New Smart Goups Feature in Ops Center 2.5

We've reached some key, internal development milestones for Ops Center 2.5 so I thought it was a good occasion to share more key bits of what's coming in this next release.  One small, but very cool feature is called Smart Groups.  Ops Center has always offered the ability to create arbitrary groupings of assets, and it still does.  However, it now offers the ability to use several pre-fabricated Smart Groups that act a queries against the data model and create automatic associations.  It's not rocket science, but it is incredibly convenient!

Let me show you how it works.  These are some screen shots I took off of a development systems this morning.  When you open Ops Center 2.5, much of it looks familiar, but there are some key changes.  One of them is in the left-hand side nav bar.  In particular, there is now a drop down menu that allows you to select different filters.  In the screenshot below, it's set to the default "All Assets" filter (which is pretty much the only filter there was in 2.5).  Note these assets are a collection of hardware, operating systems, and virtual machines (both SPARC and x86).

Now, if you click on that drop down, you'll see all the pre-built filters that are now available.  These filters allow you to quick select custom views depending on the kinds of operations you want to do.  They also provide you quick access to heterogeneous groups -- which means you can take common actions across the group. 

Below you'll see the screen you get when you select the Operating Systems view.  You'll note it includes automatically built sub-groups for each major OS.  This makes it easy to do something like run a security compliance report against all your RedHat systems.  Also, the inspector in the center pain now shows summary information for the group -- like top CPU and memory using systems.  This can help you quickly identify a server that may be in trouble.

And lastly, here you can see the quick breakdown that comes from the Systems filter.  This shows you all the servers, and breaks them down by different processor types.  Need to do a firmware check against all your SPARC systems?  Easy!  Need to do an emergency power down on your whole data center?  Easy!

While none of this is really complicated, it's sure to make admin's lives easier -- and that is Ops Center's main job.  In the next few days, I'll post a few other cool bits coming in 2.5.  One final note: as part of this re-organization we've dropped the term Gear from the interface.  It seems some people found this term to be either confusing or even distasteful.  We've generally moved to using the term Asset.  Let me know here if you like or dislike the change (if you have an opinion)!

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Thoughts on cloud computing, virtualization and data center management from Steve Wilson, Oracle engineering VP.

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