Tuesday Jul 02, 2013

Migrating an LDOM from a T4 to a T5

I got a question about LDoms:

"Is there any restriction against migrating LDoms between the T4 and T5 platforms?"

The only restriction is that, at present, you can't do a live migration. However, with Ops Center 12.1.4, you can put T4 and T5s together in a Server Pool and either manually migrate the LDoms to a new host or configure them for automated cold-migration failover.

Take a look at the Server Pool and Oracle VM Server for SPARC chapters for more information.

Friday Jun 21, 2013

FAQ: Creating a new LDOM domain

I got a question about creating LDOM domains:

"I have a Server Pool set up, and I need to create a secondary LDom domain on a machine in the pool. When I click on the machine, though, the 'create logical domain' command is grayed out. The machine still has available CPU threads and free RAM. What's going on?"

This one has an easy answer. In a Server Pool, the Create Logical Domain action is under the pool's actions, rather than the individual machine's actions. This is because the Server Pool decides where to put the new domain based on the Server Pool's placement policy. So, in this case, you need to select the Server Pool in the Assets section, and then create the new domain from there.

Thursday Jun 13, 2013

Management Credentials

I got a question about the Management Credentials that are used for managing assets in Ops Center:

"If I change a set of credentials, does Ops Center propagate the changed credentials to all of the assets that use that set?"

The answer is yes.

To provide some additional explanation: each managed asset is linked to Management Credentials that are used to access it. You can have separate Management Credentials for every asset, or share one set for a group of assets that all have the same login credentials. If you change the credentials on the systems, you can edit the Management Credentials to make sure they match the new system creds. Any asset that's using that set of credentials will then automatically start using the new set.

The Feature Reference Guide has a section about Management Credentials that explains how to perform these procedures.

Thursday May 16, 2013

Provisioning Oracle Solaris 11

I've seen some questions about provisioning Oracle Solaris 11. They boil down to this:

"Is it possible to provision both Oracle Solaris 11 and 11.1 onto managed systems from one Ops Center installation?"

Yes, this is possible. There are two ways to do it.

The first way is to have your MSR use Oracle Solaris 11.1, and then have two Proxy Controllers, the first with Oracle Solaris 11 and the second with Oracle Solaris 11.1. The first Proxy Controller will provision Oracle Solaris 11, while the second will provision the latest Oracle Solaris 11.1. This section in the release notes discusses this in more detail.

The other method is to keep your MSR and your Proxy Controllers using Oracle Solaris 11. Then, once the OS is provisioned, use IPS to update the OS to Oracle Solaris 11.1. This requires that each system be updated individually, but it does let you choose which SRU you want.

Friday May 10, 2013

P2V in Ops Center

I saw a question about physical to virtual migration:

"Does Ops Center have any capabilities that will facilitate the physical to virtual process?"

You can do P2V using Ops Center, but it's not a single-wizard process, and it'll take a bit of tinkering. Basically, you take a flash archive (FLAR) of an existing system, import it, then deploy a host, ldom, or branded zone based on that FLAR. Here's the process in more detail, using an LDom:

  1. Make sure that the source system's OS can run in the intended virtualization technology. LDoms can't support guests using Oracle Solaris 10 6/06, for instance, so you'd have to update the OS before you could virtualize it.
  2. Take a FLAR of the OS.
  3. Upload the FLAR into the Enterprise Controller library.
  4. Create an OS provisioning profile for the FLAR.
  5. Create an LDom profile.
  6. Create a Configure and Install Logical Domains plan that runs the LDom profile and the OS provisioning profile.
  7. Go to the Control Domain or Server Pool in Ops Center and click Create Logical Domains to run the plan.

The Configuring and Installing Logical Domains How-To walks you through steps 4 through 7.

This gives you a virtualized version of the existing OS. Bear in mind that each operating system might have idiosyncracies that need to be fixed, such as placation network changes, physical card access, or changes to volume manger setup. If you run into these issues you can fix them before taking the FLAR or unpack and edit the FLAR using scripts.

Tuesday Apr 30, 2013

The Ops Center license

I've seen a few questions about the license for Ops Center:

"What does the Ops Center license cost? Is it supported to manage Oracle Solaris on non-Oracle hardware with Ops Center? What about Oracle hardware with a non-oracle OS, or non-Oracle hardware with a non-Oracle OS?"

There are two parts to this answer. The first is that the license for Ops Center itself is free.

Support is pretty simple, too. Basically, if a system has Oracle stuff (hardware, OS, Oracle VM), you can get support for managing it through Ops Center. So, if you have Oracle Solaris on non-Oracle hardware, or Oracle Hardware with Red Hat on it, you can get support for it. A system with no Oracle hardware or software is unsupported, though.

Tuesday Mar 12, 2013

Discovery question

I got a question about discovering operating systems:

"My operating systems are configured not to allow root SSH access. How can I discover these OSes with Ops Center?"

When you're creating a discovery profile, you provide credentials for each protocol being used to access the asset. So, for an Oracle Solaris OS, you provide SSH credentials. If root SSH access is allowed by the system, you can provide root credentials.

However, if root SSH access is not allowed, you can provide one username and password to use for logging in, and then the root credentials to use for managing the asset.

Here's what it looks like in the UI:

The first set is used to log in, and the second set is used to perform tasks that require root access, such as installing or uninstalling Agent Controllers.

Tuesday Mar 05, 2013

High Availability question

I got a question about Enterprise Controller high availability:

"If I have an Ops Center installation with a single Enterprise Controller, can I change my mind and turn it into a high availability setup?"

Yes. There are a few things you need to do to prepare, first:

Once you've taken those steps, you can set your current EC up as the primary node, and install and configure one or more standby nodes, using this procedure.

Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

Installation Questions

I've seen a few installation-related questions recently, which might be of interest if you're preparing for an installation:

"Can the Enterprise Controller be deployed on Oracle Linux on Oracle VM Server for x86, or on Oracle Solaris on OVM for x86 or SPARC? What about a Proxy Controller?"
  • Yes. Any OS that's listed in the EC section of the Certified Systems Matrix can support an EC, even if it's on OVM. There's also a Proxy Controller section in that same book, which shows the OSes that can support a PC, even if they're on OVM.

"Can the Target OS be Oracle Linux on OVM for x86?"

  • Yes, Oracle Linux on OVM for x86 can be discovered and managed like other operating systems.

"Does it matter which OS I install the EC and PC on?"

  • For most features, Ops Center works equally well on Linux and Solaris, and can discover and manage both OSes. The big exception is Oracle Solaris 11 - if you want to provision, manage, and update S11, your EC and PC have to be on S11 as well.

"Can the database be deployed on another server without having to license it for full use?"

  • There are two ways you can set up the database for Ops Center. You can use the embedded database, which is installed automatically on the EC system, or use a customer-managed database, which you install yourself. In either case, as long as you're only using the database for an Enterprise Manager offering (which includes Ops Center), then you don't need a license.

Thursday Feb 07, 2013

Agent Controller requirements

I got a question about the requirements for Agent Controller installation:

"The Certified Systems doc talks about the supported operating systems for Agents, but it doesn't say if specific packages or patches are required. Where can I find out if my OSes can support an agent?"

We figured that a tool to check a system for Agent compatibility would be easier to use than a list of required packages and patches. The OCDoctor, among other functions, can check a system to see if it meets the prereqs for an Agent, Proxy, or Enterprise Controller installation. To check a system, you can download the OCDoctor from http://java.net/projects/oc-doctor/downloads, unpack it on the target system, and run it with the --agent-prereq option. This will tell you what (if anything) needs to be done so that the system can support an Agent.

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Managing Log Files

I've seen a couple of questions recently about log files in Ops Center - where do we keep them, and what kind of automatic management do we do for them?

There are quite a few log files that are used in Ops Center. The Logs and Directories appendix in the Feature Reference Guide provides the locations of these log files, organized by category.

Also, some of the logs can be managed automatically. The appendix also explains how to automatically manage the numbers of some log files.

Thursday Jan 17, 2013

Recreating a deleted OVM Server guest

I got a question from an Ops Center user:

"I created an OVM Server (aka LDOM) guest through the Ops Center UI, but it got deleted by accident. It's been recreated by hand with the same configuration, vdsdev, vnic, vdisk names, everything. Is there a way to 'import' it into Ops Center, so that it can be migrateable within a server pool, without reprovisioning it again?"

As long as the control domain is healthy, you can do this.

First, you run a deployment plan to re-create just the OVM Server Container, using all of the same properties (disk, network, etc.) as when it was first created. A normal guest deployment uses a deployment plan to set up the container and an OS profile to complete the guest; in this case you're just doing the first half of that process. Make sure that the guest doesn't exist and that no vdiskdev has been created. Once you've created the container, it will be in the 'installing' state, ready for provisioning.

Next, you do the following on the control domain, in order to boot the OS in the new container:

# ldm set-var boot-device=disk:a <guest name>

# ldm set-var boot-command=boot <guest name>

# ldm stop <guest name>

# ldm start <guest name>

Finally, you have to unconfigure and reconfigure the Agent in the guest. You can do this manually, or using the Add Asset option in the UI. Once you've done that, the OS will be running in the new container, and will be fully migrateable.

Tuesday Dec 11, 2012

Discovering Assets on Multiple Subnets

I saw this question recently, about making discovery work:

"I am attempting to discover a group of ILOMs which seem to be on a different subnet than their hosts. When I try to discover the ILOMs, Ops Center can't find them. Is it a requirement that the ILOM and its host should be on the same subnet?"

The short answer is no, related assets don't have to be on the same subnet for you to discover them. The correlation between related assets doesn't depend on them being on the same subnet.

What's likely going on, if you're running into similar issues, is that the subnet where you're trying to discover systems needs to be associated with a Proxy Controller that can reach it. You can go here to see how to associate a network with a Proxy Controller. Once the network is associated with a Proxy Controller, you should be able to discover and manage assets on it.

Tuesday Sep 25, 2012

Discovery methods

In Ops Center, asset discovery is a process in which the software determines what assets exist in your environment. You can't monitor an asset, or do anything to it through Ops Center, until it's discovered. I've seen a couple of questions about how to discover various types of asset, so I thought I'd explain the discovery methods and what they each do.

Find Assets - This discovery method searches for service tags on all known networks. Service tags are small files on some hardware and operating systems that provide basic identification info. Once a service tag has been found, you provide credentials to manage the asset. This method can discover assets quickly, but only if the target assets have service tags.

Add Assets with discovery profile - This method lets you specify targets by providing IP addresses, IP ranges, or hostnames, as well as the credentials needed to connect to and manage these assets. You can create discovery profiles for any type of asset.

Declare asset - This method lets you specify the details of a server, with or without a configured service processor. You can then use Ops Center to install a new operating system or configure the SP. This method works well for new hardware.

These methods are all discussed in more detail in the Asset Management chapter of the Feature Reference guide.

Monday Sep 10, 2012

Installation questions

I've gotten a couple more questions about the installation process for Ops Center.

"Can I install on any SPARC / X86 based platform?"

Ops Center can run on Oracle Solaris on either architecture, or on Linux. The Certified Systems Matrix lists the supported OSes, and the Linux and Solaris install guides go into more detail about the hardware and OS requirements.

"Can we install it on local zones or LDOMS?"

Yes.

On the zone side, you can install the Enterprise Controller in a local zone. There are a few caveats, which are explained in the Preparing a Non-Global Zone section. You can also install a Proxy Controller in an Oracle Solaris 11 zone. Agent Controllers, which are the part of the infrastructure that's installed on managed systems, can be put on zones.

LDOMs are supported for every part of the Ops Center infrastructure.

"Do we need any dedicated network ports from all agent monitoring systems?"

 Yes. The port requirements are covered in the Network Port Requirements and Protocols table, which is in the feature reference guide as well as in the install guides.

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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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