New Feature Roundup for Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c

On April 4th, we announced the release of Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c at Oracle OpenWorld in Tokyo. We followed up with a Webcast last week to demonstrate our great new cloud control capabilities.

In today's post, I'm going to discuss the new product features in this version of Ops Center. There are so many that it's a little challenging to cover them all, so I'll start with a high-level summary. In future posts, we'll talk about these features in greater detail, and show how you can use them to manage your datacenter more effectively than ever before!

The Big 3: Cloud Control, Engineered Systems, and Solaris 11

The big news during the product launch was the newly introduced support for Cloud Control, Oracle Engineered Systems and the Solaris 11 operating environment.

Cloud Support and the Virtual Datacenter

Ops Center allows users to build the managed assets into Virtual Data Centers, or vDCs. vDCs can leverage the full power of Oracle technologies, including:

  • Hardware – Sun Oracle servers and Oracle Engineered Systems
  • OS – Solaris 11, Solaris 10 and Oracle Enterprise Linux
  • Virtualization – Oracle VM Server for X86 and Oracle Solaris Zones

The vDC provides a full stack of coordinated resources for Cloud computing, including systems, network infrastructure, storage, virtualization hosts and a self-contained user and permission model. Ops Center users can leverage this functionality in two ways: by logging directly into the Ops Center UI, or by using the programmatic API and CLI for Infrastructure as a Service. (IaaS) These features enable Ops Center to greatly speed the deployment and management process for cloud-based infrastructure.

Oracle Engineered System Support

Ops Center provides management support for the SPARC SuperCluster T4-4, and enhances the existing management capabilities for the Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud.

The SuperCluster and Exalogic systems are delivered with an Ops Center instance that simplifies Oracle Engineered Systems management and allows these systems to be more effectively used as virtual datacenters.

Solaris 11 Management

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c can now be installed on Solaris 11, providing full lifecycle management capabilities for Solaris 11 OS assets. This includes

  • OS provisioning, using the Automated Installer
  • OS update management, using the Image Packaging System
  • Creation and management of Solaris 11 zones and boot environments
  • Solaris 11 OS monitoring analytics

Ops Center allows administrators to effectively leverage the power of Solaris 11, and to use its considerable capabilities for cloud infrastructure.

These features represent a huge advance in Ops Center management. However, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c provides an even greater set of enhancements which touch on all parts of the product functionality. In the sections that follow, I'll present key features for the Ops Center infrastructure, the User Interface, Core Product Functions, Hardware Management and Provisioning, OS Management and Virtualization Management.

Ops Center Infrastructure

Oracle Database

We're now using the Oracle Database 11g for persistence management. Users can install a co-located database with their enterprise controller, or create an instance in an existing DBMS. We've created views in Oracle, providing better data query and reporting capabilities than ever before.

High Availability (HA)

Using Oracle Clusterware, Ops Center can configure two enterprise controller instances in an active-passive HA configuration. What's more, it's now possible to migrate your managed assets between proxy controllers in an Ops Center installation.

Role-Based Permissions Model

Every user is now associated with one or more roles, with each role defining a standard set of capabilities. Ops Center administrators can replicate the roles between users, allowing them to easily assign duplicate management capabilities.

LDAP Directory Servers

It's also possible to import a set of user accounts from an LDAP server, allowing you to easily set up a group of Ops Center users.

User Interface Enhancements

Customizable User Experience

It's now possible to save your Ops Center UI preferences, such as start page, timeout and navigation display.

Configuration Settings

You can now view and edit the Ops Center configuration defaults directly from the UI. This allows you to more easily modify Ops Center defaults such as job timeouts and throttling settings.

Free-Format Tags

All assets can now be associated with user-defined tags, which can be used for searching and filtering. This makes it MUCH easier to keep track of a large number of managed assets.

Core Product Functions

Enhanced Discovery Management

Ops Center allows users to save and customize standard discovery profiles, IP address ranges, and authentication credentials. In addition, Ops Center automatically manages newly discovered assets.

Automated Service Request (ASR) Integration

Ops Center can now forward ASR events for your warrantied hardware assets. With support enabled, incidents with your ASR-compatible assets will be forwarded to Oracle and used to open a service request. You can even provide contact information on a global or per-asset basis.

Integrated OCDoctor

There's now a UI option to run OCDoctor checks, diagnostics and optimizations for the enterprise controller, proxy controller and agent controllers. Diagnostic results are saved, and can be used as the basis for future evaluation and tuning.

Hardware Management and Provisioning

Newly Supported Hardware

Ops Center has always provided rich management capabilities for a broad range of Sun hardware, and this release expands support to the next generation of servers. Key products now supported for discovery and management include

  • The Sun Fire X86 M3 server family
  • The Sun Netra M3 server family
  • The Sun SPARC T4 server family
  • Power Distribution Units (PDUs)
  • The Cisco Catalyst 4948 Switch

ILOM 3.0 Snapshot of BIOS Configuration

Using Oracle's HMP 2.2, Ops Center can save snapshots of the BIOS state for supported ILOM 3 servers. They can subsequently apply the snapshots to easily change SP configuration settings and replicate the state of BIOS to other servers in the datacenter.

WAN Boot Capabilities

Ops Center now supports WAN boot as a provisioning technology for Solaris 10 and 11 for qualified SPARC systems. If systems are compatible, Ops Center automatically uses WAN boot to provision them.

OS Management Capabilities

Agentless OS Management

Ops Center now allows basic OS monitoring and management to be performed without agent installation. In an agentless model, the Proxy controller periodically logs into the managed OS instance and directly performs management actions.

OS Analytics

Ops Center now provides extremely detailed data about OS assets. Administrators can take advantage of service and process-level data, as well as detailed metrics associated with system load and CPU, memory, network and file system utilization.

Profiles to Create Boot Environments

Ops Center now provides a new type of profile to automate the creation of boot environments. This makes it easier than ever before to set up live upgrade capabilities on a new OS instance.

Enhanced Update Management

We've introduced several improvements to greatly simplify the patch process. Ops Center now filters out redundant reboot operations, displaying a single reboot operation which would be performed during a multi-step patch process. In addition, OS update policies now provide an option to automatically filter out patches requiring an OS reboot.

Virtualization Management

Management of Oracle VM for X86

Ops Center now can discover Oracle VM Managers and use them to create and manage Oracle VM for X86 guests.

Creation Profiles for all Virtual Guest Types

In addition to Oracle VM server for SPARC, Ops Center now provides profiles and plans to create Oracle Solaris Zones and Oracle VM for X86 guests.


Server Pools for all Virtual Guest Types

All types of virtual assets can now be defined as part of a server pool: Oracle VM Server for X86, Oracle VM Server for SPARC, Solaris Zones for X86 and Solaris Zones for SPARC.

Expanded Storage Management Capabilities

Ops Center now supports storage management using iSCSI for Solaris. This allows Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs) to be dynamically created for any type of virtualized guest and made available through TCP/IP.

Management of Pre-Existing Zones and LDOM Guests

We've expanded the capabilities provided by Ops Center to pre-existing zones and Oracle VM Server for SPARC. This allows users to discover and manage existing virtualization environments.

Summary

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c has dramatically raised the bar for cloud and datacenter management. Hopefully, this article has provided a perspective on the many interesting enhancements available in this version of the product.

If you'd like to learn even more, read the data sheet, have a look at the product documentation, or download and try Ops Center today!

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