Thursday Oct 29, 2015

Added Hardware and OS Support in Ops Center 12.3

There's some new support that's just been added to Ops Center 12.3.0. SPARC M7 and T7 servers are now officially certified, and Oracle Solaris 11.3 is certified, both as a managed OS and for the EC and PC systems.

There are some new and updated docs to go along with this support, as well. There are two revised how-tos that explain how to discover and manage these servers:

There are also two new how-tos, which aren't directly related to SPARC M7 or T7 but which you might find useful regardless:

Take a look at the What's New document for more information.

Thursday Aug 20, 2015

Editing or Disabling Analytics

There was a recent question thread about how you can tweak the OS analytics settings in Ops Center.

"Ops Center collects analytics data every 5 minutes and retains it for 5 days. Is it possible to edit these settings?"

You can edit the retention period but not the collection interval.

To edit the retention period, log into the UI. Click the Administration section, then click the Configuration tab for the EC, and select the Report Service subsystem.

The repsvc.daily-samples-retention-days property specifies the number of days to retain OS analytics data. You can edit this property, then restart the EC to make it take effect.

"Can I turn off data collection for OS analytics entirely?"

Yes, you can. Bear in mind that this requires you to edit a config file, so be very careful.

Go to the /opt/sun/n1gc/lib directory on the EC and find the file. Edit it to uncomment this line:


Then, restart the Enterprise Controller.

Thursday Aug 06, 2015

Mixing Servers in a Server Pool

I saw a couple of questions recently about what kinds of servers you can group together in a server pool.

"Can I create a server pool with different types of servers, like T4 and T5, or T4 and M10?"

Yes, you can. As long as you're not trying to mix SPARC and x86, you can put different types of hardware in a server pool.

"Is it a good idea to make server pools like this?"

It will work, but performance won't be quite as good. To enable migration between hardware, the cpu-arch property needs to be set to generic, which means that not all of the hardware features are used. If you have the hardware to build completely homogeneous server pools, you'll get better performance.

The Server Pools chapter explains how to set up a server pool for whatever virtualization type you're using.

Thursday Jul 23, 2015

Kernel Zones support in 12.3

One of the new features in Ops Center 12.3 is support for Oracle Solaris kernel zones. I wanted to talk a bit about this, because there are some caveats, and a new document to help you with using this type of zone.

Kernel zones differ from other zones in that they have a separate kernel and OS from the global zone, making them more independent. In Ops Center 12.3, you can discover and manage kernel zones. However, you can't migrate them, put them in a server pool, or change their configuration through the user interface.

We put together a how-to that explains how you can discover existing kernel zones in your environment. You can also take a look at the What's New doc for more information about what's changed in 12.3.

Thursday Jul 16, 2015

New Books in 12.3

One of the changes that we've made in Ops Center 12.3 is a change to the documentation library. We've divided the old Feature Reference Guide up into several smaller books so that it's easier to use:

  • Configure Reference talks about how to get the software working - discovering assets; configuring libraries, networks, and storage; and managing jobs.
  • Operate Reference talks about incidents, reports, hardware management, and OS management, provisioning, and updating.
  • Virtualize Reference describes the use and management of Oracle Solaris Zones, Oracle VM Servers for SPARC, and server pools.
  • Oracle SuperCluster Operate Reference covers the management of Oracle SuperCluster.

The What's New doc has more information about these new books. You can find the new books by clicking Feature Reference on the main doc site.

Thursday Jul 02, 2015

Upgrading to 12.3

Now that Ops Center 12.3 is out, you might be wondering how to upgrade to it. I thought I'd walk you through the major steps involved in upgrading, and direct you to the documents that go into more detail.

First off, to upgrade directly to 12.3, you have to be using some variant of 12.2 - 12.2.0, 12.2.1, or 12.2.2. If you're on 12.1, you have to upgrade to 12.2 first. Here's a flowchart of the upgrade paths:

The Upgrade guide also walks you through the other planning steps. It's a good idea to look at the release notes and the Oracle Solaris and Linux install guides before you upgrade, to make sure that you're aware of known issues and the latest system requirements.

Once you've done your planning, you go to the Upgrade guide chapter that matches your environment - there are separate procedures for HA and non-HA environments, and separate procedures for upgrading from the command line or from the UI.

These chapters will walk you through downloading the upgrade (you can get it through the UI, from the Oracle Technology Network, or from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud), and applying the upgrade to the Enterprise Controller(s), Proxy Controllers, and Agents.

Thursday Jun 25, 2015

Ops Center 12.3 is Released

Version 12.3 of Ops Center is now available!

This is a major upgrade from the prior versions. In addition to bug fixes and performance enhancements, there are a number of new features:

  • Asset discovery refinements, including the ability to run discovery probes only on a specific network or from a specific Proxy Controller
  • Support for discovering and managing existing Oracle Solaris 11 Kernel Zones
  • The ability to create a custom Oracle Solaris 11 AI manifest and use it for provisioning
  • Refined search: Searching for one or more assets now displays the search results in a new tab in the Navigation pane, making navigation a bit easier
  • New and expanded books in the doc library

Take a look at the What's New In This Release document for a more detailed breakdown of the new features, and the Upgrade guide for more information about upgrading to version 12.3.

You can also take a look at the 12.3 documentation library here.

Thursday Mar 05, 2015

Using Variables in Operational Plans

I saw a question recently about variables in operational plans, which I thought I'd discuss. If you're unfamiliar with them, operational plans let you create or upload scripts, then run those scripts on targeted systems through Ops Center.

The question was about the variables you can use in these scripts. There are two kinds of variables you can use: user-defined ones, which you have to create, or system defined variables which are defined by Ops Center. The system defined variables are listed in the documentation, but the questioner wasn't sure what each variable actually was. So, here's a list of the useful system variables and what they do:

  • $OC_UFN - The target asset's user-friendly name - the same name that's used in the UI.

  • $OC_JOB_ID - The Job ID number for the job that's applying the operational plan. A lot of users use this variable to help track changes that are made by a script.

  • $OC_TARGET_NAME - This is Ops Center's internal name for the target asset.

  • $OC_TARGET_TYPE - This is the type of asset that the script is being applied to.

There's more information about creating and applying Operational Plans in the Feature Reference Guide.

Thursday Feb 12, 2015

Discovery Changes

There were a few changes to the discovery process in Ops Center 12.2.2. If you've already upgraded, you might have noticed some of them, but I thought I'd give you the rundown.

The first change is an enhancement for zones and LDoms discovery. In version 12.2.2, when you discover a control domain or global zone and manage it with an Agent, any non-global zones or logical domains on them are discovered automatically. There are also some performance enhancements in this area, so the discoveries ought to go quicker now than in past.

The other change is that the Find Assets wizard, which searches for assets using service tags, is now disabled by default. This is mostly because, since this method searches for service tag-equipped products on all networks associated with a Proxy Controller, it can end up being a big resource drain/timesink in a very large environment. If you want, you can still enable it.

Thursday Feb 05, 2015

Access Point counts in the OCDoctor

When you're trying to figure out questions of scaling in Ops Center, it's important to be able to tell exactly how much load the different parts of the infrastructure are handling. In Ops Center, the relevant number is the access point count. An access point is a connection between a Proxy Controller and a managed asset. We don't just count the number of assets directly because, if different parts of an asset are managed by different Proxy Controllers, that puts more load on the system.

There's a tool in the OCDoctor's toolbox directory that lets you count the access points in your environment. The script gives you the total number of access points managed by the Enterprise Controller, and gives additional information depending on which option you use:

  • The standard option shows the number of access points for each Proxy Controller - both the total and a detailed breakdown by asset category.
  • The machine option gives a list of the access points on each Proxy Controller in machine-readable format.
  • The agent option shows, for each Proxy Controller, how many assets are agent-managed, how many are agentless, and how many are SPs.

The Scaling and Performance Guide explains how to use the script. You can find it in the version 12.2.2 documentation library.

Thursday Jan 29, 2015

Database Versions

I've seen a few questions about what Oracle Database versions are supported with which versions of Ops Center, so I thought I'd clarify that point a bit.

 If you're using Ops Center 12.2.2, the latest version, and you have a customer-managed database, you can use Oracle Database or If you're using an embedded database, the upgrade to Ops Center 12.2.2 includes an upgrade of the embedded database to

If you're using Ops Center 12.2.0 or 12.2.1, the supported database version is, for both embedded and customer-managed databases.

Thursday Jan 22, 2015

Enabling and Testing ASR

The Auto Service Request feature in Ops Center, when it's properly enabled, can automatically generate service requests based on qualified incidents in Ops Center, helping you get the systems up and running again quickly. The questions, then, are how do you enable it properly, and short of taking a crowbar to your new M7, how can you be certain it's working?

One of the new How-Tos that we've just released, Enabling and Testing Auto Service Request, can help you answer these questions. It talks about the prerequisites, explains how to add contact information and enable ASR, and shows you how to use a test trap to verify that ASRs are being created correctly.

This How-To is just one of the improvements in Ops Center 12.2.2. Take a look at the What's New for more information about these improvements, and the Deploy and Operate libraries for more how-tos.

Thursday Jan 15, 2015

Proxy Controller Backups

There were a number of new features introduced in Ops Center 12.2.2. One of the shiny ones is an expansion of the backup and recovery capabilities to include Proxy Controllers.

It's always been possible to create a backup of the Enterprise Controller and the co-located Proxy Controller using the ecadm backup command. Now, in version 12.2.2, there's a similar command - proxyadm backup - to create a backup of a Proxy Controller, including all of its asset data. You can save off this file and use it to restore the Proxy Controller to its backed-up state.

The only trick with OC backups is that the OS images directory isn't part of the backup file for size reasons, but they can be backed up separately.

The Backup and Recovery chapter of the Administration guide explains how to back up your Proxy Controllers and Enterprise Controller, and the What's New goes over many of the other new features in 12.2.2.

Thursday Jan 08, 2015

Sizing and Performance Guide

When you're planning an Ops Center deployment, planning to expand a datacenter where Ops Center is installed, or looking to optimize your Ops Center deployment, it's vital to have information about scaling and performance. You need to know whether your new systems will need another Proxy Controller, or whether the system you're planning on using for your Enterprise Controller is beefy enough.

We've added a Sizing and Performance Guide to the Ops Center library, to help you answer these sorts of questions for your environment:

  • The Resource Utilization chapter discusses the relative resource usage of common Ops Center uses, such as OS provisioning, update management, and virtualization.
  • The Scaling and Performance Guidelines chapter provides detailed information about the resources used by, and the scaling capabilities of, Ops Center components such as the Enterprise Controller, Proxy Controllers, database, virtualization controllers, and networks.
  • The Reference Systems chapter provides several reference system specifications for you to use in your planning.
  • The Report Service Configuration Properties appendix explains how to edit the reporting properties, or disable reporting entirely, to improve performance.

You can find this document, along with the rest of the documentation, in the Ops Center 12.2.2 documentation library.

Thursday Dec 18, 2014

Upgrading to version 12.2.2

Now that version 12.2.2 of Ops Center is out, you might be interested in upgrading.

We've put together a guide that walks you through the upgrade process. Each type of environment - HA or single Enterprise Controller - has separate chapters explaining how to do the upgrade through the UI or from the command line.

Something to note is that, if you're using an embedded database, the upgrade includes an upgrade of the DB to Oracle Database If you're using an embedded database, you'll have to log into MOS and download the new DB bundles. The doc explains this step too, but if you've done upgrades in the past it'll be new to you. If you're using a customer-managed database, is also now officially supported.


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


« November 2015