Wednesday Jul 30, 2014

Reducing Downtime While Patching Multi-OMS Environments

Enterprise Manager 12.1.0.4 has now been released for a few weeks, as well as the 12.1.0.4 OMS Bundle patches (also known as System patches). If you plan to apply these bundle patches to your 12.1.0.4 OMS, and you are concerned about the downtime, then, you can reduce the downtime by referring to this whitepaper that contains patching instructions to reduce downtime. 


This whitepaper covers various Enterprise Manager High Availability (EM HA)  usecases (level 1, 2, 3, 4), and contains instructions on how to reduce downtime while applying patches to each of these usecases. It also clearly defines the steps that require downtime and those that do not.

If you have a multi-OMS setup, you can also refer to this whitepaper which covers script creation using the opatchauto command, which automates the substeps and further reduces downtime.During our internal testing of this whitepaper on an EM HA setup, we have noticed a significant reduction in downtime. 

If your customer plans to do an Enterprise Manager Upgrade to 12.1.0.4, then as a post upgrade recommendation, they should patch their OMS with the latest bundle patches by following the instructions outlined in this whitepaper.

White paper on OTN:
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/install-upgrade/reducedowntime-patchmultioms-2251257.pdf

MOS note for the latest Bundle Patches:
Enterprise Manager 12.1.0.4.0 (PS3) Master Bundle Patch List (Doc ID 1900943.1)

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Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

EM12c Release 4: Upgrading Agents with Ease

Now that Enterprise Manager 12cR4 has been out for a little while, more people are getting around to upgrading their agents.  Since the monthly Patch bundles were released we already have a few Agent side patches that we want to apply to our newly upgraded agents.  I’ve written about simplifying your agent patching before, but this feature still seems to fly under the radar.  It’s days like these that I miss running a massive Enterprise Manager with thousands of databases, because this is one of the things that would have made me dance in my cubicle.

Let's say, you have 100 12.1.0.3.0 agents (50 with Database plug-in, 50 with Middleware plug-in).  In my previous blog on EM patches, I explained the different types of patches available for EM, so I’m not going to go into detail here.   What I'm going to illustrate is how we can upgrade those 100 agents, and patch them with the following patches in one step (current as of today):

[Read More]

Tuesday Sep 17, 2013

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Upgrade sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2013

This year @ Oracle OpenWorld 2013 we have customers Wells Fargo and Colorcon sharing their success stories and real-life lessons about upgrading to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12.1.0.x. then come join us for the below session: 

https://oracleus.activeevents.com/2013/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=9588&tclass

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Thursday Aug 22, 2013

Reduce Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Patch Set Upgrade Downtime

As Product Manager for Oracle Enterprise Manager, one question that is often being asked to me is how much is the upgrade downtime and how it can be reduced? 

One easy way to reduce the downtime while doing patch set upgrades is to perform Software only upgrade and then shutdown the existing OMS for the upgrade. This approach will not completely eliminate the downtime but reduce it to a great extent. 

When I mention patch set upgrade, we cover following upgrade paths:

a) 12.1.0.1 (with Bundle Patches 1) to 12.1.0.2/ 12.1.0.3

b) 12.1.0.2 to 12.1.0.3

Following table compares the steps required for regular installation (OUI) and software only installation.


 As you may notices from the steps listed above, regular OUI upgrade requires stopping OMS before invoking runInstaller and keeping it down until the upgrade is complete. On the other hand Software only upgrade first copies the bits and sets up the environment before stopping OMS, thus reducing the upgrade downtime.

Next comes Agent upgrade. While we recommend Agent Upgrade Console (AUC) to upgrade agents from 12.1.0.1 (with bundle patch1) /12.0.1.02 to 12.0.1.3, sometimes it’s not clear what happens during the Agent upgrade and when is the actual downtime . So here are high level steps describing the complete process: 


The actual downtime while doing the agent upgrade is on step9 where we shut down your old agent. When the agent is in blackout from step 1 to 8 it still collect’s all the monitoring data so there is no loss. 

More Information: It is recommended to go through the below checklist notes before starting your upgrade 

MOS note 1568143.1 - EM 12c R3: Checklist for Upgrading Enterprise Manager Cloud Control from Version 12.1.0.x to 12.1.0.3

MOS Note  1569883.1 EM 12c R3: Checklist for Upgrading Management Agents Version 12.1.0.x to 12.1.0.3

Collateral :

 EM 12.1.0.3 Install and Upgrade collateral page(PPT,Recorded demo,Whitepapers) on OTN:http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/install-upgrade/index.html

Understanding Enterprise Manager 12.1.0.3 Upgrade and Agent Upgrades
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/install-upgrade/em-12103-upgrade-1967205.pdf

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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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Tuesday Nov 20, 2012

Upgrading to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2: Top Tips One Must Know

Recently Oracle announced incremental release of Enterprise Manager 12c called Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2 (EM12c R2) which includes several new exciting features (Press announcement). Right before the official release, we upgraded an internal production site from EM 12c R1 to EM 12c R2 and had an extremely pleasant experience. Let me share few key takeaways as well as few tips from this upgrade exercise.

I - Why Should You Upgrade To Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2

While an upgrade is usually recommended primarily to take benefit of the latest features (which is valid for this upgrade as well), I found several other compelling reasons purely from deployment perspective.

  1. Standardize your EM deployment:  Enterprise Manager comprises of several different components (OMS, agents, plug-ins, etc) and it might be possible that these are at varied patch levels in your environment. For instance, in case of an environment containing Bundle Patch 1 (customer announcement), there is a good chance that you may not have all the components up-to-date. There are two possible reasons.
    • Bundle Patch 1 involved patching different components (OMS, agents, plug-ins) with multiple one-off patches which may not have been applied to all components yet.
    • Bundle Patch 1 for different platforms were not released together. Which means you may not have got the chance to patch all the components on different platforms.

    Note: BP1 patches are not mandatory to upgrade to EM12c R2 release

    EM 12c R2 provides an excellent opportunity to standardize your Cloud Control environment (OMS, repository and agents) and plug-ins to latest versions in single shot.

  2. All platform releases are made available simultaneously: For the very first time in the history of EM release, all the platforms were released on day one itself, which means you do not need to wait for platform specific binaries for EM OMS or Agent to perform install or upgrades in a heterogeneous environment.
  3. Highly refined and automated process – Upgrade process is by far the smoothest and the cleanest as compared to previous releases of Enterprise manager. Following are the ones that stand out.
    • Automatic Plug-in management – Plug-in upgrade along with new plug-in deployment is supported in upgrade installer wizard which means bulk of the updates to OMS and repository can be done in the same workflow. Saves time and minimizes user inputs.
    • Plug-in Upgrade or Migrate

    • Auto Update: While doing the OMS and repository upgrade, you can use Auto Update screen in Oracle Universal Installer to check for any updates/patches. That will help you to avoid the know issues and will make sure that your upgrade is successful.
    • Allows mass upgrade of EM Agents – A new dedicated menu has been added in the EM console for agent upgrade. Agent upgrade workflow is extremely simple that requires agent name as the only input.
    • ADM / JVMD Manager/Agent upgrade – complete process is supported via UI screens.
    • EM12c R2 Upgrade Guide is much simpler to follow as compared to those for earlier releases. This is attributed to the simpler upgrade process.
  4. Robust and Performing Platform: EM12c R2 release not only includes several new features, but also provides a more stable platform which incorporates several fixes and enhancements in the Enterprise Manager framework.

II - Few Tips To Remember

In my last post (blog link) I shared few tips and tricks from my experience applying the Bundle Patch. Recently I upgraded the same site to EM 12c R2 and found few points that you must take note of, while planning this upgrade. The tips below are also applicable to EM 12c R1 environments that do not have Bundle Patch 1 patches applied.

  1. Verify the monitored application certification – Specific targets like E-Business Suite have not yet been certified as managed target in EM 12c R2. Therefore make sure to recheck the Enterprise Manager certification Matrix on My Oracle Support before planning the upgrade.
  2. Plan downtime – Because EM 12c R2 is an incremental release of EM 12c, for EM 12c R1 to EM 12c R2 upgrade supports only 1-system upgrade approach, which mean there will be downtime.
  3. OMS name change after upgrade – In case of multi OMS environments, additional OMS is renamed after upgrade, which has few implications when you upgrade JVMD and ADP agents on OMS. This is well documented in upgrade guide but make sure you read through all the notes.
  4. Upgrading BI Publisher– EM12c R2 is certified with BI Publisher 11.1.1.6.0 only. Therefore in case you are using EM 12c R1 which is integrated with BI Publisher 11.1.1.5.0, you must upgrade the BI Publisher to 11.1.1.6.0. Follow the steps from Advanced Installation and Configuration Guide here.
  5. Perform Post upgrade Tasks – Make sure to perform post upgrade steps mentioned in documentation here. These include critical changes that must be done right after upgrade to get the right configuration. For instance Database plug-in should be upgraded to Revision 3 (12.1.0.2.0 [u120804]).
  6. Delete old OMS Home – EM12c R1 to EM12c R2 is an out of place upgrade, which means it creates a new oracle home for OMS, plug-ins, etc. Therefore please ensure that
    • You have sufficient extra space for new OMS before starting the upgrade process.
    • You clean up the old OMS home after the upgrade process. Steps are available here.
    • DO NOT remove the agent home on OMS host, because agent is upgraded in-place.
  7. If you have standby OMS setup then do look into the steps to upgrade the standby OMS from the upgrade guide before going ahead.
  8. Read the right documentation – Make sure to follow the Upgrade guide which provides the most comprehensive information on EM12c R2 upgrade process. Additionally you can refer other resources to get familiar with upgrade concepts.

We are very excited about this latest release and will look forward to hear back any feedback from your upgrade experience!

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