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c . The new system improved Coles's processes and critical reporting by as much as 3 to 4x out-of-the-box with a 4 to 6x faster query performance. The result, higher quality of service for the business and for customers during peak seasonal spikes.

LEARN MORE:

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Thursday Jan 24, 2013

HDFC Bank Deploys Database-as-a-Service with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

Listen in as one of India’s largest banks discusses the benefits of using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to manage their database-as-a-service deployment.

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Tuesday Jan 15, 2013

Answers to Your Common Database Performance Questions

An Interview with Oracle Database Manageability Expert, Deba Chatterjee

Throughout the year we hear from lots of customers and get many questions about managing Oracle Database. In this blog, I thought I would try and provide some answers to common diagnostics and tuning questions with the help of our product manager and residence expert for Oracle Database Manageability, Deba Chatterjee. Deba has a wealth of database performance tuning experience both inside and outside of Oracle managing large data warehouses. Deba is responsible for Oracle Diagnostics Pack for Database and Oracle Tuning Pack for Database. I recently sat down with Deba and had a chat about database manageability.

Scott McNeil: Deba, we get many people asking questions about database performance—many still don't know about all the deep diagnostics capabilities Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c has to offer for Oracle Database. Capabilities such as; Compare Period ADDM, Real-Time ADDM, Active Session History (ASH) Analytics Real-Time SQL Monitoring, using Metric Extensions, and SQL Tuning Advisor—how do customers get all these capabilities for their database?

Deba Chatterjee: We recently ran a webcast: Maximize Oracle Database Performance with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: Top 10 Tips and Tricks that explains how many of these features work. I highly recommend people watch the webcast to get a better understanding of the capabilities you mentioned. But the short answer is: for Compare Period ADDM, Real-Time ADDM, Metric Extensions you need to license Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Diagnostics Pack for Database. For Real-Time SQL Monitoring, SQL Tuning Advisor, you will need the Oracle Tuning Pack for Database.

Scott McNeil: Another question customers repeatedly ask is around Cloud Control and Database Control. Deba, can you explain the difference between Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c (formerly Grid Control) and Database Control.

Deba Chatterjee: Although they belong to the same family of products there is a fundamental difference between the two. Database Control can be used to manage only a single database with which it has been configured, while Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c allows you to manage all your databases under the same centralized management console. Plus Cloud Control lets you manage not only all your databases but your entire application and technology stack too, whether it's in a private cloud or in a traditional environment.

How do you modify the Metric Value History retention in Enterprise Manager? For example; Enterprise Manager only shows the last 7 days, how do you display longer than 7 days?

Deba Chatterjee: There are various retention times based on the type of metric data:

  • Raw metric data: default retention time is 7 days
  • Hourly aggregated metric data: default retention is 31 days
  • Daily aggregated metric data: default retention is 12 months

Refer to the documentation here, if you want to change the default retention time.

For Compare Period ADDM, how do you relate that in the context of system load?

Deba Chatterjee: In the resource usage tab, you can check the system CPU, Memory, I/O and interconnect (for RAC databases) utilizations across the 2 comparison periods in the same database.

Does Compare Period ADDM take into account the average read and average write in order to identify why the variance is happening in performance?

Deba Chatterjee: Compare Period ADDM uses database time to compare the performance across two periods. It does not compare based on average read or write times.

Does Enterprise Manager have the ability to create customized performance graphs? For example; can you create a graph for CPU usage in the last 24 hours on a given Host?

Deba Chatterjee: This is possible through the information publisher or BI publisher reports. As for the CPU usage, the chart is available out-of-the box in the target page for hosts.

How do you connect to the database itself when it’s hung and won't allow any extra connections? Do you use command line? Can you use ADDM even though the database is hung?

Deba Chatterjee: When the database is hung, you can connect to it using the diagnostic connection mode in Real-Time ADDM. The agent that is used to monitor the database makes the connection. No, command line is used. You have to use Real-Time ADDM for the connection.

Is Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c compatible with older versions of the database?

Deba Chatterjee: You can use Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to monitor Oracle Database versions: 9.2.0.8, 10.1.0.5, 10.2.0.4, 10.2.0.5, 11.1.0.7, 11.2.0.1, 11.2.0.2, and 11.2.0.3.

Is SQL Performance Analyzer part of Oracle Database 11g or do you need to use Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?

Deba Chatterjee: SQL Performance Analyzer is built into the database and provides command line APIs. However, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c provides the complete orchestration needed to capture the SQL tuning set, run the performance trials, and then to create a performance comparison report.

How do you enable Enterprise Manager to monitor and send alerts to the DBAs for a "Runaway Query?”

Deba Chatterjee: You can use EM to monitor runaway queries and send alerts using Metric Extensions which rely on the data captured in SQL Monitoring. The method was explained in this webcast presentation.

How do you create a report for all the SQL running in an instance during a 30 minute timeframe? Can you export this to a spreadsheet?

Deba Chatterjee: ASH stores sampled (1 seconds in memory or 10 seconds on-disk) SQL. However ASH is meant to capture the high load SQL statements so it won’t have all SQL statements.

Do you recommend enabling automatic gathering of SQL baselines as a preventative measure of SQL regression?

Deba Chatterjee: No. This would be overkill. Identify the queries that frequently change plans and then create SQL plan baselines.

If a server has multiple database instances, what is the best way to effectively do resource allocation?

Deba Chatterjee: There is no silver bullet. Carefully study your database load and decide on use of services, instance caging and resource managers to manage load on servers.

When using SQL Performance Analyzer, do you create the baseline first before the code change is deployed or at peak DB time?

Deba Chatterjee: These are two different problems. While testing for Code change, the baseline should be created before the code is deployed. While testing for an upgrade scenario the baseline needs to be created at a peak DB time.

Is there a metric to monitor ASM disk group utilization at the cluster level?

Deba Chatterjee: Yes. ASM Disk Group Usage metric is what you can use. (See image below)

Can Oracle Enterprise Manager’s alerts be configured to monitor elements in the audit trail such as table creation or table drop?

Deba Chatterjee: Yes, these type of alerts can be configured using Metric Extensions.

LEARN MORE:

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Tuesday Oct 09, 2012

Private Cloud: Putting some method behind the madness

Finally, I decided to join the blogging community. And what could be a better time to start than the week after OpenWorld 2012. 50K+ attendees, demonstrations, speaker sessions and a whole lot of buzz on Oracle Cloud..It was raining clouds in this year's Openworld. I am not here to write about Oracle's cloud strategy in general, but on Enterprise Manager's cloud management capabilities. This year's Openworld was the first after we announced the 12c Cloud Control and we were happy to share the stage with quite a few early adopters. Stay tuned for videos from our customers and partners, I will post them as they get published.

I met a number of platform administrators in Oracle-DBAs, Middleware Admins, SOA Admins...The cloud has affected them all, at least to the point where it beckoned more than just curiosity..Most IT infrastructure are already heavily virtualized (on VMWare and on others including Oracle VM), and some would claim they are already on “cloud” (at least their Sysadmins told them so). But none of them were confident of the benefits because their pain points continued to grow.. Isn't cloud supposed to ease those? Instead, they were chasing hundreds of databases running on hundreds of VMs, often with as much certainty propounded by Heisenberg. What happened to the age-old IT discipline around administration, compliance, configuration management?

VMs are great for what they are. I personally think they have opened the doors to new approaches in which an application stack gets provisioned and updated. In fact, Enterprise Manager 12c is possibly the only tool out there that can provision full-fledged application as VM Assemblies. In this year's Openworld, customers talked on how they provisioned RAC and Siebel assemblies, which as the techies out there know, are not trivial (hearing provisioning time for Siebel down from weeks to hours was gratifying indeed). However, I do have an issue with a "one-size fits all" approach to cloud. In a week's span, I met several personas:

  • Project owners requiring an EC2 like VM instance for their projects

  • Admins needing the same for Sparc-Solaris.

  • DBAs requiring dedicated databases for new projects

  • APEX Developers needing just a ready-to-consume schema as a service

  • Java Developers looking for a runtime platform

  • QA engineers needing a fast clone of their production environment

If you drill down further, you will end up peeling more layers of the details. For example, the requirements for Load testing and Functional testing are very different. For Load testing the test environment should ideally be the same as the production. You shouldn't run production on Exadata and load test on a VM; they will just not be good representations of one another. For Functional testing it does not possibly matter.

DBAs seem to be at the worst affected of the lot. It seems they have been asked to choose between agile provisioning and  faster runtime performance. And in some cases, it is really a Hobson's choice, because their infrastructure provider made no distinction between the OLTP application and the Virtual desktop! Sad indeed.

When one looks at the portfolio of services that we already offer (vanilla IaaS, VM Assembly based PaaS, DBaaS) or have announced (Java PaaS, Instant Cloning, Schema-aaS), one can possibly think that we are trying to be the "renaissance man" ! Well I would have possibly digested that had it not been for the various personas that I described above.

Getting the use cases right is very important for an application such as cloud management. We iterate and iterate over these over and over again and re-validate them in CABs (Customer Advisory Boards). We consider over the major aspects of tenancy: service placement, resource isolation (can a tenant execute an expensive SQL and run away with all the resources), quota and security. We, in Engineering, keep reminding ourselves that we are dealing with enterprise clouds. We owe it to our customer base !

In the coming posts, I will drill down more into each of the services. In the meanwhile, here are some collateral and  demos for starters with EM 12c.

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/cloud-mgmt/index.html

Sudip Datta

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

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Thursday Jul 19, 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c July Newsletter is Out!

Each month the Enterprise Manager team puts together a full line-up of great articles, content and technical product information around a particular theme. This month is no different. In July, we’re focusing on lifecycle management and all the things you need to know about this important topic. Read the July newsletter to get the latest articles and content on lifecycle management. Read it now!

The July edition covers:
• Achieving Extreme Performance Across Oracle Exadata's Lifecycle

• Top 5 Database Compliance Risks—and How to Avoid Them
• Know the Best Tools to Provision and Patch Oracle Database 11g
• and much more...

So stay tuned as we bring you more feature articles, and more webcasts throughout the month.

Enjoy!

Subscribe here to receive the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Newsletter.


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Monday May 21, 2012

Benefits of using Ops Center to deploy and manage Solaris 11

One of the more significant new features in Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c is the ability to install Ops Center on Oracle Solaris 11, and to deploy and manage systems running Solaris 11.  The Solaris 11 capabilities are in addition to the analogous features for Solaris 10 and Linux, which can all be handled from the same Ops Center infrastructure.

When the Ops Center Enterprise Controller (EC) is installed on a system running Solaris 11, the EC can create a Solaris 11 Software Update Library containing Oracle Solaris Image Packaging System (IPS) content that is synchronized with the main Oracle repository at pkg.oracle.com. The Ops Center managed Solaris 11 repository becomes the package (pkg) publisher for downstream Solaris 11 deployments and updates on all Solaris 11 systems being managed by Ops Center.

Ops Center provides the ability to define Solaris 11 OS and Software Profiles comprised of Oracle Solaris 11 packages, user-supplied custom packages, scripts, and other files.  Such Software Profiles profiles can then be used to install and update software on systems already running Solaris 11 in a structured and consistent way.  Ops Center not only caches the main Oracle Solaris IPS repository, but more importantly it gives admins the ability to define their own preferred collection of packages so that systems can easily be kept in sync with each other, running a well-defined, life-cycle-managed Standard Operating Environment (SOE), instead of just whatever the latest content is at pkg.oracle.com.

Ops Center 12c also adds Solaris 11 features for bare-metal OS Provisioning, based on the Solaris 11 Auto Install (AI) facility.  Ops Center configures the Solaris 11 AI in a way that shields admins from needing to write custom AI manifests or custom "first boot" packages.  Solaris 11 deployments using Ops Center follow similar profile-based patterns as for Solaris 10 or Linux, all of which can all be deployed from the same Ops Center infrastructure running on Solaris 11.  The gory details of all these different times of bare-metal OS Provisioning are handled automatically for the user so that he or she does not need to put time and resources into manually creating and maintaining infrastructure for deploying different OS's natively -- Solaris 11 with AI, Solaris 10 JumpStart with JET, or Linux with Kickstart or AutoYast.  All of those OS's are handled by Ops Center under the covers, based on whatever network boot capability the OS requires (PXE/DHCP, WANBOOT, or AI), and all from the same Ops Center infrastructure running on Solaris 11.

Specific to Solaris 11 OS Provisioning (via AI), Ops Center provides its own "first-boot" package+scripts to customize the Solaris 11 deployment, and in particular this approach automatically installs the Ops Center agent.  With the Ops Center Agent in place right from the start, it is easy to handle post-install steps using the Ops Center features for handling Solaris 11 OS and Software Profiles containing additional packages, scripts, and content from the Solaris 11 Software Library, described above.

Tying bare-metal Solaris 11 deployment and post-install customization together is a key way that Ops Center simplifies the overall life-cycle management for Solaris 11 (in addition to Solaris 10 and Linux).   For example, a top-level plan based on "Configure and Install Logical Domains" can create numerous Logical Domains into an Oracle VM Server for SPARC "Server Pool" and provision Solaris 11 into each LDom Guest based on a powerful multi-step "Install Server" plan.  Such a plan can cover the end-to-end steps for installing and updating the OS, running scripts and adjusting monitoring parameters, etc.

Here is an example of the kinds of activities that can be performed in conjunction an OS Deployment, or separately, depending on the need:

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c Deployment Plan

NOTE: In the above example, the last step "Create Guests" can be used to create one or more Solaris Containers within the LDom Guest, rounding out the end-to-end deployment all the way from LDom Guest to Solaris 11 Global Zone to multiple Solaris Containers, if so desired.

One of the nicest aspect of deploying and managing Solaris 11 using Ops Center Plans and Profiles is that the same content can be applied as updates to existing Solaris 11 systems, aligned to the same content as chained off a bare-metal OS Provisioning.  It is up to the user which steps they want to include in a deployment plan -- whether they are updating Software Profiles on systems deployed 6 months ago to match the latest standard, or they are deploying new systems based on that same standard, Ops Center provides the means to insure that the outcome is consistent.

Here is an example of the kinds of activities that can be performed on an existing Solaris 11 OS -- either ad hoc, or immediately after a Solaris 11 OS Provisioning step, so that whether the life-cycle started with a new system, or the intent is to update a system deployed six months ago, the outcome can be the same:

S11 Update Multi-Step Plan

In short, Ops Center running on Solaris 11 can manage Solaris 10 and Linux systems, all from a common infrastructure, and all based on a simplified, consistent, profile- and plan-based way to do the OS and Software deployments and updates.  The net effect is an easy to use way to managing the life-cycle of heterogeneous systems, in a very consistent way through automation and re-use.

Please let us know what you think?  Until next time...
\Leon
--

Leon Shaner | Senior IT/Product Architect
Systems Management | Ops Center Engineering @ Oracle

The views expressed on this [blog; Web site] are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.



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Monday Apr 09, 2012

New Database assemblies are available now to simplify cloud deployment via Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Self-Update

Deploying application in the cloud is a huge challenge.  Typically customers either deploy various components of the application individually and then manually wire them together.  Some vendors even allow you to deploy a bunch of VMs together but you still have the hard and painful job of connecting the dots. The problem gets even worse if you start to think other deployment constraints – such as which components should be co-located and which not, what should be the network topology of the application (i.e. database and middleware should be in different network segments), which components can scale out and if so how should the scale out happen.

Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder (OVAB) and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c address this challenge. Using OVAB, application developers and architects  can model the application topology graphically, define all dependencies and deployment constraints, and package the entire application in form of what we call an application assembly. These assembly can then be uploaded to the centralized software library in Enterprise Manager for self-service deployments.


At the launch of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c last year, we talked about Oracle's plan to offer assemblies for all our products which will allow you to deploy any of our products – including packaged applications – by click of a button. Enterprise Manager has a live link back to Oracle which will notify you of the availability of new assemblies and download them if you are interested.


Last week, we made new Database assemblies available via Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Self-Update. The release of assemblies will help customers deploy the cloud solution more easily on Oracle VM platform. Customers can create a zone of Oracle VM 3.x servers and deploy these assemblies from the Enterprise Manager 12c Self-Service interface. Following screenshot shows how they look like in the self-update interface of the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

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Thursday Apr 05, 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c is now available for download at Oracle technology Network

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c is available now for download at Oracle Technology Network (OTN ) .

Oracle Logo Enterprise Manager Ops Center Documentation

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center web page at Oracle Technology Network

Join Oracle Launch Webcast : Total Cloud Control for Systems on April 12th at 9 AM PST to learn more about  Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c from Oracle Senior Vice President John Fowler, Oracle Vice President of Systems Management Steve Wilson and a panel of Oracle executive.



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Wednesday Apr 04, 2012

Oracle Launches Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c at OpenWorld Japan

Oracle Senior Vice President John Fowler and Oracle Vice President of Systems Management Steve Wilson unveiled Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c at Oracle OpenWorld, Tokyo Japan on April 4th morning. 

Oracle Enterprise Manager combines management of servers, operating systems, virtualization solution for x86 and SPRC servers, firmware, storage, and network fabrics with Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center. Available at no additional cost as part of the Ops Center Anywhere Program, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c allows enterprises to accelerate mission-critical cloud deployment, unleash the power of Solaris 11 — the first cloud OS, and simplify Oracle engineered systems management.

Here are some of the resources for you to learn more about the new Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c : 

Press Release : Introducing Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c

White paper: Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c - Making Infrastructure-as-a-Service in the Enterprise a Reality

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center web page at Oracle Technology Network

Join Oracle Launch Webcast : Total Cloud Control for Systems on April 12th at 9 AM PST to learn more about  Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c from Oracle Senior Vice President John Fowler, Oracle Vice President of Systems Management Steve Wilson and a panel of Oracle executive.



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