Thursday Mar 12, 2015

Giving Feedback in the OC Docs

There are a couple of features of the docs that are sometimes overlooked, so I thought I'd mention them.

If you click on a book in the documentation library, over on the left there are a couple of buttons. The feedback button lets you send us a message about the doc that you're looking at, so if something is confusing or incorrect, you can let us know and we'll fix it. There's also a download button where you can get a PDF of the current doc.


Also, if you're on the main page for Oracle Docs, there's a flying question mark box that you can click to give feedback about the doc site in general:


Speaking for our team, we do actually read those feedback messages, so let us know what you think.

Thursday Feb 19, 2015

Creating Networks for Server Pools

I've seen a couple of questions recently about creating networks for Server Pools. There's an important guideline that you should bear in mind, particularly when you're planning your Server Pools out: The servers in a server pool should be homogenous in terms of their network tagging mode.

The reason for this is that, if you had a Server Pool with servers using tagged and untagged networks, a guest migrated from one server to another could lose its network configuration.

The same principle applies even to standalone Oracle VM Servers for SPARC - you can't connect the same network to a standalone one in both tagged and untagged modes.

Thursday Nov 13, 2014

New Library Design

As you may have noticed, we've revamped the design for docs.oracle.com. While the new look and feel lets us present information for a lot of products in a clearer (and snazzier) format, it also means that the path to the Ops Center docs from the main page is different.

The new library front page has a set of icons for the various categories of documentation. To get to Ops Center, you'll click on the Enterprise Manager category.


This brings up the main page for Enterprise Manager software, which has a tab for Ops Center. You'll click that tab:

Then, once the tab is displayed, you'll click the version of Ops Center that you want:


It's worth noting that the urls for the Ops Center libraries haven't changed, so if you have them bookmarked you don't need to change anything. You can also still get to the library through the help button at the top of the Ops Center UI. This only affects how you get to those libraries through the landing page.

Thursday Aug 28, 2014

Oracle Solaris 11.2 Support

Oracle Solaris 11.2 was released just after Ops Center 12.2.1, and I've seen a few questions about when we'll support it, and to what degree.

The first answer is that Oracle Solaris 11.2 is now supported for most features in Ops Center. You can manage it, install it, update it, create zones on it - basically, anything you can do with Oracle Solaris 11.1, you can also do with Oracle Solaris 11.2.

The caveat to that is that the features introduced with Oracle Solaris 11.2, such as Kernel Zones, are not yet officially supported through Ops Center. We're working hard on adding that support right now.

Thursday Aug 14, 2014

CPU Architectures in 12.2.1

I've talked about a few of the enhancements that came in version 12.2.1 over the past few weeks. The last one is a new generic architecture class for newer systems that gives you new migration options for logical domains.

Some new systems - Oracle SPARC T4 servers, Oracle M5 and M6 servers, and Fujitsu M10 servers - have a class1 architecture. When you start a guest domain on one of these systems, Ops Center recognizes the architecture, and you can migrate the guest to systems with other CPU architectures without losing any LDOM capabilities.

Take a look at the Oracle VM Server for SPARC chapter in the Feature Reference Guide for more information about CPU architectures and other Logical Domain configuration options.

Thursday Aug 07, 2014

Audit Logs in 12.2.1

An increased audit capacity for Ops Center is something that folks have been asking about for a while. In 12.2.1, we added audit logs to provide this capability.

The audit logs are kept on the Enterprise Controller system starting in 12.2.1. They contain records of user logins, changes to user accounts, and job details. The logs require root access on the EC system and can't be edited, so they're a secure means of tracking who's logged in to Ops Center and done what.

The Feature Reference Guide has more information about how to view the audit logs.

Thursday Jul 31, 2014

LDAP Enhancements in 12.2.1

In Ops Center 12.2 and older versions, there were limitations on how a user pulled from an LDAP could log in to Ops Center - basically, users could only log in using the user name field.

One of the improvements in version 12.2.1 is that an Ops Center Admin can designate other fields, such as email address, name, or member ID, to be used when logging in to Ops Center.

The Admin Guide's section on Users and Roles has more information about adding users from directory servers.

Thursday Jul 24, 2014

Upgrading to version 12.2.1

Now that Ops Center 12.2.1 is out, I thought I'd give a brief walkthrough of the upgrade process.

The first thing to do if you're planning on upgrading to 12.2.1 is checking the upgrade paths. If you're using an older version of Ops Center, such as 12.1.4, you'll have to upgrade to version 12.2 first. Here's a flowchart that shows the supported upgrade paths:


Once you've figured out your upgrade path, you should check the release notes. They have a list of known issues that could be relevant to your environment. In particular, if you're using version 12.2, there's a patch that you have to apply if you want to upgrade through the UI.

Once you've taken a look at the release notes, the Upgrade Guide will take you through the upgrade itself, with different procedures based on how you're doing your upgrade (through the UI or command line) and what sort of environment you have.

Thursday Jan 02, 2014

Installing and Configuring Ops Center

Our previous post was about planning an Ops Center installation. Once you've done the planning, you're ready to install and configure the software.

The initial installation is done from the command line. You put the correct bundle on the EC and PC systems, unpack it, and install it. Depending on your planning choices you'll use a few different options with the install commands.

Once the install tells you that it's done, your final step is to log in to the UI and configure the Enterprise Controller. During the config process you will choose a connection mode (disconnected mode for dark sites or connected mode if the EC has internet access), set up the libraries for Linux, Oracle Solaris 8-10, and Oracle Solaris 11 content, and set up DHCP for OS provisioning if you need it.

Installing Ops Center is a complex process, and this post is just an overview and not a quick-start. The Oracle Solaris Installation Guide and the Linux Installation Guide go into much greater detail. If you have specific questions about installing Ops Center, let me know.

Thursday Dec 19, 2013

Planning an Ops Center Installation

Installing Ops Center in your environment takes some planning. There are several planning decisions that you need to make before you can kick off the installation and configuration.

The first decision is whether or not you want to set up High Availability for your Enterprise Controller. You can set up Ops Center with a single Enterprise Controller, or you can use Oracle Clusterware to set up multiple ECs in a cluster. Having multiple ECs uses more systems, but it also makes your environment much more resistant to system failures; EC failover is much quicker than restoring a single EC from a backup file.

Figuring out where you want to put the product database is your next step. You can use a co-located database, which Ops Center can install on the Enterprise Controller system. However, if you're using EC HA, or if you want to have more control over the database, you can use an existing Oracle Database 11g.

Finally, before you begin the installation, you should decide how many Proxy Controllers you want to use. Proxy Controllers work with the Enterprise Controller to execute jobs. One Proxy Controller can generally handle about a thousand managed systems. If you have fewer than that, you can enable the co-located Proxy Controller on the Enterprise Controller system, but if you have more you're liable to want multiple Proxy Controllers on separate systems. Also, if you plan on performing OS provisioning, you'll want to have Proxy Controllers on the networks of the OSP target systems.

Planning an Ops Center installation is a complex process, and this post is just an overview. The Oracle Solaris Installation Guide and the Linux Installation Guide go into much greater detail. If you have specific questions about planning an installation, let me know.

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 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.

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 Jul 25, 2013

Management access point authentication failure

Some users of Ops Center 12.1.4 are seeing an issue where, after upgrading or doing a new install, their assets are getting dozens of warning incidents that say "Management access point failed authentication during login to asset." Eventually, the severity increases as the warnings pile up, and communication with the asset can be disrupted.

You can prevent this issue, or halt it if you've already hit it, by logging in to the Enterprise Controller and creating a /var/tmp/no_os_selfhealing file if it doesn't exist. For example:

touch /var/tmp/no_os_selfhealing

You can use this fix before you do the upgrade or installation, to prevent the issue from occurring at all.

If you have assets that are already having communication trouble because of the issue, then once you've added the file as described above, you can solve the issue by deleting and rediscovering the asset deleting the Access Point for the Service Processor, and then rediscovering just the hardware. If you have a Proxy Controller or Enterprise Controller that's been affected, you should restart them after applying this fix.

Edit: You can also fix the issue by downloading the latest version of the OCDoctor (4.24) and running it with the --troubleshoot option. Take a look at this bulletin for more info.

Edit 2: Updated to use a less destructive fix for affected assets.

Tuesday Jun 25, 2013

Japanese Documentation

Part of the Oracle team in Japan has just completed a translation of the Ops Center documentation site into Japanese. I recognize that this is only relevant for a certain number of bilingual readers, but if you are one of that select few, you can head over and take a look.
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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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