Tuesday Aug 06, 2013

Secure, Subset and Self-Service Database provisioning in Cloud


One-step inline data masking and data subsetting is a very innovative solution in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c that enables enterprises to provision secure and reduced size test systems directly from the production or standby database without the need for a full production database copy. So you are able to create reduced size copies of production database keeping the referential integrity of data set intact saving on storage costs and more importantly also ensure your sensitive database never creeps into any of your development or test systems in compliance with data privacy policies.

With Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 customers have now started adopting this one-step on-the-fly masking and subsetting solution along with Database-as-a-Service(DBaaS) self-service provisioning capabilities and the outcome is one of the most comprehensive and unique solution to realize self-service provisioning of secured, subset copies of production like databases for all of testing and development needs in a private cloud model.




In this blog post I will walk through the steps required to achieve this comprehensive solution for test and development systems provisioning in enterprise private cloud.


1) Prepare source database

One of the ideal option in case customer has physical standby is to convert physical standby into a snapshot standby for one-step data subsetting and masking operation. A snapshot standby receives and archives but does not apply redo from primary until converted back to physical standby. So once you have created subsetted and secure dump from snapshot standby you can convert snapshot standby back to physical standby using Oracle Enterprise Manager. Refer to Oracle Data Guard guide for considerations in using snapshot standby.  In-line data subsetting and masking can also be performed on production database in case there is no physical standby.

2) Perform Inline data subsetting and masking workflow

Here are the steps :

a) Create Application Data Model(ADM)
ADM is a knowledge base entity in Oracle Enterprise Manager that captures application metadata, referential relationships, sensitive columns and is used by both test data management and data masking. There are pre-defined drivers to capture data relationships from application metadata tables for Oracle Applications such as Fusion Apps and eBusiness Suite. Security Administrator requires EM_ALL_OPERATOR privilege to create ADM and Data Masking and Subsetting definition.

b) Create Masking and Subsetting definition

As a best practice, Security Administrator can create masking formats for all regulated information in the enterprise. There are out-of-box Oracle supplied default masking formats also that can be used from format library. Next step is to create masking definition that includes information regarding table columns and the format for each column. You can choose which columns to mask. Data Masking workflow can be referred here.
Next step is to create Data subset definition and use the same ADM and database used in creating the masking definition. In this step you can define the table rules,rule parameters, include 'Ancestor and Descendant tables' or 'Ancestor tables only' option this ensuring referential integrity is maintained. At this step Space estimates can also be reviewed and depending on the result, you can modify or add new rules and review back on space estimates value. Pre/Post subset scripts can also be included in definition.

c) Generate subset using export option

Using the definition subset can be created by writing the subset data to export file. Specify directory where to save the export dump and schedule the subset job. Once the job is complete, the subset Data pump file of production data with sensitive data masked is ready. The overall flow is described here
Some key tips -
- Parallel degree can be used for faster export. Start with twice the number of CPUs and tune from there
- %U and max file size parameter can be used to ensure optimum use of parallelism
- Rule parameter in where clause can be used for actual subset generation with different values
- Column rules can be used to set large-sized columns to null or fix value to reduce database size further

3) Prepare secure test/reference database

Once the Data pump export file is generated it can be imported in a test/staging database . For details refer here.This test database can be used as a reference for all development and testing copies and hosted in Self-Service portal for end users to request from service catalog.

4) Self-Service Portal Setup

Following two options are available to cloud-enable this secure reference database for self-service provisioning of future copies of this database via Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) solution :

a) Snap Clone option that leverages storage level copy-on-write technologies for cloning and is suited best for functional testing requirements and for short lived databases.With this option you can clone terabytes of data in few minutes and storage saving is enormous with this option. you need to review the supported storage options for this method. As of time of writing the post Netapp and ZFS is supported though there are plans to support more storage options in near future.

b)  RMAN based cloning from backup is one of the favorite option for DBAs. The restore process is completely automated with EM 12c DBaaS and this option is best suited for performance and load testing, development requirements and for databases used for significant updates.
Once you decide on the option, steps to follow are documented in one of my recent blog post around Planning Database as a Service Implementation Project

Refer to Private Cloud Setup and Administration guide here for details on DBaaS Setup and Snap Clone, RMAN Profile options. The secure database prepared in previous step will be used as reference target by SSA Administrator while creating database provisioning profile using RMAN backup or Snapshot option. Please also ensure you have reviewed this MOS Note for DBaaS related patches -
"Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Recommended Plug-Ins and Patches for Database as a Service (DBaaS) (Doc ID 1549855.1)"




5) Self-Service database provisioning in Cloud

End users can now request for secure subset copies of production database via Self-service portal for all kind of functional QA, load and performance testing, development requirements. All the databases provisioned from this approach are also enabled by default with EM 12c powered monitoring and diagnostics, lifecycle and cloud management capabilities.




Solution References

1) Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Packs
Oracle Test Data Management Pack
Oracle Data Masking Pack
Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack
Oracle Database Cloud Management Pack

2) Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Platform and Plug-ins
Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3 Base Platform (12.1.0.3)
Enterprise Manager for Oracle Database (DB) plug-in 12.1.0.4
Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization (VT) plug-in 12.1.0.5
Enterprise Manager Storage Management Framework (SMF) plug-in 12.1.0.2
Enterprise Manager for Oracle Cloud (SSA) plug-in 12.1.0.6


Additional information

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Thursday Jun 06, 2013

The Enterprise Manager: Episode 9 - Java Platform as a Service

Empty VM containers are not good enough for java developers since they will need to install and manage software and Java before they can use it. Our intrepid hero Ed Muntz explains how Oracle Enterprise Manager enables complete Java Platform as a Service via self-service cloud portal.

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Tuesday May 28, 2013

IOUG Webcast - Upgrading to Enterprise Manager 12c: Best Practices and Real World Lessons

Upgrading to Enterprise Manager 12c: Best Practices and Real World Lessons
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CST

Join the IOUG webcast to learn how CernerWorks, the remote hosting division of Cerner, a global health IT company, upgraded their Oracle Enterprise Manager system from 11g to 12c.

In this webcast , Aaron Rimel from Cerner and Akanksha Sheoran from Oracle will discuss available upgrade paths and why Cerner chose what the upgrade path they followed.

With thousands of managed databases in Cerner's IT environment, high availability, ease of upgrade and minimal downtime were key requirements for the upgrade process. You will learn how all of these requirements were met with proper planning and out-of-the-box features included with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. 

Register here

You can also join us during the webcast and ask questions virtually via twitter using hash tag #em12c on twitter.com or by going to tweetchat.com/room/em12c .

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Thursday Feb 28, 2013

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) now available on OTN

Contributed by Martin Pena, Director, Product Management, Oracle Enterprise Manager

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 (12.1.0.2) software binaries, updated with the new plug-ins and updated plug-in versions, are now available for download from Oracle Technology Network (OTN). Note that this is not a patch or patch set release; the new and updated plug-ins have simply been integrated with the binaries to make it easier for users to deploy the plug-ins as part of installing or upgrading Cloud Control. The management agent software binaries have not been changed.


+  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, 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)

How  to access  Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) :

Follow the option that is relevant for your installation to deploy the latest plug-in releases and updates into your environment:

+  If you have not yet installed Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c, download the Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Update 1 (12.1.0.2) binaries from Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and install the new version. The plug-ins will be deployed as part of the installation process.

+  If you already have Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.1) installed [with or without Bundle Patch 1], download Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 (12.1.0.2) from Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and upgrade to the new version. The plug-ins will be deployed as part of the upgrade process.

+  If you have already installed or upgraded to 12c Release 2 (12.1.0.2), you do not need to download the binaries from from Oracle Technology Network (OTN), but can instead deploy the new and updated plug-in versions using Cloud Control's Self Update feature. To deploy all of the plug-ins in simultaneously, use the deploy_plugin_on_server emcli command as shown below:

           emcli deploy_plugin_on_server -plugin="plug-in_id[:version][;plug-in_id[:version]]" [-sys_password=sys_password] [-prereq_check]

For example:

           emcli deploy_plugin_on_server -plugin="oracle.sysman.vt;oracle.sysman.ssa;oracle.sysman.db"

For more information, refer to the Plug-in Manager chapter in the Enterprise Manager Administrator's Guide, available here:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/doc.121/e24473/plugin_mngr.htm

To review more install/upgrade usecases and the FAQ, please refer to the Getting Started chapter in the Basic Installation Guide, available here:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/install.121/e22624/getting_started_overview.htm

Join live webcast "Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 2 Plug-In Update 1 Installation and Upgrade Overview" learn more and ask questions on Friday, March 01 - 9:00 AM PT

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Friday Jun 22, 2012

General Availability of Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-in 12.1.0.1.0

We are pleased to announce the General Availability of Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-in 12.1.0.1.0, an integral part of Application Management Suite for Oracle E-Business Suite.

The combination of Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control and the Application Management Suite combines functionality that was available in the standalone Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite and Application Change Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle’s Real User Experience Insight product and the Configuration & Compliance capabilities to provide the most complete solution for managing Oracle E-Business Suite applications.

The features that were available in the standalone management packs are now packaged into the Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-in, which is now fully certified with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control. This latest plug-in extends Cloud Control with E-Business Suite specific system management capabilities and features enhanced change management support.

This new release offers the following key enhancements:

General:

  • Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Base Platform uptake: All components of the management suite are certified with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control.

Security:

  • Privilege Delegation: The Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-in now extends Enterprise Manager’s privilege delegation through Sudo and PowerBroker to Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-in host targets. 
  • Privileges and Roles for Managing Oracle E-Business Suite: This release includes new ready-to-use target and resource privileges to monitor, manage, and perform Change Management functionality. 
Cloning:

  • Named Credentials Uptake in Cloning: The Clone module transactions now let users leverage the Named Credential feature introduced in Enterprise Manager 12c, thereby passing all the benefits of Named Credentials features in Enterprise Manager to the Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-in users. 
  • Smart Clone improvements: The new and improved Smart Clone UI supports the adding of "pre and post" custom steps to a copy of the ready-to-use cloning deployment procedure. Now a user can pass parameters to the custom steps through the interview screen of the UI as well as pass ready-to-use parameters to the custom steps. 
Change Management Enhancements

  • Application Management Suite for Oracle E-Business Suite provides a centralized view to monitor and orchestrate changes (both functional and technical) across multiple Oracle E-Business Suite systems. In this latest release, it provides even more control and flexibility in managing Oracle E-Business Suite changes.

Customization Manager:

  • Support for longer file names: Customization Manager now handles file names up to thirty characters in length. 
Patch Manager:

  • Queuing of Patch Manager Runs: This feature allows patch runs to queue up if Patch Manager detects a specific target is in a blackout state. 
  • Multi-node system patching: The patch run interview has been enhanced to allow Enterprise Manager Administrator to choose which nodes adpatch will run on. 
  • New AD Administration Options: The patch run interview has been extended to include AD Administration Options "Relink Application Programs", "Generate Product Jars Files", "Generate Report Files", and "Generate Form Files". 
Release Technical Details

  • Product documentation for the plug-in is available on My Oracle Support as note 1434392.1
  • The Oracle E-Business Suite Plug-in can be accessed in one of the following ways: 
  • Please refer to the Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite Guide for further details. 

Related Software Component

  • Oracle Real User Experience Insight 12.1.0.0.1 
    • Product documentation is available on Oracle Technology Network in the "Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 1 (12.1) Documentation" set under the "Associated Document" tab. (http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E26370_01/index.htm
    • Product may be downloaded individually from Oracle Technology Network software download page for Oracle Enterprise Manager under "Additional Enterprise Manager Downloads." (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/grid-control/downloads/index.html
    • Product may also be downloaded individually from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud. Select "Oracle Enterprise Manager" product pack, "Oracle Real User Experience Insight 12c Release 1 Media Pack for x8 
Collateral

Can be accessed on the Application Management Page on Oracle Technology Network

Monday Apr 09, 2012

New Database assemblies are available now to simplify cloud deployment via Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Self-Update

Deploying application in the cloud is a huge challenge.  Typically customers either deploy various components of the application individually and then manually wire them together.  Some vendors even allow you to deploy a bunch of VMs together but you still have the hard and painful job of connecting the dots. The problem gets even worse if you start to think other deployment constraints – such as which components should be co-located and which not, what should be the network topology of the application (i.e. database and middleware should be in different network segments), which components can scale out and if so how should the scale out happen.

Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder (OVAB) and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c address this challenge. Using OVAB, application developers and architects  can model the application topology graphically, define all dependencies and deployment constraints, and package the entire application in form of what we call an application assembly. These assembly can then be uploaded to the centralized software library in Enterprise Manager for self-service deployments.


At the launch of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c last year, we talked about Oracle's plan to offer assemblies for all our products which will allow you to deploy any of our products – including packaged applications – by click of a button. Enterprise Manager has a live link back to Oracle which will notify you of the availability of new assemblies and download them if you are interested.


Last week, we made new Database assemblies available via Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Self-Update. The release of assemblies will help customers deploy the cloud solution more easily on Oracle VM platform. Customers can create a zone of Oracle VM 3.x servers and deploy these assemblies from the Enterprise Manager 12c Self-Service interface. Following screenshot shows how they look like in the self-update interface of the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

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Tuesday Feb 07, 2012

Delivering Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

In the 2011 IOUG Survey on Cloud Computing , 37% of respondents said they have a private cloud computing effort underway within their enterprises, up 29% from a similar survey conducted in August 2010. As you can see from this growing trend in the chart below, a significant number of companies are now considering deploying either private or public clouds, with many leaning towards the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model.


The Oracle PaaS includes Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) as one of its foundations. Based on Oracle Database 11g and Oracle Exadata Database Machine, the Oracle DBaaS model is a highly elastic and scalable platform that can deliver database applications and services in a public or private cloud environment.

One of the reasons why DBaaS works so well and why so many IT organizations are finding it very cost effective is manageability. With the recent release of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle now delivers deep management and automation capabilities that span the entire Database cloud lifecycle—from configuration and change management to performance diagnostics and tuning. It lets administrators identify and consolidate pooled resources, setup role-based access, define the service catalog, and related chargeback plans for compliance and reporting purposes.

For example, when the demand for services peak, say during a quarter end closing, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c allows administrators to scale-up their databases, in some case, in as little as 20 minutes, and subsequently scale-down when workloads change. Finally, the solution lets IT management establish accountability for DBaaS consumers to help them understand the costs of services.

In a recent podcast, “Database-as-a-Service using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c”, I talked with Sudip Datta, Senior Director, Oracle Enterprise Manager Product Management, about the paradigm shift for deploying database applications and services to the cloud through DBaaS. Listen to the podcast by clicking the image below.

To learn more about Database-as-a-Service, I recommend you read the technical whitepaper Database-as-a-Service using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cookbook, which outlines how to setup DBaaS for your organization.

For more advanced documentation, be sure to read Part III of the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Administration Guide that focuses on the Database-as-a-Service.

For more information, please go to Oracle Enterprise Manager  web page or  follow us at : 

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