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 Jun 03, 2014

Oracle Delivers Latest Release of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

Richer Service Catalog for Database and Middleware as a Service; Enhanced Database and Middleware Management Help Drive Enterprise-Scale Private Cloud Adoption

News Summary
IT organizations are adopting private clouds as a stepping-stone to business-driven, self-service IT. Successful implementations hinge on the ability to efficiently deploy and manage cloud services at enterprise scale. Having a complete cloud management solution integrated with an enterprise-class technology stack is a fundamental requirement for IT. Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4 meets that requirement by helping businesses become more agile and responsive, while reducing cost, complexity, and risk.

News Facts

  • Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4, available today, lets organizations rapidly adopt Oracle-based, enterprise-scale private clouds.
  • New capabilities provide advanced technology stack management, secure database administration, and enterprise service governance, enabling Oracle customers and partners to maximize database and application performance and drive innovation using self-service IT platforms.
  • The enhancements have been driven by customers and the growing Oracle Enterprise Manager Ecosystem, comprised of more than 750 Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized partners. Oracle and its partners and customers have built over 140 plug-ins and connectors for Oracle Enterprise Manager.
  • Watch the video highlights.

Automation for Broader Cloud Services

  • Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4 allows for a rapid enterprise-wide adoption of database, middleware and infrastructure services in the private cloud, driven by an enhanced API-enabled service catalog.
  • The release features “push button” style provisioning of complete environments such as SOA and Oracle Active Data Guard, and fast data cloning that enables rapid deployment and testing of enterprise applications.
  • Out-of-the-box capabilities to detect data and configuration vulnerabilities provide enhanced cloud service governance along with greater operational control through a flexible and extensible showback mechanism.

Enhanced Database Management

  • A new performance warehouse enables predictive database diagnostics and trend analysis and helps identify database problems before they occur.
  • New enterprise data-governance capabilities enhance security by helping systematically discover and protect sensitive data.
  • Step-by-step orchestration of upgrades with the ability to rollback changes enables faster adoption of Oracle Database 12c.

Expanded Fusion Middleware Management

  • A new consolidated view of Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c deployments with a guided management capability lets administrators apply best management practices to diverse middleware environments and identify performance issues quickly.
  • A Java VM Diagnostics as a Service feature allows governed access to diagnostics data for IT workers across multiple disciplines for accelerated DevOps resolutions of defects and performance optimization.
  • New automated provisioning for SOA lets middleware administrators perform mass SOA provisioning with ease.

Superior Enterprise-Grade Management

  • Private roles and preferred credentials have been added to Oracle Enterprise Manager to provide additional fine-grained security for organizations with complex access control requirements.
  • A new security console provides a single point of control for managing the security of Oracle Enterprise Manager environments.
  • Support for the latest industry standard SNMP v3 protocol, including encryption, enables more secure heterogeneous management.
  • “Smart monitoring” adapts to observed environmental changes and adds self-management capabilities to help Oracle Enterprise Manager run at peak performance, while demanding less IT supervision.

Supporting Quotes

  • “Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a strong tradition of technology breakthroughs and leadership. As a member of Oracle’s Customer Advisory Board for Oracle Enterprise Manager, we have consistently provided feedback and guidance in the areas of enterprise-scale cloud, self-diagnosability, and secure administration for the product,” said Tim Frazier, CIO, NIF and Photon Sciences, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “We intend to take advantage of the Release 4 features that support enterprise-scale availability and fine-grained security capabilities for private cloud deployments.”
  • “IDC's most recent CloudTrack survey shows that most enterprises plan to adopt hybrid cloud architectures over the next three years,” said Mary Johnston Turner, Research Vice President, Enterprise System Management Software, IDC. “These organizations plan to deploy a wide range of workloads into cloud environments including mission critical database and middleware services that require high levels of fault tolerance and disaster recovery. Such capabilities were traditionally custom configured for each application but cloud offers the possibility to incorporate such properties within the service definition, enabling organizations to adopt cloud without compromise. With the latest release of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle is providing customers with an out-of-the-box experience for delivering highly-resilient cloud services for databases and applications.”
  • “Since its inception, Oracle has been leading the way in innovative, scalable and high performance solutions for the enterprise. With this release of Oracle Enterprise Manager, we are extending this leadership by providing enterprise-scale capabilities for planning, delivering, and managing private clouds. We call this ‘zero-to-cloud – accelerated.’ These enhancements help our customers to expedite their adoption of cloud computing and prepares them for the next generation of self-service IT,” said Prakash Ramamurthy, senior vice president of Systems and Cloud Management at Oracle.

Supporting Resources

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Thursday May 15, 2014

Whitepaper: Best Practices for Managing Siebel Configurations

Contributing Author: Eunjoo Lee, Principal Product Manager, Oracle

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Applications Management team is pleased to announce the release of their latest whitepaper (available here) and associated screenwatch (available here) on configuration management for Siebel.

The task of managing configuration parameters in a dynamic, multi-target environment can be extremely challenging. A large, production scale environment can have dozens of unique targets, and each target can have several hundred different configuration parameters.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, with the Siebel Plug-in, provides advanced, out-of-the-box tools to manage the complexity of Siebel configuration management. Oracle Enterprise Manager has advanced configuration capture, change detection, and comparison reporting capabilities that can dramatically reduce the amount of time that System Administrators spend on configuration management.

The purpose of the whitepaper and screenwatch is to provide customers with details on Oracle’s Best Practices for managing Siebel Configurations. It addresses several key areas including;

  • Understanding comparison templates in Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Creating configuration templates for Siebel servers, components groups, and components
  • Using configuration templates to compare Siebel servers
  • Analysis of configuration comparison results
  • Using configuration templates for Siebel patch analysis

The benefits of using configuration templates to manage Siebel applications are substantial, and include:

  • Easily compare configuration parameters for targets within a Siebel Enterprise, or between two different Siebel Enterprises
  • Easily compare configuration parameters for a Siebel target against a gold standard or baseline.
  • Define comparison reports once and re-run multiple times

We hope this white paper and screenwatch help to provide you with a good starting point to manage your Siebel Application configurations more efficiently and pro-actively.


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Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

Consolidated Database Replay: Playing Nice Together

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.


Database work load patterns of two applications.


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Friday Apr 04, 2014

Webcast: Database Cloning in Minutes using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database as a Service Snap Clone

April 10 — 7:00 a.m. PT | 10:00 a.m. ET | 4:00 p.m. CET
April 24 — 10:00 a.m. PT | 1:00 p.m. ET
May 8 — 7:00 a.m. PT | 10:00 a.m. ET | 4:00 p.m. CET
May 22 — 10:00 a.m. PT | 1:00 p.m. ET

Since the demands from the business for IT services is non-stop, creating copies of production databases in order to develop, test and deploy new applications can be labor intensive and time consuming. Users may also need to preserve private copies of the database, so that they can go back to a point prior to when a change was made in order to diagnose potential issues. Using Snap Clone, users can create multiple snapshots of the database and “time travel” across these snapshots to access data from any point in time.

Join us for an in-depth technical webcast and learn how Oracle Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database's capability called Snap Clone, can fundamentally improve the efficiency and agility of administrators and QA Engineers while saving CAPEX on storage. Benefits include:

  • Agile provisioning (~ 2 minutes to provision a 1 TB database)
  • Over 90% storage savings
  • Reduced administrative overhead from integrated lifecycle management

Register Now!


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Wednesday Apr 02, 2014

Cloud Odyssey in London

The Cloud Odyssey event happened in London recently. Here is the Storify from the event. Enjoy!

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Tuesday Apr 01, 2014

Managing Pluggable Database as a Service: Questions and Answers

Since the launch of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3, we have received tons of questions around managing Oracle Multitenant, an Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition option, and pluggable databases (PDBs)—more specifically; questions about pluggable database as a service (PDBaaS). In this blog, we provide answers to some of the common questions from people.

Question: What qualifies a database to be pluggable?
Answer: A pluggable database must be a current Oracle Database 12c database, configured for multitenant through a new enterprise edition option called Oracle Multitenant. It delivers a new architecture that allows a multitenant container database (CDB) to hold many pluggable databases (PDBs). An Oracle Database in the old architecture (a “non-CDB”) may be upgraded to the multitenant architecture via a simple process known as “adopting the non-CDB as a PDB”. A PDB is a self-contained, fully functional Oracle Database, and includes its own system, sysaux and user tablespaces. You can learn more about Oracle Multitenant and pluggable database in this whitepaper.

Can the pluggable databases be plugged and unplugged across multiple platforms such as Solaris, AIX, and Linux?
The pluggable database must be endian compatible. Cross endian operations require OGG, Data pump or restore from backup.

In terms of database consolidation, what are the differences between using VMs, dedicated schemas and pluggable databases?
To describe the advantages of using pluggable database vs. other consolidation methods, it can be best illustrated in a simply comparison table.


Comparison of Database as a Service Consolidation Models

Pluggable database combines the best of all the other models and offers excellent consolidation, isolation, manageability and is suitable for any application that is certified to run on Oracle Database 12c. With the other models, we see certain shortcomings. For example, server virtualization offers good isolation but creates compliance and administrative headaches. Schema based consolidation offers ease of management and patching, but limited isolation.

How do you track configuration drift with a pluggable database? I certainly understand drift in the container database, but in what ways would a pluggable database drift from its standard baseline?
This pertains to Configuration Drift Tracking via Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. One can compare any two Enterprise Manager targets or a complete system such as an Oracle Exadata Database Machine. When you compare at the PDB level, they can differ in the tablespace names, the storage settings of tablespace with same name, or users, etc. Using Oracle Enterprise Manager to track drift, it is particularly useful in comparing difference in your development, testing, and production environments. It is even useful for comparing your standby systems to set standards for compliance requirements.

What is a zone? Is it physical? Regional?
The Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud resource model involves pooling the same target types where it’s combining similar hosts, databases, hardware or other similar resources in to a zone. Zones can therefore be defined by the boundary of the Cloud and exposed through Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c’s self-service portal. In terms of the pluggable database as a service model, you can create Oracle Multitenant container databases and group them to form a database pool that users can then draw from. When the self-service user provisions a pluggable database, they need to simply specify the Zone where they want to deploy. Internally, Oracle Enterprise Manager uses load or configuration driven algorithms to place the PDB in the right CDB.

What will be the DBA and SYSADMIN role in the pluggable DBaaS environment?
With pluggable databases you have common users and local users as well as common roles and associated privileges and local roles and associated privileges. You can isolate user/role/privilege to the PDB by defining only local user/role/privilege. To leverage the manage many as one, you would define common user/role/privilege to act on all PDBs or a subset of PDBs where the common user has create session privileges within the PDB. You would define DBA roles and SYSADMIN roles based on common and/or local user roles.

What if you need custom configurations on a pluggable database? Once the database is deployed via self-service how do you make changes?
Some parameters are modifiable at the PDB level. You would check v$parameter ISPDB_MODIFIABLE value to determine what can be changed. Some customization can be done at the CDB level; however, they would affect all PDBs for that CDB. Oracle Enterprise Manager’s self-service provides a TNS Connect string to connect to the PDB with the right privilege and execute “ALTER SYSTEM” for the parameters that are permissible to change.

If I'm an application developer and I request a database with a certain pre-defined service level, what level of permissions should I expect with that database? Am I getting DBA or SYSDBA privileges with that request?
It depends on what was negotiated as part of the service definition and associated user/role/privileges defined for that service.

Are the pluggable database as a service capabilities for Oracle Database 12c included in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c? Do we need a plug-in? Do we need to license Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database Management Packs?
You need the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c database and cloud plug-ins. License-wise; the self-service provisioning from Oracle Enterprise Manager is licensed as part of Cloud Management Pack for Database. The Oracle Multitenant option must be licensed if two or more PDBs are plugged into a single CDB.
Watch this short demo called “Using Pluggable Database as a Service (PDBaaS) Self-Service Portal” for a better understanding of deploying PDBaaS using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

Which Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Management Packs are required to be able to provide DBaaS?
You need the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Management Pack for Database and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Lifecycle Management Pack for Database to do database as a service. Both of which must be licensed.

If you have shared memory and background processes in the container database, how do you allocate server resources to a particular pluggable database? Can you assign specific amount of CPU cycles, RAM and IOPS for a given pluggable database?
SQL execution is scoped to the PDB as identified by the con_id created during session create. In Oracle Database 12c, Resource Manager (RM) has been extended to include support for Oracle Multitenant. Policies may be defined at the PDB level in terms of the simple-yet-powerful concepts of “caps” and “shares” to determine the allocation of resources between PDBs. In this way, resource manager can control allocation of CPU, sessions and parallel execution servers. Additionally, on Oracle Exadata, Resource Manager can also manage IO and network. Memory management currently is implicitly managed through SGA LRU algorithms and CPU share management.

What is the largest number of pluggable databases you can deploy on Oracle Exadata?
Currently the PDB limit per CDB is 252 PDBs. In Oracle Real Application Clusters environments such as Oracle Exadata, the density of PDB consolidation greatly increases as you may have multiple CDBs per physical server and 252 PDBs per CDB. The maximum limit would be bound by compute resource constraints/limits. And as mentioned in the question on Zone, Oracle Enterprise Manager gives an ability to combine multiple CDBs into a Pool and handle transparent placement. The Oracle Enterprise Manager self-service user therefore won’t be exposed to the underlying limit.

Can I use pluggable database as a service if the target database is 9i or 10g?
You would need to migrate the Oracle Database 9i, 10g and 11g databases to Oracle Database 12c non-CDB and convert them into pluggable databases. The architectural changes within Oracle Database 12c are not backward compatible.

Can Active Data Guard be configured for selective pluggable databases from a container database? I do not want all pluggable databases to have a standby.
In the current release, Oracle Active Data Guard operates at the container level, however, PDB annotations are tagged in the redo stream, so PDB operations on the primary are reflected on the standby.

Does RMAN support pluggable databases?
Scheduled backups are at the CDB layer and include all PDBs. Ad-hoc backups can be executed on individual PDBs. Individual PDBs can be restored from backup.

For complete details of managing pluggable database as a service, be sure to watch this webcast: Delivering Pluggable Database as a Service

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Monday Mar 31, 2014

Munhowen to Reduce Maintenance Costs and TCO by More Than 50 Percent

Munhowen, a leading Luxembourg beverage distributor, decided to replace its existing IT environment. By selecting Oracle technology, including Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Linux and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances, the company was able to enhance system performance and reduce maintenance costs associated with sustaining an optimal hardware environment.

Jean-Pierre Rasquin, CIO, Munhowen, explains: “Implementing Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance helped us to significantly increase our IT environment’s availability, scalability, and manageability—providing superior support, tailored to our business needs, while helping us to reduce maintenance costs.” Read the press release.

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Friday Mar 28, 2014

Oracle Database 2 Day + Performance Tuning Guide

Great Resource for Learning Oracle Database 12c and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

The guide includes coverage of Oracle Diagnostics Pack and Oracle Tuning Pack features such as Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM), Active Session History (ASH) Analytics, SQL Tuning Advisor, Real-time SQL Monitoring and more. Download the PDF or HTML verision.

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Thursday Mar 27, 2014

Cisco Improves Service Quality with Self-Managing Automation

Learn how Cisco improves its database application service delivery using Oracle Enterprise Manager.


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Wednesday Mar 26, 2014

Infographic: Database Manageability—Getting Ahead of the Curve

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.

Download the IOUG Survey.

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Tuesday Mar 25, 2014

Demo: Setting Up a Database Cloud Self Service Portal for Data Cloning Using Snap Clone

This demo shows how to setup a database cloud self service portal for data cloning using Snap Clone in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

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Friday Feb 14, 2014

WEBCAST: Accelerate Database Testing for Improved Agility

Accelerate Database Testing for Improved Agility and Cost Savings


Wednesday, February 26, 2014
10:00 AM PST | 1:00 PM EST


Join us in a webcast to learn how Oracle Real Application Testing—an Oracle Database 12c, Enterprise Edition option and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c—work together to provide an easy-to-use solution for making changes to your mission-critical database. Learn from Oracle experts about the new Oracle Real Application Testing capability, SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA) Quick Check. It lets DBAs run quick validations on production databases for any system change.

Discover how SPA Quick Check helps to:

  • Safely test and deploy system changes using real workloads
  • Test consolidation scenarios for better resource management
  • Improve the quality of service for business agility and uptime
  • Reduce administrative effort and risks for database changes

Register now.

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Friday Feb 07, 2014

VIDEO: Nationwide Deploys Database Applications 600% Faster

Watch the latest Nationwide video to see how they saved administrative time and effort using Oracle Enterprise Manager.



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Thursday Jan 30, 2014

Oracle Enterprise Manager Helps Manage Systems for Gaia Mission

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."

Follow the Gaia Mission on Facebook.
Read the press release.


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Tuesday Dec 31, 2013

Database Lifecycle Management for Cloud Service Providers

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.

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Thursday Nov 28, 2013

Database Cloning in Minutes using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Snap Clone

Date: Tuesday, December 3 , 2013
Time: 7:00 a.m. PST | 10:00 p.m. EST

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:

  • Leverage storage copy-on-write technologies for fast provisioning
  • Integrate cloning with other Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Lifecycle Management features, such as data masking and sub-setting
  • “Time travel” across multiple database snapshots to restore and access past data
  • Reduced administrative overhead from integrated lifecycle management

Register Now!


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Wednesday Nov 13, 2013

Webcast: Delivering Pluggable Database as a Service

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Time: 10:00 a.m. PST | 1:00 p.m. EST

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:

  • Accelerate provisioning of database clouds through self-service
  • Facilitate consolidation with unique automation capabilities
  • Lower IT costs by managing many databases as one

Register Now!


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Tuesday Nov 12, 2013

Automate RAC Cluster Upgrades using EM12c

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  (12.1.0.5.0), EM12c Rel 3 (12.1.0.3.0)  now supports automated upgrading of RAC Clusters in addition to Standalone Databases.

This automation includes:

  • Upgrade of the complete Cluster across the nodes. ( Example: 11.1.0.7 CRS, ASM, RAC DB  ->   11.2.0.4 or 12.1.0.1 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. 

    Mass Upgrade of RAC using EM12c


High Level Steps:

  1. Select the Procedure "Upgrade Database" from Database Provisioning Home page.
  2. Choose the Target Type for upgrade and the Destination version
  3. Pick and choose the Cluster, it picks up the complete topology since the clusterware/GI isn't upgraded already
  4. Select the Gold Image of the destination version for deploying both the GI and RAC OHs
  5. Specify new OH patch, credentials, choose the Restore and Backup options, if required provide additional pre and post scripts
  6. Set the Break points in the procedure execution to isolate Downtime activities
  7. 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

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 (12.1.0.3). 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.

Benefits

  • Self-service provisioning allows rapid access to pluggable database as a service for hosting or certifying applications on Oracle Database 12c
  • Self-service driven migration to pluggable database as a service in order to migrate a pre-Oracle Database 12c database to a pluggable database as a service model and test the consolidation strategy
  • Single service catalog for all approved pluggable database as a service configurations which helps customers achieve standardization while catering to all applications and users in the enterprise
  • Resource guarantee via database resource manager (and IORM on Oracle Exadata) that enables deployment of mixed workloads in a shared environment
  • Quota, role based access, and policy based management that enforces governance and reduces administrative overhead
  • Chargeback or showback which improves metering and accountability for services consumed by each pluggable database
  • Comprehensive REST APIs that support integration with ticketing or change management systems, and or with other self-service portals
  • Minimal administrative and maintenance overhead through self-managing automation that allows for intelligent placement of pluggable databases

To understand how pluggable database as a service works, watch this quick demo:


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Wednesday Aug 21, 2013

WEBCAST: Managing Oracle Database 12c


Thursday August 22
10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST

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:

  • Real-time performance diagnostics and application tuning
  • Embedded database self-manageability
  • Managing many pluggable databases as one
  • Delivering reliable database cloud services

Only Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c offers customers maximum performance, enhanced automation, and total control for Oracle Database 12c.

Register Now!

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Wednesday Aug 07, 2013

VIDEO: Managing Oracle Database 12c

Learn about all the new manageability capabilities in Oracle Database 12c. Watch the video.


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Friday Aug 02, 2013

Managing Oracle Database 12c

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:

  • Complete lifecycle management of multitenant databases: Support for the entire lifecycle operations of multitenant databases that comprise migration, creation, cloning, patching and tracking for compliance
  • Consolidated database replay: Allows customers to test and plan their consolidation using Oracle’s multitenant container and pluggable database technology
  • At-source data masking: Allows customers to maximize compliance and security by masking data in-flight as it is being copied from production
  • Enhanced diagnostics: Improvements to Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM) for real-time and proactive problem detection, especially designed for catching short, transient performance issues
  • Real-time business operations monitoring: Monitors composite business operations such as; batch jobs and ETL operations, providing real-time reports on all SQLs and PL/SQLs executed inside the job
  • Performance hub: Newly redesigned performance home page that provides administrators with a single, at-a-glance view of all performance data and advisors
  • New Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Express 12c: An out-of-the-box, lightweight, easy-to-use web-based management solution for managing individual databases
  • Schema as a Service: This ultimate consolidation of databases lets administrators host multiple application schemas within a single database and offer database as a service to hundreds of application users without creating database sprawl
  • Snap Clone: Instant database cloning allows administrators to create fully functional copies of databases using the copy-on-write capabilities of the underlying storage layer

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.

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Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

Harness the power of Configuration Search to know what's out there and drive automation

Oracle Enterprise Manager collects and monitors configuration information for every target it manages and layers support for sophisticated lifecycle operations on top of this foundation. Within the configuration management area itself Enterprise Manager has formalized support for Drift Management, Inventory Management, Topology visualization and Compliance Management. Although these features cover a good segment of configuration management use cases there will always be additional uses for this important information. Enterprise Manager makes it easy to leverage this valuable information both inside and outside the product using the Configuration Search feature.

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 11.2.0.3 databases and patch 14275605. ( Database Patch Set Update : 11.2.0.3.4 )

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 11.2.0.3 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 11.2.0.3 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 “11.2.0.3 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 “11.2.0.3 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:

  1. Retrieve specified patch plan metadata and extract required patch information.
  2. Get list of databases without the patch applied using a configuration search.
  3. Create a patch plan for each database.

Here is the script in its entirety. Obviously you will need to make modifications for you environment, specific patch plan and configuration search names.


 #emcli_config_search.py

from emcli import *
import xml.dom.minidom


# Set Connection properties and logon
set_client_property('EMCLI_OMS_URL','https://oem.example.com/em')
set_client_property('EMCLI_TRUSTALL','true')
login(username='DWWOLF1',password='password')

patch_id = []
release_id = []
platform_id = []
language_id = []
target_type = []

# Get Sample Patch Metadata
pp_xml = show_patch_plan(name='PSU4 Rollout').out()

# Parse plan metadata into XML
patchPlan = xml.dom.minidom.parseString(pp_xml)

# Retrieve metadata for each patch in the sample patch plan
for patchList in patchPlan.getElementsByTagName("patchList"):
        for patch in patchList.getElementsByTagName("patch"):
                patch_id.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("id")[0].toxml().replace("<id>","").replace("</id>",""))
                release_id.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("release_id")[0].toxml().replace("<release_id>","").replace("</release_id>",""))
                platform_id.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("platform_id")[0].toxml().replace("<platform_id>","").replace("</platform_id>",""))
                language_id.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("language_id")[0].toxml().replace("<language_id>","").replace("</language_id>",""))
                target_type.append(patch.getElementsByTagName("target_type")[0].toxml().replace("<target_type>","").replace("</target_type>",""))

# Run stored configuration search to get list of databases missing the patch
target_array = get_targets(config_search='11.2.0.3 SI AC DBs without patch 14275605').out()['data']

# For each target create a patch plan containing the patches in the sample patch plan
for targets in target_array:
    tn = targets['Target Name']
    nodeCount = 0
    f = open('patchplan.txt', mode='w')
        for node in patch_id:
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".patch_id=" + patch_id[nodeCount] + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".release_id=" + release_id[nodeCount] + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".platform_id=" + platform_id[nodeCount] + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".language_id=" + language_id[nodeCount] + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".target_name=" + tn + "\n")
                f.write( "patch." + str(nodeCount) + ".target_type=" + target_type[nodeCount] + "\n")
                nodeCount += 1
        f.close()
        planName = 'PSU4 ' + tn
        create_patch_plan(name=planName,input_file='data:patchplan.txt',impact_other_targets='add_all')

exit()


A zip of the script is available for download here.

Run the script by passing it as an argument to EMCLI:

>emcli @emcli_config_search.py

Here we can see all of the patch plans created by the script plus the sample patch plan “PSU4 Rollout”

Conclusion

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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Thursday Apr 11, 2013

Qualcomm Deploys Application Changes Faster with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Listen in as Qualcomm talks about saving time and energy by making application changes faster through Oracle Enterprise Manager.

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Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

Using Advanced Notifications in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

When using an enterprise monitoring tool such as Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, one of the most critical components is notification. Once an alert or issue has been identified, how do you tell the right people at the right time? Most enterprises use e-mail or open a trouble ticket. As you can imagine, no two enterprises are the same when it comes to their tools and processes. Many customers use one of the more common and well known trouble ticketing systems but quite a few use non-standard or custom (homegrown) trouble ticketing systems. Some customers have special routing requirements or corporate standards and have custom applications which handle all emailing functions instead of directly emailing using an SMTP server.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can handle all of these situations by utilizing one of the various notification methods provided: E-mail, 3rd party connectors and advanced notification methods. There are three types of advanced notifications: SNMP, OS Command or PL/SQL. This blog will introduce you to the OS Command and PL/SQL notification methods available in EM 12c and provide an example of using a custom OS script for notifications.

[Read More]

Friday Mar 15, 2013

Wipro Gets a Complete View of Its Enterprise IT in One Click

Using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Wipro can see the entire IT stack of its managed services offering, from applications to Infrastructure layers.

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Tuesday Mar 12, 2013

WEBCAST: Delivering Database as a Service with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c


Thursday March 14
10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST

Join us for a live Webcast to find out about the recently released Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c plug-ins that deliver new capabilities and support for managing database cloud services with schema as a service for extreme database consolidation and quick efficient database cloning through Snap Clone or RMAN Backups. These new capabilities provide an optimum utilization of development and database resources giving customers more flexibility and control during application development, leading to a faster time-to-market for delivering IT services.

Register Now!

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