Wednesday Apr 07, 2010

Ops Center 2.5 Update 3 Released

I'm pleased to announce that today Ops Center 2.5 update 3 is being released!  For those of you who are Ops Center users, you'll see the update become available in your console sometime today for an automatic upgrade (which can automatically upgrade the Enterprise Controller, Proxy and Agent tiers for you at your command).

 Good stuff in update 3 includes:

  • Substantial performance increases!  In fact, the performance team tells me they think it's now possible to effectively support more than 2x the number of managed operating systems under a single Enterprise Controller with good performance.
  • Support for IPMP networking with the Solaris Container management.  This allows for the creation and management of zones with full network redundancy.
  • Over 50 bug fixes

Oh, and last, but not least, when you run the upgrade you'll find that Sun Ops Center has turned into Oracle Enterprise Ops Center.   All the functionality is the same, but the headers, banners and logos have all changed.  Don't be alarmed!  Here's a preview pic of what you'll see.

Happy Virtualizing!

Monday Mar 15, 2010

Managing Application to Disk

Software. Hardware. Complete.  For the Oracle Enterprise Manager team, this is more than a mere slogan.  It's become a mantra and central focus.  In no part of the combined Oracle+Sun portfolio are the effects of this acquisition being felt faster than in the management stack.  A central focus for us is to ensure that customers have a single, integrated, powerful set of tools that manage the combination of Oracle's infrastructure and application software with Sun's OS and hardware.

To that end, today we're announcing Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center.  This tool is the newest member of the Enterprise Manager family and provides powerful management features for Systems Administrators and IT Operations.  Functions include:

  • Hardware management (agentless monitoring, control of Lights Out Management units)
  • Firmware provisioning and compliance checking
  • Operating Systems bare-metal provisioning for Solaris and Linux
  • World-class patching/updating functionality for Solaris, Linux and Windows
  • Unmatched management of Solaris virtualization technologies such as Containers/Zones and Logical Domains
  • And much more...

Of course, what we're introducing today goes beyond a mere re-skinning of Sun Ops Center.  The promise is to offer real integration, and now we're delivering on the first phase in that roadmap by introducing the Oracle Management Connector for Ops Center.  This software allows customers to connect an instance of Ops Center to an instance of Oracle Enterprise Manager's grid control server and connect the event streams of the two products, allowing for new levels of visibility into the customer's systems when using the combination of Oracle and Sun technology.

The screenshot below (click to enlarge) shows an example of what's possible.  It's shows a view from inside Enterprise Manager's grid control UI.  Under the Alerts part of the view, you see two alert messages.  One is a warning about File Systems space that's generated by grid control.  However, what's new is the warning about the ambient temperature of the server exceeding a safe threshold (variable T_AMB which is pulled from the Sun ILOM processor by Ops Center).  This is all now combined into a single event stream that can give a DBA new insights into how the hardware on which their DB is hosted is performing. 

This is only the beginning.  Expect to see much more from us on deeper integration between Ops Center into Entperise Manager over the coming months.  Watch this space for more details.

Tuesday Oct 20, 2009

IDC Publishes Note on Ops Center

IDC is one of the leading analyst firms in the world, and they just posted a note about Ops Center's impact in the market.  The document is entitled Sun Ops Center 2.5: Managing Mixed Environments in Virtualized Sun Infrastructure and you can download the note here.  Definitely worth a read.

Friday Oct 16, 2009

Ops Center Wraps Up Open World

Well, Oracle Open World has wrapped up.  It was (in the immortal words of Bill & Ted) Most Excellent!  The show was truly massive, spilling out of Moscone Center and onto Howard street (see pic below).

Of course, Ops Center had a demo area where we got to show of the new 2.5 release to tons of interested customers.  Here you can see Steve Stelting (Ops Center engineer) demoing the new stuff.

Also, Mike Wookey and Tony Tomarchio did a great presentation on Ops Center 2.5.  You can download a PDF of their slides here.  Too bad we didn't get to record all the demos (they took up much of the session), but you can see lots of demos here

Of course there were other surprises too.  A visit from the Governator and the Toxic Twins put a real cap on the experience! 

Monday Oct 05, 2009

Planning for Oracle Open World

I'm starting to plan for Oracle Open World, which starts this Sunday.  I find that I'm actually getting kind of excited.  With JavaOne (Sun's biggest show) I always know what to expect, and I pretty much knew all about the technologies that interested me.  This is not so with Oracle Open World.  It's massive, and there is so much new stuff to learn!

I spent part of the day yesterday scouring the program to find all the sessions that interested me.  There were really too many to possibly attend (several times there were two sessions at exactly the same time I wanted to attend).  Below you'll find my personal list of sessions I'm going to try to go to.  I may try to hit a few more, and may miss some of these, but this is my personal target this.  I hope to see some of you at these too.  It should be a blast.

Session ID Time Room

Welcome to SUNday--Larry Ellison and Scott McNealy

17:45 Moscone North / Hall D


Solaris Virtualization for Application Consolidation S312622 11:30 Marriott Hotel / Salon 6
Managing Physical and Virtual Sun Systems with Ops Center S312605 13:00 Marriott Hotel / Salon 6
Getting Started with Oracle Enterprise Manager: Tips and Tricks S308083 14:30 Moscone South / Room 303
Get the Most Out of Virtualization: Manage Top-Down from Application to Disk S311846 16:00 YBCA / Novellus Theater
Comprehensive Linux Lifecycle Management Made Easy S307463 17:30 Moscone South / Room 302


Oracle Enterprise Manager: The Complete Oracle Ecosystem Management Tool S308065 11:30 Moscone South / Room 303
Optimizing Your Oracle Deployments with the Solaris Operating System S312609 13:00 Marriott Hotel / Salon 6
Oracle's Virtualization Road Map S312775 14:30 Moscone South / Room 302
Designing Better Desktop Environments with Sun Desktop Virtualization S312617 16:00 Marriott Hotel / Salon 6
Linux Administration Best Practices with Oracle Enterprise Manager S308079 17:30 Moscone South / Room 307


Oracle Unbreakable Linux: Everything You Need to Know in Just 30 Minutes S307460 13:00 Moscone South / Room 302
Oracle VM: Everything You Need to Know in Just 30 Minutes S307461 13:45 Moscone South / Room 302

Thursday Oct 01, 2009

The Upgraded Ops Center Info Exchange

As we've upgraded Ops Center, our Information Exchange for docs and training has also been upgraded.  The info exchange includes links to training and docs.  Click on the image below to check it out.

Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

Bridging Ops Center and Oracle Enterprise Manager

Yesterday's big announcement was Ops Center 2.5's availability.  However, at the end of the press release, there was a short paragraph about how we plan to demo at Oracle Open World some new technology to connect Sun's and Oracle's systems management tools.  This technology isn't ready for production yet, but it is far enough along to help demonstrate how valuable Ops Center can be to customers using Oracle.

At Open World we'll be showing the first phase of the Ops Center to Enterprise Manager bridge.  In this phase of the project, we've built a plug-in to Enterprise Manager that allows Enterprise Manager to pull detailed hardware information from Ops Center up into Enterprise Manager.  Why is this interesting?  Because now customers using both EM and OC will be able to correlate information from higher levels of the system (like database and middleware stats) to lower level information (like hardware performance counters and component failures).  Here's a screenshot that shows some of this detailed hardware information displayed inside Enterprise Manager.

This is just the begining.  Longer term we'll start to pass information in both directions and do more complex linking between the products.  It should offer us a very powerful solution for customers of both products.

Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

Ops Center 2.5 Announced!

Today we're announcing Ops Center 2.5.  This is the first release of Ops Center since version 2.1 in April and the first major upgrade since the 2.0 release in February.  Check out the video below for highlights.  Also, you can read the press release here or go to the new, upgraded Ops Center Web Site for more details and more videos.

The final bits for Ops Center 2.5 will be shipping on October 11, in conjunction with the first day of the Oracle Open World conference.  We'll be demoing the product (including our forthcoming integration features that link Ops Center to Oracle Enterprise Manager) on the show floor and have a technical session for in depth discussion.  I'll post details here soon.  Please be sure to join us!

Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

New Tree Search Feature in Ops Center 2.5

Here is another small, but very useful addition to the user interface in Ops Center 2.5.  In this release, the team has put a lot of emphasis on scale.  The first problem you see when working with very large numbers of assets is just finding what you're looking for.  In a previous entry I talked about smart groups that allow for automatic categorization.  Now, we've added another feature.  This time in addition to grouping, you can search the asset tree for any string.  And, it works with Smart Groups, so you can filter on a group and then search within it.  Take a look below at these two screenshots.  At the top you can select your Smart Group filter and near the bottom you can enter your search term.

Sunday Jul 26, 2009

The New Jobs Drawer in Ops Center 2.5

Because Ops Center is designed to manage thousands of servers, we designed it differently than other, more traditional management systems.  In particular, the core of the Ops Center Controller is a giant job queuing systems.  Almost no actions in Ops Center are synchronous.  When the user requests an action, a job is created and queued for execution.  Then the job is picked up by a Proxy for execution against a group of managed Servers or OSs.  Because this is all asynchronous, jobs can be queued against thousands of systems and executed in an orderly manner -- without blocking the user interface until they complete.

However, with all these jobs starting and completing on different schedules, it requires that Ops Center do a really good job of explaining to the user the state of the world.  What jobs are processing?  What has completed?  Did anything fail?  Thus, in Ops Center 2.5, we've redesigned the user experience for accessing the job manager status to be even easier.  In version 2.0 and 2.1, there was a section in the left-nav that took you to a dedicated screen to access job info.  Now it's available all the time.

Take a look at the screenshot below.  At the bottom-left corner of the screen is the word "Jobs" followed by a set of icons and numbers.  This shows you the current status of the job manager at a glance, all the time.  Each of those numbers tells you how many jobs are in different states.  How many have completed, are processing or have failed, etc.

Beyond that, each of those icons is a button (with a rollover tooltip to remind you the exact meaning of the icon) that allows you to access the Jobs Drawer.  Let's start by clicking on the icon with the Yellow Arrow.  This opens the Job Drawer and shows us all the jobs in the system.

Next, we might want to just focus in on the jobs that failed, so we click on the Red Stop Sign.  That filters the jobs to only show ones with Failed status.  The screen below shows that this looks like.

Now, of course, when you see you have two failed jobs you'll want to find out why.  You can double click any of the jobs in the list and bring up the details of that job (example below).

The job details shows you each step in the job (many jobs have multiple components) and shows you the specific target(s) that may have failed (jobs can be directed and multiple hosts and may success against some and fail on others).  This then gives you the info you need to investigate the failure, determine the problem and then, if you so choose, rerun the job against failed targets with just the click of a button.


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


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