Friday Feb 28, 2014

Friday Spotlight: What's in a Name?

This week’s spotlight is an Oracle VM tip from Greg King, our best practices engineer. While the tip may appear to be straightforward, a well thought out naming convention is critical in helping system administrators better organize, manage and eliminate mistakes made by other administrators.

Oracle VM is designed to be a highly availability computing platform for your Oracle VM guests. However, high availability is not just about ensuring you have eliminated as many single points of failure as possible, it also means making your Oracle VM platform easy to understand and maintain. An easy to understand Oracle VM environment makes all the difference in managing and maintaining a fault tolerate environment for your Oracle VM Guests when the chips hit the fan.

The use of meaningful descriptions and simple names is a frequently overlooked key to maintaining a reliable highly available computing platform. One goal of high availability is reducing the occurrence of mistakes that cause outages through human error. Using cryptic naming schemes, relying on default names of objects and failing to use descriptions effectively all contribute to overly complex, hard to understand Oracle VM environments; this in turn can completely undermine all the effort you put into eliminating single points of failure in your hardware and operating systems.

The easier it is to understand things at a glance, the faster tasks can be done with less explanation and less chance for critical mistakes. So, let’s take a look at a few examples of things you can do to make your Oracle VM object naming scheme more powerful.

People often leave the simple name for the server management network as the dotted decimal notation of the subnet. Even worse, they use the dotted decimal subnets as names for all their other networks they create. This is pretty cryptic and quite meaningless to anyone but a few in your organization. The default name is meant to be changed to something meaningful in your environment and a naming scheme should be developed that is simple yet meaningful for the remaining networks you create. We have a network naming white paper available on OTN that might give you some good ideas.

You should also take the time to create meaningful naming schemes for Oracle VM servers, server pools, physical disks, virtual disks, guests and guest resources such as assemblies, ISO images and templates. You want to be able to relate various objects to each other without having to search through different tabs and sub-tabs so take the time to create and use meaningful simple names.

If nothing else, the more time you spend making your naming scheme easy to understand, the faster you can detect issues from Oracle VM Manager at a glance. This can save you time on maintaining tedious documentation that you don’t like to write and most people don’t like to read.

Friday Sep 06, 2013

Friday Tips #44

Happy Friday of a short week for our US readers!

This week is about backing up and recovering your Oracle VM systems. Oracle's Greg King just released an extremely thorough guide to give you the background you need to design a backup and recovery plan that fits the needs of your deployments. Have a look:

Oracle VM 3: Backup and Recovery Best Practices Guide

Have a great weekend!

-Chris 

Friday Jun 21, 2013

Friday Tips #33

Happy Friday, everyone!

Our tip this week is from an excellent white paper written by our own Greg King titled Oracle VM 3: Building a Demo Environment using Oracle VM VirtualBox. In it, Greg gives you everything you need to know to set up Oracle VM Server inside of Oracle VM VirtualBox for testing and demoing. The section we're highlighting below is on how to configure the network interfaces of your virtual machines:

VirtualBox comes with a few different types of network interfaces that can be used to allow communication between the VM guests and the host operating system, including network interfaces that will allow the VM guests to communicate with local and wide area networks accessed from your laptop or personal computer. However, for the purpose of the demonstration environment we will limit the network communication to include access just between your desktop and the virtual machines being managed by VirtualBox.

The install process for Oracle VM VirtualBox creates a single host-only network device on your laptop or personal computer. Using the host-only network device will allow you to open a browser on your desktop to access the Oracle VM Manager running within the VirtualBox VM guest. The device will only allow network traffic between the VM guests and your host operating system, but nothing outside the confines of your laptop or personal computer.

We will need to add a second host-only network since the Oracle VM Server appliance has both eth0 and eth1 configured. You can choose to use eth1 on the Oracle VM Servers or not use them – the choice is yours. But, at least the host side network device will exist if you decide to use it.

Greg goes on to describe in detail how to setup the network interfaces, so you can head on over to the paper and get even more info.

See you next week!

-Chris 

Friday May 31, 2013

Friday Tips #30

I'm always a fan of round numbers, and today we bring you the 30th edition of our Friday tips series!

This week, it's another video on the Oracle VM Command Line Interface video from Greg King, Principal Best Practices Consultant, Oracle VM Product Management. This one covers the object relationships in the Oracle VM command line interface:

Thanks Greg!

See you all next week with another tip.

-Chris 

Friday May 24, 2013

Friday Tips #29

We hope you're having a great Friday! We've got another tip from our Oracle VM Command Line Interface video series for you this week from Greg King, Principal Best Practices Consultant, Oracle VM Product Management. This one is on the basics of the Oracle VM command line interface:

Thanks Greg!

And we'll see you all next week with another tip!

-Chris 

Friday May 17, 2013

Friday Tips #28

Happy Friday, folks! We've got another video tip for you this week from Greg King, Principal Best Practices Consultant, Oracle VM Product Management. This one is on the interactive help features of the Oracle VM command line interface:

Thanks Greg!

And we'll see you all next week with another tip!

-Chris 

Friday Apr 19, 2013

Friday Tips #24

We've got another video tip for you this week from Greg King, Principal Best Practices Consultant, Oracle VM Product Management. This one is on setting up SSH keys to make it quicker to log in to the command line interface for Oracle VM:

We'll see you next week with another tip! Remember, if you want to ask us something directly, you can post on Twitter tagged with #askoraclevirtualization.

-Chris 

Friday Mar 15, 2013

Friday Tips #19

Happy Friday!

In our Friday tip #12, we had a discussion on how to use the Oracle VM command line interface. This week's tip follows up on that with a very nice video from Greg King, Principal Best Practices Consultant, Oracle VM Product Mangement. In this video, Greg shows you how to get started with the command line interface:

Tech Tip - How to Get Started with the Oracle VM Command Line Interface

We'll see you next week for our first (modest) milestone, the 20th Friday tip blog!

-Chris 

Friday Jan 25, 2013

Friday Tips #12

Our tip this week is about the newly released Oracle VM 3.2. For some background, you might also want to check out this related tip on updating Oracle VM Manager.

Question:
How do I get started with the command line interface for Oracle VM Manager?

Answer by Gregory King, Principal Best Practices Consultant, Oracle VM Product Management:
Oracle VM 3 ships with an automation tool that system administrators are going to love! Beginning with the latest version of 3.2, our Oracle VM 3 product comes with a built-in command line interface (CLI) that allows system administrators to create automated solutions using their favorite shell or scripting language. For example, you can create a bash or ksh script using calls to the CLI to gather information about objects and attributes managed by the Oracle VM Manager. You can also include CLI calls to change objects and attributes as well as initiate tasks such as putting a server into maintenance mode and then starting a software update using our built-in Server Update Manager.

Check Your Access to the CLI
The CLI is started automatically when the Oracle VM Manager is started during boot or whenever you execute “service ovmm start” on the server where Oracle VM Manager is installed. Test the ability to connect to the CLI first by logging in using ssh. You can execute the ssh session from any server with an ssh client – you should really test the login from the server where the automation scripts will reside. Perhaps you want to write the scripts and keep them on the same server where Oracle VM Manager is installed or perhaps you want to keep the scripts on a management/administration server where you keep all your other management scripts – the choice is really up to you.

Let’s assume for our example you are going to keep the scripts on a Linux server named “myserver”. Simply execute the ssh command shown below to test your login.  The CLI will prompt you for a password – this is the same password you use for the admin user when you log into the Oracle VM Manager.

You can see a list of available commands by typing either help or “?” at the command prompt as shown below.

You will most likely want to add ssh keys on the Oracle VM Management server to allow your script to execute without prompting for a password.  If your scripts are going to be executed as root from myserver, then add the public keys from myserver:/root/.ssh/*.pub into a single file named ovmcli_authorized_keys and copy the file to the oracle home directory on mymanager:/home/oracle/.ssh/ovmcli_authorized_keys. Make sure the ovmcli_authorized_keys file is owned by oracle and the group is dba – I always change the permissions to 644, but I’m not sure that is actually needed. The CLI will prompt for a password the first time after copying the file to that directory, but will not prompt again afterwards.

Thanks Greg. For more information on Oracle VM 3.2, have a read through Honglin's excellent blog entry on this very blog.

We'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Wednesday Feb 29, 2012

Webcast: Top 10 Tips for Oracle VM Deployments

Server Virtualization deployments need not be difficult to get up and running quickly, particularly with Oracle VM.

Join our Virtualization experts, Adam Hawley, Senior Director of Virtualization Product Management and

Greg King, Senior Member of Technical Staff, Oracle VM Best Practices Engineering, as they discuss tips to:

  • Rapidly and reliably deploy an Oracle VM environment
  • Create a flexible infrastructure to deploy and manage enterprise apps

If you are an Oracle VM administrator, or just learning about Oracle VM, you wouldn't want to miss this webcast!

  • Day and Date: Tuesday, March 6th
  • Time: 9am US PT

Register Now.

 

   

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