By Hari Srinivasan-Oracle on Sep 19, 2014
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.
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].
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.
Enterprise Manager 12c @ Oracle
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.
For the complete list of sessions, demos and hands-on labs, read the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Focus on Doc for more.
Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit management organization in the United
States, automates its database services using Oracle Enterprise Manager's
centralized management solution. Watch
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.
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?
Q. What is
the payoff for organizations that adopt such a comprehensive approach?
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
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?
Find out more about Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4.
Watch a short video featuring Sutherland.
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.
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
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)
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:
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:
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:
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]
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 126.96.36.199 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:
The advantages of the new CloneDB integration with EM12c Snap Clone are:
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:
database_cloud_setup.pyscript takes two inputs:
emcli @database_cloud_setup.py -pdbaas -cloud_boundary=/tmp/my_boundary.xml -cloud_input=/tmp/pdb_inputs.xml
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 :
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:
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.
-- Adeesh Fulay (@adeeshf)
Richer Service Catalog for Database and Middleware as a Service; Enhanced Database and Middleware Management Help Drive Enterprise-Scale Private Cloud Adoption
Automation for Broader Cloud Services
Enhanced Database Management
Expanded Fusion Middleware Management
Superior Enterprise-Grade Management
Today, I stumbled over a competitor blog, conspicuous by its factual incorrectness on Enterprise Manager Snap Clone. However, I must compliment the author of the blog, because inadvertently, he has
raised a point that we have been highlighting all along. The author, with reference to Dataguard and storage technologies, argues against the cobbling of technologies together and adding another technology stack to the mix
without any automated management.
Precisely the point! In the wide realm of technologies, there are
necessities and there are accessories aka nice-to-haves. The necessities are
technologies that are needed anyway, such as a high fidelity, high performance storage from a
reputed vendor or a good DR solution for a mission critical database environment.
Similarly, for any Oracle DBA worth his/her salt, Enterprise Manager 12c is a
necessity, a part of the daily life. The Enterprise Manager agent, keeping vigil on every host, is therefore not an overhead, but the representative (the "agent" in true sense) of the DBA. Deep diagnostics, performance management, large scale configuration
management, patching and compliance management make Enterprise Manager the
darling of any Oracle DBA. All surveys suggest that any DBA spends considerable
amount of time in Enterprise Manager for performing things beyond just data cloning, so why invest in an accessory for the cloning
of Oracle test databases and unnecessarily proliferate the number of point
tools (and possibly several instances of them) that you need to manage and maintain, not to ignore the past history that cites that very few such point tools solved customers' CAPEX and OPEX problems over the long run. It is like using spreadsheet for expenses and ERP for all other financial tasks.This is not to suggest that these point tools do not have
good, innovative features. Over my tenure in the industry, I have come across
several such tools with nice features, but often the hidden costs outweigh the
benefits. Our position in this aspect has been consistent, whether it is on a competitor’s tool or our own.
Few years back, we integrated My Oracle Support into Enterprise Manager with
the same consistent goal that Enterprise Manager will serve as the single pane
of glass for the Oracle ecosystem. Same has been our position on any product that we acquire.
Snap Clone's support for Dataguard and native storage stems from popular customer
demand to leverage technologies they already invested in, and not create standalone
islands of automation. Moreover, several customers have voiced in favor of the
performance and scalability advantages that they would get by leveraging the
native storage APIs. How else would you support one of the world's largest banks, a Snap Clone customer, who
performs 60,000 (sixty thousand) data refreshes per year! In any case, that
should not imply that we bind ourselves to any of those technologies. We do
support cloning on various storage systems based on ZFS filesystem. Similarly,
the Test Master refresh can be achieved with one among RMAN, Dataguard, Golden Gate or
storage replication and optionally orchestrated with EM Job System.
Enterprise Manager 12c has taken a great step in delivering features via plugins that can be revisioned independent of the framework. An unwanted side effect is that the awareness often lags what is actually supported in the latest version of the product. For example, the filesystem support was introduced last Fall. And of course Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone supports RAC. My esteemed colleague and DBA par excellence, in her blog has highlighted some of these to dispel some of the prevalent awareness issues. Snap Clone's usage among the E-Business Suite and Developer community does not need any special accreditation. It is heavily used by the world's largest E-Business Suite Developer community-the Oracle E-Business Suite Engineering organization itself! It is true that Snap Clone does not support restoration to any arbitrary point in time, but then our customers and prospects have not voiced a need for it. In reality, most customers want to perform intermediate data transformation such as masking and subsetting as they clone from production to test, and Enterprise Manager 12c already boasts of sophisticated data masking technologies, again via the same interface. It also includes testing features like Real Application Testing (RAT) that can complement and follow the test database creation. Future releases of Enterprise Manager will support a tighter integration among these features.
Snap Clone is delivered as a part of the Database as a Service feature set that has been pioneering, industry-leading and getting adopted at a great pace.
Little wonder that we have already received a copious amount of Openworld paper
submissions on the topic. In this emerging trend of DBaaS adoption, we find no reason to fragment the tasks such as fresh database
creation, pluggable database provisioning and cloning across silo'ed point tools (not to mention broader PaaS capabilities which may be needed for complete application testing). Each
use case could be different but needs a single service delivery platform. EM12c is that platform for Oracle. Period. So, think twice before 'adding another
technology to the mix'. You do not need to.
Here is a great article from resident Oracle ACE, Arup Nanda, who details insight into predicting the impact of consolidating separate database workloads into one. The article outlines a typical consolidation scenario and explains how Oracle Real Application Testing's Consolidated Database Replay capabilities can help measure the impact of the workload consolidation. A must read for those considering a consolidation project in the near future. Read the article.
Latest information and perspectives on Oracle Enterprise Manager.