Friday Dec 21, 2012

Oracle-validated NetApp Storage Plug-in for Enterprise Manager 12c

The following is a Guest Blog, contributed by Anand Ranganathan, Product Manager for Oracle Products and Solutions at NetApp

As a DBA managing databases running on storage systems, some of your major challenges are how do you:

  • Pinpoint storage related problems in a timely manner
  • Proactively respond to problems
  • Map a database file to its underlying storage component
  • Reduce your dependency on the storage admin
  • Solve these problems using an Oracle product that you use everyday

If you are planning to or are currently running your Oracle databases on NetApp storage systems then the NetApp Storage System Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c resolves the above challenges by:

  • Consolidating information about Oracle on NetApp environments into the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Console providing one interface to monitor databases and storage systems
  • Correlating and pinpointing storage related database problems by mapping database components like tablespaces, datafiles to storage components like aggregates, volumes using built-in reports and automating collecting a comprehensive set of availability, performance and usage metrics with pre-defined thresholds.  Alerts are automatically sent out when thresholds are breached helping you to respond proactively to problems before they occur.  You can also ensure routine responses to alerts are automatically executed using corrective actions
  • Increasing operational efficiencies by allowing you to standardize optimal Monitoring settings into a template and apply them to one or more NetApp Storage systems, report on historical metrics data for trend analysis & planning database storage needs, compare multiple storage system configurations to ensure they are deployed as per standards and prevent unnecessary alerts during scheduled downtimes with Blackout Periods

The plug-in was built by NetApp using the Enterprise Manager 12c Extensibility Kit that not only helped us develop screens that have a rich look and feel but also helped enrich the plug-in by allowing us to leverage Cloud Control’s powerful monitoring and event management features for monitoring of NetApp storage systems. 

The NetApp Storage System Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is free and is listed at the Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange.  The plug-in has achieved Oracle Validated Integration, which provides customers the confidence knowing that it:

  • is designed and built in a reliable, standardized way
  • has been tested as functionally and technically sound
  • operates and performs as documented

Here is a screenshot of the dashboard of a NetApp storage system monitored with Enterprise Manager 12c via the NetApp plug-in.



Customers and partners can visit the NetApp Communities site to watch a demo and download the plug-in.  If you are a partner, visit the Oracle PartnerNetwork Validated Integration Knowledge Zone to learn more about the validation program.

Wednesday Dec 12, 2012

Heterogeneous Datacenter Management with Enterprise Manager 12c

The following is a Guest Blog, contributed by Bryce Kaiser, Product Manager at Blue Medora

When I envision a perfect datacenter, it would consist of technologies acquired from a single vendor across the entire server, middleware, application, network, and storage stack - Apps to Disk - that meets your organization’s every IT requirement with absolute best-of-breed solutions in every category.   To quote a familiar motto, your datacenter would consist of "Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together".  

In almost all cases, practical realities dictate something far less than the IT Utopia mentioned above.   You may wish to leverage multiple vendors to keep licensing costs down, a single vendor may not have an offering in the IT category you need, or your preferred vendor may quite simply not have the solution that meets your needs.    In other words, your IT needs dictate a heterogeneous IT environment.  Heterogeneity, however, comes with additional complexity. The following are two pretty typical challenges:

1) No End-to-End Visibility into the Enterprise Wide Application Deployment. Each vendor solution which is added to an infrastructure may bring its own tooling creating different consoles for different vendor applications and platforms.

2) No Visibility into Performance Bottlenecks. When multiple management tools operate independently, you lose diagnostic capabilities including identifying cross-tier issues with database, hung-requests, slowness, memory leaks and hardware errors/failures causing DB/MW issues.

As adoption of Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM) has increased, especially since the release of Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle has seen an increase in the number of customers who want to leverage their investments in EM to manage non-Oracle workloads.  Enterprise Manager provides a single pane of glass view into their entire datacenter.  By creating a highly extensible framework via the Oracle EM Extensibility Development Kit (EDK), Oracle has provided the tooling for business partners such as my company Blue Medora as well as customers to easily fill gaps in the ecosystem and enhance existing solutions.  

As mentioned in the previous post on the Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange, customers have access to an assortment of Oracle and Partner provided solutions through this Exchange, which is accessed at http://www.oracle.com/goto/emextensibility.  Currently, there are over 80 Oracle and partner provided plug-ins across the EM 11g and EM 12c versions.  Blue Medora is one of those contributing partners, for which you will find 3 of our solutions including our flagship plugin for VMware.  

Let's look at Blue Medora’s VMware plug-in as an example to what I'm trying to convey.  Here is a common situation solved by true visibility into your entire stack:

Symptoms
•    My database is bogging down, however the database appears okay internally.  Maybe it’s starved for resources?
•    My OS tooling is showing everything is “OK”.  Something doesn’t add up.

Root cause
•    Through the VMware plugin we can see the problem is actually on the virtualization layer

Solution
•    From within Enterprise Manager  -- the same tool you use for all of your database tuning -- we can overlay the data of the database target, host target, and virtual machine target for a true picture of the true root cause.

Here is the console view:


Perhaps your monitoring conditions are more specific to your environment.  No worries, Enterprise Manager still has you covered.  With Metric Extensions you have the “Next Generation” of User-Defined Metrics, which easily bring the power of your existing management scripts into a single console while leveraging the proven Enterprise Manager framework.

Simply put, Oracle Enterprise manager boasts a growing ecosystem that provides the single pane of glass for your entire datacenter from the database and beyond. 

Bryce can be contacted at info@bluemedora.com

Tuesday Dec 11, 2012

Epsilon : An Oracle Customer Profile

ZDNet published an article today based on the interview of Jeff White, vice president, technology, strategic database services at Epsilon. Jeff discussed Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Enterprise Manager with the ZDNet writer

Read the article  Epsilon : An Oracle Customer Profile .

Jeff White, Epsilon VP, was honored with Oracle’s Data Warehouse Leader of the Year for Innovative Data Warehouse Deployment of Oracle Exadata and Oracle Enterprise Manager earlier this year.

In one of the videos earlier this year, Jeff mentioned that Epsilon has streamlined IT administration, monitoring, and engineered systems maintenance with Oracle Enterprise Manager. Having gained in operational efficiencies, Epsilon is now providing greater efficiencies to its customers.

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

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Wednesday Dec 05, 2012

Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange – Version 1.1 Now Available!

Since its announcement at Oracle OpenWorld 2012, the Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange is becoming the source to access Enterprise Manager entities, including plug-ins, connectors, deployment procedures, assemblies, templates, and more.  Based on feedback, the Exchange has recently been updated so Enterprise Manager administrators can find and access Oracle and partner-built plug-ins and connectors easier.




The Exchange enables anyone to contribute an Enterprise Manager entity through the “Contribute” tab, where information about the entity is captured and placed on the Exchange once it is approved.  The Exchange encourages comment through the Enterprise Manager Forum. 



An Oracle partner can build a plug-in by accessing the Extensibility Development Kit (EDK) found at the Development Resources tab.  Oracle partners and customers can can also engage a partner that has built its practice specializing in plug-in development and deployment.  One of those partners is Blue Medora, which has effectively used the EDK to build plug-ins to manage non-Oracle targets.  Check out the Blue Medora "Guest Blog" about heterogeneous datacenter management.

Partners can also have their plug-ins validated through the Oracle Validated Integration (OVI) program.  NetApp is an example of a partner that recently built an Enterprise Manager plug-in and has validated it through the program.  Check their "Guest Blog" post describing the value of an Enterprise Manager "OVI" plug-in as well as discuss specifics the NetApp storage plug-in. 

The Enterprise Manager Exchange is located at http://www.oracle.com/goto/EMExtensibility.

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