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Thursday, May 22, 2008

EM Grid Controls Advantages


I am using Oracle DB since last 7 years and have worked on versions 7.3, 8iR3, 9iR2 and 10gR2. With every new version the Tools to do DBA work got very much improved.

With no tool in 7.3 to EM Dbcontrol in 10g. When I look back and think how I do DBA activity in 7.3 I feel very relieved today to have EM for DBA work that can be
accessed using a browser only.

But again when I got introduced with 10g DB, I selected DB control over Grid Control,
thinking why to install agent software additional when I have already installed DB
control which got installed with Oracle DB Software! But my decision was wrong. I soon come to realize the power of Grid Control.

We have multiple databases for different purpose. With DB Control, I could manage
all the databases but at what cost?

I have to start DB console of every DB, plus each individual em process consumed
a lot of CPU resource, plus I also have Oracle AS, a separate em of it also. I
really have to consume a lot of memory (of server and myself ). Then I
implemented RMAN backups for all of our DBs. I did it using DB control, but our backup policy was such that I have to schedule backups as per weekdays (eg.
incremental level 0 backup on every Monday, Wednesday,Friday), this I could not
do using DB control, hence I have to write backup script and schedule it from OS
crontab. Then I have to implement Standby Databases and Dataguard for some of
the databases. For 1st DB I did it manually. Oh, my god, It was really a test of your
patience. Anyway I finished it successfully but I could not forget the stress while
doing it. Then It was the time when Oracle consultant (Mr. Porus, one of the author on this blog) suggested to use Grid control.

I implemented it with help of him. After that I did implementation of all the standby
DB creation and Dataguard activity with the help of Grid control. It was very easy
to do the things with Grid, plus the system resources ware used better. With Grid then
I scheduled RMAN backups as per our policy (schedule on weekdays) and I can
also manage AS with it.

I can summarize like this:

1] Dataguard and Scheduleing RMAN backup on weekdays (like crontab in Unix) can
be done with the help of Grid control.

2] No need to start individual DB Controls for DBs and iascontrols for ASs.
3] Can save resources of your system.
4] Many additional features for Administering the DBs and App. Servers.


Porus Homi Havewala (પોરસ હોમી હવેવાલા) said...

Santosh, you are quite right, Oracle has definitely improved the database management utilities over the years. I remember Server manager and now look at Grid Control. certainly a world of difference. Oracle got it right when it moved Enterprise Manager to the current web-based OC4J (Oracle container for Java) and Application server based architecture, which is inherently much more scalable (more on that later). The EM management server is a cut-down version of Oracle Application server in that respect.

You said "I feel very relieved today to have EM for DBA work that can be accessed using a browser only." You are right. Some Dbas who say they are traditional Dbas frequently look down on EM, but the question is how long they can afford to do so, and is it wise to do so? Oracle database facilities are becoming more and more sophisticated. For eg. sure you can create 10g tuning sets in the command line, and run the tuning advisor, and other 10g performance things, but you have to issue an awful lot of complicated commands. Why do that when you can simply and easily use Grid Control? Find the busiest period on your database, drill down to the top statements during that period, select them and create a tuning set, then run the tuning advisor.
It is that simple and cuts down on the manual time of typing all those commands.

Also Oracle strongly recommends the use of Grid Control for managing sophisticated systems like RAC, especially for performance. Sure you can have RAC and manage RAC without Grid Control, but would you drive a Ferarri with a bullock cart leash?
Would you run RAC with just SqlPlus? (I do apologize to the writers of SqlPlus for comparing SqlPlus to a bullock card leash, but that is how we see it, as compared to powerful tools like Grid Control).

Your analysis of the benefits of using Grid Control over Database control is also spot on. With Grid Control you can manage multiple databases, set up RMAN backups, see all RMAN backup jobs, set up Dataguard, monitor Dataguard and so on, just as you have pointed out.

Thanks Santosh for your excellent feedback on the advantages of Grid Control. Do keep writing to this blog.

Anonymous said...

This blog is promising in elaboration EM for all the DBAs around the world. Thanks Porus for such an effort.

1 query!!! We are to migrate to 10gr2 from 9i Standard Edition License. Can I use Grid Control Feature under Oracle DB Standard Edition License?

Zaffer Khan,
DBA, ISCO, Kuwait

Porus Homi Havewala (પોરસ હોમી હવેવાલા) said...

Zaffer Khan (DBA, ISCO, Kuwait) wrote:
"This blog is promising in elaboration of EM for all the DBAs around the world. Thanks Porus for such an effort."

Zaffer, thanks for the thanks.

"1 query!!! We are to migrate to 10gr2 from 9i Standard Edition License. Can I use Grid Control Feature under Oracle DB Standard Edition License?"

Regarding your query, the Oracle Price List supplement states that Enterprise Manager is included in Oracle Standard Edition, but remember Enterprise Manager can mean Database Control (for managing one database) as well as Grid Control (for multiple databases).

I feel this refers to Database control. Why? Because Grid Control has built-in partitions when it is installed, and you can't use partitioning without the Enterprise Edition (EE), so I feel Grid Control requires the Enterprise Edition and not the Standard Edition.

Also, even if you can use Grid Control with Enterprise Edition, remember to pay a licence to Oracle if you use any of the Management Packs in production/test, such as the Diagnostic, Tuning packs etc.

In all I would recommend to speak with your Oracle representative for your company on licencing, since he/she would give you the 100% correct picture, we can only guess. Please do this before using Grid Control in production/test.

There are various other benefits of moving to EE. You should convince your management of upgrading your licence to EE. I have listed a few below.

EE Includes:

<> Normal Dataguard
= Standby database for purpose of:
+ Disaster Recovery
+ High Availability
= Can be opened for reporting purposes for some window of time.
= Requires EE licence on standby server.

<> Advanced Backup and Recovery via these RMAN features:
= Incremental Backups – very important to avoid full backups each day.
= Block Level Media Recovery.
= Trial Recovery.

<> Parallel Query
= Ability to break large queries into chunks handled by multiple processes.
= Very important for large tables (more than 1GB in size).

<> Automatic Storage Managmeent (ASM)
= Manages storage as file system and volume manager.
= No need to buy 3rd party file system and volume management software.
= Automatic I/O balancing and hot spot fixing, no other volume mgr can do so automatically

<> Streams
= Oracle’s new method of replication between 2 databases.
= Can be 2-way replication (multimaster).
= Multi-master must be programmed to resolve conflicts, not out-of-box.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...


We are having OEM12C running fine and monitoring 3RAC Enterprise Edition databases.

We do have some single instance Standard Edition databases so my query is can we monitor these SE databases on OEM12C.


Porus Homi Havewala (પોરસ હોમી હવેવાલા) said...

Please see the licensing guide "Users of Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition databases can use the Base Framework features and the Base Database Management Features." For the base functionality see

Note that database monitoring is no longer in the base functionality list. You will need to check with your local Oracle Sales to see if it is allowed.


Opinions expressed in this blog are entirely the opinions of the writers of this blog, and do not reflect the position of Oracle corporation. No responsiblity will be taken for any resulting effects if any of the instructions or notes in the blog are followed. It is at the reader's own risk and liability.

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