Friday Mar 08, 2013

Schema as a Service for Extreme Consolidation

As we deal with Database as a Service use cases, we often find that consumers do not need dedicated databases of their own. Developers of a home-grown application, for example, might be satisfied with a logical slice of the database. This logical slice, leads us to the concept of Schema as a Service—a new capability offered in the latest release of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1.

Schema as a service is the ultimate and extreme in consolidating multiple schemas in a shared database model. Cloud users can request one or more schemas, with or without seed data, from Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c’s out-of-the-box self service portal. It offers excellent manageability, not only for its fast efficient provisioning, but because administrators only need to manage a small number of databases.


Schema as a Service: Consolidate Multiple Schemas in a Shared Database Cloud Services Model

However, consolidation comes at the expense of isolation, because the operating system and database are not isolated among the database consumers. While enabling Schema as a Service, it’s important to isolate the workloads as much as possible to make sure that one user doesn't run away with all the database resources. Administrators can guarantee this does not happen by using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c’s CPU monitoring capabilities built in to Oracle Database Resource Manager to maintain service levels.

For security, the more consolidated you get, the more concerns administrators have about data isolation and security. Using Oracle Data Vault can help resolve these issues. It is integrated with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, and administrators can use Oracle Data Vault to enable fine grain control based on roles and privileges within the database cloud service.

For reporting purposes, metering and chargeback capabilities can be implemented to help IT organizations gain in-depth visibility into resource consumption and expenses incurred with each schema as a service deployment. This is useful for regulatory compliance requirements as well.

Schema as a Service at a Glance:

  • Consolidate multiple application schemas in a shared database deployment model
  • Each application user (i.e. developers or testers) can provision one or more database schema(s) with a dedicated database cloud service
  • Automated placement can be based on workload characteristics and specifications
  • Service levels are guaranteed through Oracle Database Resource Manager
  • Service governance is done through quotas, retirement policies and chargeback plans
  • Integrated with Oracle Data Vault for security isolation and control
  • De-provision schemas when needs change

Benefits:

  • Save resources through ultimate consolidation of multiple database applications
  • Boost administrator productivity and increase efficiency with automated provisioning
  • Deploy schema as a service implementations consistently using self-service profiles and templates
  • Metering and chargeback helps keep track of resource consumption and usage for accountability and reporting
  • Minimize administrative overhead and compliance challenges by preventing database sprawl

How To:
There are several steps involved when setting up and deploying database schema as a service in Oracle Enterprise Manager’s self service portal. Here is a quick summary of what’s involved. For more details be sure to review the resources below.

1. Setting up Platform as a Service Zones

  • Before deploying your schema as a service, you first need to create a Platform as a Service (PaaS) infrastructure using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c’s self-service portal. A PaaS Zone comprises multiple hosts, i.e. servers with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c agent installed.
  • Use the portal to create a PaaS zone and organize it by function type (i.e. based on geography, line of business (sales, development) or application lifecycle. (i.e. dev, test, QA, production)
  • Next expose the PaaS zone to the self-service cloud users in the portal. For example, developers can now have the option to select a development PaaS zone or testers can select a QA zone.
  • Visibility of each zone can be restricted based on the self-service user's credentials.

2. Setting up Database Pools

  • Database pools are a collects of databases used to host schema as a service.
  • To create a new database pool, you can use a portion of resources that are available to the zone. Keep in mind that all members of the database pool need to be the same target type. For example, a single database instance or database cluster; platform, or same database version. This ensures provisioning consistency during deployment.
  • Next configure placement constraints and policies for the database pool. For placing databases within the pool and controlling how resources are utilization, you need to first create a placement constraint and set its policies. This provides protection for the database members within the pool for resource consumption. For example, a production database pool might enforce more conservative constraints whereas a development pool might allow liberal limits.
  • You can set a constraint for each database in the pool by services or by workload associated with the service request based on CPU and memory. You can also enable Oracle Database Resource Manager for the database pool to control your CPU usage and the underlying service levels.

3. Request Settings

  • During this part of the schema as a service set up, future reservations, archive retention and duration of request can all be enabled.

4. Quotas

  • Controlling quotas and setting limits for users based on role level can be assigned in this step of the process. Oracle Enterprise Manager supports quota based on CPU, memory and number of database services.

5. Profiles and Service Templates

  • A service template is standardized definition that is offered to self-service users to create a database or schemas within the deployment. A service template defines the workload characteristics and schema details that can be generated with or without seed data.
  • To create a service template with seed data, you need to create a profile. A profile is an entity that captures source database information for provisioning purposes. Once you create your service template it becomes part of a collection which makes up the service catalog. This catalog is then exposed to cloud users in the self-service portal.
  • Next, you can either export the seed data from the source database or export the schema definitions without the data. Once you decide, a Data Pump Export job will be created.
  • You can now map your newly created profile and service templates to the required zone(s) and database pools.

6. Chargeback

  • The final step in deploying schema as a service is to configure resource metering and chargeback.
  • Setting up metering and chargeback can easily be done in order to track resource usage within the schema as a service implementation.
  • For more information on how to set up chargeback we recommend reading this white paper.

LEARN MORE:

Product Info:
  • Oracle Cloud Management
  • Zero to Cloud Resource Center
  • Demos:
  • Oracle Cloud Management
  • Setting up Database Clouds for Schema as a Service
  • Whitepapers:
  • Delivering Database as a Service using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c
  • Best Practices for Database Consolidation in Private Clouds
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: Metering and Chargeback
  • Cloud Management for Oracle Database

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    Tuesday Mar 05, 2013

    Webcast: New Cloud Management Plug-Ins Provide Enhanced Capabilities for Deploying and Managing Clouds


    Thursday March 7
    10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST

    Join us for this presentation to learn about Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c's recent release of new and updated Management Plug-ins that provide optimum utilization of compute resources, ultimately leading to faster time-to-market for IT services delivery. In addition to providing enhanced cloud management support, the Plug-ins extend Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c's capabilities for Database as a Service (DBaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), as well as introduce new features for Testing as a Service (TaaS).

    Register Now!

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    Sunday Feb 24, 2013

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Introduces Key Enhancements for Deploying and Managing Clouds

    It has been a little more than a year, since we released our first cloud management features as a part of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. As customers started adopting our solution for a broad spectrum of workloads including production, QA, and development needs, we gained invaluable experience into the various use cases and requirements. Based on that experience, Oracle has released new and updated Management Plug-ins that precisely address the above requirements, ultimately leading to faster time-to-market for IT services delivery. In addition to providing enhanced cloud management support, the plug-ins extend Enterprise Manager's capabilities for Database as a Service (DBaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), as well as introduce new features for Testing as a Service (TaaS). See "New Plug-in Features" below for additional details.

    NEW PLUG-IN FEATURES:

    + Database as a Service (DBaaS):

        A sophisticated Database as a Service solution needs to cater to a variety of use cases:
    •    A developer or a project owner requiring a new database service  with or without seed data
    •    QA requiring a full database refresh for intense load testing
    •    QA requiring to create multiple clones for functional testing on subset of data

    The current release of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c offers new capabilities and support for managing database cloud services in all the above cases. It comes with out-of-box capabilities such as schema-as-a-service for extreme database consolidation and database cloning through Snap Clone or RMAN Backups. These capabilities provide an optimum utilization of development and database resources, giving customers more flexibility and control in managing the database lifecycle.

    While some applications need dedicated databases, small home-grown applications can often share the database instance with other applications. Schema as a Service allows DBAs to consolidate multiple applications in the same database and offer logical slices of database to the end-users such as developers, thereby preventing database sprawl. They can enforce certain performance guarantee to these services by leveraging database Resource Manager, which prevents a particular user over-consuming the underlying compute resources.  End-users can therefore request schema services from the self-service application without stepping on one another. Schema as a Service significantly reduces the administrative and maintenance overhead since only a limited number of such databases need to be managed and patched.

    Cloning databases got significantly easier with the new plug-in. A new feature called “Snap Clone” really makes it snappy (terabytes of data can be cloned in a matter of minutes). The feature helps clone a database by leveraging the underlying “Copy on Write” technology offered by storage technologies, such as Netapp and ZFS Storage Appliance. DBAs can set up a “test master” database by refreshing a production database and mark the “test master” as the source of functional clones. Self-service users can create multiple copies  of the test-master in minutes without consuming additional space beyond what’s needed to make localized updates. This can be really beneficial for applications where the testing is primarily read-only and is limited to a subset of the data. Users can also take backups (snapshots) of their database and “time travel” across snapshots to restore the database to an earlier incarnation in a matter of minutes.

    For more involved testing, such as testing production loads with lots of updates, Oracle Enterprise Manager also supports a full clone using the RMAN technology.

    The following picture highlights the various use cases of DBaaS that Oracle Enterprise Manager addresses. While each of these have specific applicability, Oracle Enterprise Manager handles all these use cases comprehensively.


    + Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c has added support for building and managing Infrastructure as a Service clouds based on the latest Oracle VM 3.2.1 release. The updated kernel and enhanced storage management features in Oracle VM 3.2.1 make it an ideal foundation for building a secure, scalable, enterprise-class infrastructure cloud. The newly released Oracle Enterprise Manager Management Plug-ins for Oracle Virtualization and Oracle Cloud provide comprehensive support for setting up the cloud infrastructure, deploying Oracle virtual assemblies and Oracle VM templates, and monitoring and managing the health of the cloud.

    + Testing as a Service (TaaS): Any enterprise application needs extensive testing before changes are rolled into production. Testing is a time-consuming process, can take weeks owing to delays in provisioning the full application stack to run the test on. QA is often left waiting on IT to provide the infrastructure and platform and sometimes this wait itself can account for 50% of the total testing cycle. Currently, no integrated solution exists that handle the provisioning and testing phases of the overall testing process leading to significant process delays and poor efficiency.

    Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c introduces Testing as a Service, a new cloud platform for delivering automated application testing services. A self-service solution designed for private clouds, TaaS orchestrates the testing process end-to-end by automating provisioning of complete test labs (applications, test tools and assets comprising scripts and scenarios), execution of load and functional tests and rich application monitoring and diagnostics. It also includes a sophisticated chargeback facility and the ability to perform deeper diagnostics in context of testing.

    TaaS makes it possible to significantly reduce testing time and costs without compromising quality, and enables organizations to be more agile in delivering critical business applications. One can find more details on TaaS here.

    Oracle Enterprise Manager’s cloud management features are also enabled through a set of powerful RESTful APIs, which are summarized in this presentation. These APIs can be consumed from custom or 3rd party orchestration frameworks. In the new release, one can also orchestrate these APIs using an Oracle Enterprise manager provided framework called Blueprints. Using Blueprints, one can orchestrate the provisioning of a multi-layered application (such as the one shown below). One can download the documentation and sample code for the blueprints from here.




    + New Management Plug-Ins:  The following new and updated plug-Ins are now available as part of this release. In addition to providing new and enhanced functionality as mentioned above, the plug-ins incorporate numerous bug fixes.


    Plug-In Name / Version
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Database (DB) 12.1.0.3 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization (VT) 12.1.0.4 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager Storage Management Framework (SMF) 12.1.0.1 (new)
    *Enterprise Manager for Oracle Cloud (SSA) 12.1.0.5 (new)


    Read More:

    * New book: Building and Managing a Cloud Using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c (Oracle Press)

    *Cloud Management page on OTN

    *Enterprise Manager 12c: Cloud Management Pack for DB Datasheet

    *Enterprise Manager 12c: The Nerve Center of Oracle Cloud Technical White Paper

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    Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

    SquareTwo Financial uses Oracle Data Masking for Compliance and Improves Performance by 96%

    Watch as leading financial services firm, SquareTwo Financial, talks about maintaining compliance while increasing IT productivity and performance by replacing in-house data masking with Oracle Data Masking solution.

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    Friday Feb 08, 2013

    Gartner Positions Oracle in Leaders Quadrant for Data Masking

    Gartner recently announced that Oracle Data Masking Pack, part of Oracle Enterprise Manager’s quality management and Oracle Database Security defense-in-depth solution, has been named a leader in the first Magic Quadrant for Data Masking Technology report.

    Oracle Data Masking strengths highlighted in the report include:

    • High performance data masking in Oracle Databases
    • Integration into Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c resulting in easy adoption
    • Availability of pre-built templates for popular packaged systems such as, Oracle E-Business Suite
    • Database security expertise and strong DBMS security portfolio

    About Oracle Data Masking
    Oracle Data Masking ensures privacy by transforming sensitive data before it is transferred to test, QA, and other non-production environments, addressing regulatory compliance for both Oracle and non-Oracle Databases.


    Oracle Data Masking Pack: Production data is cloned and masked before being copied to Test.

    Key Features:

    • Application data discovery
    • Centralized extensible format library
    • Comprehensive mask techniques
    • High performance masking with role-based security
    • Optimized for Oracle and non-Oracle databases
    • Integrated with Oracle testing products
    • Integrated with data subsetting

    Oracle Data Masking completely replaces sensitive information such as; names, account numbers, SSNs, financial results, purchasing transactions, etc. in your development, test and QA systems with data that cannot be “reverse engineered” to reveal its original source. This allows production data to be safely used for development, testing, or sharing with out-source or off-shore partners for other non-production purposes. The Pack provides extensive search capabilities to scan enterprise databases for sensitive data discovery based on established data patterns and models.

    The solution allows masking of all the related data elements automatically while preserving referential relationships combining the sensitive data columns and associated relationships in an Application Data Model. Oracle Data Masking can detect data dependencies, such as foreign key constraints and replaces sensitive information transparently. This ensures that the referential integrity necessary for applications to work and function properly will continue be in place, even on development systems.

    Benefits:

    • Administrators will save time and eliminate risk by replacing individual scripts and routines written by DBAs with centrally managed and deployed libraries of masking processes.
    • Provides secure, scalable and automated solution to create test environments from production data using bulk masking.The solution enables faster time-to-market by speeding up the development process while helping organizations comply with privacy regulations and confidentiality policies.
    • Enables rapid DBA productivity through the use of application masking templates.
    • Supports custom data masks that are defined once and can be used every time that set of data needs to be masked.
    • Data security is integrated within the application management lifecycle, meaning that DBAs can provide realistic-masked production data to developers or testing groups for accurate application testing while reducing their storage costs by not having to provision an entire production environment for each developer or project.
    • Oracle Data Masking Pack is built into and installed with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

    Data Masking for Security and Compliance
    Oracle Data Masking offers a comprehensive and customizable library of masking formats, templates and policies that can be used to replace sensitive information with realistic simulated values—all with just a few mouse clicks. The sensitive data never has to leave the Oracle Database or the production environment. This maintains data security and compliance through privacy and confidentiality polices on shared production data. The solution helps protect against unauthorized access to data that is being shared with off-shore developers, partners or 3rd party vendors.


    Oracle Data Masking Pack: Centralized Extensible Format Library.

    In addition, Oracle Data Masking allows organizations to enforce compliance with regulatory requirements such as; Sarbanes-Oxley, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as well as numerous other laws and regulations that restrict the use of actual customer data.

    Oracle Data Masking continues to gain strong adoption, check out the latest customers to see how they are benefiting from the solution:

    LEARN MORE:

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    Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

    Coles Deploys Oracle Exadata and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    Read the latest news about Coles Supermarkets, one of Australia's largest grocery chains with more than 100,000 employees and 2,000 stores country-wide. Learn how Coles completely revamped their data warehouse with Oracle Exadata and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c . The new system improved Coles's processes and critical reporting by as much as 3 to 4x out-of-the-box with a 4 to 6x faster query performance. The result, higher quality of service for the business and for customers during peak seasonal spikes.

    LEARN MORE:

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    Tuesday Jan 29, 2013

    WEBCAST: Protect Your Sensitive and Confidential Data Using Oracle Data Masking Solution

    Thursday February 7
    10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST

    Join us for a live and interactive webcast on how to comply with regulatory requirements and data protection policies by protecting sensitive data in non-production Oracle Databases as well as non-Oracle databases using Oracle Data Masking Pack, a part of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c quality management and Oracle Database Security defense-in-depth solution. Topics include:

    • Automatically discovering sensitive data
    • Standard and advanced masking techniques made easy
    • Eliminate the need for a staging database using At-source masking
    • Secure your Oracle Applications (Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Fusion Applications) data quickly using masking templates
    • Seamless masking integration with Oracle's data subsetting solution
    Register today
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    Thursday Jan 24, 2013

    HDFC Bank Deploys Database-as-a-Service with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    Listen in as one of India’s largest banks discusses the benefits of using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to manage their database-as-a-service deployment.

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    Tuesday Jan 15, 2013

    Answers to Your Common Database Performance Questions

    An Interview with Oracle Database Manageability Expert, Deba Chatterjee

    Throughout the year we hear from lots of customers and get many questions about managing Oracle Database. In this blog, I thought I would try and provide some answers to common diagnostics and tuning questions with the help of our product manager and residence expert for Oracle Database Manageability, Deba Chatterjee. Deba has a wealth of database performance tuning experience both inside and outside of Oracle managing large data warehouses. Deba is responsible for Oracle Diagnostics Pack for Database and Oracle Tuning Pack for Database. I recently sat down with Deba and had a chat about database manageability.

    Scott McNeil: Deba, we get many people asking questions about database performance—many still don't know about all the deep diagnostics capabilities Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c has to offer for Oracle Database. Capabilities such as; Compare Period ADDM, Real-Time ADDM, Active Session History (ASH) Analytics Real-Time SQL Monitoring, using Metric Extensions, and SQL Tuning Advisor—how do customers get all these capabilities for their database?

    Deba Chatterjee: We recently ran a webcast: Maximize Oracle Database Performance with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: Top 10 Tips and Tricks that explains how many of these features work. I highly recommend people watch the webcast to get a better understanding of the capabilities you mentioned. But the short answer is: for Compare Period ADDM, Real-Time ADDM, Metric Extensions you need to license Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Diagnostics Pack for Database. For Real-Time SQL Monitoring, SQL Tuning Advisor, you will need the Oracle Tuning Pack for Database.

    Scott McNeil: Another question customers repeatedly ask is around Cloud Control and Database Control. Deba, can you explain the difference between Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c (formerly Grid Control) and Database Control.

    Deba Chatterjee: Although they belong to the same family of products there is a fundamental difference between the two. Database Control can be used to manage only a single database with which it has been configured, while Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c allows you to manage all your databases under the same centralized management console. Plus Cloud Control lets you manage not only all your databases but your entire application and technology stack too, whether it's in a private cloud or in a traditional environment.

    How do you modify the Metric Value History retention in Enterprise Manager? For example; Enterprise Manager only shows the last 7 days, how do you display longer than 7 days?

    Deba Chatterjee: There are various retention times based on the type of metric data:

    • Raw metric data: default retention time is 7 days
    • Hourly aggregated metric data: default retention is 31 days
    • Daily aggregated metric data: default retention is 12 months

    Refer to the documentation here, if you want to change the default retention time.

    For Compare Period ADDM, how do you relate that in the context of system load?

    Deba Chatterjee: In the resource usage tab, you can check the system CPU, Memory, I/O and interconnect (for RAC databases) utilizations across the 2 comparison periods in the same database.

    Does Compare Period ADDM take into account the average read and average write in order to identify why the variance is happening in performance?

    Deba Chatterjee: Compare Period ADDM uses database time to compare the performance across two periods. It does not compare based on average read or write times.

    Does Enterprise Manager have the ability to create customized performance graphs? For example; can you create a graph for CPU usage in the last 24 hours on a given Host?

    Deba Chatterjee: This is possible through the information publisher or BI publisher reports. As for the CPU usage, the chart is available out-of-the box in the target page for hosts.

    How do you connect to the database itself when it’s hung and won't allow any extra connections? Do you use command line? Can you use ADDM even though the database is hung?

    Deba Chatterjee: When the database is hung, you can connect to it using the diagnostic connection mode in Real-Time ADDM. The agent that is used to monitor the database makes the connection. No, command line is used. You have to use Real-Time ADDM for the connection.

    Is Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c compatible with older versions of the database?

    Deba Chatterjee: You can use Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to monitor Oracle Database versions: 9.2.0.8, 10.1.0.5, 10.2.0.4, 10.2.0.5, 11.1.0.7, 11.2.0.1, 11.2.0.2, and 11.2.0.3.

    Is SQL Performance Analyzer part of Oracle Database 11g or do you need to use Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?

    Deba Chatterjee: SQL Performance Analyzer is built into the database and provides command line APIs. However, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c provides the complete orchestration needed to capture the SQL tuning set, run the performance trials, and then to create a performance comparison report.

    How do you enable Enterprise Manager to monitor and send alerts to the DBAs for a "Runaway Query?”

    Deba Chatterjee: You can use EM to monitor runaway queries and send alerts using Metric Extensions which rely on the data captured in SQL Monitoring. The method was explained in this webcast presentation.

    How do you create a report for all the SQL running in an instance during a 30 minute timeframe? Can you export this to a spreadsheet?

    Deba Chatterjee: ASH stores sampled (1 seconds in memory or 10 seconds on-disk) SQL. However ASH is meant to capture the high load SQL statements so it won’t have all SQL statements.

    Do you recommend enabling automatic gathering of SQL baselines as a preventative measure of SQL regression?

    Deba Chatterjee: No. This would be overkill. Identify the queries that frequently change plans and then create SQL plan baselines.

    If a server has multiple database instances, what is the best way to effectively do resource allocation?

    Deba Chatterjee: There is no silver bullet. Carefully study your database load and decide on use of services, instance caging and resource managers to manage load on servers.

    When using SQL Performance Analyzer, do you create the baseline first before the code change is deployed or at peak DB time?

    Deba Chatterjee: These are two different problems. While testing for Code change, the baseline should be created before the code is deployed. While testing for an upgrade scenario the baseline needs to be created at a peak DB time.

    Is there a metric to monitor ASM disk group utilization at the cluster level?

    Deba Chatterjee: Yes. ASM Disk Group Usage metric is what you can use. (See image below)

    Can Oracle Enterprise Manager’s alerts be configured to monitor elements in the audit trail such as table creation or table drop?

    Deba Chatterjee: Yes, these type of alerts can be configured using Metric Extensions.

    LEARN MORE:

    Have a database manageability question? Ask us on Twitter or Facebook.


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    Wednesday Dec 12, 2012

    Heterogeneous Datacenter Management with Enterprise Manager 12c

    The following is a Guest Blog, contributed by Bryce Kaiser, Product Manager at Blue Medora

    When I envision a perfect datacenter, it would consist of technologies acquired from a single vendor across the entire server, middleware, application, network, and storage stack - Apps to Disk - that meets your organization’s every IT requirement with absolute best-of-breed solutions in every category.   To quote a familiar motto, your datacenter would consist of "Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together".  

    In almost all cases, practical realities dictate something far less than the IT Utopia mentioned above.   You may wish to leverage multiple vendors to keep licensing costs down, a single vendor may not have an offering in the IT category you need, or your preferred vendor may quite simply not have the solution that meets your needs.    In other words, your IT needs dictate a heterogeneous IT environment.  Heterogeneity, however, comes with additional complexity. The following are two pretty typical challenges:

    1) No End-to-End Visibility into the Enterprise Wide Application Deployment. Each vendor solution which is added to an infrastructure may bring its own tooling creating different consoles for different vendor applications and platforms.

    2) No Visibility into Performance Bottlenecks. When multiple management tools operate independently, you lose diagnostic capabilities including identifying cross-tier issues with database, hung-requests, slowness, memory leaks and hardware errors/failures causing DB/MW issues.

    As adoption of Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM) has increased, especially since the release of Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle has seen an increase in the number of customers who want to leverage their investments in EM to manage non-Oracle workloads.  Enterprise Manager provides a single pane of glass view into their entire datacenter.  By creating a highly extensible framework via the Oracle EM Extensibility Development Kit (EDK), Oracle has provided the tooling for business partners such as my company Blue Medora as well as customers to easily fill gaps in the ecosystem and enhance existing solutions.  

    As mentioned in the previous post on the Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange, customers have access to an assortment of Oracle and Partner provided solutions through this Exchange, which is accessed at http://www.oracle.com/goto/emextensibility.  Currently, there are over 80 Oracle and partner provided plug-ins across the EM 11g and EM 12c versions.  Blue Medora is one of those contributing partners, for which you will find 3 of our solutions including our flagship plugin for VMware.  

    Let's look at Blue Medora’s VMware plug-in as an example to what I'm trying to convey.  Here is a common situation solved by true visibility into your entire stack:

    Symptoms
    •    My database is bogging down, however the database appears okay internally.  Maybe it’s starved for resources?
    •    My OS tooling is showing everything is “OK”.  Something doesn’t add up.

    Root cause
    •    Through the VMware plugin we can see the problem is actually on the virtualization layer

    Solution
    •    From within Enterprise Manager  -- the same tool you use for all of your database tuning -- we can overlay the data of the database target, host target, and virtual machine target for a true picture of the true root cause.

    Here is the console view:


    Perhaps your monitoring conditions are more specific to your environment.  No worries, Enterprise Manager still has you covered.  With Metric Extensions you have the “Next Generation” of User-Defined Metrics, which easily bring the power of your existing management scripts into a single console while leveraging the proven Enterprise Manager framework.

    Simply put, Oracle Enterprise manager boasts a growing ecosystem that provides the single pane of glass for your entire datacenter from the database and beyond. 

    Bryce can be contacted at info@bluemedora.com

    Monday Nov 12, 2012

    Answers to Your Common Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Questions


    We recently ran a live webcast on Strategies for Managing Oracle Database's Lifecycle. There were tons of questions from our audience that we simply could not get to during the hour long presentation. Below are some of those questions along with their answers. Enjoy!

    Question: In the webcast the presenter talked about “gold” configuration standards, for those who want to use this technique, could you recommend a best practice to consider or follow? How do I get started?

    Answer:
    Gold configuration standardization is a quick and easy way to improve availability through consistency. Start by choosing a reference database and saving the configuration to the Oracle Enterprise Manager repository using the Save Configuration feature. Next create a comparison template using the Oracle provided template as a starting point and modify the ignored properties to eliminate expected differences in your environment. Finally create a comparison specification using the comparison template you created plus your saved gold configuration and schedule it to run on a regular basis. Don’t forget to fill in the email addresses of those you want to notify upon drift detection. Watch the database configuration management demo to learn more.

    Question: Can Oracle Lifecycle Management Pack for Database help with patching an Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC) environment?

    Answer:
    Yes, Oracle Enterprise Manager supports both parallel and rolling patch application of Oracle Real Application Clusters. The use of rolling patching is recommended as there is no downtime involved. For more details watch this demo.

    Question: What are some of the things administrators can do to control configuration drift? Why is it important?

    Answer:
    Configuration drift is one of the main causes of instability and downtime of applications. Oracle Enterprise Manager makes it easy to manage and control drift using scheduled configuration comparisons combined with comparison templates.

    Question: Does Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2 offer an incremental update feature for "gold" images? For instance, if the source binary has a higher PSU level, what is the best approach to update the existing "gold" image in the software library? Do you have to create a new image or can you just update the original one?

    Answer:
    Provisioning Profiles (Gold images) can contain the installation files and database configuration templates. Although it is possible to make some changes to the profile after creation (mainly to configuration), it is normally recommended to simply create a new profile after applying a patch to your reference database.

    Question: The webcast talked about enforcing in-house standards, does Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c offer verification of your databases and systems to those standards? For example, the initial "gold" image has been massively deployed over time, and there may be some changes to it. How can you do regular checks from Enterprise Manager to ensure the in-house standards are being enforced?

    Answer:
    There are really two methods to validate conformity to standards.

    The first method is to use gold standards which you compare other databases to report unwanted differences. This method uses a new comparison template technology which allows users to ignore known differences (i.e. SID, Start time, etc) which results in a report only showing important or non-conformant differences. This method is quick to setup and configure and recommended for those who want to get started validating compliance quickly.

    The second method leverages the new compliance framework which allows the creation of specific and robust validations. These compliance rules are grouped into standards which can be assigned to databases quickly and easily. Compliance rules allow for targeted and more sophisticated validation beyond the basic equals operation available in the comparison method. The compliance framework can be used to implement just about any internal or industry standard. The compliance results will track current and historic compliance scores at the overall and individual database targets. When the issue is resolved, the score is automatically affected. Compliance framework is the recommended long term solution for validating compliance using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. Check out this demo on database compliance to learn more.

    Question: If you are using the integration between Oracle Enterprise Manager and My Oracle Support in an "offline" mode, how do you know if you have the latest My Oracle Support metadata?

    Answer:
    In Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2, you now only need to download one zip file containing all of the metadata xmls files. There is no indication that the metadata has changed but you could run a checksum on the file and compare it to the previously downloaded version to see if it has changed.

    Question: What happens if a patch fails while administrators are applying it to a database or system?

    Answer:
    A large portion of Oracle Enterprise Manager's patch automation is the pre-requisite checks that happen to ensure the highest level of confidence the patch will successfully apply. It is recommended you test the patch in a non-production environment and save the patch plan as a template once successful so you can create new plans using the saved template.

    If you are using the recommended ‘out of place’ patching methodology, there is no urgency because the database is still running as the cloned Oracle home is being patched. Users can address the issue and restart the patch procedure at the point it left off.

    If you are using 'in place' method, you can address the issue and continue where the procedure left off.

    Question: Can Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c R2 compare configurations between more than one target at the same time?

    Answer:
    Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can compare any number of target configurations at one time. This is the basis of many important use cases including Configuration Drift Management. These comparisons can also be scheduled on a regular basis and emails notification sent should any differences appear. To learn more about configuration search and compare watch this demo.

    Question: How is data comparison done since changes are taking place in a live production system?

    Answer:
    There are many things to keep in mind when using the data comparison feature (as part of the Change Management ability to compare table data). It was primarily intended to be used for maintaining consistency of important but relatively static data. For example, application seed data and application setup configuration. This data does not change often but is critical when testing an application to ensure results are consistent with production. It is not recommended to use data comparison on highly dynamic data like transactional tables or very large tables.

    Question: Which versions of Oracle Database can be monitored through Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?

    Answer:
    Oracle Database versions: 9.2.0.8, 10.1.0.5, 10.2.0.4, 10.2.0.5, 11.1.0.7, 11.2.0.1, 11.2.0.2, 11.2.0.3.


    Watch the On-Demand Webcast


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    Thursday Oct 25, 2012

    WEBCAST: Strategies for Managing the Oracle Database Lifecycle


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

    Join us for a live Webcast and see how Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c makes database lifecycle management easier. You’ll learn how to:

    • Simplify database configurations thanks to extensive automation for discovery and change detection
    • Improve IT service levels with Oracle’s next-generation database patching and provisioning automation
    • Ensure consistency and compliance with comprehensive database change management
    Register today.


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    Tuesday Oct 09, 2012

    Private Cloud: Putting some method behind the madness

    Finally, I decided to join the blogging community. And what could be a better time to start than the week after OpenWorld 2012. 50K+ attendees, demonstrations, speaker sessions and a whole lot of buzz on Oracle Cloud..It was raining clouds in this year's Openworld. I am not here to write about Oracle's cloud strategy in general, but on Enterprise Manager's cloud management capabilities. This year's Openworld was the first after we announced the 12c Cloud Control and we were happy to share the stage with quite a few early adopters. Stay tuned for videos from our customers and partners, I will post them as they get published.

    I met a number of platform administrators in Oracle-DBAs, Middleware Admins, SOA Admins...The cloud has affected them all, at least to the point where it beckoned more than just curiosity..Most IT infrastructure are already heavily virtualized (on VMWare and on others including Oracle VM), and some would claim they are already on “cloud” (at least their Sysadmins told them so). But none of them were confident of the benefits because their pain points continued to grow.. Isn't cloud supposed to ease those? Instead, they were chasing hundreds of databases running on hundreds of VMs, often with as much certainty propounded by Heisenberg. What happened to the age-old IT discipline around administration, compliance, configuration management?

    VMs are great for what they are. I personally think they have opened the doors to new approaches in which an application stack gets provisioned and updated. In fact, Enterprise Manager 12c is possibly the only tool out there that can provision full-fledged application as VM Assemblies. In this year's Openworld, customers talked on how they provisioned RAC and Siebel assemblies, which as the techies out there know, are not trivial (hearing provisioning time for Siebel down from weeks to hours was gratifying indeed). However, I do have an issue with a "one-size fits all" approach to cloud. In a week's span, I met several personas:

    • Project owners requiring an EC2 like VM instance for their projects

    • Admins needing the same for Sparc-Solaris.

    • DBAs requiring dedicated databases for new projects

    • APEX Developers needing just a ready-to-consume schema as a service

    • Java Developers looking for a runtime platform

    • QA engineers needing a fast clone of their production environment

    If you drill down further, you will end up peeling more layers of the details. For example, the requirements for Load testing and Functional testing are very different. For Load testing the test environment should ideally be the same as the production. You shouldn't run production on Exadata and load test on a VM; they will just not be good representations of one another. For Functional testing it does not possibly matter.

    DBAs seem to be at the worst affected of the lot. It seems they have been asked to choose between agile provisioning and  faster runtime performance. And in some cases, it is really a Hobson's choice, because their infrastructure provider made no distinction between the OLTP application and the Virtual desktop! Sad indeed.

    When one looks at the portfolio of services that we already offer (vanilla IaaS, VM Assembly based PaaS, DBaaS) or have announced (Java PaaS, Instant Cloning, Schema-aaS), one can possibly think that we are trying to be the "renaissance man" ! Well I would have possibly digested that had it not been for the various personas that I described above.

    Getting the use cases right is very important for an application such as cloud management. We iterate and iterate over these over and over again and re-validate them in CABs (Customer Advisory Boards). We consider over the major aspects of tenancy: service placement, resource isolation (can a tenant execute an expensive SQL and run away with all the resources), quota and security. We, in Engineering, keep reminding ourselves that we are dealing with enterprise clouds. We owe it to our customer base !

    In the coming posts, I will drill down more into each of the services. In the meanwhile, here are some collateral and  demos for starters with EM 12c.

    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/cloud-mgmt/index.html

    Sudip Datta

    The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

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    Tuesday Oct 02, 2012

    Today at Oracle OpenWorld 2012

    We have another full day of great Oracle OpenWorld keynotes, sessions, demos and customer presentations in the Seen and Be Heard threater. Here's a quick run down of what's happening today with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c:

    Download the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c OpenWorld schedule (PDF)

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c (and Private Cloud)

    General Session

    Time Title Location
    11:45 AM - 12:45 PM General Session: Using Oracle Enterprise Manager to Manage Your Own Private Cloud Moscone South - 103*
    1:15 PM - 2:15 PM General Session: Breakthrough Efficiency in Private Cloud Infrastructure Moscone West - 3014

    Conference Session

    Time Title Location
    10:15 AM - 11:15 AM Oracle Exadata/Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: Journey into Oracle Database Cloud Moscone West - 3018
    10:15 AM - 11:15 AM Bulletproof Your Application Upgrades with Secure Data Masking and Subsetting Moscone West - 3020
    10:15 AM - 11:15 AM Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: Architecture Deep Dive, Tips, and Techniques Moscone South - 303
    11:45 AM - 12:45 PM RDBMS Forensics: Troubleshooting with Active Session History Moscone West - 3018
    11:45 AM - 12:45 PM Building and Operationalizing Your Data Center Environment with Oracle Exalogic Moscone South - 309
    11:45 AM - 12:45 PM Securely Building a National Electronic Health Record: Singapore Case Study Westin San Francisco - Concordia
    1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Managing Heterogeneous Environments with Oracle Enterprise Manager Moscone West - 3018
    1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Complete Oracle WebLogic Server Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Moscone South - 309
    1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Database Lifecycle Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Moscone West - 3020
    1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Best Practices, Key Features, Tips, Techniques for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Upgrade Moscone South - 307
    1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Enterprise Cloud with CSC’s Foundation Services for Oracle and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Moscone South - 236
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Deep Dive 3-D on Oracle Exadata Management: From Discovery to Deployment to Diagnostics Moscone West - 3018
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Everything You Need to Know About Monitoring and Troubleshooting Oracle GoldenGate Moscone West - 3005
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: The Nerve Center of Oracle Cloud Moscone West - 3020
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Advanced Management of Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle Enterprise Manager Moscone West - 2016
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control Performance Pages: Falling in Love Again Moscone West - 3014

    Hands-on Labs

    Time Title Location
    10:15 AM - 12:45 PM Managing the Cloud with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Marriott Marquis - Salon 5/6
    1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Database Performance Tuning Hands-on Lab Marriott Marquis - Salon 5/6

    Scene and Be Heard Theater Session

    Time Title Location
    10:30 AM - 10:50 AM Start Small, Grow Big: Hands-On Oracle Private Cloud—A Step-by-Step Guide Moscone South Exhibition Hall - Booth 2407
    12:30 PM - 12:50 PM Blue Medora’s Oracle Enterprise Manager Plug-in for VMware vSphere Monitoring Moscone South Exhibition Hall - Booth 2407

    Demos

    Demo Location
    Application and Infrastructure Testing Moscone West - W-092
    Automatic Application and SQL Tuning Moscone South, Left - S-042
    Automatic Fault Diagnostics Moscone South, Left - S-036
    Automatic Performance Diagnostics Moscone South, Left - S-033
    Complete Care for Oracle Using My Oracle Support Moscone South, Left - S-031
    Complete Cloud Lifecycle Management Moscone North, Upper Lobby - N-019
    Complete Database Lifecycle Management Moscone South, Left - S-030
    Comprehensive Infrastructure as a Service via Oracle Enterprise Manager Moscone South, Left - S-045
    Data Masking and Data Subsetting Moscone South, Left - S-034
    Database Testing with Oracle Real Application Testing Moscone South, Left - S-041
    Identity Management Monitoring with Oracle Enterprise Manager Moscone South, Right - S-212
    Mission-Critical, SPARC-Powered Infrastructure as a Service Moscone South, Center - S-157
    Oracle E-Business Suite, Siebel, JD Edwards, and PeopleSoft Management Moscone West - W-084
    Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Overview Moscone South, Left - S-039
    Oracle Enterprise Manager: Complete Data Center Management Moscone South, Left - S-040
    Oracle Exadata Management Moscone South, Center -
    Oracle Exalogic Management Moscone South, Center -
    Oracle Fusion Applications Management Moscone West - W-018
    Oracle Real User Experience Insight Moscone South, Right - S-226
    Oracle WebLogic Server Management and Java Diagnostics Moscone South, Right - S-206
    Platform as a Service Using Oracle Enterprise Manager Moscone North, Upper Lobby - N-020
    SOA Management Moscone South, Right - S-225
    Self-Service Application Testing on Private and Public Clouds Moscone West - W-110

    Oracle OpenWorld Music Festival
    New this year is Oracle’s first annual Oracle OpenWorld Musical Festival, featuring some of today's breakthrough musicians from around the country and the world. It's five nights of back-to-back performances in the heart of San Francisco—free to registered attendees.
    See the lineup

    Not Heading to OpenWorldWatch it Live!


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    Thursday Sep 20, 2012

    OpenWorld 2012—Is Almost Here!

    With OpenWorld fast approaching, I thought I would take this opportunity to look at some of the “must see” database manageability activities and sessions happening this year. Here's a quick run down:

    Oracle Database Manageability:
    Download all the details for sessions, hands-on-labs, and demos (PDF)

    Keynotes:
    Sunday, September 30
    Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together: Why It’s A Different Approach
    Larry Ellison, CEO, Oracle

    Monday, October 1
    Shift Complexity
    Hosted by Mark Hurd, President, Oracle
    Andrew Mendelsohn, Senior Vice President, Database Server Technologies, Oracle

    IOUG SIG Sunday:
    Database Performance Tuning: Getting the Best out of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c
    (session ID# CON6511)

    Oracle DEMOgrounds:
    Floor plan – Moscone South

    • Automatic Application and SQL Tuning
    • Automatic Performance Diagnostics
    • Complete Database Lifecycle Management
    • Data Masking and Data Subsetting
    • Database Testing with Oracle Real Application Testing
    • Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Overview
    • Oracle Exadata Management

    Hands-on-Labs:
    Database Performance Testing, Data Masking, and Subsetting
    (session ID# HOL10720)

    Database Performance Tuning Hands-on Lab
    (session ID# HOL10393)

    Sessions:
    What’s Next for Oracle Database?
    (session ID# GEN8259)

    Building and Managing a Private Oracle Database Cloud
    (session ID# GEN11421)

    Using Oracle Enterprise Manager to Manage Your Own Private Cloud
    (session ID# GEN11423)

    Extreme Database Management with the Latest Generation of Database Technology
    (session ID# CON9547)

    Oracle OpenWorld Music Festival
    New this year is Oracle’s first annual Oracle OpenWorld Musical Festival, featuring some of today's breakthrough musicians from around the country and the world. It's five nights of back-to-back performances in the heart of San Francisco—free to registered attendees.
    See the lineup

    Not Heading to OpenWorldWatch it Live!


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    Monday Jul 30, 2012

    On-Demand Webcast: Managing Oracle Exadata's Lifecycle—Now Available

    Learn from our product experts how to manage Oracle Exadata's lifecycle for extreme performance. This on-demand webcast covers:

    • Oracle Exadata discovery
    • Monitoring and managing Oracle Exadata's components
    • Deploying applications on Oracle Exadata
    • Performance diagnostics and tuning
    • Change management
    Register today.


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    Tuesday Jul 24, 2012

    WEBCAST: Managing Oracle Exadata's Lifecycle for Extreme Performance

    Thursday July 26
    10:00 a.m. PST / 1:00 p.m. EST

    Register Now!

    Watch this live webcast and discover how Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c's unique management capabilities allow you to efficiently manage all stages of Oracle Exadata's lifecycle, from testing applications on Exadata to deployment. You'll learn how to:

    • Maximize and predict performance
    • Drive down IT operational costs through automation
    • Ensure service quality with proactive management
    Register today and unlock the potential of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c for your enterprise.


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    Thursday Jul 19, 2012

    Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c July Newsletter is Out!

    Each month the Enterprise Manager team puts together a full line-up of great articles, content and technical product information around a particular theme. This month is no different. In July, we’re focusing on lifecycle management and all the things you need to know about this important topic. Read the July newsletter to get the latest articles and content on lifecycle management. Read it now!

    The July edition covers:
    • Achieving Extreme Performance Across Oracle Exadata's Lifecycle

    • Top 5 Database Compliance Risks—and How to Avoid Them
    • Know the Best Tools to Provision and Patch Oracle Database 11g
    • and much more...

    So stay tuned as we bring you more feature articles, and more webcasts throughout the month.

    Enjoy!

    Subscribe here to receive the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Newsletter.


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    Monday May 21, 2012

    Benefits of using Ops Center to deploy and manage Solaris 11

    One of the more significant new features in Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c is the ability to install Ops Center on Oracle Solaris 11, and to deploy and manage systems running Solaris 11.  The Solaris 11 capabilities are in addition to the analogous features for Solaris 10 and Linux, which can all be handled from the same Ops Center infrastructure.

    When the Ops Center Enterprise Controller (EC) is installed on a system running Solaris 11, the EC can create a Solaris 11 Software Update Library containing Oracle Solaris Image Packaging System (IPS) content that is synchronized with the main Oracle repository at pkg.oracle.com. The Ops Center managed Solaris 11 repository becomes the package (pkg) publisher for downstream Solaris 11 deployments and updates on all Solaris 11 systems being managed by Ops Center.

    Ops Center provides the ability to define Solaris 11 OS and Software Profiles comprised of Oracle Solaris 11 packages, user-supplied custom packages, scripts, and other files.  Such Software Profiles profiles can then be used to install and update software on systems already running Solaris 11 in a structured and consistent way.  Ops Center not only caches the main Oracle Solaris IPS repository, but more importantly it gives admins the ability to define their own preferred collection of packages so that systems can easily be kept in sync with each other, running a well-defined, life-cycle-managed Standard Operating Environment (SOE), instead of just whatever the latest content is at pkg.oracle.com.

    Ops Center 12c also adds Solaris 11 features for bare-metal OS Provisioning, based on the Solaris 11 Auto Install (AI) facility.  Ops Center configures the Solaris 11 AI in a way that shields admins from needing to write custom AI manifests or custom "first boot" packages.  Solaris 11 deployments using Ops Center follow similar profile-based patterns as for Solaris 10 or Linux, all of which can all be deployed from the same Ops Center infrastructure running on Solaris 11.  The gory details of all these different times of bare-metal OS Provisioning are handled automatically for the user so that he or she does not need to put time and resources into manually creating and maintaining infrastructure for deploying different OS's natively -- Solaris 11 with AI, Solaris 10 JumpStart with JET, or Linux with Kickstart or AutoYast.  All of those OS's are handled by Ops Center under the covers, based on whatever network boot capability the OS requires (PXE/DHCP, WANBOOT, or AI), and all from the same Ops Center infrastructure running on Solaris 11.

    Specific to Solaris 11 OS Provisioning (via AI), Ops Center provides its own "first-boot" package+scripts to customize the Solaris 11 deployment, and in particular this approach automatically installs the Ops Center agent.  With the Ops Center Agent in place right from the start, it is easy to handle post-install steps using the Ops Center features for handling Solaris 11 OS and Software Profiles containing additional packages, scripts, and content from the Solaris 11 Software Library, described above.

    Tying bare-metal Solaris 11 deployment and post-install customization together is a key way that Ops Center simplifies the overall life-cycle management for Solaris 11 (in addition to Solaris 10 and Linux).   For example, a top-level plan based on "Configure and Install Logical Domains" can create numerous Logical Domains into an Oracle VM Server for SPARC "Server Pool" and provision Solaris 11 into each LDom Guest based on a powerful multi-step "Install Server" plan.  Such a plan can cover the end-to-end steps for installing and updating the OS, running scripts and adjusting monitoring parameters, etc.

    Here is an example of the kinds of activities that can be performed in conjunction an OS Deployment, or separately, depending on the need:

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c Deployment Plan

    NOTE: In the above example, the last step "Create Guests" can be used to create one or more Solaris Containers within the LDom Guest, rounding out the end-to-end deployment all the way from LDom Guest to Solaris 11 Global Zone to multiple Solaris Containers, if so desired.

    One of the nicest aspect of deploying and managing Solaris 11 using Ops Center Plans and Profiles is that the same content can be applied as updates to existing Solaris 11 systems, aligned to the same content as chained off a bare-metal OS Provisioning.  It is up to the user which steps they want to include in a deployment plan -- whether they are updating Software Profiles on systems deployed 6 months ago to match the latest standard, or they are deploying new systems based on that same standard, Ops Center provides the means to insure that the outcome is consistent.

    Here is an example of the kinds of activities that can be performed on an existing Solaris 11 OS -- either ad hoc, or immediately after a Solaris 11 OS Provisioning step, so that whether the life-cycle started with a new system, or the intent is to update a system deployed six months ago, the outcome can be the same:

    S11 Update Multi-Step Plan

    In short, Ops Center running on Solaris 11 can manage Solaris 10 and Linux systems, all from a common infrastructure, and all based on a simplified, consistent, profile- and plan-based way to do the OS and Software deployments and updates.  The net effect is an easy to use way to managing the life-cycle of heterogeneous systems, in a very consistent way through automation and re-use.

    Please let us know what you think?  Until next time...
    \Leon
    --

    Leon Shaner | Senior IT/Product Architect
    Systems Management | Ops Center Engineering @ Oracle

    The views expressed on this [blog; Web site] are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.



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    Monday May 14, 2012

    Forrester Consulting: Oracle Real Application Testing Delivers 224% ROI

    Leading analyst firm, Forrester Consulting has recently published a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) Study for Oracle Real Application Testing, an Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition option. In the study Forrester Consulting found that Oracle Real Application Testing delivered a very favorable 224% return on investment (ROI), based on a three year risk-adjusted period with a payback of 5.9 months.

    Forrester Consulting's TEI results were calculated from in-depth interviews with Oracle customers and applied to a hypothetical organization developed within their TEI financial model. The study measured both the benefits and cost savings in areas around planned and unplanned maintenance, infrastructure upgrades and database performance management. The study also looked at the benefits of Oracle Real Application Testing to enhance business system uptime as well as reducing capital expenditure.

    The study concluded that organizations similar to those interviewed could achieve the following benefits and cost savings (all figures are risk-adjusted, over three years):

    • 224% ROI with a payback period of 5.9 months
    • $5.9 Million in total benefits from increased business productivity and database availability


    Total Benefits of Oracle Real Application Testing Over a Three Year Risk-Adjusted Period

    Oracle Real Application Testing along with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c continues to provide industry leading database management solutions that help customers reduce testing efforts and related costs while eliminating the risks associated with change.

    More Information


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    Thursday May 03, 2012

    ON-DEMAND WEBCAST: Oracle Database Lifecycle Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Now Available

    If you missed the original live webcast, Oracle Database Lifecycle Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, the on-demand replay is now available, topics include:

    • IT asset discovery and inventory tracking
    • Database provisioning and end-to-end patch management
    • Ongoing change management including database schema changes
    • Configuration management for controlling configuration drift
    • Compliance management with out-of-box frameworks and policies for regulatory reporting
    • Site level disaster protection with built-in automation
    Watch Now!


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    Monday Apr 30, 2012

    WEBCAST: Oracle Database Lifecycle Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

    Wednesday May 2
    8:00 a.m. Pacific / 11:00 a.m.

    Register Now!

    Join us for this webcast and learn how Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database Lifecycle Management Pack delivers a comprehensive solution that helps database, system and application administrators automate the processes required for managing the complete Oracle Database lifecycle. Discover how Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c's unique management capabilities allow you to efficiently manage all stages of the lifecycle including:

    • IT asset discovery and inventory tracking
    • Database provisioning and end-to-end patch management
    • Ongoing change management including database schema changes
    • Configuration management for controlling configuration drift
    • Compliance management for reporting industry and regulatory compliance
    • Site level disaster protection with built-in automation

    Register today and unlock the potential of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c for your enterprise.


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    Wednesday Apr 18, 2012

    Oracle Application Testing Suite 12.1 debuts at StarEast conference

    Join Oracle for an exclusive sneak peek at Oracle Application Testing Suite 12.1, the industry’s most advanced application testing solution for Web, SOA, and Oracle Applications at the StarEast 2012 Conference in Orlando Florida this week.

    New in this release, intended for general availability later this month, is a test accelerator for Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne – providing customers easier and more efficient testing of their JD Edwards EnterpriseOne implementations. 

    Also:

    • Deeper integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager‘s middleware and database diagnostics features, providing improved testing efficiency and productivity by enabling testers to detect performance bottlenecks faster and with less effort.
    • Oracle Application Testing Suite 12.1 provides JUnit execution right from Oracle Test Manager making Oracle Application Testing Suite 12.1 the single console to manage, plan and execute test cases.

    A key component of Oracle Enterprise Manager’s suite of Application Quality Management products, Oracle Application Testing Suite provides an integrated solution for load testing, functional testing and test process management, enabling customers to thoroughly test applications and their underlying infrastructure to help ensure the best quality, scalability and availability prior to deployment. 

    Senior Director of Product Management for our Application Quality Management product, Mughees Minhas, was interviewed by Better Software Testing Magazine about his vision on the rise of the cloud, market consolidation and risk management. You'll find his interview in the online version of the magazine

    If you're at StarEast, come visit our booth 35/36 to get a sneak peek at Oracle Application Testing Suite 12.1 
    However, if you're not able to make it, which will be the majority of our readers, you could register for the free webcast that we're running together with StickyMinds.com on May 1st , 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET : Oracle’s Approach to Application and Infrastructure Testing: Strategies and Best Practices

    Happy testing. 

    Thursday Mar 01, 2012

    Sushil Kumar, VP,Product Strategy and Business development,Oracle shares highlights of new Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c update

    Yesterday ( Feb. 29, 2012), Oracle announced the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Bundle patch 1 and 12.1.0.2 Plug-in updates. The new "Bundle Patch" contains numerous bug fixes, performance improvements and new features to improve Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c customer experience . 

    Sushil Kumar, VP, Product Strategy and Business development, Oracle Enterprise Manager, shared the highlights of the new "Bundle Patch" with me earlier today. In this blog, I captured my discussion with Sushil.

    The new “Bundle Patch” is a pretty significant update to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c bits released at Oracle Open World in October, 2012. It contains over 3000 bug fixes and includes some brand new functionality such as Weblogic and Fusion Apps Patching, Exadata out of place patching, etc. We recommend customers, who are considering to go live with EM 12c in production in the next few months, to pick up this mandatory update. 


    Even though we are calling this update a "Bundle Patch", an updated Enterprise Manager Base Platform Full Installer is made available for download on Oracle Technology Network (OTN).  Any customer who downloads the 12c bit as of February 29, 2012, will automatically get these updates as a part of the base install. In another words, if you download the EM 12c product by clicking on “for Linux x86 (64 bit) (With Bundle Patch)” link from the OTN Download center (see the screen shot below) and do a fresh install, you will have all the updates required and no additional patches need to be applied to get these updates. 


    The revised installation media is only available for Linux right now. The updated installer will be released on other operating systems in the coming weeks/months.

    If you have not already discovered a large number of targets, defined admin groups and monitoring templates or defined compliance policies and rules, etc. with previously released Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c bit, then a fresh install with the updated installer is the way to go. The option of “patching” a site running on previously released EM bits exists , but, it may be worth the pain only if you have already put in a lot of time and effort setting up your EM 12c environment based on the previously released bits.

    We are working closely with the early adopter customers of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to make sure that they can update in a smoothest possible manner. If you were not part of the EM 12c early adopter program, please work with your Oracle support .


    The other exciting announcement with the release of EM 12c iPhone app that Scott blogged about yesterday. This is in response to the strong customer demand to make EM accessible from mobile devices. The new app primarily exposes the incident management functionality but we will add more features to it moving forward.


    Finally, we want to highlight that the only supported version of Oracle BI Publisher with EM 12c is 11.1.1.5 and it is linked from the EM 12c download page.  Please do not use the latest version 11.1.1.6 of BI publisher with EM 12c since that may render your environment unusable. We do have plans to support 11.1.1.6 in the near future, but, as of now, please download the BI publisher version that is linked off the EM 12c download page on OTN.

    Please share your feedback by providing your comments on this blog, using #em12c tag on twitter and other social media channel following the links below.


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    Wednesday Feb 29, 2012

    Manage Oracle on the Go! Get the New Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Mobile App for iPhone

    Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Mobile App for incident management with service request integration is now available for the Apple iPhone. With this release Oracle now offers the ability to track, monitor, and manage incidents directly from your smart phone. IT managers and administrators using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can view incident and problem details directly in the app, as well as acknowledge, assign, prioritize, escalate and annotate incidents. The app provides seamless connectivity to My Oracle Support allowing users to drill-down into any service request associated with a problem. In addition, the flexible setup screen enables users to connect to multiple Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c environments from within a single pane.

    Manage incidents directly from your iPhone
    View and track system issues
    Provide quick status updates


    Download the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Mobile app


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    CASE STUDY: Vodafone Embraces Proactive Database Management to Ensure Reliable Mobile Communications for 391 Million Customers

    Check out the latest customer case study for Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies. Learn how Vodafone overcame the challenge of managing 3,650 databases across its global businesses by embracing proactive database management with integrated support. The end result; response times to issues improved by 50%, leading to highly available and more reliable mobile communications for Vodafone's customers. Read the case study.


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    Tuesday Feb 28, 2012

    Cerner Delivers Proactive Database-as-a-Service

    Watch and learn how Cerner, one of the leading healthcare technology solution providers, efficiently manages hundreds of databases for its clients using Oracle Enterprise Manager and Database-as-a-Service.

    More information
    To learn more about Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database Management solution, please visit:

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    Monday Feb 27, 2012

    Why Database as a Service: Think Scalability and Agility

    For those interested in delivering Database as a Service (DBaaS) for your IT, or just looking for more insight into this powerful capability—check out the latest Oracle Enterprise 12c InDepth Newsletter. This edition features a great article on why you should consider DBaaS in your IT strategy. Here's a hint, think scalability and agility!

    Subscribe here to get the latest issue delivered to your mailbox.


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    Thursday Feb 23, 2012

    Q&A: Leng Tan, VP of Development, Discusses the New Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Solution

    In this month's Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c InDepth Newsletter, Leng Tan, VP of Development for Database Manageability, discusses some of the issues facing IT today. In the interview, Leng talks about the ways administrators can address and overcome these challenges using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database Lifecycle Management solution. Be sure to read the article to learn more!

    To get the latest issue of the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c InDepth Newsletter, subscribe here.

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    Wednesday Feb 22, 2012

    Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Newsletter: February 2012 Edition Now Available

    Get the latest issue of the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Indepth Newsletter. Read it Now!

    The February edition covers:

    • Oracle Database Lifecycle Management
    • Enterprise Management Online Forum
    • Database as a Service
    • and much more...

    Enjoy!

    Subscribe here to receive the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12cNewsletter.

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