Thursday Nov 20, 2014

Restoring an Enterprise Controller on a new system

An Ops Center user was recently planning a deployment, and they were wondering about disaster recovery. Apart from Ops Center's High Availability option, they asked, what recovery options are available if an EC system completely dies?

One other option that you can use is Ops Center's backup and restore capability. If you've made a backup of your Enterprise Controller, it's possible to restore that Enterprise Controller on a new system. There are a few tricks with doing so, though:

  • The new system has to have the same version of Ops Center, including all upgrades and IDRs.
  • If the IP address of the new system is different, you have to manually change the Proxy Controllers to point to the new IP.
  • Ops Center libraries are not part of the backup, so if they're on nfs storage, they need to be accessible to the new system as well.
  • The /var/opt/sun/xvm/images/os directory, containing OS images, needs to be backed up and restored separately, because it's big.

The Backup and Restore chapter explains how to restore the Enterprise Controller on a new system.

Tuesday Nov 18, 2014

Search on the New Library

The search option in the new docs.oracle.com  layout has been frustrating a lot of people. When you first try it out, it seems like many of the options that used to be there - like searching within a specific library - are gone.

The good news is that you can still narrow your search to a specific product category. When you do a search, you can select a product category on the left to narrow your search:


You can then click down below, where it says "6 products", to narrow your search to the Ops Center 12.2.1 library:

If you do a search from inside one of the books in a library, this is done automatically.

Thursday Nov 06, 2014

Incident Icons

Ops Center packs a lot of information into a browser window. The upside is that you have a lot of information available, but the downside is that some of the information is presented using icons that can be confusing at first look.

The incident icons are one example of this sort of concentrated information. If you select an asset in Ops Center, you'll see a set of icons in the top-right section of its display:


These icons indicate the number of critical, warning, and info-level incidents on the selected asset. You can click any of the icons to go to the incidents tab:


There's also another set of icons in the top left that give you a broader picture of the incidents in your environment:

The first two icons show you how many unassigned critical and warning-level incidents there are in your environment. The middle icon shows the number of relayed incidents. The right two icons show how many critical and warning-level incidents have been assigned to you (that is, whoever is currently logged in.) Clicking on any of the icons takes you to the relevant section of the message center.

The Managing Incidents how-to has more information about these icons and about how you can manage incidents in Ops Center.

Thursday Oct 30, 2014

Running Scripts Using an Operational Profile

I saw an interesting question recently about operational profiles. An Ops Center user wanted to run a script with several variables on several managed systems, with the variables having different values on each system, and they wanted to know the best way to do it.

This can all be done through an operational profile (and an operational plan, which runs the profile). First, you'll select Operational Profiles in the Plan Management section of the UI, then you'll click Create Profile.

You put your script in here, using whatever variables you need. You also specify a type - Remote Shell scripts can be run on any system with an agent, using root permissions, while EC Shell scripts are only run on the Enterprise Controller system with the logged-in user's credentials.

When you click next, there's a screen to define the variables used. You specify the variables, but leave the values blank. Then, when you run the operational plan on a system, you'll be prompted to supply the values for each variable.


Take a look at the Plans and Profiles chapter of the Feature Reference Guide for more information.

Thursday Oct 23, 2014

Managing user access in multiple sites

An Ops Center user who's setting up their environment sent in a question about their users:

"I'm looking to manage three different data centers from one Enterprise Controller instance. However, the three data centers have different administrators. How can I make sure that each administrator can see and manage only the resources that they're supposed to?"

The answer here is that you can use Ops Center's asset groups, combined with its fine-grained roles capabilities, to control which users can see and do what.

First, you create a new asset group in the Assets section of the UI. In this example, I'm creating a group for one of the three data centers:


Once you've created the group, you can add the correct assets to it, by selecting the assets and clicking Add Asset to Group:


Now that you have the assets for one of the datacenters grouped together, you add that admin to Ops Center:


Then you'll select that user and click the Manage User Roles icon. When the wizard comes up, you make sure they have the correct roles, then deselect the "Use the default role associations" checkbox:


When you click next, you select which groups the roles should apply to. So, for this user, we can apply their Asset Admin role only to the Data Center A group:


And there you have it. Rinse and repeat for other groups and users, and each user will be able to see and manage only the correct assets. For more information, check out the Asset Management and User and Role Management chapters.

Thursday Sep 04, 2014

Communication Between OC and EM

I've seen a few questions about connecting Ops Center and EM Cloud Control monitoring - what permissions are needed to make it work.

Ops Center and EM can share data using the Infrastructure Stack Plug-In. This plug-in lets you view EM processes in the Ops Center UI and Ops Center monitoring and annotations in the EM console, including monitoring for service processors, chassis, server domains, zones, and Oracle VM Server for SPARC domains and guests.

To share data between Ops Center and EM, you create an Ops Center user to interact with the plugin. This user can have any roles you choose, including the read-only role.

Each product has its own set of users and roles. The SYSMAN user can see asset information collected by Ops Center software in the EM console and can launch the Ops Center console, but doesn't have  SYSMAN permissions in Ops Center - they only have the permissions of the user you created for the connection. Similarly, an Ops Center Admin can launch the EM console from Ops Center to view information, but they don't have Admin permissions in the EM console. 

For more information about the plugin, see the Plugin Guide.

Thursday Aug 21, 2014

Using Asset Groups

I got a question about putting assets in groups:

"I'm planning on installing some agents manually on existing systems, and I want to have them put in a specific asset group once they're discovered. I don't see any way to tell the install script to put the asset in a group. How can I add the assets to a group, either through the UI or the CLI?"

There are a few ways.

In the CLI, you can use groups mode, and use this command to add an asset to a group:

attach -n| --gear <asset name> -g| --group <group>

You can also use -U| --uuid <UUID> to specify the asset if you have multiple assets with the same name.

In the UI, you have a couple of options. You can select an asset and click Add Asset to Group to add it to a group you select.

Alternatively, if you're trying to make a group for assets with a specific characteristic, you can specify rules that will automatically add assets to a group based on that characteristic.

Thursday Jul 17, 2014

Java versions for Agents

I recently saw a question from the field regarding Agent installation:

"I'm trying to manage a group of servers with Ops Center. They use Java 1.5; is that going to be a problem?"

No, it shouldn't be. The Ops Center Agent uses Java 1.6, but it will install Java 1.6 if it's not already there. Java 1.5 and 1.6 can coexist on your systems. As long as Ops Center can get to Java 1.6 in the default location, it should work fine.

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.

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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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