Tuesday Oct 20, 2015

Oracle Enterprise Manager @ Oracle OpenWorld 2015

With Oracle OpenWorld less than a week away, we wanted to highlight all the exciting Oracle Enterprise Manager events and activities at this year's conference. The Oracle Enterprise Manager team put together a snapshot of what's happening—from general sessions to hands-on labs—here is a quick summary:


  • Oracle Management Cloud General Session, featuring 3 brand new services—Real-Time Monitoring, Log, and IT Operations Analytics. Save your seat, pre-register today
  • Unprecedented number of sessions delivered by Oracle experts and customers at this year's conference. See full session list
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager at the SIG Sunday User Group Forum. Session details
  • Dedicated Oracle Enterprise Manager demopods in the Oracle DEMOgrounds. Search Oracle OpenWorld demos
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager Hands-on Labs, providing a deep-dive experience led by Oracle experts. See full list

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

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Friday Oct 16, 2015

Oracle OpenWorld Sneak Preview: Oracle’s Newest PaaS Offerings for IT Operations Management – Oracle Management Cloud

OpenWorld is always a very exciting time for Oracle and our customers, and every year we reveal some of our newest offerings. We sat down with Prakash Ramamurthy, Senior Vice President of Oracle Management Cloud, to discuss this year’s conference.

Q: Tell us about what’s happening this year at OpenWorld for Oracle Management Cloud?

PR: This year, we have a rare and fantastic opportunity to introduce an entirely new category of systems management cloud services for Oracle customers – the Oracle Management Cloud. Oracle Management Cloud is a suite of next-generation, integrated monitoring, management and analytics solutions delivered as a service on Oracle Cloud. It is designed for today’s heterogeneous environments across on-premises, Oracle Cloud and third-party cloud services.

Q: Why will Oracle Management Cloud be so valuable to customers?

PR: Customers today are struggling with the need to reduce time-to-market for new applications, even as those applications are getting more and more complex and distributed. Whereas a new offering five years ago might have been supported by a monolithic, on-premises infrastructure, today that offering may be composed of half a dozen cloud services from several different providers. Oracle Management Cloud was purpose-built to provide the new level of operational efficiency and visibility that these rapidly-changing environments require.

Q: What services will be available in the Oracle Management Cloud?

PR: We will be offering three services out of the gate focused on some of the highest pain points for customers today. Oracle Application Performance Monitoring Cloud Service provides development and operations teams with the information that they need to find and fix application issues fast, via deep visibility into your application performance from end user experience, through application server requests, and down to application logs. Oracle Log Analytics Cloud Service monitors, aggregates, indexes, and analyzes all log data from applications and infrastructure – enabling users to search, explore, and correlate this data to troubleshoot problems faster, derive operational insight and make better decisions. And finally, Oracle IT Analytics Cloud Service provides 360-degree insight into the performance, availability, and capacity of applications and IT investments, enabling line-of-business executives, analysts, and administrators to make critical decisions about their IT operations based on comprehensive system and data analysis.

Q: Where can customers go to learn about these new offerings?

PR: The single best place to experience the power of these new offerings will be in the Oracle Management Cloud Launch General Session, which is titled GEN9778 - Oracle Management Cloud: Real-Time Monitoring, Log, & IT Operations Analytics and takes place on Tuesday, October 27 at 11AM in Moscone South Room 102. Oracle OpenWorld attendees should pre-register for the session as there is limited space and attendees will be receiving a gift from Oracle. In addition to the General Session, there will be several dedicated track sessions, demonstration stations and hands-on labs throughout the remainder of the week. It’s going to be a very exciting time.

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Tuesday Jul 07, 2015

Snap Cloning Databases on Exadata using Enterprise Manager

Historically, Exadata has mostly been deployed for heavy, production workloads, leaving cheap commodity hardware and third-party storage to perform as infrastructure for Development and Testing. From the viewpoint of Enterprise Manager, we have seen customers clone production databases running on Exadata to secondary storage such as ZFS Storage Appliance or even third-party NAS or SAN for the purpose of testing. Customers mainly used RMAN (with or without Enterprise Manager) to clone the databases. While the master clones (often referred to as Test Master) could be further cloned via storage efficient snapshots, there were significant limitations to the approach.

  • First of all, the testing on non-like systems from Exadata (both compute and storage) often yielded erroneous inferences.
  • Second, both the compute and storage on existing Exadata racks often remained underutilized.

Most surveys establish that there are several Dev/Test copies for every Production database, and leaving Dev/Test outside the realm of Exadata can only yield partial usage of engineered systems.

Two recent advancements in Exadata break this existing barrier. First of all, the compute nodes on Exadata can now be virtualized. Consolidated environments can now use Oracle Virtual Machine (OVM) on X5-2, X4-2, X3-2, and X2-2 database servers to deliver higher levels of consolidation and isolation between workloads. The Virtual machines can be configured on demand with the appropriate number of Virtual CPUs (vCPUs) for iterative testing. Second, with Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) release BP5 or later, space-efficient database snapshots can now be quickly created for test and development purposes on Exadata.

Snapshots start with a shared read-only copy of the production database (referred to as the Test Master in Enterprise Manager Parlance) that has been masked and/or cleansed of any sensitive information. Snapshot technology as deployed on Exadata is "allocate on first write", not copy on write. As changes are made, each snapshot writes the changed blocks to a sparse disk group. Multiple users can create independent snapshots from the same base database, therefore multiple test and development environments can share space while maintaining independent databases for each task. The base database must remain read-only during the usable lifespan of snapshots that are created from that base database. If there is a need to create another set of snapshots from a more recent copy of production data, a new read-only base from a production database needs to be created.

Enterprise Manager 12cR5 leverages the capabilities of Exadata to extend the Snap Clone capabilities for Exadata Sparse clones. As shown in this tutorial, with Snap Clone, Enterprise Manager can create a Test Master using either Dataguard technology or RMAN preceded by data masking. The Test Master can be created either on the same Exadata rack or on a different one. Once the Test Master has been created, snapshots can then be created on the sparse disk groups using the Deployment Procedures. The Deployment Procedures also automate the post-cloning discovery and promotion of the cloned targets, making them fully managed right from inception. Internal testing confirms that for cloning a Terabyte of database with a complete discovery of all its components takes less than a minute.

Enterprise Manager also helps DBAs track the lineage of the clones by providing a report on the production database, the Test Master and its clones. Enterprise Manager Snap Clone on Exadata supports both regular as well as pluggable databases with optional ACFS configuration. In addition to support for Exadata sparse clones, Snap Clone continues to support NAS (ZFS Storage Appliance and NetApp) and SAN (certain EMC storage arrays), in case users want to deploy these for their Dev-Test environments. 

Further Reading Resources

  • To learn more about Database as a Service visit the otn page.
  • Prerequisites for setting up Exadata Snapshots are documented here.
  • Watch the video, Snap Clone Multitenant (Pluggable Database) on Exadata here.
--Subhadeep Sengupta (@Subh_here)

Friday May 08, 2015

Vote for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

Voting for the 2015 Database Trends and Applications (DBTA) Readers' Choice Awards is now open.

In last year's DBTA Readers’ Choice Awards, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c won two awards for "Best Database Administration Solution" and "Best Database Performance Solution."

This year Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c has been nominated again in the same two categories; Best Database Administration Solution and Best Database Performance Solution.

Be sure to cast a vote for your favorite management tool, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

The voting will close on May 22nd.

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Friday Mar 06, 2015

Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor

Recently, Oracle announced the general availability of the Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor—a new capability built into Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Tuning Pack. With this release, Oracle introduces new and extensive capabilities for managing Oracle Database In-Memory, an Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition option.

Oracle Database In-Memory can be used to improve queries on a variety of OLTP and/or data warehouse operations. The In-Memory Advisor helps to optimize performance with recommendations to run analytics processing faster. It gives customers insight into the sizing of the workload and offers actionable recommendations for running workloads at peak performance. The Advisor analyzes workloads and related objects making specific recommendations to which objects would give you the greatest benefit and performance if they were placed In-Memory.

Key Capabilities:

  • Assists with In-Memory size selection
  • Recommendations for tables, partitions and sub-partitions for a given In-Memory size
  • Uses workload and performance data to prioritize objects
  • Takes into account differences in disk and memory footprint, as well as compression ratios

Actionable Recommendations

  • Workload based cost/benefit analysis
    • Cost: Offers estimated memory size with various compression options
    • Benefit: Offers estimated database time reduction metrics for workload processing
  • In-memory area population plan


  • Ability to vary In-Memory size to receive specific loading plan
  • Generates DDL scripts with all the tables/partitions/sub-partitions recommended
  • Top SQL benefits from any given configuration

For more information, visit the Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor page on the Oracle Technology Network. You can download the In-Memory Advisor, via MOS note 1965343.1.

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Friday Feb 27, 2015

Oracle Private Database Cloud REST APIs

While we spend a lot of time developing GUI for our private cloud features – like the self service portal, setup screens, etc, a large percentage of our customers use these features via our APIs, both EMCLI and REST based.

Q: So why would anyone not use the out of the box cloud (self service) portal and use the APIs instead?

A: Well, there are many reasons:

  1. You already have a custom cloud portal that you use to deploy non-Oracle products and now you would like Oracle products to be part of it
  2. You want cloud related actions to be part of a larger orchestration flow. For example, prior to provisioning, you want to integrate an approval workflow, and then post-provision update your asset management system with the service details.
  3. You want to integrate the cloud actions with our IT service desk or ticketing systems
  4. Integrate actions like cloning of databases (Snap Clone), or provisioning of middleware and applications with your continuous integration or devops process.

Read More

Monday Feb 23, 2015

Webcast: Database Provisioning in Minutes: Using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c DBaaS Snap Clone and EMC Storage

Live Webcast
Wednesday February 25, 2015
8:00 a.m. PST | 11:00 a.m. EST

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database as a Service Snap Clone allows administrators to create fully functional copies of databases using the capabilities of the underlying storage layer. Users can request databases from the self-service console and have them provisioned within minutes instead of hours while keeping storage needs to a minimum.

Attend this presentation to learn more about the features and benefits of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c DBaaS Snap Clone using EMC storage and to view a live demo.

This webcast is specifically targeted for DBAs, storage administrators and cloud administrators interested in saving time and effort implementing enterprise grade DBaaS.

Register Now!

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Monday Feb 09, 2015

Take the IOUG Database Manageability Survey

The Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), is conducting its annual database manageability survey. If you are a database professional responsible for managing and operating your organization's database applications and systems, then the IOUG wants to hear from you.

Take the next few minutes to answer simply questions around your common manageability practices and challenges. Share your experience and insight with the IOUG and Oracle communities and you'll be entered into a draw for a chance to win an Apple iPad from the IOUG. You will also receive a free copy of the final report.

Take the 2015 IOUG Database Manageability Survey

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Tuesday Jan 27, 2015

Top Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Questions

Guest contributors: Courtney Llamas and David Wolf

What are the steps involved for upgrading from Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 to Release 4? Is it an upgrade in place or a new install/migration
Answer: Yes, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c R3 to R4 is an out-of-place upgrade, which means the installer will install in a new Oracle Home and migrate the application over. You will need the additional space for a new Oracle Home. You can reduce downtime of the upgrade by performing a “Software Only Install”, and then upgrade later. See the upgrade documentation here.

Do the patch and upgrade functionality work on Oracle Database 11g targets or only on Oracle Database 12c targets?
A: Yes, patching and upgrading can be performed on any certified target version. For more details on database patching and lifecycle management visit this page.

Where can I find a full list of new enhancements compared to Release 3?
A: The new features are listed in Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Introduction Guide.

Is there a list available of new features by management pack?
A: The new features are listed in Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Introduction Guide. They are listed by plug-in, not management pack. For the license information read this page.

What are the best hardware configuration and setup in order to provide high availability capabilities for database as a service (i.e. Oracle RAC, Oracle Exadata)?
A: The more you rely on Oracle Enterprise Manager, the more you need to think about high availability. The best recommendation is to have a multi-OMS system with a standby for disaster recovery. You can scale up to this as the environment grows, but starting with a multi-OMS system will give you the availability and scalability you need. A standby database with Oracle Data Guard and a software replicated standby OMS would be the next step. Please read this whitepaper Deploying a Highly Available Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control for more information.

Can Snap Clone be used with EMC storage or is Oracle ZFS storage required?
A: Yes. Snap Clone can be used with either EMC VMAX and/or VNX Block Storage, both are supported. More details can be found on this page under the section: Database Cloning and Dynamic Data Refresh.

Does Oracle Enterprise Manager support monitoring of hypervisors?
A: Oracle Enterprise Manager supports monitoring of Oracle VM natively and VMWare via a Blue Medora third party plug in. More details on managing physical and virtual host can be found here.

Is the metering and chargeback functionality part of the base product or does it requires an additional management pack?
A: Metering and Chargeback for Oracle Database is part of the Oracle Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database. Metering and Charge back for guest virtual machines (VMs) and hosts are included with the base product and does not require a separate license. Read this whitepaper for more on Metering and Chargeback with Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Does Enterprise Data Governance require additional licensing?
A: Use of the Enterprise Data Governance capabilities within Oracle Enterprise Manager requires an Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack license.

How is the new AWR Warehouse feature different from the existing AWR report in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3?
A: The existing AWR report in Oracle Enterprise Manager pulls AWR data from the source database and relies on the AWR retention setting of that database. This is typically only saved for 8 days. There’s been a big demand for saving this data for 30-60 days and even longer. AWR Warehouse, automates the extract of the source AWR data and loading to a warehouse database so that data can be retained without affecting the performance and storage of the source database. The reports are the same, it just allows you to dig back further in time. Read this article for more details.

Does this new release require more disk space for the AWR Warehouse? More CPU and memory?
A: Not for the OMS. The recommendation is to setup the AWR Repository in a separate database, outside of the Oracle Enterprise Manager repository database. Hosting on the same server would be fine, so long as there is sufficient memory and CPU for both instances. Read this article on AWR Warehouse for more details.

Does AWR Warehouse also support Oracle Database 10g and/or 11g AWR?
A: AWR Warehouse must be installed on Oracle Database or higher or version with the appropriate patch. It also must be an equal or higher database version of the source databases it accommodates. Check out this demo to understand AWR Warehouse. Read the AWR Warehouse documentation.

Is there a list of 3rd party technologies that can be managed by Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?
A: Check out the Oracle Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange for a list of the available 3rd party plug-ins and connectors.

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Friday Jan 16, 2015

Webcast: Zero to Manageability in One Hour—Build a Solid Foundation for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
1:00 p.m. EST | 10:00 a.m. PST

The goal in every Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c rollout is to take it from zero to manageability in the shortest possible time. This presentation will show you how to accomplish this feat. Oracle experts will demonstrate how to properly architect and deploy Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, including designing a highly available and scalable environment. Through this demonstration a list of essential techniques and tips compiled from Oracle Enterprise Manager Development’s Strategic Customer Programs team will also be shared. Topics such as; users, roles, groups, templates, and incidents will be discussed, plus key architectural decisions.

By attending this webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Organize targets, notifications and users properly
  • Configure for best practices after the install is complete
  • Properly plan and architect an Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c environment

Featured Speaker: Courtney Llamas, Principal Member of Technical Staff, Oracle

Registered Now

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Thursday Jan 15, 2015

IOUG eBrief: News for the Oracle Enterprise Manager User Community

IOUG eBrief: January Edition Now Available

Check out January's issue of the IOUG eBrief featuring all the latest news and highlights from IOUG and the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Special Interest Group (SIG).

Read the newsletter

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Friday Jan 09, 2015

Innovating to Optimize: Creating Room in the IT budget for Initiatives that Boost Business

Read the latest Economist Intelligence Unit whitepaper called Innovating to Optimize: Creating Room in the IT budget for Initiatives that Boost Business. The paper outlines new ways executives can use technology to improve IT operational processes in order to drive innovation and optimize their business. The Economist interviews industry experts and thought leaders, revealing candid insights and new emerging trends.

Download the whitepaper

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Wednesday Jan 07, 2015

Webcast: Oracle Database 12c Performance Analysis

IOUG Webcast: Long Term and Cross-Database Performance Analysis for Oracle Databases Using Automatic Workload Repository Warehouse

Thursday, January 15, 2015
1:00 p.m. EST | 11:00 a.m. PST

The Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) feature in Oracle Database has been the standard used by DBAs to diagnose database performance problems.

In this session, you will learn about the new AWR Warehouse capability, which enables DBAs with capacity planning and performance analysis for Oracle Databases without the constraint of the retention period and without any overhead on critical databases.

Learn how AWR Warehouse can tell why performance was slow this month compared to the same period last year or give administrators an annual report of problems in your mission-critical databases.

Featured Speaker: Jagan Athreya, Senior Director of Product Management, Oracle

Registered Now

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Friday Dec 19, 2014

Business Brief: Optimize Your Database Performance - Spend Less Time Keeping the Lights on and More Time Innovating

How are you keeping up with the challenges and demands from the business? Are you able to innovate or just keeping the lights on?

Read the latest business brief on Oracle Database Performance Management to get better insight into the challenges facing IT and find out ways to overcome them.

Read the business brief.

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Friday Oct 24, 2014

Get Compliant with Oracle Java VM Database PSU OCT 2014 using EM12c

Check for compliance and automate patching of Oracle Database fleet using EM12c

Oracle along with its regular Quarterly Database PSU/SPU/CPU update this October 2014 released Oracle JAVA VM PSU patch, the patch is recommended to be applied to all databases in your fleet (esp. the ones that uses JAVA).  (For more information, support Note- 1929745.1 explains it in detail).
The mandate primarily is to apply the patches against the databases that use JAVAVM option. Ideally, you would need to apply it against all databases, so in case a new database is created in the ORACLE_HOME it is covered.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c provides support features of Compliance Management and automated Patching of databases. Using both these features you could identify the databases in your fleet that needs the patch and automate applying them.  

To get started, download the starter kit here. It contains utilities to jump start on your compliance, the kit contains a readily importable Compliance Standard and a step-by-step guide.

[Read More]

Thursday Oct 23, 2014

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: In-Depth Newsletter Now Available

The latest issue of the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c newsletter is out. Read all about the latest news and information around the award winning Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c solution. This month's edition features the Oracle Application Users Group (OAUG) survey results, new study on middleware management cost reduction, and the latest details on Oracle Enterprise Manager for MySQL Database plug-in.

Read the newsletter

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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.

Register Now

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Sunday Sep 28, 2014

Oracle Announces Oracle Enterprise Manager for MySQL Database

To help customers simplify management of complex IT environments, Oracle is extending Oracle Enterprise Manager capabilities to MySQL databases. With this new offering, customers can manage deployments of MySQL, either on-premises or in a cloud. Existing users of Oracle Enterprise Manager can now easily add MySQL to their environments. With this capability, customers can manage their applications and technology stack, including web and departmental applications that rely on MySQL, all from a single console.

With Oracle Enterprise Manager for MySQL Database, customers can benefit from:

  • Auto-discovery of MySQL targets
  • Availability monitoring
  • Configuration and metrics collection
  • Performance dashboards
  • Configurable thresholds

Watch the Demo:

MySQL Enterprise Edition customers can download Oracle Enterprise Manager for MySQL Database, Release 5.5 and higher, which is available on Oracle Linux and other Linux distributions, Microsoft Windows, and Oracle Solaris. Watch the demo for more details.

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Wednesday Sep 17, 2014

Stay Connected at Oracle OpenWorld

Follow Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c @ Oracle OpenWorld

If you are planning to attend OpenWorld this year, make sure you maximize the full conference experience—stay connected to all the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c activities.

For the complete list of OpenWorld events and activities, read the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Focus on Doc.

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Tuesday Sep 16, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld: Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c General Session

Heading to Oracle OpenWorld?

Be sure to check out the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c general session, Drive the Future of Self-Service IT with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c [GEN8250].

Session Abstract:

Successful strategies for cloud computing and self-service IT demand a unified management solution that provides visibility, insight, and control across the IT landscape. In this session, key representatives from Oracle Enterprise Manager Product Development will discuss customer and partner experiences in deploying and managing large-footprint private cloud environments encompassing Oracle Applications, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Database, and Oracle Engineered Systems. In the second part of the session, attendees will get a sneak preview of several exciting new offerings in the Oracle Enterprise Manager family. Don’t miss this opportunity to glimpse the future of Oracle’s systems management offerings.

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


  • 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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Tuesday Sep 09, 2014

Express Scripts Automates IT with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit management organization in the United States, automates its database services using Oracle Enterprise Manager's centralized management solution. Watch the video.

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Wednesday Aug 27, 2014

Demo: Consolidation Planner

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Consolidation Planner is a great tool that helps you plan and consolidate multiple targets on to a single machine such as Oracle Exadata. This solution helps you visualize what you have running in your environment and where you can take advantage of consolidation in order to maximize resources and lower IT operational costs. Watch the demo below to get a better understand of how Consolidation Planner works.

Want to learn more, read the Consolidation Planner documentation.

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Tuesday Aug 26, 2014

Q&A: Oracle's Andrew Sutherland on Managing the Entire Oracle Stack with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

As senior vice president of middleware for Oracle in Europe, Dr. Andrew Sutherland has more than 20 years’ experience in emerging technologies and their application to business problems. Currently, he manages a team of architects, business development managers, and technical specialists who help customers make the best use of their investments in Oracle technologies.

Given his breadth and depth of experience, we decided to ask Sutherland how Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4 is helping the Oracle customers he works with.

Q. What makes Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c different from competitors' offerings?
A. Oracle Enterprise Manager's approach is unique in that it manages across the entire Oracle stack, from applications, middleware, and the database all the way down to servers and storage. That means it can truly unlock the value of the entire Oracle stack.

Q. What is the payoff for organizations that adopt such a comprehensive approach?
A. Our customers are able to manage the entire Oracle estate in the most cost-effective way possible by automating many of their day-to-day tasks. To give you an idea of its scope, many of our customers have made sure that Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c’s dashboard is available to their senior IT management team. They use it to ensure that all parts of their IT stack are delivering what they should be delivering, when they should be delivering it.

Perhaps most important of all, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c enables organizations to move beyond the old paradigm of multiple independent IT stacks to offer infrastructure as a service and platform as a service.

Q. As someone who helps customers make the most of their investment in Oracle technology, what do you find most promising about Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4?
A. There are three key areas that are especially exciting. First, it provides an accelerated path to the cloud. Whether you are building a small, medium, or large private cloud within your organization, it provides the tools you need to make it happen, from designing the cloud to provisioning and testing.

Secondly, this release provides monitoring and management tools that go both deeper into the stack and wider across components within the stack. That means an even more comprehensive dashboard.

Finally Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4 offers true enterprise-grade management. With the growth of social and mobile connectivity, the need for a highly performant and robust stack is more prominent than ever. And Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is there to do exactly that: manage true, enterprise-grade IT deployments.

Q. What should Oracle customers do if they want to learn more about the latest release of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?
A. First, speak to your Oracle contact, whether it is a partner or Oracle representative, to get more complete information. Also consider coming to an Oracle Day event in your area, especially if you can attend one dedicated to cloud computing. And in the meantime, you can always head to the Oracle Enterprise Manager pages on oracle.com to get started.

Find out more about Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4.

Watch a short video featuring Sutherland.

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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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Wednesday Aug 13, 2014

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Wins 2 DBTA Readers’ Choice Awards

In the first annual 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards, Database Trends and Applications (DBTA) magazine announced that Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c has won two awards for "Best Database Administration Solution" and "Best Database Performance Solution."

More than 22,000 votes were cast across 31 different database categories, from Best Relational Database to Best Database Appliance, DBTA called the contest a tight race and was "often neck and neck" between nominees.

"Oracle has a longstanding commitment to superior manageability for our products. Oracle Enterprise Manager's continued success and innovations in providing the leading solution for managing Oracle Database is a prime example of this commitment. These awards are a further testament to the importance customers place on Oracle Enterprise Manager." says Moe Fardoost, Senior Director, Product Marketing for Oracle Enterprise Manager.

You can see the complete list of winners here: Database Trends and Applications magazine—2014 Readers’ Choice Awards

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Tuesday Jul 01, 2014

Limit Self Service User Access to Database Self Service Portal

When implementing database as a service and/or snap clone, a common request was for a way to hide the other service types like IaaS, MWaaS, etc from the self service portal for the end users. Before EM12c R4, there was no way to restrict the portal view. Essentially, any user with the EM_SSA_USER role would be directed to the self service portal and would then be able to see all service types supported by EM12c.

Of course, you could always set Database as your default self service portal from the 'My Preferences' pop up, but this only helps with their post-login experience. The end user still gets to see all the options as shown in screen above.

In EM12c R4, a new out of the box role called EM_SSA_USER_BASE has been introduced. This role, by default, does not give access to any portal, that is an explicit selection. Here is how you use this role:

1. Create a custom role and add the EM_SSA_USER_BASE role to it.

 2. Now in the Resource Privileges step, select the Resource Type 'Cloud Self Service Portal for Database', and edit it

3. Check the 'Access the Cloud Self Service Portal for Database.' privilege. Finish the rest of the wizard.

 Now, when a user with this custom role accesses the self service portal, they can only do so for databases and nothing else.

While the EM_SSA_USER role will continue to work, we recommend you start using the new EM_SSA_USER_BASE role. For more details on DBaaS or Snap Clone roles, refer to the cloud admin guide chapter on roles and users.

-- Adeesh Fulay (@AdeeshF)

Wednesday Jun 04, 2014

EM12c Release 4: Database as a Service Enhancements

Oracle Enterprise Manager (or simply put EM12c R4) is the latest update to the product. As previous versions, this release provides tons of enhancements and bug fixes, attributing to improved stability and quality. One of the areas that is most exciting and has seen tremendous growth in the last few years is that of Database as a Service. EM12c R4 provides a significant update to Database as a Service. The key themes are:

  1. Comprehensive Database Service Catalog (includes single instance, RAC, and Data Guard)
  2. Additional Storage Options for Snap Clone (includes support for Database feature CloneDB)
  3. Improved Rapid Start Kits
  4. Extensible Metering and Chargeback
  5. Miscellaneous Enhancements

1. Comprehensive Database Service Catalog

Before we get deep into implementation of a service catalog, lets first understand what it is and what benefits it provides. Per ITIL, a service catalog is an exhaustive list of IT services that an organization provides or offers to its employees or customers. Service catalogs have been widely popular in the space of cloud computing, primarily as the medium to provide standardized and pre-approved service definitions. There is already some good collateral out there that talks about Oracle database service catalogs. The two whitepapers i recommend reading are:

Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Service

High Availability Best Practices for Database Consolidation: The Foundation for Database as a Service [Oracle MAA]

EM12c comes with an out-of-the-box service catalog and self service portal since release 1. For the customers, it provides the following benefits:

  • Present a collection of standardized database service definitions,
  • Define standardized pools of hardware and software for provisioning,
  • Role based access to cater to different class of users,
  • Automated procedures to provision the predefined database definitions,
  • Setup chargeback plans based on service tiers and database configuration sizes, etc

Starting Release 4, the scope of services offered via the service catalog has been expanded to include databases with varying levels of availability - Single Instance (SI) or Real Application Clusters (RAC) databases with multiple data guard based standby databases. Some salient points of the data guard integration:

  • Standby pools can now be defined across different datacenters or within the same datacenter as the primary (this helps in modelling the concept of near and far DR sites)
  • The standby databases can be single instance, RAC, or RAC One Node databases
  • Multiple standby databases can be provisioned, where the maximum limit is determined by the version of database software
  • The standby databases can be in either mount or read only (requires active data guard option) mode
  • All database versions 10g to 12c supported (as certified with EM 12c)
  • All 3 protection modes can be used - Maximum availability, performance, security
  • Log apply can be set to sync or async along with the required apply lag

The different service levels or service tiers are popularly represented using metals - Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and so on. The Oracle MAA whitepaper (referenced above) calls out the various service tiers as defined by Oracle's best practices, but customers can choose any logical combinations from the table below:

 Primary  Standby [1 or more]
 EM 12cR4
 SI  -
where RON = RAC One Node is supported via custom post-scripts in the service template

A sample service catalog would look like the image below. Here we have defined 4 service levels, which have been deployed across 2 data centers, and have 3 standardized sizes. Again, it is important to note that this is just an example to get the creative juices flowing. I imagine each customer would come up with their own catalog based on the application requirements, their RTO/RPO goals, and the product licenses they own. In the screenwatch titled 'Build Service Catalog using EM12c DBaaS', I walk through the complete steps required to setup this sample service catalog in EM12c.

2. Additional Storage Options for Snap Clone

In my previous blog posts, i have described the snap clone feature in detail. Essentially, it provides a storage agnostic, self service, rapid, and space efficient approach to solving your data cloning problems. The net benefit is that you get incredible amounts of storage savings (on average 90%) all while cloning databases in a matter of minutes. Space and Time, two things enterprises would love to save on. This feature has been designed with the goal of providing data cloning capabilities while protecting your existing investments in server, storage, and software. With this in mind, we have pursued with the dual solution approach of Hardware and Software. In the hardware approach, we connect directly to your storage appliances and perform all low level actions required to rapidly clone your databases. While in the software approach, we use an intermediate software layer to talk to any storage vendor or any storage configuration to perform the same low level actions. Thus delivering the benefits of database thin cloning, without requiring you to drastically changing the infrastructure or IT's operating style.

In release 4, we expand the scope of options supported by snap clone with the addition of database CloneDB. While CloneDB is not a new feature, it was first introduced in patchset, it has over the years become more stable and mature. CloneDB leverages a combination of Direct NFS (or dNFS) feature of the database, RMAN image copies, sparse files, and copy-on-write technology to create thin clones of databases from existing backups in a matter of minutes. It essentially has all the traits that we want to present to our customers via the snap clone feature. For more information on cloneDB, i highly recommend reading the following sources:

Blog by Tim Hall: Direct NFS (DNFS) CloneDB in Oracle Database 11g Release 2

Oracle OpenWorld Presentation by Cern: Efficient Database Cloning using Direct NFS and CloneDB

The advantages of the new CloneDB integration with EM12c Snap Clone are:

  • Space and time savings
  • Ease of setup - no additional software is required other than the Oracle database binary
  • Works on all platforms
  • Reduce the dependence on storage administrators
  • Cloning process fully orchestrated by EM12c, and delivered to developers/DBAs/QA Testers via the self service portal
  • Uses dNFS to delivers better performance, availability, and scalability over kernel NFS
  • Complete lifecycle of the clones managed by EM12c - performance, configuration, etc

3. Improved Rapid Start Kits

DBaaS deployments tend to be complex and its setup requires a series of steps. These steps are typically performed across different users and different UIs. The Rapid Start Kit provides a single command solution to setup Database as a Service (DBaaS) and Pluggable Database as a Service (PDBaaS). One command creates all the Cloud artifacts like Roles, Administrators, Credentials, Database Profiles, PaaS Infrastructure Zone, Database Pools and Service Templates. Once the Rapid Start Kit has been successfully executed, requests can be made to provision databases and PDBs from the self service portal. Rapid start kit can create complex topologies involving multiple zones, pools and service templates. It also supports standby databases and use of RMAN image backups.

The Rapid Start Kit in reality is a simple emcli script which takes a bunch of xml files as input and executes the complete automation in a matter of seconds. On a full rack Exadata, it took only 40 seconds to setup PDBaaS end-to-end. This kit works for both Oracle's engineered systems like Exadata, SuperCluster, etc and also on commodity hardware. One can draw parallel to the Exadata One Command script, which again takes a bunch of inputs from the administrators and then runs a simple script that configures everything from network to provisioning the DB software.

Steps to use the kit:

  • The kit can be found under the SSA plug-in directory on the OMS: EM_BASE/oracle/MW/plugins/oracle.sysman.ssa.oms.plugin_12.
  • It can be run from this default location or from any server which has emcli client installed
  • For most scenarios, you would use the script dbaas/setup/database_cloud_setup.py
  • For Exadata, special integration is provided to reduce the number of inputs even further. The script to use for this scenario would be dbaas/setup/exadata_cloud_setup.py
  • The database_cloud_setup.py script takes two inputs:
    • Cloud boundary xml: This file defines the cloud topology in terms of the zones and pools along with host names, oracle home locations or container database names that would be used as infrastructure for provisioning database services. This file is optional in case of Exadata, as the boundary is well know via the Exadata system target available in EM.
    • Input xml: This file captures inputs for users, roles, profiles, service templates, etc. Essentially, all inputs required to define the DB services and other settings of the self service portal.
  • Once all the xml files have been prepared, invoke the script as follows for PDBaaS:
    emcli @database_cloud_setup.py -pdbaas 

         The script will prompt for passwords a few times for key users like sysman, cloud admin, SSA admin, etc. Once complete, you can simply log into EM as the self service user and request for databases from the portal.

More information available in the Rapid Start Kit chapter in Cloud Administration Guide

4. Extensible Metering and Chargeback

 Last but not the least, Metering and Chargeback in release 4 has been made extensible in all possible regards. The new extensibility features allow customer, partners, system integrators, etc to :

  • Extend chargeback to any target type managed in EM
  • Promote any metric in EM as a chargeback entity
  • Extend list of charge items via metric or configuration extensions
  • Model abstract entities like no. of backup requests, job executions, support requests, etc

 A slew of emcli verbs have also been added that allows administrators to create, edit, delete, import/export charge plans, and assign cost centers all via the command line.

More information available in the Chargeback API chapter in Cloud Administration Guide.

5. Miscellaneous Enhancements

There are other miscellaneous, yet important, enhancements that are worth a mention. These mostly have been asked by customers like you. These are:

  • Custom naming of DB Services
    • Self service users can provide custom names for DB SID, DB service, schemas, and tablespaces
    • Every custom name is validated for uniqueness in EM
  • 'Create like' of Service Templates
    • Now creating variants of a service template is only a click away. This would be vital when you publish service templates to represent different database sizes or service levels.
  • Profile viewer
    • View the details of a profile like datafile, control files, snapshot ids, export/import files, etc prior to its selection in the service template
  • Cleanup automation - for failed and successful requests
    • Single emcli command to cleanup all remnant artifacts of a failed request
    • Cleanup can be performed on a per request bases or by the entire pool
    • As an extension, you can also delete successful requests
  • Improved delete user workflow
    • Allows administrators to reassign cloud resources to another user or delete all of them
  • Support for multiple tablespaces for schema as a service
    • In addition to multiple schemas, user can also specify multiple tablespaces per request

I hope this was a good introduction to the new Database as a Service enhancements in EM12c R4. I encourage you to explore many of these new and existing features and give us feedback.

Good luck!


Cloud Management Page on OTN

Cloud Administration Guide [Documentation]

-- Adeesh Fulay (@adeeshf)


Latest information and perspectives on Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Management Cloud.

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