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.

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.

Thursday Sep 20, 2012

Building a virtualized SPARC environment

If you're interested in making effective use of virtualization tools like Oracle VM Server, there's a whitepaper on oracle.com that you should check out.

The whitepaper starts with a few specific technologies and hardware: Oracle VM Server for SPARC, T4 Servers, Ops Center, Solaris 11, Sun Network 10GbE Switches, and Sun ZFS Storage Appliances. It then explains how to use them to plan and set up a virtualized environment, in which guests are grouped in Server Pools with high availability and are managed through Ops Center. It explains how Ops Center simplifies the management of logical domains by using custom plans to create new logical domains and managing their life cycle through its user interface.

So, if you're interested in setting up a cloud and you want to avoid surprises along the way, have a look.

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.

Thursday Sep 13, 2012

Article about Sun ZFS Storage Appliances

Sun ZFS Storage Appliances are versatile storage systems. Discovering and managing them in Ops Center, though, makes them even more versatile. If you discover a Sun ZFS Storage Appliance in Ops Center 12c, you can create iSCSI and Fibre Channel LUNS, and make the LUNs available to server pools and virtualization hosts as a storage library.

Barbara Higgins has written an excellent article that walks you through the process of setting up a Sun ZFS Storage Appliance and discovering and managing it in Ops Center. If you're looking into ways to make a Sun ZFS Storage Appliance work for you, it's worth a look.

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.

Wednesday Sep 05, 2012

Update for Oracle Solaris Agents

There's an update available for S10 and S11 Agents that fixes a few known Agent issues.

The Upgrade chapter of the Admin Guide explains how to get it. Basically, you can download it through the UI if you're in connected mode, through the Ops Center Downloads option under Administration. You can also download it from the OTN.

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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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