Monday, March 26, 2012

Questions and Answers from Oracle Webinar: Simplify Database Lifecycle Management with Oracle

Dear Friends,

On March 21st, the ancient New Year or Navroz day for many countries on our planet that celebrates the spring equinox as the auspicious start of the year, I was the speaker at an Oracle Webinar "Simplify Database Lifecycle Management with Oracle".

The webinar was very well received, with 140+ registrations and 95 attendees on the day and time itself. There were a number of good questions asked at the end of the webinar, and as per my usual practice, I am posting the answers on the blog for the reference of everyone. Enjoy!!

Question:
Is an out of place upgrade of grid control OMS possible from 11g to 12c?

Answer:
Yes, this is possible. Please refer to the upgrade methods described in the Cloud Control Upgrade Guide http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/upgrade.121/e22625/overview_upg_approaches.htm#CJAHJGJI

Question:
I was told that 12c OMS will support only targets where 12.1.0.1 agent is installed. Is this correct? If so, does this agent version can monitor 9i databases?

Answer:
Yes, 12c OMS will only support 12c agents. It cannot talk to 11g agents. This is because the agent has been revamped to a modular architecture. For eg. even a database plug-in needs to be deployed now to an agent running on a database server, previously this was in-built. So now it is easier to deploy a new db plug-in. for eg when the 12c db comes along.  Regarding the target db version, yes, the 12c agent with the db plug-in can manage 9i, 10g, 11g databases.

Question:
It is interesting to know about EM 12c, but ERP like SAP does not have this features in built for the only reason could be Licenses, or limiting functionality given by Oracle so that we are only limited with features provided by SAP only.

Answer:
Certain EM Packs can be used depending on the SAP license you have. I would suggest to speak with your local SAP representative.

Question:
Question related to licensing: We are using Oracle RAC Standard Edition and DbConsole. To what extent (excluding the additional OEM license packs) are we entitled to use the OEM 12c?

Answer:
Configuration of metric thresholds and viewing alerts in the console are part of base EM. This is known as basic monitoring, you can use that. However since since you can't use/license the packs with standard one edition, you can't use pack features such as notifications.  Neither can you use the advanced features such as configuration management, EM patching provisioning, change management, or tuning. You can see the features in each pack at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/license.121/e24474/ch2_db_mgmt.htm

Question:
Can I have multiple Gold image at different instance of time?

Answer:
Yes, definitely. You can have multiple Gold images at any time. Suppose you had a Gold image created 3 months ago with an older CPU (critical patch update), you can now create a second one with the new CPU. Likewise, you can have a Gold image for a 10g database, or 11.1, or 11.2, and also gold images for different operating systems, eg. different ones for Linux, Solaris, AIX, etc.

Question:
Hi Porus, does EM 12c has the facility to tune the parameter? What about the static parameter.

Answer:
With the Diagnostics/Tuning Pack licence, when you run ADDM and the Tuning/Access advisors, advice is given on how to best tune your system and your SQL. This will include some of the init parameters for eg. cursor_sharing, the memory parameters, optimizer parameters, etc. Would recommend trying it out.

Question:
How can we provision the golden database in EM and use that for deployments

Answer:
You mean the Gold Copy. It is possible to take a reference database system, and create a Provisioning Profile from that. The Profile can then be used as input by the Provisioning Designer when he/she launches a deployment procedure to create a single-instance or RAC database, and then locks down the inputs, saving the procedure and publishing it to a Provisioning Operator. The operator is then able to use the locked down procedure to create new database installations and new databases either for single-instance or RAC. This requires the licence of the Database Lifecycle Management pack (DBLM).

Question:
Please share the upgrade methodology of 11g Grid to 12c Grid

Answer:
There are two methods, the one-system approach or the two-system approach. You can upgrade from EM10g or 11g to EM12c. Please read the Upgrade Guide http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/upgrade.121/e22625/toc.htm for further details.

Question:
Honestly, I would liked to see 12c 3-4 years back. Does Oracle have R&D dept and what can be delivered? R&D must be present, but how much investment to come up with market demand? like SAP.

Answer:
EM 12c builds on the experience of EM 10g and 11g. I have been using EM since the PC-based days of Oracle Server Manager in the 1990s and I would say it has definitely got better. There is no tool in the market that can do everything. Oracle technology is very complex and Oracle EM is the best to manage the Oracle stack.

Question:
Do you have any plugin for big data appliances.

Answer:
No EM12c plug-in exists for Big Data yet. However, as far as I am aware, the Big Data Appliance is using the X4270M2, Oracle Linux, and an application stack made of hadoop, java, nosql, R, connectors, HDFS.  Enterprise Manager Ops Center comes out of the box ready to help with the hardware and OS part of the stack. If you want to do configuration management, Enterprise Manager has a highly extensible configuration framework to capture configurations and retain a history of configuration changes.

EM also has a provisioning framework that can be used to generically provision applications. There is also an extensible user defined metric capability (UDM) that can be used to capture and alarm value matches.
These capabilities can be used to monitor and manage Big Data today. You can also use Cloudera Manager to monitor the Hadoop stack.

Question:
What are the steps to clone agent ?

Answer:
Please refer to the chapter ""Cloning Oracle Management Agent"" in the Cloud Control Advanced Installation and Configuration Guide. The link is:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/install.121/e24089/clone_agent.htm

Question:
Hi I got few questions, it would be better if you could clarify me on these areas
1) OEM 12c Doesn't require and agents running on each target?
2) Will it support the targets on different time zones?
3) What about the Oracle Inventory status while cloning

Answer to Question 1:
To have fully managed targets, the 12c agents need to be installed. In initial discovery, you can use an IP scan in EM to find targets and probable software running on them, this is done via IMAP protocol. Then, you need to promote these targets from unmanaged to managed, this deploys the agent.
Note that you can have a shared agent - refer to http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/install.121/e24089/install_agent_usng_shrd_hm.htm#CACHFCGE which is in the Cloud Control Advanced Installation and Configuration Guide. This chapter describes how you can install a Shared Agent with the help of a central, shared Oracle home location of an existing Oracle Management Agent (Management Agent) that is installed on an NFS-mounted drive.

Answer to Question 2:
Yes, you can have management agents in different time zones. The Managemet Agent uses the time zone set in emd.properties file. Resetting the time zone for an agent is explained in http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/doc.121/e24473/emctl.htm#BABJAJGF which is the Cloud Control Administrator's Guide.

Answer to Question 3:
Yes, the Oracle inventory will be updated on the target server when cloning. This is Oracle who has written the deployment procedure so they are aware of what needs to be done in the Oracle inventory, most definitely.

Question:
It is possible to Add new RAC node through EM?

Answer:
Yes, you can extend a RAC cluster and add a new RAC node via EM. Please see http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/em.121/e27046/prov_extend_racdb.htm#CHDCCJDA which is ""Extending Oracle Real Application Clusters"" in the Oracle Enterprise Manager Lifecycle Management Administrator's Guide 12c .

Question:
Can we configure DB replication using EM ?

Answer:
Yes. This is a part of the base database management features of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c. You can configure and manage movement of data between databases using features such streams, replication, data pump. Please see http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/license.121/e24474/ch11_base_functionality.htm

Question:
Regarding agentless discovery. How does OEM know that particular server is the one I need to do discovery on? Should we need to give the IP or server name?

Answer:
Yes, IP scan requires the IP address or range of IP addresses. This uses the NMAP protocol.

Question:
Can u please brief us on Licencing of 12c EM

Answer:
You can install EM12c on a separate server(s) for free, there is no cost for the Oracle database or OMS software on the EM servers provided you dont use the EM database for any other application.
If you use Data Guard or RAC for the EM database, then the EE license and RAC licence is payable.

The base installation of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c includes several features free of charge WITH the purchase of ANY Oracle software license or Support contract.

The release of EM 12c makes several licensing changes. Some features that were part of licensed packs are now included in the base functionality. Please look at this chapter http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/license.121/e24474/ch11_base_functionality.htm in the Licensing Information 12c guide, which outlines the list of features that are included with the base functionality of Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Anything beyond those features is payable. Look at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/license.121/e24474/ch2_db_mgmt.htm#BABGAFHD for the Enterprise Database Management licences. This chapter explains the database packs like Diagnostics, Tuning, Lifecycle Management, Data Masking, and so on. This guide "Oracle Enterprise Manager Licensing Information" on http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/license.121/e24474/toc.htm is good enough.

Question:
Can we configure & monitor Oracle EBS Sevices & processes on OEM?

Answer:
Yes, definitely.  You can use the Enterprise Manager Application Management Suite (AMS) for E-Business to monitor and manage E-Business, including cloning, patch management and customization management. For further information please see the white paper I wrote "Managing Oracle Applications with Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g" http://www.oracle.com/us/products/enterprise-manager/managing-oracle-apps-404877.pdf

Question:
Does this integrate with SQL Developer Data Modeler for capturing changes from base system?

Answer:
A change plan can be created by the developer in SQL Developer, who then submits it, which the DBA can then access in Enterprise Manager 12c, approve, and synchronize another database with that change plan for eg. the developer can make changes on development, put the changes in a change plan, and the DBA can approve and apply on a test database, followed by production later. Please see section 1.15 Change Manager Support in SQL Developer in the Oracle SQL Developer User's Guide at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E25259_01/appdev.31/e24285.pdf

Question:
Benifits of agent cloning?

Answer:
Benefits are obvious. If you want to install an additional Management Agent that is identical to the existing well-tested, pre-patched, and running Management Agent, then the best option is to clone the existing instance. This saves time and effort in patching a fresh installation all over again and bringing it to the current state. Please refer to the chapter ""Cloning Oracle Management Agent"" in the Cloud Control Advanced Installation and Configuration Guide. The link is:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/install.121/e24089/clone_agent.htm

Question:
SAP sometime does not recognize the schema provided by Oracle directly. So when you install Oracle for SAP, EM does not come along with it.

Answer:
Certain EM Packs can be used depending on the SAP license you have. I would suggest to speak with your local SAP representative.

Question:
Will Oracle support for this free basic tool?

Answer:
Oracle EM Base licence for basic monitoring and basic database management is only free if you have purchased some Oracle software licence and support. For eg. say there is an Oracle Database Enterprise Edition in your company, it has been purchased and you have the support license purchased too per year (that is the only way you can upgrade to new versions and get patches from Oracle). Then, you can call Oracle Support and also ask them to help with basic EM issues to do with basic monitoring and basic database management. IF you dont have a support contract all all, you cannot do this since you wouldnt have a CSI number in the first place.

Question:
Where can I see the list of features for which I have paid the licences?

Answer:
Certain things are free, look at the earlier answer in this post for the Licensing question. If you have paid licenses for packs like Diagnostics, Tuning, etc, because Oracle products have never had a licence key, there is no way you can check inside the product. You need to ask your Oracle sales representative as to what licences your company has purchased.

Question:
Is golden gate replication managed by EM?

Answer:
The Oracle Golden Gate (OGG) plug-in for Em 12c will be released in the near future. However, there is an existing "management pack" for OGG that you can use. Please see the pdf on http://www.oracle.com/us/products/middleware/data-integration/goldengate/059449.pdf
This will help you to monitor and manage OGG. However this is not EM but a separate product.

Question:
As per today webcast patch cloning possible through cloned oracle home ... basically my question how does that work ..

Answer:
This is known as "out of place" patching. Basically you select a patch or multiple patches into a patch plan, and say you want out of place patching. You then have to specify a new Oracle Home on the target server. When you deploy the patches, Oracle Enterprise Manager first clones the existing home, makes a copy of it, and then patches the copy. During this time, there is no downtime. When you schedule the last stage, EM will shut the database, switch it to the new home and start it from the new home, and run the post-patch SQL on the database. This reduces downtime. However, space is required for the cloned homes.

Question:
Can we upgrade EM 12c from EM 10g Rel2?

Answer:
Yes, the database version must be 10.2.0.4 or above for upgrade to 11.2.0.1 and 11.2.0.2. Please see ""Upgrading Databases"" http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24628_01/em.121/e27046/upgrade_db.htm#CHDJGJJC in the  Lifecycle Management Administrator's Guide for 12c.

Question:
Our Organization is trying to deploy on 10g for its Microfinance business, which one is most suitable ot us in terms of technology and price and Technology

Answer:
I would recommend Oracle Enterprise Edition 11.2 and not 10g. Always use the latest version, it continues in support longer. Older versions eventually need to pay extended support if they are not upgraded, and older versions will run into this scenario sooner than the newer versions.

Question:
How does EM 12c compare with VMware tools? How about Oracle VM versus VMWare?

Answer:
EM 12c is able to manage the Oracle stack much more deeply than any other product. In the EMC VMware world, they can monitor a Vmware machine but only at the machine level - the products used may be unaware of the internal state of the Oracle database inside the machine. Whereas, Oracle EM can fully manage Oracle Databases on our supported and certified Oracle VM hypervisor product.

Regarding VMware, see Metalink Note 249212.1 – “Oracle Support Policy Regarding VMware”, which states, “"Oracle has not certified any Oracle Software on VMware virtualized environments”. On the other hand, Oracle has announced certification of key Oracle products including Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Applications, and Oracle Real Application Clusters with Oracle VM Server for x86.

Oracle EM provides integrated management of the physical and virtual infrastructure whereas VMware’s management is primarily for the virtual infrastructure with very limited capabilities for the rest of the IT stack. Oracle VM is less costly and is more performant (less overhead) than VMware. Oracle VM 3.0 is four times more scalable than the latest VMware offering, supporting up to 128 virtual CPUs per virtual machine, at a fraction of the cost. When compared to VMware vSphere5 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux guest VMs, Oracle VM 3.0 running Oracle Linux guest VMs is four times less expensive. Oracle VM is free to download, has zero license cost, and affordable, enterprise-quality support is offered through a simple subscription model per server.

Question:
What is the architecture used for large installations of Enterprise Manager?

Answer:
When used for thousands of targets, you can use multiple management services fronted by a load balancer and back-ended by a repository database server which may or may not be a clustered RAC database. So the architecture is fully scalable.

Question:
Is it possible to set up Data Guard using Enterprise Manager?

Answer:
Yes, of course. This and other DBA tasks, like setting up RMAN backups, can be simplified and automated by simply answering wizard questions. Time savings are enormous.

Question:
Can you compare as well as synchronize reference data using the change management capabilities of DBLM?

Answer:
Yes, but only data comparison can currently be done via the Enterprise Manager console. Data synchronization can only be done via the command line i.e. using the DBMS_COMPARISON package.

Question:
Can you perform auto discovery on a range of IP addresses behind a firewall?

Answer:
Yes, but you need to use an agent for the auto discovery which is also behind the same firewall.

Question:
Is it possible to patch the Oracle RAC databases on Exadata using out of place patching?

Answer:
Absolutely yes, however regular RAC databases are not supported for out of place patching at this point.

Question:
Is there a master note for Installation of Enterprise Manager 12c?

Answer:
Yes, please see this document in My Oracle Support (MOS):
Master Index for Cloud Control Oracle Management Service (OMS) and Repository Installation, Upgrade and Patching [ID 1363769.1]

Regards,

Porus.

7 comments:

Unknown said...

Very good post Porus!
Lots of interesting information.

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

Thanks!!

DEEPTI SINGH said...

how we can intergarte muiple server db into one single server db oem??

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

If you mean that you have multiple EM repositories, and you want to bring them into one single EM repository, at this time there is no migration tool and doing this manually is not supported. So, you simple create a new repository with all the targets. The old repositories can be backed up and put into tape storage. In the new repository, there will be no old metric information.

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

Just put your question as a comment, and we will respond.

Anonymous said...

I have one question to ask.

I have oracle em 11g agent installed. And i want to install new em12c agent.

I wonder can this both em agents work in parallel?

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

Going to a different EM12c OMS? Two agents are not recommended since that will place added workload on the server and database since both agents are doing their work.

Disclaimer

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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