Thursday Dec 12, 2013

New OCDoctor released

There's a new version of the OCDoctor available - 4.26. It makes the connectivity check option a bit clearer, and checks for several new issues in troubleshooting.

You can get the new version at https://updates.oracle.com/OCDoctor/OCDoctor-latest.zip. If you have an Ops Center installation in connected mode, an automated job will get the new version for you.

Thursday Dec 05, 2013

Using Connected Mode

When you get started using Ops Center, you choose a connection mode. You can use Disconnected Mode, which works for sites without internet access; Connected Mode, which uses an internet connection; or you can set up the connection mode later.

Using Ops Center in Connected Mode can make your life easier in many ways. It lets you download packages and updates, get automatic firmware updates, download the latest OCDoctor utility and Ops Center updates, and file service requests. However, if you're currently using Disconnected Mode or if you didn't pick one during config, there are a couple of things you need to do in order to start using Connected Mode.

First, you need to register your Enterprise Controller.

Next, supply your MOS credentials in the Authentications. These MOS credentials are used to access the Oracle Knowledge Base.

Once you've taken these steps, you can switch to Connected Mode.

Monday Dec 02, 2013

What would you like to see here?

When I'm writing for this blog, I try to focus on issues and questions that actual Ops Center users are dealing with. As a reader, though, I know that you might have issues or topics that you'd like to see me discuss.

So, I'd like to invite you to let me know if there's any topic that you'd like to discuss. You can leave a comment here, or you can tweet your ideas to our twitter account, @oracleopscenter. Either way, let me know what you'd like to see.

Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Tracking the energy cost for your servers

Keeping energy costs down is an ongoing challenge in any datacenter. Knowing how much energy each of your systems consumes, and how much they each cost to run, is an important piece of data.

Well, Ops Center can provide this data - it can give you data about the energy consumption of monitored servers, and about how much that energy costs.

The first step in getting this working (apart from discovering the server assets) is providing the cost of energy per kilowatt-hour in your datacenter, which you do using the Edit Energy Cost wizard in the Administration section.

Once Ops Center has that bit of data, it can give you detailed information about how much each server costs to run. You can select an asset and click the Energy tab to view the system's power consumption, power policy, and total cost for one day, or click the Charts tab and see the system's power consumption over time.


Thursday Nov 14, 2013

Optimizing OS performance

With the right information, there's a lot that you can do to improve the performance of an operating system. However, it can be time-consuming to gather that information in a large environment with hundreds or thousands of operating systems, Oracle Solaris Zones, or Oracle VM Servers.

Ops Center's OS Analytics tools can help you gather the information that you need to tune your operating systems. For operating systems managed by Ops Center, you can view OS performance info like CPU and memory utilization, process details, and virtualization capacity. For Oracle Solaris systems, you can also view the status and details of SMF services.

We put together a how-to that walks you through the process of viewing all of this information.

Thursday Nov 07, 2013

Plugins in Ops Center and Cloud Control

Cloud Control just released an updated plugin for Oracle Virtual Networking, so I thought I'd mention a bit about how both Ops Center and Cloud Control use plugins.

On the Ops Center side, we have a plugin to connect Ops Center to Cloud Control, letting them share monitoring data. This guide explains how to install and use that plugin.

In Cloud Control, they have a more extensive collection of plugins, letting you link Cloud Control with a variety of other products. The Cloud Control library plug-in tab goes into more detail about how you can use these plugins in your environment.

Thursday Oct 31, 2013

Agent versus Agentless management

I got a couple of questions about Agentless asset management:

"What does agentless management do for an asset?"

Agentless management is one of the two ways that you can manage an operating system. Rather than installing an Agent Controller on the OS, agentless management uses SSH to regularly check the system and gather monitoring data. Many of the actions that would be available on an agent-managed system are available on an agentless system, but actions such as running reports or updating an Oracle Solaris 10 or Linux OS are not available. A table showing the capabilities of agentless management is here.

"What permissions does agentless management require?"

Agentless management still requires root credentials. If you can't log into the system as root, you can provide one set of credentials for the login, and then a set of root credentials to switch to.

Thursday Oct 24, 2013

Adding an existing Control Domain to a Server Pool

I got a question about LDoms:

"Is it possible to move a Control Domain built through Ops Center with pre-existing LDoms into a server pool? If so, do I need to delete and recreate anything?"

Yes, you can do this. You have to stop the LDom guests, and then you can add the CDom to a Server Pool. If the guests are using shared storage, you should be able to bring them up in the Server Pool. If the guests are not on shared storage, you can use the Migrate Storage option to bring their storage in.

Friday Oct 18, 2013

MSR Issue on 12.1 Enterprise Controllers

We've noticed a problem with MSR initialization and synchronization on Enterprise Controllers that are using Java 7u45. If you're running into the issue, these jobs fail with Java errors. Java 7u45 is bundled with Oracle Solaris 11.1 SRU 12, so if you're using that version or if you plan to use it, you should be aware of this issue.

There's a simple fix. You can do the fix before upgrading to SRU 12, but you can't do it before you install the Enterprise Controller.

First, log on to the Enterprise Controller system and stop the EC using the ecadm command. This command is in the /opt/SUNWxvmoc/bin directory on Oracle Solaris systems and in the /opt/sun/xvmoc/bin directory on Linux systems:

ecadm stop -w

Then run this command to fix the issue:

cacaoadm set-param java-flags=`cacaoadm get-param -v java-flags -i oem-ec | sed 's/Xss256k/Xss384k/'` -i oem-ec

And then restart the EC:

ecadm start -w

Once you apply this fix, you should be set.

Thursday Oct 10, 2013

Using a RAC Database

I got a question about the Ops Center database:

"What versions of Oracle Database (with or without Real Application Clusters) are supported in Ops Center 12.1.4?"

The answer is 11gR1 (without RAC) or 11gR2 (with or without RAC). There's more information in the Certified Systems Matrix.

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Installing Ops Center on OVM

I got a question about installing Ops Center:

"Can I install an Enterprise Controller or a Proxy Controller on an LDOM guest?"

Yes. You can also install on Oracle VM Server for x86, or in Oracle Solaris Zones. There are a few catches with installing in zones (Proxy Controllers can't be installed in S10 zones, only S11 zones, for instance). The specifics of installing in a zone are covered in the Oracle Solaris Installation Guide.

For a full listing of the supported platforms for the Enterprise Controller and Proxy Controllers, take a look at the Certified Systems Matrix.


Thursday Sep 26, 2013

Custom Monitoring Policies

In Ops Center, you can create custom monitoring policies to set different monitoring thresholds for different groups of assets. I got a question about how to implement this:

"I'm trying to create a custom monitoring policy that'll be used for all global zones. So I copied the default one, tweaked a threshold and clicked 'Set as Default Policy'. However, even after checking that option, all of my global zones are still using the old monitoring policy. How do I get them to use the new one?"

So, setting a monitoring policy as the default just means that it'll be used for any new assets of that type. So, in this case, new global zones would use your custom policy, but global zones that already have another policy won't automatically switch. To switch your existing global zones over to your new policy, you need to select them (either individually or in a group) and apply the new policy to them. There's an action to do this in the actions pane.

Thursday Sep 19, 2013

Moving the DB to a new location

I got a question about the database location:

"Ops Center installs an embedded Oracle database in /var, but we'd like to move it to another directory. Is this possible?"

So, theoretically you could change the location on an embedded database, by stopping the EC and doing some ZFS juggling to move the /var/opt/sun/xvm/oracle directory contents to a new directory and mounting it to /var/opt/sun/xvm/oracle, but there's an easier (and officially supported) way to do this.

The officially supported way is to switch to a customer-managed database. This database can be located anywhere you want, so you can give it as much space as you need.

Thursday Sep 12, 2013

Backup and Restore issue

I got a question about the backup and restore process for the Enterprise Controller:

"I upgraded my Enterprise Controller from 12.1.3 to 12.1.4 a while back, but I haven't run the 'ecadm backup' command since then. So the only backups I have are from before the upgrade and the automatic one made during the upgrade.

"Well, we just had a crash on our EC system. However, when I try to restore from either of those two backups, it fails, and says that it's looking for the 12.1.3 packages. How do I get this system back up?"

So, in order to restore from a backup file, the Enterprise Controller version needs to be identical. So, the backup from before the upgrade expects 12.1.3, and so does the backup made during the upgrade. (The automatic backup is only made so that, if the upgrade fails, we can roll back to the prior version.)

In this case, you'd have to uninstall 12.1.4, then reinstall 12.1.3, and finally restore from your backup file. The Backup and Recovery chapter explains this process and the requirements.

It's a good general practice to do regular backups so that a system failure doesn't cost you much data, and we also recommend doing a backup after completing an upgrade.

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

Connecting Ops Center to an Enterprise Management Framework

I got a question about making Ops Center work with other tools:

"My environment uses CA Unicenter. Is there a way for me to forward alerts from Ops Center over to CA Unicenter?"

There are two ways to do this.

One way is to use Halcyon's Neuron Integration, which can take alerts from Ops Center and pass them on to CA Unicenter or other Enterprise Management Frameworks.

Another way is to use Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control to take data from Ops Center and then send it on to CA Service Desk.

1. Make sure that any asset that you want to pass along alerts for is Agent-managed in Ops Center.

2. Use the System Monitoring Plug-in to connect Ops Center to Cloud Control.

3. Use the CA Service Desk Connector to connect Cloud Control to CA Unicenter.

Cloud Control has connectors for a variety of Enterprise Management Frameworks, including BMC Service Desk, IBM Tivoli, and HP Service Manager.

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This blog discusses issues encountered in Ops Center and highlights the ways in which the documentation can help you

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