Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

IOUG SIG Webcast on August 7th : SQL Monitoring and ASH Analytics

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Special Interest Group (SIG) growing body of IOUG members who manage or are interested in all aspects of Enterprise Manager. This IOUG SIG is managed by volunteers and supported by Oracle EM product managers and developers. The purpose of the SIG is to bring relevant information and education through webcasts, discussions and networking to users interested in learning more about the product, and to share user experiences.

On August 7th at 10 AM pacific time, Oracle Enterprise Manager SIG is hosting a webcast on SQL monitoring and ASH analytics. In this webcast, Edward Whalen, Chief Technologist, Performance Tuning Corporation will provide a tutorial on how to take advantage of two of the powerful performance monitoring and debugging tools; SQL Monitoring and ASH Analytics.

After attending the session, the attendee should have a better understanding of:

1. Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c and how to take advantage of some of the key performance monitoring features.

2. The usage and basic properties of SQL Monitoring; how to invoke it and how to use it to identify long running SQL statements.

3. What ASH Analytics is, what is ASH data and how to use ASH Analytics for determining which sessions, modules or SQL statements are consuming system resources.


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Wednesday Jul 24, 2013

Understanding Agent Resynchronization

Agent Resynchronization (resync) is an important topic but often misunderstood or misused. In this Q&A styled blog, I discuss how and when it is appropriate to use agent resynchronization.

What is Agent Resynchronization?

Management Agent can be reconfigured using target information present in the Management Repository. Resynchronization pushes all targets and related information from the Management Repository to the Management Agent and then unblocks the Agent.

 Why do agents need to be re-synchronized?

Read More

Thursday Jul 18, 2013

New EMC VMAX Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

EMC has just released its VMAX Storage Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.  EMC can now deliver availability, performance, and configuration information for EMC VMAX Storage Arrays by combining its EMC VMAX system monitoring solution for Oracle systems with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.  Oracle and EMC hope that customers can can now reduce the complexity of managing and cost of applications that rely on EMC Symmetrix VMAX systems and Oracle technologies.  With this Plug-in, application administrators can consolidate all the monitoring information in Oracle Enterprise Manager, and perform root cause analysis. Storage and database administrators can perform proactive monitoring of EMC VMAX systems, identify the impact of storage performance problems on end user services, and better align their efforts with the business needs.


The EMC VMAX Storage Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c automatically collects a comprehensive set of availability and performance metrics enabling the administrators to quickly review the issues according to their specific operational requirements.  The 12c Plug-in also collects configuration information about the Symmetrix VMAX storage systems that allows storage administrators and Oracle database administrators to compare product and disk information for different storage controllers. This capability provides a common view of database to Symmetrix VMAX storage systems at a glance using the power of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

EMC VMAX Storage Plug-in enables the following for your Oracle and VMAX environments:
    •    Single pane of glass into EMC storage capacity and performance for the DBA
    •    View the layout of the host file systems on the storage devices
    •    Display the overall configuration sketch of the VMAX Array, the Front-end and Disk directors
    •    Review the storage performance as it relates to time of day
    •    Review IOPS for reads, writes or investigate KBs writes and reads as it relates to your Oracle database storage

The Plug-in is now accessible via the Extensibility Exhange, where it can be downloaded and also see a good demo about what it does, how it works and how to install it.

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Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

Harness the power of Configuration Search to know what's out there and drive automation

Oracle Enterprise Manager collects and monitors configuration information for every target it manages and layers support for sophisticated lifecycle operations on top of this foundation. Within the configuration management area itself Enterprise Manager has formalized support for Drift Management, Inventory Management, Topology visualization and Compliance Management. Although these features cover a good segment of configuration management use cases there will always be additional uses for this important information. Enterprise Manager makes it easy to leverage this valuable information both inside and outside the product using the Configuration Search feature.

Within the Enterprise Manager UI, users can build sophisticated queries against Enterprise Manager’s configuration management repository to generate reports without writing even one line of SQL. If the Oracle provided Search library does not already contain a matching search a user can build a search to their exact specification completely graphically.

Outside of the Enterprise Manager UI, users can find and run saved searches using the EMCLI in both interactive and the new script mode. When used in a script, configuration search results can be used to drive other lifecycle operations like patch automation and provisioning.

In this article we will take a closer look at the Configuration Search feature using some common real world examples.

Arguably one of the most important configuration items collected by Enterprise Manager is applied patches. Finding the location of applied patches can cause some confusion at first owing to the new target model introduced in Enterprise Manager 12c. Oracle Home is now a separate and proper target with its own configuration collection which includes patch information. This makes great sense as patches are in fact applied to the Oracle Home and not the software running out of it.

The question is how can you figure out which targets ( ie databases ) are using which Oracle Homes? The answer is using relationships. Enterprise Manager 12c now discovers and collects relationships between targets. These relationships include both physical (observed) and logical (inferred from configuration). As an example, all databases running out of a given Oracle Home will have an “Installed At” relationship to its specific Oracle Home target. These relationships can be graphically viewed using the topology viewer available under the configuration menu of all targets. They can also be used when building a Configuration Search when starting with a well known target like database instance.

Find all single instance databases with Advanced Compression option that do not have a patch applied. – Step by Step

Let’s build a configuration search to find all single instance databases with Advanced Compression option that do NOT have a patch applied to their Oracle Home. Since patches are typically specific to a version let’s narrow it down to version 11.2.0.3 databases and patch 14275605. ( Database Patch Set Update : 11.2.0.3.4 )

1. Start by navigating to the Configuration Search Library. Enterprise->Configuration –>Search…

2. Click Create to start building a new Configuration Search.

3. Select Database Instance from the Target Type list of value.

Next we need to narrow the list of databases to those of version 11.2.0.3 and single instance. To do this we will use the target model to choose properties which contain this data so we can filter it further.

4. Click Properties on the Database Instance row.

5. Open the Target Properties and Instance Information folders and Select Property Name, Property Value,Version, Name and Selected as shown.

6. Click OK.

To filter down the results, we enter criteria into the text boxes to the right of the properties.

7. Enter 11.2.0.3 next to Version.

8. Enter ‘Advanced Compression’ for Name and ‘TRUE’ for Selected under Database Options

9. Select ‘Metric Scope’ for property Name and Enter ‘DB’ for value. ( Metric scope can have a value of DB for single instance and RACINST for RAC instances. )

Your search should look something like this:

At any point while you are creating a Configuration Search, you can see how your search is coming along by clicking Search. Doing so at this point will show results similar to the results shown here. ( Note: If you are not interested in seeing the results of a column you can uncheck the property to remove it from the results. )

At this point we need to pull the Oracle Home target into the picture to get at the applied patches configuration information.

10. Click Relationships on the Database Instance row.

11. Choose “Oracle Home” as the Destination Target Type then Click Search. This should result in one relationship type “Installed At”. Select this row and click OK.

We now have something that looks like this:

To add collected patch information from the Oracle Home target we need to use the target model again.

12. Click Properties on the Oracle Home row.

13. Open the “Patches installed in Oracle Home” folder and select “Patch ID” property.

14. Click OK.

15. Enter 14275605 in the text box next to “Patch ID” to narrow the results to this patch.

16. Click Search. You should see something similar to the results below.

But wait, this shows the databases that HAVE patch 14275605 installed. We are after databases that DON’T have this patch installed.

Fortunately we can achieve this result by using the “Advanced Options” capabilities.

17. Click the “Advanced Options” button on the “Patches installed in Oracle Home” row. ( Be sure to select the correct one! )

18. Change the Condition in the resulting dialog box to “NOT EXISTS”. ( The explanatory text shown just happens to use patch search as an example. )

19. Click OK.

Notice the addition of “Condition : NOT EXISTS” on the “Patches installed in Oracle Home” row. This will show targets in which none of the targets matches the criteria. In our case, an Oracle Home may have hundreds of patches applied. Only if none of the patch IDs equal 14275605 will the target be in the results.

20. Click Search.

This time, the results finally display what we are after. That is “11.2.0.3 Single Instance database with Advanced Compression option that do NOT have patch 14275605 applied.”

21. Click ‘Save As’ to save the search with the name “11.2.0.3 SI AC DBs without patch 14275605”.

22. Click OK.

The library now shows our new search. You or any other user can run the search by selecting it and clicking Run. You can modify it by using Edit or make a copy with Create Like to continue to refine it without affecting the original.

Running Configuration Search using Interactive EMCLI

As mentioned at the opening, Enterprise Manager Release 3 now supports the execution of saved Configuration Search from the EMCLI. There are two verbs with which you can run configuration searches: get_targets and run_configuration_search

The get_targets verb has been available since Release 1 but now has an additional switch to specify a configuration search. This results in a standardized result containing the Target Name, Target Type and Status.

Here is an example using the configuration search we just built.

The run_config_search verb generates results exactly as you see them in the results of the configuration search. The results are a little harder to read but the output could be re-directed to an output file for import into something like a document editor or spreadsheet for easier viewing or analysis.

Scripting Lifecycle processes using EMCLI Script mode

Enterprise Manager Release 3 introduced the EMCLI Script mode which is especially effective when performing tasks in bulk or many tasks at once. This mode enables you to create Jython scripts, store them as files and pass them as an argument to EMCLI. For more information on EMCLI see the documentation here.

In this section, we will expand on our previous work to automate the creation of patch plans to automate the application of the missing patch. We will use a python script to retrieve the list of databases without a patch, and then create a patch plan for each database.

As a prerequisite you must create a sample patch plan for a single instance database which has the desired patch ( 14275605 ) added to the plan. We will use this plan to create the others.

The work flow is as follows:

  1. Retrieve specified patch plan metadata and extract required patch information.
  2. Get list of databases without the patch applied using a configuration search.
  3. Create a patch plan for each database.

Here is the script in its entirety. Obviously you will need to make modifications for you environment, specific patch plan and configuration search names.


 #emcli_config_search.py

from emcli import *
import xml.dom.minidom


# Set Connection properties and logon
set_client_property('EMCLI_OMS_URL','https://oem.example.com/em')
set_client_property('EMCLI_TRUSTALL','true')
login(username='DWWOLF1',password='password')

patch_id = []
release_id = []
platform_id = []
language_id = []
target_type = []

# Get Sample Patch Metadata
pp_xml = show_patch_plan(name='PSU4 Rollout').out()

# Parse plan metadata into XML
patchPlan = xml.dom.minidom.parseString(pp_xml)

# Retrieve metadata for each patch in the sample patch plan
for patchList in patchPlan.getElementsByTagName("patchList"):
        for patch in patchList.getElementsByTagName("patch"):
                patch_id.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("id")[0].toxml().replace("<id>","").replace("</id>",""))
                release_id.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("release_id")[0].toxml().replace("<release_id>","").replace("</release_id>",""))
                platform_id.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("platform_id")[0].toxml().replace("<platform_id>","").replace("</platform_id>",""))
                language_id.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("language_id")[0].toxml().replace("<language_id>","").replace("</language_id>",""))
                target_type.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("target_type")[0].toxml().replace("<target_type>","").replace("</target_type>",""))

# Run stored configuration search to get list of databases missing the patch
target_array = get_targets(config_search='11.2.0.3 SI AC DBs without patch 14275605').out()['data']

# For each target create a patch plan containing the patches in the sample patch plan
for targets in target_array:
    tn = targets['Target Name']
    nodeCount = 0
    f = open('patchplan.txt', mode='w')
        for node in patch_id:
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".patch_id=" + patch_id[nodeCount] + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".release_id=" + release_id[nodeCount] + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".platform_id=" + platform_id[nodeCount] + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".language_id=" + language_id[nodeCount] + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".target_name=" + tn + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".target_type=" + target_type[nodeCount] + "\n")
                nodeCount += 1
        f.close()
        planName = 'PSU4 ' + tn
        create_patch_plan(name=planName,input_file='data:patchplan.txt',impact_other_targets='add_all')

exit()


A zip of the script is available for download here.

Run the script by passing it as an argument to EMCLI:

>emcli @emcli_config_search.py

Here we can see all of the patch plans created by the script plus the sample patch plan “PSU4 Rollout”

Conclusion

Enterprise Manager’s Configuration Search feature is a powerful tool that can be leveraged both inside and outside of the UI. It can quickly and easily provide answers to difficult configuration questions without writing any SQL. When used via through the EMCLI it can be used to dynamically generate a target list which can be used to drive complex and otherwise time consuming tasks in the UI quickly and efficiently.

Configuration Search and patch automation are both features of Enterprise Manager’s Database lifecycle management pack.

For more information on Enterprise Manager’s database lifecycle management capabilities, visit http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/lifecycle-mgmt/index.html

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Thursday Jul 11, 2013

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3: What’s New in EMCLI

If you have been using the classic Oracle Enterprise Manager Command Line interface ( EMCLI ), you are in for a treat. Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c R3 comes with a new EMCLI kit called ‘EMCLI with Scripting Option’. Not my favorite name, as I would have preferred to call this EMSHELL since it truly provides a shell similar to bash or cshell. Unlike the classic EMCLI, this new kit provides a Jython-based scripting environment along with the large collection of verbs to use. This scripting environment enables users to use established programming language constructs like loops (for, or while), conditional statements (if-else), etc in both interactive and scripting mode.

Benefits of ‘EMCLI with Scripting Option’

Some of the key benefits of the new EMCLI are:

  • Jython based scripting environment
  • Interactive and scripting mode
  • Standardized output format using JSON
  • Can connect to any EM environment (no need to run EMCLI setup …)
  • Stateless communication with OMS (no user data is stored with the client)
  • Generic list function for EM resources
  • Ability to run user-defined SQL queries to access published repository views

Before we go any further, there are two topics that warrant some discussion – Jython and JSON.

Read More

Tuesday Jul 02, 2013

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3 (12.1.0.3)

Delighted to announce the GA of EM Cloud Control Release 3 on all supported platforms. This release includes a new 12.1.0.3 version of platform (OMS & Agent), along with revised new versions of several Plug-ins and Metadata plug-ins (including a brand new Metadata plug-in for Oracle Virtual Networking). This release marks yet another major & significant milestone for Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control product releases.

Welcome Screen

Following shows the list of new plug-ins versions available along the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3 (12.1.0.3). The new plug-ins have dependency on 12.1.0.3 platform, and customer needs to be on minimum 12.1.0.3 platform (OMS/Agent) version of the product before being able to deploy/use these plug-in versions. (In other words, the new plug-in versions cannot be deployed, unless Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3 (12.1.0.3) is installed or upgraded to).

List of Plugins

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3 (12.1.0.3) release includes tons of new features, along with several stability and performance bug fixes and is available for download for all platforms from OTN:

EM12.1.0.3OTN Download

Installation/Upgrade paths:

  • EM Customers can do a fresh installation using "Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3 (12.1.0.3)", and will get the latest version of the platform, along with all the latest versions of plug-ins and Metadata plug-ins out of the box.
  • EM Customers who are on Release1 (12.1.0.1+BP1) or Release 2 (12.1.0.2), or on older releases 11g and 10.2.0.5, can choose to use Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3 bits, to upgrade directly to the latest Release 3, and the plug-ins will be automatically upgraded to the latest versions.

Enterprise Manager Certification Matrix is also now available on My Oracle Support - here.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c R3 introduces advancements in cloud lifecycle and operations management

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 (R3) was announced ( Press Release ) earlier today. It is now available for download at  OTN .

This latest release features improvements in several areas, including:

  • Improvements to Private Cloud and Engineered Systems Management
  • Expanded Middleware and Application Management Capabilities
  • Efficiency Gains for Enterprise manager Users in EM’s Enterprise-Ready Framework

You can learn more about what's new in the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c R3 in the Enterprise Manager 12c documentation . You will see more blogs and details about the new features during the next few weeks. Please let us what

On July 18th, you can join us at a webcast to hear Thomas Kurian, EVP of Product Development on what Oracle Engineering has achieved with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 to address these challenges. Later, during this webcast, Oracle experts will discuss the latest capabilities in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 for cloud lifecycle and operations management.

The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session with Oracle experts. You can also join us online on Twitter to get your specific questions answered. Please use hash tag #em12c to join the conversation.

Register Now for the Webcast!

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What's New in Database Lifecycle Management in Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3

Overview of the new and enhanced features in the Database Lifecycle Management area like lifecycle management support for DB12c,  Managing long running datacenter processes using 'Change Activity Planner', enhancements to Configuration Search, new emcli support,  improved Offline patching experience, and more...
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