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    April 17, 2012

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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