Friday Mar 16, 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Integration With Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g

In a blog entry earlier this year, we announced the availability of the Ops Center 11g plug-in for Enterprise Manager 12c. In this article I will walk you through the process of deploying the plug-in on your existing Enterprise Manager agents and show you some of the capabilities the plug-in provides. We'll also look at the integration from the Ops Center perspective. I will show you how to set up the connection to Enterprise Manager and give an overview of the information that is available.

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Oracle Enterprise Manager content at Collaborate 12 - the only user-driven and user-run Oracle conference

From April 22-26, 2012, Oracle takes Las Vegas. Thousands of Oracle professionals will descend upon the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for a weeks worth of education sessions, networking opportunities and more, at the only user-driven and user-run Oracle conference - COLLABORATE 12.

This is one of the best opportunities for you to learn more about Oracle technology including Oracle Enterprise Manager. Here is a summary of an impressive line-up of Oracle Enterprise Manager related content at COLLABORATE 12.

Customer Presentations

Oracle Presentations

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Thursday Mar 08, 2012

Looking for an executive overview of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c ?

IT professionals are excited by the technical advantages of cloud computing, and Line of Business managers look to the cloud as a driver of business growth, efficiency, and productivity. By transforming IT into a business-centric provider of services that users can access from anywhere, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c helps you build a more agile, efficient, and  innovative enterprise.

You can get an executive overview of the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c in this recently published executive brief

For more information, please go to Oracle Enterprise Manager  web page or  follow us at : 

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Wednesday Mar 07, 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager Application Quality Management OPN Specialization for Acolade Consulting.

We'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Acolade Consulting in becoming one of the first within the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) to achieve the Oracle Enterprise Manager Application Quality Management (Oracle EM AQM) OPN Specialization. OPN Specialized Partners are differentiated in the marketplace, gaining a competitive edge and access to broader and larger solution opportunities

Rajesh Krishnan, Practice Director, Acolade Consulting with Patricia Nance,
GM Oracle Alliances and Channels at a recent  partner recognizition event in Sydney.

Partner organizations achieving Oracle EM AQM specialization have demonstrated proficiency in providing Application Testing and Quality Management Solution and Services with Oracle technology. Customers can locate Partners proficient with Oracle EM AQM in the OPN Solutions Catalog to help them test packaged, Web, and SOA applications and ensure quality, scalability, and availability of applications and their infrastructure. 

The Oracle EM AQM solution consists of these distinct functional capabilities:

  • Oracle Application Testing Suite – comprised of Oracle Test Manager, Functional Testing for automation testing, and Load Testing for stress, volume and performance testing
  • Oracle Real Application Testing – for maintaining application quality when there is a infrastructure change or database upgrade.
  • Oracle Application Replay - for generating production workloads against web and Oracle applications under test, which are identical to production.
  • Oracle Data Masking – for maintaining high level of data security by scrambling test data and maintaining end to end data integrity 

Utilizing the Oracle EM AQM Solution, Partners can help customers manage their entire quality assurance (QA) process, including defining test requirements, creating and executing automated and manual test cases, tracking defects, performing load tests and database tests.

Find out more about Acolade Consulting's Specialization 
Find out more about Oracle Partner Network

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Tuesday Mar 06, 2012

How to use Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center to patch your Solaris Systems ?

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center allows you to update your Solaris systems with patches available from My Oracle Support (MOS).

Like always in life, there are multiple ways to perform a given task and the same is true for Ops Center.

Juergen Fleischer, Senior IT/Product Architect , Oracle Enterprise manager Ops center provided the content for this blog to guide you through different ways to perform Oracle Solaris patching depending on deployment scenarios.

Scenario 1 - Applying a single Patch to an Asset

Let's start with installing just a single patch to a system. To perform this task you would select the OS Asset and pick the action 'View/Modify Catalog' from the right hand side Actions panel.

From the pop-up screen, you can search for the patchid, see which revision is already installed and select a newer one if required.

Here is a MOS how-to document describing this in all detail:

Scenario 2 - Applying multiple patches to several systems

If you have to apply a list of patches to multiple systems every now and then, creating an Update Profile would be the best method, as once you have created the Profile it can be used many times ensuring the exact same patches in the list are applied each and every time.

Update Profiles are located in the 'Plan Management' section. Update Profiles can be used in two ways: either you select a single or a group of OS assets and pick the action 'New Update OS Job'. Or, you pick the Update Profile in the Plan Management section and select 'New Update OS Job'. The wizard will allow you to select one or more target assets or groups.

Here is a MOS how-to with all the details:

Scenario 3 - Regular Baseline Patching

For regular Baseline Patching 'Update Profiles' can be based on given patchsets which are made available by the Ops Center Knowledge Base (KB).

The KB offers two different patchsets, the monthly released Solaris Baselines (based on Oracle's internal EIS-DVD) and the current or archived versions of the "Recommended Patchset for Solaris". These are updated whenever a new critical patch gets released. Every quarter, one of these Recommended Patchsets for Solaris will be renamed as the 'Critical Patch Update' in line with standard Oracle practice. It's up to the Customer's patching policy and strategy to determine which patchsets should be used and how often they should be applied.

Scenario 4 - Latest & Greatest patchset

Finally, if required, Customers can select what is called "Latest & Greatest" patchset. These are all the latest available patches for all installed packages. To perform this task, use the 'Host Compliance Report' and tick the Security & Bug Fixes check box.

More details can be found in this blog entry

or in this MOS how-to document:

So far, we have talked about various scenarios around applying a single patch or multiple patches.  These patches can be applied on a running system or by using LiveUpgrade (LU).  LU allows creating Alternate Boot Environment (ABE), Synchronizing boot environments, Patching the ABE and then Activating the ABE.
For detailed examples and howto examples:

Before using LiveUpgrade, please verify that the latest LU-Patch (sparc: 121430, x86: 121431) is  installed on the running system.

Furthermore, when payching zones always make use of the parallel zone patching feature, independent if using LU or not. Following blog entry describes this very well :

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Friday Mar 02, 2012

Application Testing in the Cloud Made Easy - Questions and Answers Series from the Oracle Enterprise Management Online Forum

We're still continuing our blog series on sharing the Q&A from the Oracle Enterprise Management Forum. This blog post will give the integral Q&A from the "Application Testing in the Cloud Made Easy" session in the DBA/Developer track.

Oracle Enterprise Manager delivers the only testing solution that provides testing starter-kits for Oracle applications, accelerators for SOA, and Web-based applications. The solution also includes unique application and database infrastructure testing using real production workloads.

Before we go into the Q&A, let's start with summarizing what’s new with the application testing management with Oracle Enterprise manager 12c.
Once you build an application, you need to test them. Over the last few years, we have invested a lot in creating a complete testing portfolio that allows you to test both application changes and the changes at the database or lower level.  A very unique aspect of our testing solution is that we allow to you to capture production data and replay in the test environment – thereby allowing you to test your application with real production workload.

We have significantly enhanced these capabilities in this new release.  First, we have just released the latest version of Application Testing Suite which includes Oracle Functional Testing, Oracle Load Testing and Oracle Test Manager.  
Three key enhancements in this release of Application Testing Suite that I would like to mention are:
  1. Test starter kit for Oracle’s Siebel CRM applications.  This provides you pre-built scripts for functional and load testing for easier and more efficient testing for your Siebel CRM implementations.  This complements our EBS test starter kits already available.  
  2. Deeper integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager’s middleware and database diagnostics such as ADDM and AWR reports that will improve testing efficiency and productivity by enabling testers to detect performance bottlenecks faster and with less effort.
  3. Finally, we support structured, business-driven testing based on testing industry most widely adopted methodology, TMap.  TMap is industry leading risk-based approach for structured software testing that helps you manage and standardize test processes. 
In the area of infrastructure testing, we are announced a new solution for automated application testing called Oracle Application Replay Pack.  It complements Oracle Real Application Testing feature for Oracle Database by providing the same functionality for the middle tier. Unlike traditional application testing tools, Application Replay uses real, production workloads to generate load against applications under test and does not require any script development or maintenance.  With Application Replay you can easily reduce your testing time by more than 80%.  It provides the most efficient, optimized and highest quality testing for validating application infrastructure changes for all your  Web and packaged Oracle applications.  

Another important part of testing, that is especially critical in a cloud environment but often gets overlooked, is that of test data management. When you allow users to provision databases/data in a self-service manner, it is all the more important that you protect the critical and sensitive data. Our data masking feature allows you to protect personally sensitive information by “masking” them.  New to this release of Oracle Enterprise Manager is Test Data Management Pack, with the ability to discover data dependency and modeling. This functionality allow you to discover data model and sensitive data in your environment so that you can protect them through Data Masking We also provide data masking templates for Oracle EBS and Fusion applications where all your sensitive columns and masking formats have been predefined.

Additionally, you will probably want to create smaller data subset – both to protect the data but also optimize the resource utilization.  Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c includes a new data subsetting feature that lets you create smaller databases with subsets of application data that is relationally consistent so that you can perform realistic testing and development on just 1% or 5% of production data. 

EM 12.1 is major release for our testing products and you will continue to see more innovative and cutting edge enhancements in our upcoming releases.  

In this session we demonstrated some of these new functionalities. The recording from the Oracle Enterprise Management Online Forum is now available to watch on demand.

Questions and Answers from "Application Testing in the Cloud Made Easy" session:

Q. Do you support synthetic workloads for load testing?

A. Yes. Oracle Load Testing is a load/performance test tool for synthetic load testing. Oracle Load Testing can test any web based application as well as Oracle packaged applications like Oracle EBS, Siebel, Oracle Fusion applications, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft, Hyperion and others. It is also possible to SOA/Web services based test or synthtetic database testing for Oracle databases

Q. Does the data masking solution work for non-Oracle Databases?

A. Yes. Heterogeneous masking is supported by way of oracle gateway

Q. Can Sensitive Data Discovery be customized for my own data structures?

A. If it is in a supported oracle database then yes.

Q. What versions of Oracle Database can be subsetted?

A. All current supported DB are supported for subsetting, We do support 10g R2 as well. There is plan to support 9i R2 but only in clone then subset and not inline subset.

Q. What kinds of applications are supported by Application Replay?

A. All http and nca protocol (forms) are supported.

Q. Where can I get more information on automatic script generation from RUEI and RAT for ATS?

A. You can find more information about the automatic script generation for ATS /Oracle Load Testing in the documentation in your installation directory of ATS ([Install directory]/docs/en) OpenScriptUserGuide.pdf - Section 3.2.7 for RUEI In case you have not installed ATS, you can download the documentation from this location:

Q. What versions of Oracle applications do the accelerators cover?

A. The testing accelerators for Oracle Load Testing or Oracle Functional Testing supports: EBS 11i & R12, Siebel 7.7 or higher. It also support any version of Oracle Fusion Applications

Q. For application data model, are all releases supported?

A. All current supported DB are supported for sub setting, We do support 10g R2 as well. There is plan to support 9i R2 but only in clone then subset and not inline subset.

Q. Which DB versions are supported to App Testing / replay ?

A. and above currently

Q. When you select encrypt, what kind of protocols you can select?

A. You cannot select your own protocols.

Q. How do you maintain the cardinality of the values in a sensitive column that you want to mask so the data values are not skewed -- in order to match the column cardinality of the production data.

A. We will not maintain 100 % cardinality but we will be close. and We an additional check if masking is introducing change in execution plans.

Q. Should we use the new Application Replay or Application Testing Suite for our E-Business Suite Testing?

A. It depends in what you are trying to archive with your testing. If you have infrastructure updates only, meaning database or application server changes, then Application Replay is a really good solution for you, but if you have changes in your application, you should use Application Testing Suite

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Thursday Mar 01, 2012

Sushil Kumar, VP,Product Strategy and Business development,Oracle shares highlights of new Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c update

Yesterday ( Feb. 29, 2012), Oracle announced the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Bundle patch 1 and Plug-in updates. The new "Bundle Patch" contains numerous bug fixes, performance improvements and new features to improve Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c customer experience . 

Sushil Kumar, VP, Product Strategy and Business development, Oracle Enterprise Manager, shared the highlights of the new "Bundle Patch" with me earlier today. In this blog, I captured my discussion with Sushil.

The new “Bundle Patch” is a pretty significant update to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c bits released at Oracle Open World in October, 2012. It contains over 3000 bug fixes and includes some brand new functionality such as Weblogic and Fusion Apps Patching, Exadata out of place patching, etc. We recommend customers, who are considering to go live with EM 12c in production in the next few months, to pick up this mandatory update. 

Even though we are calling this update a "Bundle Patch", an updated Enterprise Manager Base Platform Full Installer is made available for download on Oracle Technology Network (OTN).  Any customer who downloads the 12c bit as of February 29, 2012, will automatically get these updates as a part of the base install. In another words, if you download the EM 12c product by clicking on “for Linux x86 (64 bit) (With Bundle Patch)” link from the OTN Download center (see the screen shot below) and do a fresh install, you will have all the updates required and no additional patches need to be applied to get these updates. 

The revised installation media is only available for Linux right now. The updated installer will be released on other operating systems in the coming weeks/months.

If you have not already discovered a large number of targets, defined admin groups and monitoring templates or defined compliance policies and rules, etc. with previously released Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c bit, then a fresh install with the updated installer is the way to go. The option of “patching” a site running on previously released EM bits exists , but, it may be worth the pain only if you have already put in a lot of time and effort setting up your EM 12c environment based on the previously released bits.

We are working closely with the early adopter customers of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to make sure that they can update in a smoothest possible manner. If you were not part of the EM 12c early adopter program, please work with your Oracle support .

The other exciting announcement with the release of EM 12c iPhone app that Scott blogged about yesterday. This is in response to the strong customer demand to make EM accessible from mobile devices. The new app primarily exposes the incident management functionality but we will add more features to it moving forward.

Finally, we want to highlight that the only supported version of Oracle BI Publisher with EM 12c is and it is linked from the EM 12c download page.  Please do not use the latest version of BI publisher with EM 12c since that may render your environment unusable. We do have plans to support in the near future, but, as of now, please download the BI publisher version that is linked off the EM 12c download page on OTN.

Please share your feedback by providing your comments on this blog, using #em12c tag on twitter and other social media channel following the links below.

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Enterprise Manager 12C Agent Home Page

My first blog focused on the new architecture of the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c agent. Now I will start a series of blogs that discuss various issues. This current entry will discuss the numerous tools available for the end user to self-diagnose issues and keep track of key performance metrics of the agent.

To start with, the agent maintains detailed statistics around each operation being performed and can report on these automatically in a top 'N' style report hourly. This is called the Top Metric Report and can be enabled via the property topMetricReporter=true in the file. Once enabled, reports are automatically produced hourly and can also be requested on demand. Reports are maintained for a period of 24 hours.

The reports are stored in xml inside of the agent state home (available in $EMSTATEDIR/sysman/emd/topMetrics). They are also available from the agent metric browser, where a report can be requested to be generated as well.

The report provides detailed information regarding the top consuming cpu targets and/or metrics enabling customers to decide if collections are occurring too frequently. Customers can then modify the Oracle default collection frequencies.

The agent home page in the enterprise manager console has been redesigned to provide specific performance information about the agent. There are three main panels to be review.

The first is the performance panel. It contains 3 key performance indicators (KPI's) of the agent. They are:

  • Upload transfer time for 1KB measured in milliseconds (this metric is the graphed values)

  • Time spent on average per collection as a percentage of the declared collection interval

  • Agent heartbeat round trip time measured in milliseconds.

An example is shown below.

The upload transfer time is simply a measure of how long on average its taking to perform the round trip between the agent and loading sub-system. The time includes not only the http communication time but the time to load into the repository.

The % of collection measures on average how long metrics are taking to collect as a percentage of their declared interval. For instance, if a metric takes 1 second to collect and its interval was to be collected every 30 seconds, then the percentage is 1/30 or about 3%. The rolled up number is computed across all metrics running and is re-evaluated by the agent every minute. The expectation is that the overall percentage will be low.If targets experience issues causing collections to take longer or the agent itself is not performing well, the expectation is that the percentage would increase.

Finally the heartbeat round trip is a measure similar to the upload in concept – a measurement of how long it's taking to send a certain amount of data; but given that these heartbeats (or pings) are typically constant in size, the measure is just the total round trip time.

If either the upload or ping times are increasing, then this could be an indicator of a network performance issue or the oracle management server itself experiencing some performance issue.

The second panel is the usage panel. It also contains 3 KPI's:

  • Number of requests made by the console of the agent (called Dispatched Actions) (this is the graphed data set)

  • Number of collections scheduled to be run for the next hour.

  • Number of jobs currently running on the agent

The usage panel reflects work being requested of the agent, either from console actions (real-time metric requests for example or jobs being submitted) as well as the work queue of the agent (i.e. the number of collections to be run for the next hour).



The final panel is the resource panel. There are 5 KPI's here:

  • percentage of the java heap in use (graphed)

  • approximate cpu usage (graphed)

  • current megabytes of the java heap in use

  • the maximum number of megabytes of the java heap used

  • a rolling load average of the cpu usage

First, let me explain the java heap statistics. The heap is sized to a specified maximum. The percentage of the heap used is a measure against that maximum. Current represents the current amount used and the maximum is the highest recorded value (not the absolute declared maximum). For instance, if the declared maximum is 100MB and the maximum ever observed is 80MB, then at some point in time 80% of the available heap was in use. Its fully expected that the percentage of the heap would follow the classic 'saw-tooth' pattern seen below.Java virtual machines allocate memory from the heap and then run garbage collection (GC) to free up space. If the trend line is flat, then no leaks would be evident. Its recommended that the maximum ever observed is no greater than 95% of the declared maximum, as that would potentially lead to either excessive GC or out of memory exceptions.

The cpu statistics are a representation of the current cpu being used and the 'load average' – a rolling weighted average of the last 15 minutes of cpu consumed.

My next blog will continue on the theme of using additional services to diagnosis current and/or potential issues with the agent.


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