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 12.1.0.2 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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Monday Mar 16, 2015

Oracle Private Database Cloud: Defining Database Sizes in the Service Catalog

Latest release of cloud plug-in (part of EM12c R4 Plug-in Update 1) brings the ability to define sizes for database cloud services (Schema and PDB services already support definition of size). Prior to this ability, customers were required to define a new template for each size – small, medium, large, etc. This will help in significantly reducing the number of templates required.

So lets see how to use them.

Read More

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

Reporting

  • 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 12.1.0.2 or higher or version 11.2.0.4 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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Monday Jan 26, 2015

Register Now for the Cloud Platform Online Forum

January 28th, 2015 10:00 a.m. PST/1:00 p.m. EST
Register Today

Modern Business. Modern Cloud.
Is Your PaaS Delivering the Agility Your Users Demand?

Don't miss the opportunity to join Oracle and IDC in a series of deep discussions on Cloud Platform as a Service. This online event kicks off on Wednesday January 28th at 10:00 a.m. PST. Take advantage of 20+ sessions, 10+ demos and 100+ tips and techniques to plan your PaaS adoption effectively. Topics encompass private, public and hybrid cloud. You will also learn how to plan your transition from traditional IT delivery to cloud delivery using Oracle technologies you use every day. Register at bit.ly/PaaSForum

Oracle Enterprise Manager discussions during this event include tips and techniques on workload consolidation using database as a service and application platform as a service; transforming traditional IT delivery using self-service; effectively collaborating with business users with showback/chargeback, and more. Our speaker Sudip Datta, Vice President of Product Management will also provide a glimpse into the future of PaaS management.

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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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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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