Monday Oct 20, 2014

Webcast: Trouble-Free Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c with Oracle Real Application Testing

Live Webcast: October 28
9:00 a.m. PST | 12:00 p.m. EST | 4:00 p.m. GMT

Oracle Database 12c contains many new capabilities including Oracle Multitenant, in-memory column stores and much more. Oracle Real Application Testing gives you verifiable functionality and performance testing capabilities to take advantage of all the new enhancements. Combining your database upgrade with Oracle Real Application Testing assures you that your database will perform as required, whether you’re implementing an in-memory column store, consolidating to a database as a service model, or doing an in-place upgrade—join us in this webcast to learn more.

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Monday Sep 15, 2014

The Countdown is on—12 Days to Go!

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c @ Oracle OpenWorld 2014

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, in its fourth year, has seen record levels of customer adoption. We are excited to showcase many of these customers throughout our OpenWorld activities, sessions, hands-on labs and DEMOgrounds this year.

With Oracle Enterprise Manager's large presence at OpenWorld, we've provided a variety of resources that you can use to follow all the Oracle Enterprise Manager activities and events.

Highlights:

  • Unprecedented number of customer sessions with over 50 presenting or co-presenting this year.
  • Full-day track on Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c at the Sunday User Group Forum sponsored by the IOUG.
  • General Session and over 40 Oracle-authored track-sessions on Oracle Enterprise Manager.
  • 19 Dedicated Oracle Enterprise Manager demopods in the Oracle DEMOgrounds.
  • 13 Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c hands-on labs providing deep-dive experience led by Oracle experts.

For the complete list of sessions, demos and hands-on labs, read the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Focus on Doc for more.



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Thursday Sep 11, 2014

Simplify deployment of JVMD Agents to command line Java applications

Contributing Author: Shiraz Kanga, Consulting Member of Technical Staff, Oracle

Most customers of Oracle Enterprise Manager using JVM Diagnostics use the tool to monitor their Java Applications servers like Weblogic, Websphere, Tomcat, etc. In this environment it is fairly easy to deploy the JVMD Agent. Since it is distributed as a war file, you merely deploy the agent into a running application server using the management GUI or command line tools. Then you can start monitoring with no need for a restart of the app server or for the modification of any startup commands or scripts. However, with other types of Java applications that do not allow for any code deployment at runtime such as AWT/Swing or command line java applications these steps are necessary. Modifying startup scripts is complex because each application comes with its own custom and unique launch script. Additionally, the command that actually launches the runtime needs to have the java command with its related parameters (like -Xmx) the JVMD Agent with its own parameters (like console host/port) and the application itself which may have some more custom parameters. People often get confused due to the complexity that is seen here.

I've recently had customers that needed to monitor Hadoop, HDFS, Zookeeper, Kafka, Cassandra and Solr with JVMD. In order to simplify some of the complexity discussed above, I created a simple script based framework that makes things a bit easier. Feel free to use my approach to quickly setup JVMD with these or any other command line java programs. You can also use it as the basis for your own modifications. The framework modifies the startup scripts supplied with these tools in order to add the JVMD agent. All the code/scripts are attached in a zip file. Both original and modified versions of all changed scripts are included so you can easily see the modifications I made with a simple diff.

Here's how these scripts are setup. Everything is configured using 4 environment variables as shown below:

    export JVMD_AGENT_HOME=/home/skanga/servers
    export JVMD_MANAGER_HOST=jvmdconsole.us.oracle.com
    export JVMD_MANAGER_PORT=3800
    export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=<unique name for each server process>

where the JVMD_AGENT_HOME must contain the jamagent-env.sh (from the attached zip file) and jamagent.war (which can be downloaded from your JVMD console). The first three of these are likely to remain unchanged for all the JVMs being monitored so you can easily add them directly into jamagent-env.sh if needed.

The JVMD_UNIQUE_ID will always be unique so it must not be placed there. However it has two other modes where you can use a pointer to the unique ID instead of specifying it directly. You can point to either an environment variable or to a JVM system property that holds the actual unique ID. If you are using these cases then you could add this one to the jamagent-env.sh script too.

If JVMD_UNIQUE_ID starts with the string "sysprop-" then the actual unique ID will be read from the JVM system property named by the string following "sysprop-". For example if JVMD_UNIQUE_ID is "sysprop-server_name" and we have a system property -Dserver_name=MyTestingServer then JVMD will use MyTestingServer as the JVM unique identifier.

If JVMD_UNIQUE_ID starts with the string "envvar-" then the actual unique ID will be read from the environment variable named by the string following "envvar-". For example if JVMD_UNIQUE_ID is "envvar-server_name" and we have an environment variable called server_name=MyTestingServer then JVMD will use MyTestingServer as the JVM unique identifier.

Caution: Do not use dash (minus) character in the environment variable setup of unique id. Use underscore instead.

Generic Launch Script Modifications

After these four environment variables are set we need to modify our launch scripts. Make sure you have a backup of all files before you proceed. In the main script that you use to launch your java application look for a line that has a format that is similar to the one below: 
    $JAVA $JAVA_OPTS $MAIN_CLASS $MAIN_CLASS_ARGS
and replace it with
    $JAVA $JAVA_OPTS $JVMD_AGENT_INSERT $MAIN_CLASS $MAIN_CLASS_ARGS

So we simply added a $JVMD_AGENT_INSERT just before the name of the Main class. If there are multiple such lines then you should modify them all in the same way. And in order to configure $JVMD_AGENT_INSERT we also need to source jamagent-env.sh (with some error checking). So we insert a snippet like this in the line just before the JAVA invocation. 

# add JVMD Agent Env settings
[[ -e "${JVMD_AGENT_HOME}/jamagent-env.sh" ]] 
&& source "${JVMD_AGENT_HOME}/jamagent-env.sh" ||
{ echo "ERROR: JVMD_AGENT_HOME undefined or does not contain jamagent-env.sh" 1>&2 ; exit 1; } 

NOTE: Everything after the comment above should in a single line of code in your launch script. This line gets mangled by the blogging software so it is best to cut & paste it from it from one of the scripts in the attached zip file.

We will now look at how I used these techniques to add JVMD monitoring to Kafka, Hadoop, Zookeeper, Cassandra and Solr. 

1) Kafka 2.8.0-0.8.1.1

I used Kafka 2.8.0-0.8.1.1 and downloaded it directly from the Kafka site. In Kafka, ALL processes are initiated through a common launcher called kafka-run-class.sh in the bin folder. All the other shell scripts (including the built-in Zookeeper) call this one. So this single insertion point is the only place that we will need to modify in order to add JVMD monitoring to Kafka. Pretty simple. Using the modified script (inside the attached zip file) you can run the servers as shown below:

TEST - with mods to use JVMD
cd /home/skanga/servers/kafka_2.8.0-0.8.1.1/bin
export JVMD_AGENT_HOME=/home/skanga/servers
export JVMD_MANAGER_HOST=jvmdconsole.us.oracle.com
export JVMD_MANAGER_PORT=3800

# start a zookeeper server
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=zookeeper-server
./zookeeper-server-start.sh ../config/zookeeper.properties

# start a kafka server
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=kafka-server
./kafka-server-start.sh ../config/server.properties

2) Hadoop 2.4.1

The scripts called hadoop, hfds, mapred and yarn in the hadoop bin directory will ALL need to be modified for JVMD monitoring. Using the modified scripts (inside the attached zip file) you can run all the servers as shown below:

TEST - with mods for hadoop command to use JVMD

cd /home/skanga/servers/hadoop-2.4.1
export JVMD_AGENT_HOME=/home/skanga/servers
export JVMD_MANAGER_HOST=jvmdconsole.us.oracle.com
export JVMD_MANAGER_PORT=3802

# Launch the hdfs nfs gateway
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=hdfs-nfs3-gateway
./bin/hdfs nfs3

# Run a mapreduce history server
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=mapred-historyserver
./bin/mapred historyserver

# Run a yarn resource manager
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=yarn-resourcemanager
./bin/yarn resourcemanager

# Run a hadoop map-reduce job to find the value of PI (QuasiMonteCarlo method)
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=hadoop-test-pi-montecarlo
./bin/hadoop jar ./share/hadoop/mapreduce/hadoop-mapreduce-examples-2.4.1.jar pi 1024 100

3) Zookeeper 3.4.6

The standalone version of zookeeper has a common environment setup script called zkEnv.sh where most JVMD setup can be done. After that a minor modification is needed in the java launch command in zkServer.sh after which all JVMD monitoring works fine. The scripts called zkCleanup.sh and zkCli.sh probably do not need monitoring but can be easily added if really needed.

TEST - with mods for zkServer.sh command to use JVMD

cd /home/skanga/servers/zookeeper-3.4.6/bin
export JVMD_AGENT_HOME=/home/skanga/servers
export JVMD_MANAGER_HOST=jvmdconsole.us.oracle.com
export JVMD_MANAGER_PORT=3800
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=zk-server

# start the zookeeper server
./zkServer.sh start
./zkServer.sh status
./zkServer.sh stop

4) Cassandra 2.0.9

The Apache Cassandra data store has a common environment setup script called conf/cassandra-env.sh where we can add the command to source our include script. Then a minor modification is needed to the java launch command in bin/cassandra after which all JVMD monitoring works fine. The other scripts probably do not need monitoring but can be easily added if really needed. 

TEST - with mods for cassandra command to use JVMD

cd /home/skanga/servers/apache-cassandra-2.0.9/bin
export JVMD_AGENT_HOME=/home/skanga/servers
export JVMD_MANAGER_HOST=jvmdconsole.us.oracle.com
export JVMD_MANAGER_PORT=3800
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=cassandra-server

# start cassandra
./cassandra -f

5) Solr 4.9.0

The Solr search server is an interesting case. In production scenarios, users will probably use the Solr war file in their own application server. In this scenario the standard JVMD warfile can be deployed to the same application server and monitored easily. However, the Solr distribution also include an embedded mode which may be used by simply running java -jar start.jar and for this scenario we have converted this java command into a simple script called start.sh and added it to the same folder as start.jar in order to run it. Using this script (inside the attached zip file) you can run a test as shown below:

TEST - with addition of start.sh command to use JVMD with Solr

cd /home/skanga/servers/solr-4.9.0/example
export JVMD_AGENT_HOME=/home/skanga/servers
export JVMD_MANAGER_HOST=jvmdconsole.us.oracle.com
export JVMD_MANAGER_PORT=3800
export JVMD_UNIQUE_ID=solr-server

# start solr
./start.sh

After everything is setup properly for your servers you should see all the relevant JVMs in the default pool with the proper ID as shown in the image below.


JVMs in Default Pool (with hostnames & ip addresses blanked out)
Click image to expand it in a new tab

Remember to be a bit patient and wait a few seconds until the connections are established and the servers appear in the console.

Monday Aug 25, 2014

Aramark Streamlines IT with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Aramark, a global leader in the food services industry, facilities management, and uniform services business, delivers world-class application SLAs consistently using Oracle Enterprise Manager.



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Wednesday Aug 20, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 Preview: Don't-Miss Sessions, Hands-on Labs, and More

Check out all the latest Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c sessions at this year's Oracle OpenWorld. Organizers of the event, taking place in San Francisco from September 28 to October 2, expect heavy turnout at sessions, hands-on labs, and customer panels devoted to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. Find out who is participating and which sessions are most recommended by the Oracle Enterprise Manager team.
Read More




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Thursday May 15, 2014

Whitepaper: Best Practices for Managing Siebel Configurations

Contributing Author: Eunjoo Lee, Principal Product Manager, Oracle

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Applications Management team is pleased to announce the release of their latest whitepaper (available here) and associated screenwatch (available here) on configuration management for Siebel.

The task of managing configuration parameters in a dynamic, multi-target environment can be extremely challenging. A large, production scale environment can have dozens of unique targets, and each target can have several hundred different configuration parameters.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, with the Siebel Plug-in, provides advanced, out-of-the-box tools to manage the complexity of Siebel configuration management. Oracle Enterprise Manager has advanced configuration capture, change detection, and comparison reporting capabilities that can dramatically reduce the amount of time that System Administrators spend on configuration management.

The purpose of the whitepaper and screenwatch is to provide customers with details on Oracle’s Best Practices for managing Siebel Configurations. It addresses several key areas including;

  • Understanding comparison templates in Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Creating configuration templates for Siebel servers, components groups, and components
  • Using configuration templates to compare Siebel servers
  • Analysis of configuration comparison results
  • Using configuration templates for Siebel patch analysis

The benefits of using configuration templates to manage Siebel applications are substantial, and include:

  • Easily compare configuration parameters for targets within a Siebel Enterprise, or between two different Siebel Enterprises
  • Easily compare configuration parameters for a Siebel target against a gold standard or baseline.
  • Define comparison reports once and re-run multiple times

We hope this white paper and screenwatch help to provide you with a good starting point to manage your Siebel Application configurations more efficiently and pro-actively.


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Monday May 14, 2012

Forrester Consulting: Oracle Real Application Testing Delivers 224% ROI

Leading analyst firm, Forrester Consulting has recently published a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) Study for Oracle Real Application Testing, an Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition option. In the study Forrester Consulting found that Oracle Real Application Testing delivered a very favorable 224% return on investment (ROI), based on a three year risk-adjusted period with a payback of 5.9 months.

Forrester Consulting's TEI results were calculated from in-depth interviews with Oracle customers and applied to a hypothetical organization developed within their TEI financial model. The study measured both the benefits and cost savings in areas around planned and unplanned maintenance, infrastructure upgrades and database performance management. The study also looked at the benefits of Oracle Real Application Testing to enhance business system uptime as well as reducing capital expenditure.

The study concluded that organizations similar to those interviewed could achieve the following benefits and cost savings (all figures are risk-adjusted, over three years):

  • 224% ROI with a payback period of 5.9 months
  • $5.9 Million in total benefits from increased business productivity and database availability


Total Benefits of Oracle Real Application Testing Over a Three Year Risk-Adjusted Period

Oracle Real Application Testing along with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c continues to provide industry leading database management solutions that help customers reduce testing efforts and related costs while eliminating the risks associated with change.

More Information


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Tuesday Oct 25, 2011

Cloud, cloud everywhere and not a drop to drink - new whitepaper talks about the challenges and Oracle's solution

Everyone is now talking about cloud and most of the IT vendor has latched on to the Cloud promise. Traditional systems management vendors are no exceptions. However, in most cases, Cloud is treated as a technology fashion, the newest buzzword in the ever changing landscape of enterprise technology.

This whitepaper delves into what really makes an enterprise Cloud. It covers the complete cloud life cycle and how Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c offers a complete, integrated and business-driven cloud management .

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

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