Thursday Mar 27, 2014
Wednesday Mar 26, 2014
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Mar 26, 2014
As a DBA, getting ahead of the demands of the job are challenging enough, day in and day out. A recent IOUG survey on database management sheds new light on some of the top challenges facing administrators. Here's an infographic breakdown on what you need to know.
the IOUG Survey.
Tuesday Mar 25, 2014
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Mar 25, 2014
Friday Feb 14, 2014
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Feb 14, 2014
Accelerate Database Testing for Improved Agility and Cost Savings
Discover how SPA Quick Check helps to:
Friday Feb 07, 2014
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Feb 07, 2014
Thursday Jan 30, 2014
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Jan 30, 2014
The Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) has selected Oracle to store, analyze and manage scientific data generated from the European Space Agency's Gaia mission. The mission sets out to provide in-depth 3-D mapping of the Milky Way galaxy over the course of the next 5 years. An estimated 1 petabyte of astronomical data (equivalent to 1 million gigabytes) will be collected and stored in Oracle Database with Oracle Enterprise Manager entrusted to manage the system.
The goal of the Gaia mission will give researchers a better understanding into how the Milky Way was formed and how it has evolved over time. According to Roberto Morbidelli, Scientific Operation Manager at INAF, "Our activity within the Gaia mission will provide a huge volume of information, a very precious heritage of astronomical data that will have to be stored for the whole 21st century and beyond. Oracle has demonstrated in other research contexts that it would be the ideal technological partner to manage scientific projects of this kind of size. Thus we are sure that it will be a successful choice for INAF too. Oracle has been selected for its technology’s reliability, scalability, availability and the appropriate technological evolution planned in the next years; also key was the competence showed by Oracle experts in the development of features useful to our research.”
Oracle Enterprise Manager will be deployed to help manage the multiple Oracle Database instances and Oracle Real Application Clusters. Oracle Enterprise Manager will be used to ensure reliable access to Gaia mission data, allowing for numerous third-party applications and systems that control and verify the correct functioning of satellites and astronomical instruments.
“We are proud to offer our technology to the Gaia mission, an international research project that is of both major importance and high ambition,” said Xavier Verhaeghe, Vice President, Technology & Big Data Oracle EMEA. “INAF’s choice is another confirmation of Oracle’s ability to easily manage the extreme challenges involved in processing petabytes of Big Data."
Tuesday Dec 31, 2013
By Sudip Datta-Oracle on Dec 31, 2013
Adopting the Cloud Computing paradigm enables service providers to maximize
revenues while driving capital costs down through greater efficiencies of
working capital and OPEX changes. In case of enterprise private cloud, corporate IT, which
plays the role of the provider, may not be interested in revenues, but still
care about providing differentiated service at lower cost. The efficiency and
cost eventually makes the service profitable and sustainable. This basic tenet has to be satisfied irrespective of the type of service-infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS) or software application (SaaS). In this blog, we specifically focus on the database layer and how its lifecycle gets managed by the Service Providers.
Any service provider needs to ensure that:
- Hardware and software population are in control. As new consumers come in
and some consumers retire, there is a constant flux of resources in the data center. The flux has to be managed and controlled
- The platform for providing the service is standardized, so that operations can be conducted predictable and at scale across a pool of resources
- Mundane and repeatable tasks like backup, patching, etc are automated
- Customer attrition does not happen owing to heightened compliance risk
While the Database Lifecycle Management features of Enterprise Manager have been widely adopted, I feel that the applicability of the features with respect to service providers is yet well understood and hence appreciated. In this blog, let me try addressing how the lifecycle management features can be effective in addressing each of the above requirements.1. Controlling hardware and software population:
Enterprise Manager 12c provides a near real-time view of the assets in a
data center. It comes with out-of-box inventory reports that show the current
population and the growth trend within the data center. The inventory can be
further sliced and diced based on cost center, owner, etc. In a cloud, whether
private or public, the target properties of each asset can be appropriately
populated, so that the provider can easily figure out the distribution of
assets. For example, how many databases are owned by Marketing LOB can be
easily answered. The flux within the data
center is usually higher when virtualization techniques such as server
virtualization and Oracle 12c multitenant option are used. These technologies
make the provisioning process extremely nimble, potentially leading to a higher
number of virtual machines (VMs) or pluggable databases (PDBs) within the data
center and hence accentuating the need for such ongoing reporting. The inventory reports can be also created using BI Publisher and delivered to non-EM users, such as a CIO.
Now, not all reports can always be readily available. There can be situations where a data center manager can seek adhoc information, such as, how many databases owned by a particular customer is running on Exadata. This involves an adhoc query based upon an association, viz. database running on Exadata and target properties, viz. owner being the customer. Enterprise Manager 12c provides a sophisticated Configuration Search feature that lets administrators define such adhoc queries and save them for reuse.
2. Standardization of platform:
The massive standardization of platform components is not merely a nice-to-have for a cloud service provider, it is rather a must-have. A provider may choose to offer various levels of services, tagged with levels such as gold, silver and bronze. However, for each such level, the platform components need to be standardized, not only for ease of manageability but also for ensuring consistency of QOS across all the tenants. So how can the platform be standardized? We can highlight two major Enterprise Manager 12c features here:
The ability to rollout gold images that can be version controlled within Enterprise Manager's Software Library. The inputs of the provisioning process can be "locked down" by the designer of the provisioning process, thereby ensuring that each deployment is a replica of the other.
The ability to compare the configuration of deployments (often referred to as the "Points of Delivery" of the services). This is a very powerful feature that supports 1-n comparisons across multiple tiers of the stack. For example, one can compare an entire database machine from storage cells, compute nodes to databases with one or more of those.
3. Automation of repeatable tasks:
A large portion of OPEX for a service provider is expended while executing mundane and repeatable tasks like backup, log file cleanup or patching. Enterprise Manager 12c comes with an automation framework comprising Jobs and Deployment Procedures that lets administrators define these repetitive actions and schedule them as needed. EMCC’s task automation framework is scalable, carries functions such as ability to schedule, resume, retry which are of paramount importance in conducting mass operations in an enterprise scale cloud. The task automation verbs are also exposed through the EMCLI interface. Oracle Cloud administrators make extensive use of EMCLI for large scale operations on thousands of tenant services.
One of the most popular features of Enterprise Manager 12c is the out-of-box procedures for patch automation. The patching procedures can patch the Linux operating system, clusterware and the database. For minimizing the downtime involved in the patching process Enterprise Manager 12c also supports out-of-place patching that can prepare the patched software ahead of time and migrate the instances one by one as needed. This technique is widely adopted by the service providers to make sure the tenants' downtime related SLAs are respected and adhered to. The co-ordination of such downtime can be instrumented by Enterprise Manager 12c's blackout functionality.
4. Managing Compliance risks:
In a service driven model, the provider is liable in case of security breaches. The consumer and in turn, the customer of the consumer's apps need to be assured that their data is not breached into owing to platform level vulnerabilities. The security breaches often happen owing to faulty configuration such as default passwords, relaxed file permissions, or an open network port. The hardening of the platform therefore, has to be done at all levels-OS, network, database, etc. The security breaches often happen owing to faulty configuration such as default passwords, relaxed file permissions, or an open port. . To manage compliance, administrators can create baselines referred to as Compliance Standard. Any deviations from the baselines triggers compliance violation notifications, alerting administrators to resolve the issue before it creates risk in the environment.
We can therefore see how four major asks from a service provider can be satisfied with the Lifecycle Management features of Enterprise Manager 12c. As substantiated through several third party studies and customer testimonials, these result in higher efficiency with lower OPEX.
Thursday Nov 28, 2013
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Nov 28, 2013
Tuesday, December 3 , 2013
Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone allows administrators to create fully functional copies of databases using the copy-on-write capabilities of the underlying storage layer. Users can request databases from Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c's self-service portal and have them provisioned within minutes instead of hours while keeping storage needs to a minimum. Part of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Databases, Snap Clone can fundamentally improve the efficiency and agility of administrators and QA engineers while saving storage costs and other capital expenses.
Join us for this webcast to learn how Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone can help:
Wednesday Nov 13, 2013
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Nov 13, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Save Time and Costs, Reduce Complexity
Database as a service (DBaaS) offers a variety of benefits to help companies improve operations and move faster to the cloud. Using Oracle Multitenant—a new option for Oracle Database 12c featuring pluggable databases—and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, companies can make the most of those benefits.
Join us for the webcast and learn how Oracle technology can help:
Tuesday Nov 12, 2013
By Hari Srinivasan-Oracle on Nov 12, 2013
One of the most arduous processes in DB maintenance is upgrading Databases across major versions, especially for complex RAC Clusters.
With the release of Database Plug-in (126.96.36.199.0), EM12c Rel 3 (188.8.131.52.0) now supports automated upgrading of RAC Clusters in addition to Standalone Databases.
This automation includes:
- Upgrade of the complete Cluster across the nodes. ( Example: 184.108.40.206 CRS, ASM, RAC DB -> 220.127.116.11 or 18.104.22.168 GI, RAC DB)
- Best practices in tune with your operations, where you can automate upgrade in steps:
Step 1: Upgrade the Clusterware to Grid Infrastructure (Allowing you to wait, test and then move to DBs).
Step 2: Upgrade RAC DBs either separately or in group (Mass upgrade of RAC DB's in the cluster).
- Standard pre-requisite checks like Cluster Verification Utility (CVU) and RAC checks
- Division of Upgrade process into Non-downtime activities (like laying down the new Oracle Homes (OH), running checks) to Downtime Activities (like Upgrading Clusterware to GI, Upgrading RAC) there by lowering the downtime required.
- Ability to configure Back up and Restore options as a part of this upgrade process. You can choose to :
a. Take Backup via this process (either Guaranteed Restore Point (GRP) or RMAN)
b. Set the procedure to pause just before the upgrade step to allow you to take a custom backup
c. Ignore backup completely, if there are external mechanisms already in place.
High Level Steps:
- Select the Procedure "Upgrade Database" from Database Provisioning Home page.
- Choose the Target Type for upgrade and the Destination version
- Pick and choose the Cluster, it picks up the complete topology since the clusterware/GI isn't upgraded already
- Select the Gold Image of the destination version for deploying both the GI and RAC OHs
- Specify new OH patch, credentials, choose the Restore and Backup options, if required provide additional pre and post scripts
- Set the Break points in the procedure execution to isolate Downtime activities
- Submit and track the procedure's execution status.
The animation below captures the steps in the wizard. For step by step process and to understand the support matrix check this documentation link.
Explore the functionality!!
In the next blog, will talk about automating rolling Upgrades of Databases in Physical Standby Data Guard environment using Transient Logical Standby.
Monday Nov 04, 2013
Announcing: Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Delivers Advanced Self-Service Automation for Oracle Database 12c Multitenant
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Nov 04, 2013
New Self-Service Driven Provisioning of Pluggable Databases
Today Oracle announced new capabilities that support managing the full lifecycle of pluggable database as a service in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 (22.214.171.124). This latest release builds on the existing capabilities to provide advanced automation for deploying database as a service using Oracle Database 12c Multitenant option. It takes it one step further by offering pluggable database as a service through Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c self-service portal providing customers with fast provisioning of database cloud services with minimal time and effort.
This is a significant addition to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c’s existing portfolio of cloud services that includes infrastructure as a service, database as a service, testing as a service, and Java platform as a service. The solution provides a self-service mechanism to provision pluggable databases allowing users to request and access database(s) on-demand. The self-service operations are also enabled through REST APIs allowing customers to integrate with third-party automation systems or their custom enterprise portals.
To understand how pluggable database as a service works, watch this quick demo:
Wednesday Aug 21, 2013
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Aug 21, 2013
Discover Oracle’s Next-Generation Database Management Solution
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn first-hand how Oracle Database 12c and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c bring together the next evolution in self-manageability—so you can plug into the Cloud faster using the power of Oracle Database 12c.
Join us for this live webcast to discover new groundbreaking management capabilities for:
Only Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c offers customers maximum performance, enhanced automation, and total control for Oracle Database 12c.
Wednesday Aug 07, 2013
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Aug 07, 2013
Friday Aug 02, 2013
By Scott Mcneil-Oracle on Aug 02, 2013
Oracle recently announced new management capabilities for Oracle Database 12c, providing customers with even more enhancements to improve productivity and manageability. The new Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c features are supported out-of-the-box with Oracle Database 12c. So whether you want to take advantage of the new Data Redaction capabilities at the security layer, or whether you want to take a look at some of the heat map capabilities in our Information Lifecycle Management or leverage the new performance management features, such as, Database Operations Monitoring or Enhanced Real-Time ADDM, you can use Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to manage them all.
These new capabilities can be integrated with your standard monitoring and management that you already have in your environment without having to undertake any additional tools or any additional training. Simply install or upgrade to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and Oracle Database 12c and together these two products will let you plug into the Cloud.
Here is a quick summary of all the new Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c capabilities for Oracle Database 12c:
To learn more about all the latest capabilities, be sure to register for our upcoming webcast: Managing Oracle Database 12c with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.
Tuesday Jul 16, 2013
By Davewolf-Oracle on Jul 16, 2013
Within the Enterprise Manager UI, users can build sophisticated queries against Enterprise Manager’s configuration management repository to generate reports without writing even one line of SQL. If the Oracle provided Search library does not already contain a matching search a user can build a search to their exact specification completely graphically.
Outside of the Enterprise Manager UI, users can find and run saved searches using the EMCLI in both interactive and the new script mode. When used in a script, configuration search results can be used to drive other lifecycle operations like patch automation and provisioning.
In this article we will take a closer look at the Configuration Search feature using some common real world examples.
Arguably one of the most important configuration items collected by Enterprise Manager is applied patches. Finding the location of applied patches can cause some confusion at first owing to the new target model introduced in Enterprise Manager 12c. Oracle Home is now a separate and proper target with its own configuration collection which includes patch information. This makes great sense as patches are in fact applied to the Oracle Home and not the software running out of it.
The question is how can you figure out which targets ( ie databases ) are using which Oracle Homes? The answer is using relationships. Enterprise Manager 12c now discovers and collects relationships between targets. These relationships include both physical (observed) and logical (inferred from configuration). As an example, all databases running out of a given Oracle Home will have an “Installed At” relationship to its specific Oracle Home target. These relationships can be graphically viewed using the topology viewer available under the configuration menu of all targets. They can also be used when building a Configuration Search when starting with a well known target like database instance.
Find all single instance databases with Advanced Compression option that do not have a patch applied. – Step by Step
Let’s build a configuration search to find all single instance databases with Advanced Compression option that do NOT have a patch applied to their Oracle Home. Since patches are typically specific to a version let’s narrow it down to version 126.96.36.199 databases and patch 14275605. ( Database Patch Set Update : 188.8.131.52.4 )
1. Start by navigating to the Configuration Search Library. Enterprise->Configuration –>Search…
2. Click Create to start building a new Configuration Search.
3. Select Database Instance from the Target Type list of value.
Next we need to narrow the list of databases to those of version 184.108.40.206 and single instance. To do this we will use the target model to choose properties which contain this data so we can filter it further.
4. Click Properties on the Database Instance row.
5. Open the Target Properties and Instance Information folders and Select Property Name, Property Value,Version, Name and Selected as shown.
6. Click OK.
To filter down the results, we enter criteria into the text boxes to the right of the properties.
7. Enter 220.127.116.11 next to Version.
8. Enter ‘Advanced Compression’ for Name and ‘TRUE’ for Selected under Database Options
9. Select ‘Metric Scope’ for property Name and Enter ‘DB’ for value. ( Metric scope can have a value of DB for single instance and RACINST for RAC instances. )
Your search should look something like this:
At any point while you are creating a Configuration Search, you can see how your search is coming along by clicking Search. Doing so at this point will show results similar to the results shown here. ( Note: If you are not interested in seeing the results of a column you can uncheck the property to remove it from the results. )
At this point we need to pull the Oracle Home target into the picture to get at the applied patches configuration information.
10. Click Relationships on the Database Instance row.
11. Choose “Oracle Home” as the Destination Target Type then Click Search. This should result in one relationship type “Installed At”. Select this row and click OK.
We now have something that looks like this:
To add collected patch information from the Oracle Home target we need to use the target model again.
12. Click Properties on the Oracle Home row.
13. Open the “Patches installed in Oracle Home” folder and select “Patch ID” property.
14. Click OK.
15. Enter 14275605 in the text box next to “Patch ID” to narrow the results to this patch.
16. Click Search. You should see something similar to the results below.
But wait, this shows the databases that HAVE patch 14275605 installed. We are after databases that DON’T have this patch installed.
Fortunately we can achieve this result by using the “Advanced Options” capabilities.
17. Click the “Advanced Options” button on the “Patches installed in Oracle Home” row. ( Be sure to select the correct one! )
18. Change the Condition in the resulting dialog box to “NOT EXISTS”. ( The explanatory text shown just happens to use patch search as an example. )
19. Click OK.
Notice the addition of “Condition : NOT EXISTS” on the “Patches installed in Oracle Home” row. This will show targets in which none of the targets matches the criteria. In our case, an Oracle Home may have hundreds of patches applied. Only if none of the patch IDs equal 14275605 will the target be in the results.
20. Click Search.
This time, the results finally display what we are after. That is “18.104.22.168 Single Instance database with Advanced Compression option that do NOT have patch 14275605 applied.”
21. Click ‘Save As’ to save the search with the name “22.214.171.124 SI AC DBs without patch 14275605”.
22. Click OK.
The library now shows our new search. You or any other user can run the search by selecting it and clicking Run. You can modify it by using Edit or make a copy with Create Like to continue to refine it without affecting the original.
Running Configuration Search using Interactive EMCLI
As mentioned at the opening, Enterprise Manager Release 3 now supports the execution of saved Configuration Search from the EMCLI. There are two verbs with which you can run configuration searches: get_targets and run_configuration_search
The get_targets verb has been available since Release 1 but now has an additional switch to specify a configuration search. This results in a standardized result containing the Target Name, Target Type and Status.
Here is an example using the configuration search we just built.
The run_config_search verb generates results exactly as you see them in the results of the configuration search. The results are a little harder to read but the output could be re-directed to an output file for import into something like a document editor or spreadsheet for easier viewing or analysis.
Scripting Lifecycle processes using EMCLI Script mode
Enterprise Manager Release 3 introduced the EMCLI Script mode which is especially effective when performing tasks in bulk or many tasks at once. This mode enables you to create Jython scripts, store them as files and pass them as an argument to EMCLI. For more information on EMCLI see the documentation here.
In this section, we will expand on our previous work to automate the creation of patch plans to automate the application of the missing patch. We will use a python script to retrieve the list of databases without a patch, and then create a patch plan for each database.
As a prerequisite you must create a sample patch plan for a single instance database which has the desired patch ( 14275605 ) added to the plan. We will use this plan to create the others.
The work flow is as follows:
- Retrieve specified patch plan metadata and extract required patch information.
- Get list of databases without the patch applied using a configuration search.
- Create a patch plan for each database.
A zip of the script is available for download here.
Run the script by passing it as an argument to EMCLI:
Here we can see all of the patch plans created by the script plus the sample patch plan “PSU4 Rollout”
Enterprise Manager’s Configuration Search feature is a powerful tool that can be leveraged both inside and outside of the UI. It can quickly and easily provide answers to difficult configuration questions without writing any SQL. When used via through the EMCLI it can be used to dynamically generate a target list which can be used to drive complex and otherwise time consuming tasks in the UI quickly and efficiently.
Configuration Search and patch automation are both features of Enterprise Manager’s Database lifecycle management pack.
For more information on Enterprise Manager’s database lifecycle management capabilities, visit http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/lifecycle-mgmt/index.html
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