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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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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