Monday, October 22, 2012

New Enterprise Manager Article published on Oracle Technical Network (OTN)


I am pleased to announce that a new article of mine has been published in October 2012 on the Oracle Technical Network (OTN).

Ease the Chaos with Automated Patching
Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c

This is excerpted from my new book "Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c: Managing Data Center Chaos", published by Packt Publishing. Enjoy the world of Enterprise Manager!!



Monday, October 15, 2012

Private Cloud: Putting some method behind the madness

By Sudip Datta on Oct 09, 2012

Finally, I decided to join the blogging community. And what could be a better time to start than the week after OpenWorld 2012. 50K+ attendees, demonstrations, speaker sessions and a whole lot of buzz on Oracle Cloud..It was raining clouds in this year's Openworld. I am not here to write about Oracle's cloud strategy in general, but on Enterprise Manager's cloud management capabilities. This year's Openworld was the first after we announced the 12c Cloud Control and we were happy to share the stage with quite a few early adopters. Stay tuned for videos from our customers and partners, I will post them as they get published.
I met a number of platform administrators in Oracle-DBAs, Middleware Admins, SOA Admins...The cloud has affected them all, at least to the point where it beckoned more than just curiosity..Most IT infrastructure are already heavily virtualized (on VMWare and on others including Oracle VM), and some would claim they are already on “cloud” (at least their Sysadmins told them so). But none of them were confident of the benefits because their pain points continued to grow.. Isn't cloud supposed to ease those? Instead, they were chasing hundreds of databases running on hundreds of VMs, often with as much certainty propounded by Heisenberg. What happened to the age-old IT discipline around administration, compliance, configuration management?
VMs are great for what they are. I personally think they have opened the doors to new approaches in which an application stack gets provisioned and updated. In fact, Enterprise Manager 12c is possibly the only tool out there that can provision full-fledged application as VM Assemblies. In this year's Openworld, customers talked on how they provisioned RAC and Siebel assemblies, which as the techies out there know, are not trivial (hearing provisioning time for Siebel down from weeks to hours was gratifying indeed). However, I do have an issue with a "one-size fits all" approach to cloud. In a week's span, I met several personas:
  • Project owners requiring an EC2 like VM instance for their projects
  • Admins needing the same for Sparc-Solaris.
  • DBAs requiring dedicated databases for new projects
  • APEX Developers needing just a ready-to-consume schema as a service
  • Java Developers looking for a runtime platform
  • QA engineers needing a fast clone of their production environment
If you drill down further, you will end up peeling more layers of the details. For example, the requirements for Load testing and Functional testing are very different. For Load testing the test environment should ideally be the same as the production. You shouldn't run production on Exadata and load test on a VM; they will just not be good representations of one another. For Functional testing it does not possibly matter.
DBAs seem to be at the worst affected of the lot. It seems they have been asked to choose between agile provisioning and  faster runtime performance. And in some cases, it is really a Hobson's choice, because their infrastructure provider made no distinction between the OLTP application and the Virtual desktop! Sad indeed. 
When one looks at the portfolio of services that we already offer (vanilla IaaS, VM Assembly based PaaS, DBaaS) or have announced (Java PaaS, Instant Cloning, Schema-aaS), one can possibly think that we are trying to be the "renaissance man" ! Well I would have possibly digested that had it not been for the various personas that I described above.
Getting the use cases right is very important for an application such as cloud management. We iterate and iterate over these over and over again and re-validate them in CABs (Customer Advisory Boards). We consider over the major aspects of tenancy: service placement, resource isolation (can a tenant execute an expensive SQL and run away with all the resources), quota and security. We, in Engineering, keep reminding ourselves that we are dealing with enterprise clouds. We owe it to our customer base !
In the coming posts, I will drill down more into each of the services. In the meanwhile, here are some collateral and  demos for starters with EM 12c.
Sudip Datta
(Senior Director of Product Management, Oracle Enterprise Manager)
The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

HDFC Bank about their DBaaS Implementation in India

HDFC Bank in India (2nd largest private sector bank) went live recently on a combination of Exadata and Enterprise Manager 12c, to run their internal Databases as a Service (DBaaS) cloud. They were very successful in this venture and presented on the same at the recent Oracle Open World (OOW). You can download their very interesting presentation from either of the following links:


The presentation speaks for itself. One of the main reasons for them to go the DBaaS way, was to increase business agility and the presentation is very effective in establishing the DBaaS solution as crucial to their agility. The drivers for DBaaS for them were:

- the need to be more agile as the business wants to launch new schemes all the time which require some changes to the DB / Application.

- each time they have to launch such a scheme, they have to create a copy of the DB and test the changes

- this takes time because setting up a DB from scratch takes some effort (not to mention expensive third-party SI resources which get charged to the bank of course, and human errors which can delay the test)

- this is a dynamic market where even a few days make a big difference so time to market is crucial

- such companies need a solution to provision databases on demand automatically for testing changes in the shortest possible time.

The Oracle DBaaS solution helps them cut the time from 56 days (if testing hardware is not ready available. It is 3.5 days even if h/w is available) to 3 hrs. This solution therefore saves critical Go To Market time in addition to reducing third-party SI costs, and improving hardware utilization. They have used the Cloud Management pack in EM12c to manage the DBaaS in addition to tracking usage by each department so that they can be charged for the use of the same.

This is a story that would impress most large companies that have a large number of databases and have to make frequent changes to them to be more agile. Let me know if you want more details.

I am pleased to say that 6 years ago, I had introduced Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control to the DBA team in HDFC Bank to set up their RMAN backups, and also demonstrated cloning of databases to them using Grid Control. Nilanjay of HDFC bank has graciously acknowledged that their Enterprise Manager journey started with me, all triggered post working with me 5-6 years back. Thanks Nilanjay for your graciousness.

The video of the OOW presentation by HDFC bank can now be seen on :




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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