Thursday Nov 29, 2012

Webcast on using live upgrade

Leon Shaner is doing a webcast next week, on Thursday Dec. 6 at 11 am EST, about updating Oracle Solaris in Ops Center using Live Upgrade. He's also written a blog post over on the Enterprise Manager blog about using Live Upgrade and and Oracle Solaris 11 Boot Environments, which goes into a lot of detail about the benefits, requirements, setup, and use of these features.

Edit: A recording of this conference is available here.

Wednesday Nov 21, 2012

Ops Center zip documentation

If you're operating in a dark site, or are otherwise without easy access to the internet, it can be tricky to get access to the docs. The readme comes along with the product, but that's not exactly the same as the whole doc library.

Well, we've put a zip file with the whole doc library contents up on the main doc page. So, if you are in a site without internet access, you can get the zip, extract it, and have a portable version of the site, including the pdf and html versions of all of the docs.

Tuesday Oct 30, 2012

OS Analytics Post and Discussion

Eran Steiner has written an interesting piece over on the Enterprise Manager blog about the OS Analytics feature of Ops Center. OS Analytics gives you a huge amount of information about the characteristics of managed operating systems and lets you track changes to these characteristics over time. Take a look; it's a useful feature.

The OS Analytics feature is also the subject of the community call this week (Eran is leading that one too). It's at 11 am EST.

Edit: The conference has happened, but the recording is available here.

Thursday Sep 27, 2012

Provisioning Videos

There are a couple of new videos up on the Oracle Learning Youtube channel about Ops Center's provisioning capabilities. Simon Hayler does a walkthrough of a couple of different procedures.

The first video shows you how to provision Oracle Solaris zones. It explains how to create an Oracle Solaris Zone profile, and then how to apply it (using a deployment plan) to a target system.

The second video shows you how to provision an x86 server with Oracle Solaris. This uses a very similar process - you create a OS provisioning profile, then use a deployment plan to apply it to the target hardware.

The documentation goes over OS provisioning and zone creation in the Feature Guide, if you're looking for additional information.

Monday Sep 17, 2012

Upgrading Agent Controllers

There was an update for Oracle Solaris Agents not too long ago. Over on the Oracle Enterprise Manager blog, Steve Stelting has put together a detailed walkthrough for upgrading your environment. It covers downloading the Agent update, seeing what Agents need to be upgraded, and performing the upgrade itself

Speaking of which, the Oracle Enterprise Manager blog often has in-depth posts about Ops Center, so it's well worth a look if you don't follow it.

Tuesday Aug 14, 2012

Checking an Agent's status

Sometimes, through network or configuration problems, you can end up with an OS where you're not sure if it has a properly configured Agent. There are a few simple things you can do to see if an asset has an Agent, and if it does, to see if it's correctly configured to talk to a Proxy Controller.

One way to check is to look for the "scn-agent" SMF service. If it exists, there's an Agent on the system that has been configured. If the service is disabled, the agent isn't running, but it has been installed and configured.

# svcs scn-agent
STATE          STIME    FMRI
online         Aug_14   svc:/application/management/common-agent-container-1:scn-agent 

 Another way is to run "sc-console list-connections". If the Agent is configured, this will show you the connection to the Proxy Controller.

# sc-console list-connections
scn-agenthttps://10.163.209.70:21165  urn:scn:clregid:<string>

 Another way is to run the OCDoctor utility with the --troubleshoot flag, which will let you know if there's an issue with the Agent.

# ./OCDoctor.sh --troubleshoot
Ops Center Doctor 4.10  [OC 12.1.1.2076,SunOS11]
OCDoctor: =============== Checking agent... ===============
OCDoctor: OK: Agent requirements are met
OCDoctor: OK: Patch 121431-54 is installed
<output omitted>

Any one of these tools can help you get a better idea of what a particular Agent is doing, and whether or not it's configured properly.

Wednesday Jul 25, 2012

We're back

I've been getting a lot of questions about the documentation for Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center recently. A lot of it has changed for the 12c version; there's new content and old content in new places, and it's a lot of information to take in.

Given that, I thought I'd resurrect this blog and talk about how the documentation can help you use the product. I'll answer questions from the blog and from other users, point out How To guides and other docs that will help you better use the product, and let you know when there's an update and what's in it.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Thursday Apr 08, 2010

Ops Center Update 2.5.0.1186

Ops Center 2.5.0.1186 is available today. For those of you who aren't familiar with Ops Center, it's a datacenter management tool that lets you discover physical and virtual assets in your data center, manage and monitor them, provision OSes and firmware, and update OSes.

This update is primarily focused on performance enhancements. Here are some of the key changes:

  • The OC Doctor and GDD are now bundled with the update. The OC Doctor can be used to predict, diagnose, and sometimes fix Ops Center issues, and the GDD gathers data for troubleshooting.
  • Limited IPMP support
  • Job Throttling - this improves job performance when jobs are run on large numbers of targets.
  • Oracle Branding - this shows that we're part of the Oracle Enterprise Manager family, and makes us look snazzier.
  • 64-bit support for Solaris ECs.

If you're using 2.5, you can download and apply the update using these instructions. If you're using Ops Center 2.1, you'll have to upgrade to 2.5 before applying the update.

Thursday Mar 18, 2010

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center

There's an announcement out that Ops Center is now a part of the Oracle Enterprise Manager family. I thought I'd talk a little about what that means.

The Oracle EM Management Connector, which is now available, is our first step in making Ops Center work with Oracle Enterprise Manager. The Connector lets Ops Center share some data with EM. Notifications from Ops Center about Sun Server hardware faults; Linux, Oracle Solaris, or Windows OS performance; and other events can be sent to the EM console, where they are displayed along with EM notifications. These notifications help you address potential issues by showing them all in one place.

If you're currently using EM and Ops Center, you can get started with the Management Connector using these instructions. Here's the short version:

  1. Download and install the connector.
  2. Set up a user in Ops Center and make a notification profile that includes the notifications you want sent to EM.
  3. Register the connection between EM Ops Center and EM.
  4. Add the Ops Center cert to EM.
  5. Configure EM to listen to Ops Center.

Once you've done this, the Ops Center notifications that are sent to your new user will also appear in the EM console. You can fine-tune the way that they show up using controls in the EM console.

Tuesday Feb 02, 2010

Ops Center Update available

We released an update for Ops Center today. You can see the readme about it here, and if you're operating in Connected Mode, you can download it through the BUI using these instructions.

In addition to some bug fixes, there are a couple of new features in this update:

  • The "Add Asset to Group" action is now available from within smart groups and user-defined groups.
  • Limited support is now available for aggregated links for Zones and LDoms networking. Link aggregations are now displayed in the configuration wizard. You can define a network as using a link aggregation and assign a network to a global zone or to a control domain (logical domain host) in the configuration wizard. You can also define a zone guest or an LDom guest using link aggregation.
If you're using Ops Center 2.5, take a look.

Thursday Jan 21, 2010

OS Update Video

Updating operating systems is one of Ops Center's key features. There are a variety of ways to update Solaris, Linux, and Windows operating systems.

You can update a Solaris OS by running a report on the OS, modifying a system catalog, using live upgrade, using an existing profile, or launching an OS update job directly.

You can create customized OS update profiles and policies that standardize your update jobs to fit your patching requirements. We've put together a video that shows you how to create policies and profiles and how to use them to update a Solaris OS.

Take a look at the Media Library for links to other Ops Center demos.

Tuesday Dec 22, 2009

Creating Zones

In an earlier blog post we described the enhanced support for Solaris Containers in Ops Center. Using Ops Center 2.5, you can create zones through the BUI. This is much simpler than the regular procedure of using the native command line environment to create a zone.

Before creating a non-global zone in Ops Center, you have to discover and manage the global zone. You then select the global zone and click Create Zone in the Actions panel of the BUI. It takes you through the Create Zone wizard.

We have put together a screencast that takes you through the wizard of creating a zone in Ops Center.

Thursday Dec 17, 2009

Upgrading to Ops Center 2.5

Our engineering team has just released the Ops Center 2.1>2.5 Upgrade. If you're currently using Ops Center 2.1, you can use it to upgrade to 2.5 while preserving your asset and job data.

Before you use the upgrade, take a look at the upgrade documentation and the system requirements for Ops Center 2.5. There are some tasks that you need to perform before upgrading, including upgrading your SLES systems with a required RPM package, backing up your Proxy Controllers, and verifying system requirements (since they've gone up since version 2.1). The new OC Doctor can also help you determine if your system is up to par for version 2.5.

After you confirm that your system can be upgraded, you can get the upgrade either by talking to Sun Support Services or, on Solaris Ops Center installations, by downloading it. Follow the instructions in the documentation, and you'll be running version 2.5.

Friday Dec 11, 2009

Prepping for an Install: The OC Doctor

There are a lot of things to consider when you're getting ready to install Ops Center. What hardware are you going to put it on? How many Proxy Controllers do you need to manage your systems? What kind of setup is needed to ensure good performance?

Our engineering folks created a script called the OC Doctor to help answer these questions. You can download it here, and run it on any system that will be part of your Ops Center installation. It'll do a few things for you.

First, it can check to see that your systems meet the Ops Center prerequisites. The --sat-prereq option will check the system against the requirements for the Enterprise Controller that runs Ops Center. These requirements have changed a fair bit since the last version, so this is a good thing to check. The --agent-prereq option will verify that a system can be managed by Ops Center.

The OC Doctor can also check a system's performance. By using this command on the systems that will be your Enterprise Controller and Proxy Controllers, and comparing the data to the values on the System Scaling page, you can see how well your setup will handle the Ops Center workload.

Finally, the OC Doctor also contains several options that can be used to troubleshoot Ops Center after an installation, gather information if a help ticket is needed, and tune your systems to optimize Ops Center's performance.

If you're considering an Ops Center installation, or are considering changing your setup to optimize performance, the OC Doctor will be able to help.

Monday Nov 23, 2009

Branded Zones in Ops Center 2.5

The branded zone facility in Solaris OS is an extension of the Solaris Zones. It lets you install Solaris 8 or 9 Containers in branded zones on a Solaris 10 OS system.

Sun Ops Center lets you create branded zones. Before creating branded zones, you must follow and verify certain instructions. We have put together the necessary steps that need to be followed before creating a branded zone in Ops Center.

For branded zone installation, the SUNWs8brandr and SUNWs8brandu packages must be installed in the global zone. These packages should have been installed on your system during Solaris OS installation. If not, install the following packages according to the Solaris 10 OS version on the global zone:

  • Global zones that are running less than Solaris 10 10/08 OS version
    • SUNWbrandu and SUNWbrandr for Solaris 8 Containers
    • SUNWbrandu, SUNWbrandr, and SUNWbrandk for Solaris 9 Containers
  • Global zones that are running Solaris 10 10/08 OS or later versions
    • SUNWbrandk for Solaris 8 or 9 Containers

These packages are available from the Solaris 10 OS media or from the Sun Download Center in the Solaris Containers 8 or 9 Product.

Ops Center provides Create Zone option to configure and install a zone. This option displays a Create Zone wizard which takes you through a series of steps to select the CPU model, network, file systems, and storage for the zone configuration. Take a look at the Solaris Containers section in the Wiki Documentation for detailed information.

When you create a branded zone in Ops Center, you must provide the image location for Solaris 8 or 9 Containers in the first step of the Create Zone wizard. You cannot use images that are available from the libraries that are associated with the global zone. Instead, download the flar images from the Sun Download Center and store them in one of the following locations and provide the image location while creating a branded zone:

  • Global zone. Provide the image location as file:///path/of/the/image
  • HTTP Server that is accessible from the global zone. Provide the image location as http://path/of/the/image
  • FTP Server that is accessible from the global zone. Provide the image location as ftp://path/of/the/image

Apart from this, also watch out for the language selection in the Create Zone wizard. If you have selected a language in the wizard that is not installed in the flar, the create zone job fails.

These collective information should be helpful for a successful brand zone creation using Ops Center.

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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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