Tuesday Mar 05, 2013

Webcast: New Cloud Management Plug-Ins Provide Enhanced Capabilities for Deploying and Managing Clouds


Thursday March 7
10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST

Join us for this presentation to learn about Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c's recent release of new and updated Management Plug-ins that provide optimum utilization of compute resources, ultimately leading to faster time-to-market for IT services delivery. In addition to providing enhanced cloud management support, the Plug-ins extend Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c's capabilities for Database as a Service (DBaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), as well as introduce new features for Testing as a Service (TaaS).

Register Now!

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Friday Mar 01, 2013

Oracle's TaaS: Spend More Time Testing (and Less on the Other Stuff)

Recently we asked a group of testers what percentage of their testing time was spent on peripheral activities such as: 
  • procuring hardware  
  • deploying the application under test  
  • deploying a test tool  
  • find/detect/log issues/bugs  and/or 
  • patching an application
Two thirds of those testers indicated they spent between 40% to 70% of their time on these peripheral activities. 

When asked what the right solution could be to solve that enormous time consumption, the majority selected testing cloud solutions that combine capabilities for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service. Let's look at each one :

Infrastructure as a Service ( IaaS ) based testing cloud : This solution is typically based on provisioning of virtual machines on provided infrastructure . This will only resolve the provisioning of applications under test and test tools which is only 10-15% of the total solution.

  • Software as a Service ( SaaS ) based testing cloud : This is Software ( for test automation ) as a service solution. This only addresses the test execution and ( possibly ) issue/bottleneck identification. It does not offer provisioning for applications under test . In many cases, it does not offer monitoring of internal applications.

  • The brand new Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Testing as a Service (TaaS) solution (.pdf) offers that combination and helps software development and QA organizations to spend more time on actual testing and less on peripheral activities, while significantly enhancing testing efficiency and reducing the duration of testing projects.


    Oracle's TaaS is a platform for delivering automated application testing services. It is a self-service solution designed for private clouds that orchestrates the testing process end-to-end by: 
    • Automating the provisioning of test labs including application under test and test tools. 
    • Executing load and/or functional test scripts against the application. 
    • Providing rich application monitoring and diagnostics data for analysis.
    • Sophisticated chargeback facility for metering and charging the usage of the testing cloud by end-users. 
    It's built with semantic understanding of testing artifacts like testing tools, applications, test scripts, it is not just VMs.

    All this information and more was discussed in a recent webcast we ran in cooperation with the online StickyMinds.com community. We uploaded the replay on Youtube for you to watch at your convenience.



    Happy testing!

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    Thursday Feb 28, 2013

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) now available on OTN

    Contributed by Martin Pena, Director, Product Management, Oracle Enterprise Manager

    The Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 (12.1.0.2) software binaries, updated with the new plug-ins and updated plug-in versions, are now available for download from Oracle Technology Network (OTN). Note that this is not a patch or patch set release; the new and updated plug-ins have simply been integrated with the binaries to make it easier for users to deploy the plug-ins as part of installing or upgrading Cloud Control. The management agent software binaries have not been changed.


    +  New Management Plug-Ins:  The following new and updated plug-Ins are now available as part of this release. In addition to providing new and enhanced functionality, the plug-ins incorporate numerous bug fixes.

    Plug-In Name / Version
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Database (DB) 12.1.0.3 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization (VT) 12.1.0.4 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager Storage Management Framework (SMF) 12.1.0.1 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Cloud (SSA) 12.1.0.5 (new)

    How  to access  Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) :

    Follow the option that is relevant for your installation to deploy the latest plug-in releases and updates into your environment:

    +  If you have not yet installed Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c, download the Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Update 1 (12.1.0.2) binaries from Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and install the new version. The plug-ins will be deployed as part of the installation process.

    +  If you already have Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.1) installed [with or without Bundle Patch 1], download Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) from Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and upgrade to the new version. The plug-ins will be deployed as part of the upgrade process.

    +  If you have already installed or upgraded to 12c Release 2 (12.1.0.2), you do not need to download the binaries from from Oracle Technology Network (OTN), but can instead deploy the new and updated plug-in versions using Cloud Control's Self Update feature. To deploy all of the plug-ins in simultaneously, use the deploy_plugin_on_server emcli command as shown below:

               emcli deploy_plugin_on_server -plugin="plug-in_id[:version][;plug-in_id[:version]]" [-sys_password=sys_password] [-prereq_check]

    For example:

               emcli deploy_plugin_on_server -plugin="oracle.sysman.vt;oracle.sysman.ssa;oracle.sysman.db"

    For more information, refer to the Plug-in Manager chapter in the Enterprise Manager Administrator's Guide, available here:
    http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/doc.121/e24473/plugin_mngr.htm

    To review more install/upgrade usecases and the FAQ, please refer to the Getting Started chapter in the Basic Installation Guide, available here:
    http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/install.121/e22624/getting_started_overview.htm

    Join live webcast "Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-In Update 1 Installation and Upgrade Overview" learn more and ask questions on Friday, March 01 - 9:00 AM PT

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    Wednesday Feb 27, 2013

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-In Update 1 Installation and Upgrade Overview

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-In Update 1 Installation and Upgrade Overview

    Friday, March 01, 9:00 a.m. PT

    Register Now

    Join us for this live technical presentation to learn about Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 release and how it impacts you. This webcast is a must-attend event for users who have EM 12.1.0.x in their environment or are planning to deploy EM 12.1.0.x or upgrade to EM 12.1.0.x from older Enterprise Manager versions.

    Oracle has recently released new and updated Enterprise Manager Plug-ins which enables optimum utilization of compute resources giving customers more flexibility and control during application development, leading to faster time-to-market for delivering IT services. These plug-in provide enhanced support and extend EM's capabilities for Database as a Service (DBaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and introduce new features for Testing as a Service (TaaS).

    During this presentation we will review the following topics:

    • Overview of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1
      • Does it have new features or bug fixes?
      • How do I get EM 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 binaries?
      • Various Install/Upgrade/Additional OMS Usecases
      • What happens to Agent Binaries?
      • Go over Install/Upgrade FAQ on EM 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1
    • Quick overview of new version /revision of plug-ins
    • How to deploy new plug-in in your existing EM 12.1.0.x environment
      • In Offline or Online mode
      • Using emcli to reduce OMS downtime
    • Documentation
    • Q&A

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    Monday Feb 25, 2013

    New and updated Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Plug-Ins for Infrastructure as a Servce ( IaaS )

    With the recent announcement of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2 Plugin Update 1 (12.1.0.2), building and managing Infrastructure as a Service ( IaaS ) cloud is simpler than ever. Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization (VT) plug-in 12.1.0.4 now support Oracle VM 3.2.1 which is enhanced for building much more secure and scalable enterprise class infrastructure cloud. Particularly, we were able to see significant performance improvement in handling parallel operations in the area of storage and VM management. Some of the key features supported for Oracle VM 3.2.1 include:

    • Virtual Machine Tagging- During deployment, users specify tags (that can be edited later) for the machines they are creating, and search based on the tags.

    • Periodic Storage Repository Refresh - Synchronization between data on the repository and that on the Oracle VM Manager can now be automated

    • Oracle VM Agent password update support - Oracle VM Agent password can now be updated via the EM UI

    • Virtual Server Roles support – Servers can be marked for playing different roles, such as utility role or virtual machine role

    • VM start policy – Users can set the policy on where the VM should be started on (e.g., Current Server, Best Server or based on Pool Policy)

    • OCFS2 timeout support – Users can set heartbeat timeout for servers in a clustered server pool

    More details on Oracle VM 3.2.1 features can be found here

    Enterprise Manager for Oracle Cloud (SSA) 12.1.0.5 enables the new capabilities provided by Enterprise manager for Oracle Virtualization plug-in 12.1.0.4 for self service users through self service portal.

    Some of the key features and improvements in Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization 12.1.0.4 and Enterprise Manager for Cloud 12.1.0.5 plug-ins for building Infrastructure as a Service cloud include:

    • Faster and consistent synchronization with Oracle VM Manager – Any VM status change is reflected in Enterprise Manager must faster than before and more consistently. Both target status and OVM status of VM target instance in EM are consistently updated when VM goes through any status changes

    • Improved UI page performance – Many of key UI pages for cloud management load much faster now

    • Improved assembly deployment – There are multiple enhancements in this area including better error handling, improved and more robust Storage Repository selection for better distribution on storage usage, and enhanced network placement logic.

    • Out of box assembly support - Database assemblies available in Self Update Console can be downloaded and used in Self Service Portal for easy deployment of database in your cloud. Deployment is completely integrated with EM agent deployment so that host and applications like database instance can be discovered and managed when the assembly deployment is complete

    Follow the steps below to enable the latest functionality using these plug-ins:

    1.    Apply patchset update (PSU) patch 14840279 to EM 12c Release 2 (12.1.0.2) OMS $ORACLE_HOME. This is a recommended patch on 12.1.0.2.0
    2.    Deploy the Oracle Virtualization Plug-in 12.1.0.4.0 and Oracle Cloud Plug-in 12.1.0.5.0 on the OMS using the Enterprise Manager 12c console. If you plan to use the database assemblies, also deploy the Oracle Database Plug-in 12.1.0.3.0

    To deploy the above three plug-ins use the following EM CLI command:

    $ emcli login -username=sysman -password=<password>
    $ emcli deploy_plugin_on_server -plugin="oracle.sysman.vt;oracle.sysman.ssa;oracle.sysman.db"

    3.    Apply the Virtualization Plug-in patch 16235354 on to the Plug-in $ORACLE_HOME. (Make sure PSU mentioned in step 1 is applied before this step.)
    4.    Deploy the Oracle Virtualization 12.1.0.4.0 Plug-in on the Enterprise Manager Agent managing Oracle VM Manager using the Enterprise Manager console. (This is the agent used when registering the OVM Manager to Cloud Control)
    5.    Apply patch 16219750 on this same Agent used to manage the Oracle VM Manager target. This can be done via a Patching Plan in the Enterprise Manager Console.
    6.    Apply the Virtualization Plug-in patch 16235337 on the Agent. (Make sure patches mentioned in steps 3 and 5 are applied before this step - this can also be applied via a Patching Plan)

    Refer to support note 1371536.1 for more details.

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    Sunday Feb 24, 2013

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Introduces Key Enhancements for Deploying and Managing Clouds

    It has been a little more than a year, since we released our first cloud management features as a part of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. As customers started adopting our solution for a broad spectrum of workloads including production, QA, and development needs, we gained invaluable experience into the various use cases and requirements. Based on that experience, Oracle has released new and updated Management Plug-ins that precisely address the above requirements, ultimately leading to faster time-to-market for IT services delivery. In addition to providing enhanced cloud management support, the plug-ins extend Enterprise Manager's capabilities for Database as a Service (DBaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), as well as introduce new features for Testing as a Service (TaaS). See "New Plug-in Features" below for additional details.

    NEW PLUG-IN FEATURES:

    + Database as a Service (DBaaS):

        A sophisticated Database as a Service solution needs to cater to a variety of use cases:
    •    A developer or a project owner requiring a new database service  with or without seed data
    •    QA requiring a full database refresh for intense load testing
    •    QA requiring to create multiple clones for functional testing on subset of data

    The current release of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c offers new capabilities and support for managing database cloud services in all the above cases. It comes with out-of-box capabilities such as schema-as-a-service for extreme database consolidation and database cloning through Snap Clone or RMAN Backups. These capabilities provide an optimum utilization of development and database resources, giving customers more flexibility and control in managing the database lifecycle.

    While some applications need dedicated databases, small home-grown applications can often share the database instance with other applications. Schema as a Service allows DBAs to consolidate multiple applications in the same database and offer logical slices of database to the end-users such as developers, thereby preventing database sprawl. They can enforce certain performance guarantee to these services by leveraging database Resource Manager, which prevents a particular user over-consuming the underlying compute resources.  End-users can therefore request schema services from the self-service application without stepping on one another. Schema as a Service significantly reduces the administrative and maintenance overhead since only a limited number of such databases need to be managed and patched.

    Cloning databases got significantly easier with the new plug-in. A new feature called “Snap Clone” really makes it snappy (terabytes of data can be cloned in a matter of minutes). The feature helps clone a database by leveraging the underlying “Copy on Write” technology offered by storage technologies, such as Netapp and ZFS Storage Appliance. DBAs can set up a “test master” database by refreshing a production database and mark the “test master” as the source of functional clones. Self-service users can create multiple copies  of the test-master in minutes without consuming additional space beyond what’s needed to make localized updates. This can be really beneficial for applications where the testing is primarily read-only and is limited to a subset of the data. Users can also take backups (snapshots) of their database and “time travel” across snapshots to restore the database to an earlier incarnation in a matter of minutes.

    For more involved testing, such as testing production loads with lots of updates, Oracle Enterprise Manager also supports a full clone using the RMAN technology.

    The following picture highlights the various use cases of DBaaS that Oracle Enterprise Manager addresses. While each of these have specific applicability, Oracle Enterprise Manager handles all these use cases comprehensively.


    + Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c has added support for building and managing Infrastructure as a Service clouds based on the latest Oracle VM 3.2.1 release. The updated kernel and enhanced storage management features in Oracle VM 3.2.1 make it an ideal foundation for building a secure, scalable, enterprise-class infrastructure cloud. The newly released Oracle Enterprise Manager Management Plug-ins for Oracle Virtualization and Oracle Cloud provide comprehensive support for setting up the cloud infrastructure, deploying Oracle virtual assemblies and Oracle VM templates, and monitoring and managing the health of the cloud.

    + Testing as a Service (TaaS): Any enterprise application needs extensive testing before changes are rolled into production. Testing is a time-consuming process, can take weeks owing to delays in provisioning the full application stack to run the test on. QA is often left waiting on IT to provide the infrastructure and platform and sometimes this wait itself can account for 50% of the total testing cycle. Currently, no integrated solution exists that handle the provisioning and testing phases of the overall testing process leading to significant process delays and poor efficiency.

    Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c introduces Testing as a Service, a new cloud platform for delivering automated application testing services. A self-service solution designed for private clouds, TaaS orchestrates the testing process end-to-end by automating provisioning of complete test labs (applications, test tools and assets comprising scripts and scenarios), execution of load and functional tests and rich application monitoring and diagnostics. It also includes a sophisticated chargeback facility and the ability to perform deeper diagnostics in context of testing.

    TaaS makes it possible to significantly reduce testing time and costs without compromising quality, and enables organizations to be more agile in delivering critical business applications. One can find more details on TaaS here.

    Oracle Enterprise Manager’s cloud management features are also enabled through a set of powerful RESTful APIs, which are summarized in this presentation. These APIs can be consumed from custom or 3rd party orchestration frameworks. In the new release, one can also orchestrate these APIs using an Oracle Enterprise manager provided framework called Blueprints. Using Blueprints, one can orchestrate the provisioning of a multi-layered application (such as the one shown below). One can download the documentation and sample code for the blueprints from here.




    + New Management Plug-Ins:  The following new and updated plug-Ins are now available as part of this release. In addition to providing new and enhanced functionality as mentioned above, the plug-ins incorporate numerous bug fixes.


    Plug-In Name / Version
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Database (DB) 12.1.0.3 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization (VT) 12.1.0.4 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager Storage Management Framework (SMF) 12.1.0.1 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Cloud (SSA) 12.1.0.5 (new)


    Read More:

    * New book: Building and Managing a Cloud Using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c (Oracle Press)

    *Cloud Management page on OTN

    *Enterprise Manager 12c: Cloud Management Pack for DB Datasheet

    *Enterprise Manager 12c: The Nerve Center of Oracle Cloud Technical White Paper

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    Friday Feb 15, 2013

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2)

    This year 2013 valentines day, we announced the GA of several brand new Plug-ins versions for Enterprise Manger Cloud Control 12c.

    We also released Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) for multiple platforms. Release 2 Plug-in Update 1, contains the original bits of 12c EM Cloud Control Release 2 (that was originally released in Oct 2012), packaged with the latest versions of several Plug-ins (including some brand new plugins).

    Following shows the list of new plug-ins versions available along the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2). The new plug-ins have dependency on 12.1.0.2, and customer needs to be on minimum 12.1.0.2 version of the product before deploying new plug-in versions. The new plug-ins include tons of new features, support for new managed targets, along with stability and performance bug fixes.

    ListPlugins

    The brand new version of DB plugin ( DB 12.1.0.3), comes packed with stability and brand new features of diagnosability, High Availability, Manageability, RAC and Grid Infrastructure, Security etc. Above plug-in list includes Enterprise manager Storage Management Framework, a brand new plug-in that enables Snap Clone functionality by leveraging the snapshot and Copy on write features of underlying Storage. The new plug ins are packed with features like Testing as a service, Snap Clone, Schema as a service, RMAN based Data Prov just to name a few.

    Note: The "Oracle Big Data Appliance" & "Oracle Engineered System Healthcheck" Plug-ins were released sometime back (and have been available to EM customers on Self Update).


    Installation/Upgrade paths:

    • EM Customers can do a fresh installation using "Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2)", and will get the latest version of the product, along with all the latest plug-ins out of the box.
    • EM Customers who are on Release1 (12.1.0.1), or on older releases 11g and 10.2.0.5, can choose to use Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1, to move/upgrade directly to the latest Release 2, and all plug-ins will be automatically upgraded to the latest versions of all Plug-ins deployed.
    • EM Customers who have previously already moved on to EM Cloud Control Release 2 (12.1.0.2), can choose to utilize Self Update to download/import and deploy the new Plug-in versions, using the self update feature in the product.

    Enterprise Manager Certification Matrix available on My Oracle Support.

    Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

    SquareTwo Financial uses Oracle Data Masking for Compliance and Improves Performance by 96%

    Watch as leading financial services firm, SquareTwo Financial, talks about maintaining compliance while increasing IT productivity and performance by replacing in-house data masking with Oracle Data Masking solution.

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    Friday Feb 08, 2013

    Gartner Positions Oracle in Leaders Quadrant for Data Masking

    Gartner recently announced that Oracle Data Masking Pack, part of Oracle Enterprise Manager’s quality management and Oracle Database Security defense-in-depth solution, has been named a leader in the first Magic Quadrant for Data Masking Technology report.

    Oracle Data Masking strengths highlighted in the report include:

    • High performance data masking in Oracle Databases
    • Integration into Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c resulting in easy adoption
    • Availability of pre-built templates for popular packaged systems such as, Oracle E-Business Suite
    • Database security expertise and strong DBMS security portfolio

    About Oracle Data Masking
    Oracle Data Masking ensures privacy by transforming sensitive data before it is transferred to test, QA, and other non-production environments, addressing regulatory compliance for both Oracle and non-Oracle Databases.


    Oracle Data Masking Pack: Production data is cloned and masked before being copied to Test.

    Key Features:

    • Application data discovery
    • Centralized extensible format library
    • Comprehensive mask techniques
    • High performance masking with role-based security
    • Optimized for Oracle and non-Oracle databases
    • Integrated with Oracle testing products
    • Integrated with data subsetting

    Oracle Data Masking completely replaces sensitive information such as; names, account numbers, SSNs, financial results, purchasing transactions, etc. in your development, test and QA systems with data that cannot be “reverse engineered” to reveal its original source. This allows production data to be safely used for development, testing, or sharing with out-source or off-shore partners for other non-production purposes. The Pack provides extensive search capabilities to scan enterprise databases for sensitive data discovery based on established data patterns and models.

    The solution allows masking of all the related data elements automatically while preserving referential relationships combining the sensitive data columns and associated relationships in an Application Data Model. Oracle Data Masking can detect data dependencies, such as foreign key constraints and replaces sensitive information transparently. This ensures that the referential integrity necessary for applications to work and function properly will continue be in place, even on development systems.

    Benefits:

    • Administrators will save time and eliminate risk by replacing individual scripts and routines written by DBAs with centrally managed and deployed libraries of masking processes.
    • Provides secure, scalable and automated solution to create test environments from production data using bulk masking.The solution enables faster time-to-market by speeding up the development process while helping organizations comply with privacy regulations and confidentiality policies.
    • Enables rapid DBA productivity through the use of application masking templates.
    • Supports custom data masks that are defined once and can be used every time that set of data needs to be masked.
    • Data security is integrated within the application management lifecycle, meaning that DBAs can provide realistic-masked production data to developers or testing groups for accurate application testing while reducing their storage costs by not having to provision an entire production environment for each developer or project.
    • Oracle Data Masking Pack is built into and installed with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

    Data Masking for Security and Compliance
    Oracle Data Masking offers a comprehensive and customizable library of masking formats, templates and policies that can be used to replace sensitive information with realistic simulated values—all with just a few mouse clicks. The sensitive data never has to leave the Oracle Database or the production environment. This maintains data security and compliance through privacy and confidentiality polices on shared production data. The solution helps protect against unauthorized access to data that is being shared with off-shore developers, partners or 3rd party vendors.


    Oracle Data Masking Pack: Centralized Extensible Format Library.

    In addition, Oracle Data Masking allows organizations to enforce compliance with regulatory requirements such as; Sarbanes-Oxley, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as well as numerous other laws and regulations that restrict the use of actual customer data.

    Oracle Data Masking continues to gain strong adoption, check out the latest customers to see how they are benefiting from the solution:

    LEARN MORE:

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    Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

    Coles Deploys Oracle Exadata and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    Read the latest news about Coles Supermarkets, one of Australia's largest grocery chains with more than 100,000 employees and 2,000 stores country-wide. Learn how Coles completely revamped their data warehouse with Oracle Exadata and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c . The new system improved Coles's processes and critical reporting by as much as 3 to 4x out-of-the-box with a 4 to 6x faster query performance. The result, higher quality of service for the business and for customers during peak seasonal spikes.

    LEARN MORE:

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    Tuesday Jan 29, 2013

    WEBCAST: Protect Your Sensitive and Confidential Data Using Oracle Data Masking Solution

    Thursday February 7
    10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST

    Join us for a live and interactive webcast on how to comply with regulatory requirements and data protection policies by protecting sensitive data in non-production Oracle Databases as well as non-Oracle databases using Oracle Data Masking Pack, a part of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c quality management and Oracle Database Security defense-in-depth solution. Topics include:

    • Automatically discovering sensitive data
    • Standard and advanced masking techniques made easy
    • Eliminate the need for a staging database using At-source masking
    • Secure your Oracle Applications (Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Fusion Applications) data quickly using masking templates
    • Seamless masking integration with Oracle's data subsetting solution
    Register today
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    Friday Jan 25, 2013

    Enterprise Manager for Big Data Appliance (BDA) Plugin - 12.1.0.1.0

    Earlier this month (Jan 2013) we announced the GA of Enterprise Manager for Big Data Appliance (BDA) Plugin - 12.1.0.1.0

    This is the first version of Enterprise Manager for Big Data Appliance (BDA) Plugin release. The plugin is available to EM customers on Self Update (screenshot below), and certification information for this plugin is also available to customers on MyOracleSupport certify (here).


    BDA
    Using the Enterprise Manager 12c Big Data Appliance Plug-in 12.1.0.1, users can:

    1. Discover the software and hardware components of a Big Data Appliance Network and add them as managed targets.
    2. Manage the hardware and software components that comprise a Big Data Appliance Network as a single target or as individual targets.
    3. Study collected metrics to analyze the performance of the network and each Big Data Appliance component.
    4. Trigger alerts based on availability and system health.
    5. Respond to warnings and incidents.

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    Thursday Jan 24, 2013

    HDFC Bank Deploys Database-as-a-Service with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    Listen in as one of India’s largest banks discusses the benefits of using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to manage their database-as-a-service deployment.

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    Tuesday Jan 15, 2013

    Answers to Your Common Database Performance Questions

    An Interview with Oracle Database Manageability Expert, Deba Chatterjee

    Throughout the year we hear from lots of customers and get many questions about managing Oracle Database. In this blog, I thought I would try and provide some answers to common diagnostics and tuning questions with the help of our product manager and residence expert for Oracle Database Manageability, Deba Chatterjee. Deba has a wealth of database performance tuning experience both inside and outside of Oracle managing large data warehouses. Deba is responsible for Oracle Diagnostics Pack for Database and Oracle Tuning Pack for Database. I recently sat down with Deba and had a chat about database manageability.

    Scott McNeil: Deba, we get many people asking questions about database performance—many still don't know about all the deep diagnostics capabilities Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c has to offer for Oracle Database. Capabilities such as; Compare Period ADDM, Real-Time ADDM, Active Session History (ASH) Analytics Real-Time SQL Monitoring, using Metric Extensions, and SQL Tuning Advisor—how do customers get all these capabilities for their database?

    Deba Chatterjee: We recently ran a webcast: Maximize Oracle Database Performance with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: Top 10 Tips and Tricks that explains how many of these features work. I highly recommend people watch the webcast to get a better understanding of the capabilities you mentioned. But the short answer is: for Compare Period ADDM, Real-Time ADDM, Metric Extensions you need to license Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Diagnostics Pack for Database. For Real-Time SQL Monitoring, SQL Tuning Advisor, you will need the Oracle Tuning Pack for Database.

    Scott McNeil: Another question customers repeatedly ask is around Cloud Control and Database Control. Deba, can you explain the difference between Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c (formerly Grid Control) and Database Control.

    Deba Chatterjee: Although they belong to the same family of products there is a fundamental difference between the two. Database Control can be used to manage only a single database with which it has been configured, while Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c allows you to manage all your databases under the same centralized management console. Plus Cloud Control lets you manage not only all your databases but your entire application and technology stack too, whether it's in a private cloud or in a traditional environment.

    How do you modify the Metric Value History retention in Enterprise Manager? For example; Enterprise Manager only shows the last 7 days, how do you display longer than 7 days?

    Deba Chatterjee: There are various retention times based on the type of metric data:

    • Raw metric data: default retention time is 7 days
    • Hourly aggregated metric data: default retention is 31 days
    • Daily aggregated metric data: default retention is 12 months

    Refer to the documentation here, if you want to change the default retention time.

    For Compare Period ADDM, how do you relate that in the context of system load?

    Deba Chatterjee: In the resource usage tab, you can check the system CPU, Memory, I/O and interconnect (for RAC databases) utilizations across the 2 comparison periods in the same database.

    Does Compare Period ADDM take into account the average read and average write in order to identify why the variance is happening in performance?

    Deba Chatterjee: Compare Period ADDM uses database time to compare the performance across two periods. It does not compare based on average read or write times.

    Does Enterprise Manager have the ability to create customized performance graphs? For example; can you create a graph for CPU usage in the last 24 hours on a given Host?

    Deba Chatterjee: This is possible through the information publisher or BI publisher reports. As for the CPU usage, the chart is available out-of-the box in the target page for hosts.

    How do you connect to the database itself when it’s hung and won't allow any extra connections? Do you use command line? Can you use ADDM even though the database is hung?

    Deba Chatterjee: When the database is hung, you can connect to it using the diagnostic connection mode in Real-Time ADDM. The agent that is used to monitor the database makes the connection. No, command line is used. You have to use Real-Time ADDM for the connection.

    Is Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c compatible with older versions of the database?

    Deba Chatterjee: You can use Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to monitor Oracle Database versions: 9.2.0.8, 10.1.0.5, 10.2.0.4, 10.2.0.5, 11.1.0.7, 11.2.0.1, 11.2.0.2, and 11.2.0.3.

    Is SQL Performance Analyzer part of Oracle Database 11g or do you need to use Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?

    Deba Chatterjee: SQL Performance Analyzer is built into the database and provides command line APIs. However, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c provides the complete orchestration needed to capture the SQL tuning set, run the performance trials, and then to create a performance comparison report.

    How do you enable Enterprise Manager to monitor and send alerts to the DBAs for a "Runaway Query?”

    Deba Chatterjee: You can use EM to monitor runaway queries and send alerts using Metric Extensions which rely on the data captured in SQL Monitoring. The method was explained in this webcast presentation.

    How do you create a report for all the SQL running in an instance during a 30 minute timeframe? Can you export this to a spreadsheet?

    Deba Chatterjee: ASH stores sampled (1 seconds in memory or 10 seconds on-disk) SQL. However ASH is meant to capture the high load SQL statements so it won’t have all SQL statements.

    Do you recommend enabling automatic gathering of SQL baselines as a preventative measure of SQL regression?

    Deba Chatterjee: No. This would be overkill. Identify the queries that frequently change plans and then create SQL plan baselines.

    If a server has multiple database instances, what is the best way to effectively do resource allocation?

    Deba Chatterjee: There is no silver bullet. Carefully study your database load and decide on use of services, instance caging and resource managers to manage load on servers.

    When using SQL Performance Analyzer, do you create the baseline first before the code change is deployed or at peak DB time?

    Deba Chatterjee: These are two different problems. While testing for Code change, the baseline should be created before the code is deployed. While testing for an upgrade scenario the baseline needs to be created at a peak DB time.

    Is there a metric to monitor ASM disk group utilization at the cluster level?

    Deba Chatterjee: Yes. ASM Disk Group Usage metric is what you can use. (See image below)

    Can Oracle Enterprise Manager’s alerts be configured to monitor elements in the audit trail such as table creation or table drop?

    Deba Chatterjee: Yes, these type of alerts can be configured using Metric Extensions.

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    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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