Thursday Feb 06, 2014

Assigning a User Roles for Specific Asset Groups

Ops Center's roles give you, as an administrator, a lot of fine-grained control over what each user can do. I heard a question recently that demonstrates this pretty well:

"Is it possible to set up a user defined Group and have a User Role restricted to only have specific roles for this group only?"

Yep. To do this, you select the user from the list in the Admin section and click Manage User Roles to bring up the wizard.


To assign a role to a specific group, you deselect the "Use the default Role associations" option. Then, when you go on to the next step, it lets you select which groups the role applies to:


In this case, the user will have the Asset Admin role only for the Example group. They'll be able to take all of the Asset Admin actions for the assets in that group.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday Jan 09, 2014

Notifications

Notifications are one of the tools you can use to keep track of your systems. They are automatic messages that are sent to specific users when their conditions are met - such as when a critical incident occurs.

Each user has their own notification profile, which specifies what level of notifications are sent - whether it's everything that happens to an asset, all incidents, or just critical incidents. It also specifies where these notifications are sent - the user interface, a specified email address, or a specified pager. You can set different levels for each destination, so that critical incidents go to the pager but less crucial issues go to the email address. If you have the user admin role you can configure a notification profile using this procedure.

The Command Line Interface for Ops Center lets you view and delete notifications as well, although configuring a notification profile can only be done through the UI.

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.

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.

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.

Thursday Aug 29, 2013

Oracle Solaris 11 Zone support

I got a question about Oracle Solaris 11 Zones:

"I manually created an Oracle Solaris 11 Zone. I can discover it and bring it into Ops Center, but the Migrate Zone action is greyed out, whereas other zones created through Ops Center have all of their actions enabled. What's the difference? I thought that all zones were supposed to be equal in 12c."

All zones are equal in 12c, but sometimes it seems like some zones are more equal than others.

What's going on here is that, with a manually created zone, the zone metadata is stored locally and the zone storage isn't fully managed. To enable the Migrate Zone action, you need to use the Move Storage action to move the zone metadata and storage. Once you've done that, the storage will be managed and, as long as another global zone is available, the Migrate Zone action should be enabled.

Thursday Aug 08, 2013

Upgrade question

I got a question about upgrading to 12.1.4:

"I'm trying to do a manual upgrade from 12.1.3 to 12.1.4. I've upgraded the Enterprise Controller, but now I can't find the Proxy Controller upgrade bundle. Where is that?"

This depends on how you're downloading the upgrade bundles.

If you're getting them through the UI, they're put in the /var/opt/sun/xvm/images/productUpdate directory. You can copy them from there to the Proxy Controller systems and do a manual upgrade (or upgrade through the UI if you're so inclined.)

You can also get the Proxy Controller bundles from either the OTN or e-Delivery, and then copy them to the Proxy Controller system.

However you do the download, we recommend that once you've started upgrading your environment, you upgrade the whole thing as soon as you can.

Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

Provisioning Different Versions of Oracle Solaris 11

I got a couple of questions about the new support for multiple Automated Installer (AI) releases in 12.1.4:

"How do I set up different versions of Oracle Solaris 11 in the Solaris 11 Software Library? For example, I want to use these versions for OSP:

  • Solaris 11/11 SRU 5.5
  • Solaris 11.1 SRU 8.4

So how do I get both of them into my library and ready for OSP use?"

There are a couple of ways. The first is to configure the parent repository to use a source with both of those releases. If you haven't initialized your library, configuring the parent repository is part of the library creation; otherwise it's a separate job, which you can set to repeat according to a schedule.

The other way is to use the Add Content wizard to add a specific S11 release to your library. This action doesn't save the parent repository location, but it works well if you're adding a specific version.

Once your S11 library has the content for both releases, you'll be able to create OSP profiles for either one. There's a dropdown option that lets you pick which version of S11 you want to use:


"I have my library using a valid repository, but the new versions aren't showing up in the OSP wizard. Do I need to restart the Enterprise Controller to make them show up?"

If the new versions aren't showing up, re-running the library sync job should make them appear. You shouldn't have to restart the EC.

Once you've done these steps, you can provision these versions of S11 from any of your Proxy Controllers.

Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

DHCP and OS Provisioning

I got a question about an OS provisioning error:

"When I create an Oracle Solaris 10 OSP profile, I get a "DHCP is not configured" error on the Select Networks step. What do I do about this?"


Well, it depends on what role you have. If you're an Ops Center Admin, you can go into Administration, select a Proxy Controller, and set DHCP up. There are two ways that you can do this - you can either configure DHCP on your Proxy Controllers:

Or, alternatively, if you have an existing DHCP server that you'd prefer to use, you can configure Ops Center to use it:


These tasks both require admin privileges, so you might need to bug your admin if you don't have that role yourself. But, either way, once you have DHCP set up you'll be able to do OS provisioning.

Tuesday Jul 09, 2013

Limits on LDom numbers

I got a question - or a few linked questions - about installing LDoms in a Server Pool through Ops Center.

I have some T5240s (2x SPARC T2+) and some T5440s (4x SPARC T2+) running as standalone Control Domains with some LDoms each.

1. Is there any limit to the number of CDoms per Server Pool within Ops Center?

No, there is not.

2. What about the number of LDoms per Server Pool, per CDom, or per server?

The only limitation on the number of LDoms is that a server or physical domain can't have more LDoms than it has threads, or have more than 128. If you get close to that limit and start having LDoms with one thread, performance will start to suffer.

3. Is it possible to mix them within the same server pool?

Yep. Depending on your LDom version and the hardware, live migration might not be possible, but you can have server pools with different hardware types, and automatic failover will work fine.

If you're also looking at setting up Server Pools through Ops Center, we put together a how-to about setting up a Server Pool which could be helpful. There's also a white paper on the OTN with best practices for setting up a virtualized SPARC environment.

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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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