Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Schema-as-a-Service implementation using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

By Nilesh Agrawal

Schema-as-a-Service capability was released few months back as part of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2 Plug-in Update 1 and is one of the widely talked about deployment models in a database cloud environment enabling deepest level of consolidation density possible and in turn driving maximum ROI. Schema consolidation also requires careful planning in terms of identifying the right mix of applications and business case and also meeting up with isolation requirements at operational, security and workload management levels. The following video presents Schema as a Service and other features supported by EM 12c Database as a Service.




In this post, I will go through the steps required to setup a Schema cloud service using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 2.This note is chalked down based on a recent customer experience and can be referred to by Administrators who are planning to or in process of setting up Schema-as-a-Service using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.


  • Project Planning - Define scope of implementation, engage end users/cloud consumers in the planning process and get the project plan approved from all stakeholders.
  • Setup Cloud Management infrastructure
    • Review the EM 12c Sizing paper before you get started with EM 12c Release 2 install
    • Refer to EM 12c Administrator’s guide for High Availability, Security, Network/Firewall best practices and options
    • Deploy EM 12c site using EM 12c Release 2 Installation guide
    • Oracle Cloud Application, Database, Chargeback and Capacity planning, Storage Management Framework (SMF) and Virtualization (VT) plug-ins are required for enabling overall Database-as-a-Service capabilities
    • Install latest EM PSU [MOS note 822485.1] and also recommended patches for Database-as-a-Service [MOS Note 1549855.1]
    • Setup Roles and Users - Cloud Administrator (EM_CLOUD_ADMINISTRATOR), Self Service Administrator (EM_SSA_ADMINISTRATOR), Self Service User (EM_SSA_USER) are the important roles required for cloud lifecycle management and different users can be created and mapped to their respective roles as per their functional responsibility. Roles and users are managed by Super Administrator via Setup –> Security option. For Self Service/SSA users custom role(s) based on EM_SSA_USER should be created and EM_USER, PUBLIC roles should be revoked during SSA user account creation.
    • Setup Software Library - Cloud Administrator configures Software library via Enterprise –> Provisioning and Patching option and the storage location provided is OMS shared filesystem. Software Library is the centralized repository that stores all software entities
    • Setup Self Update – Self update can be configured via Setup -> Extensibility option by Super Administrator and is the unified delivery mechanism to get all new and updated entities (Agent software, plug ins, connectors, gold images, provisioning bundles etc) in EM 12c.
  • Setup Schema Cloud
    • Identify candidate servers to be pooled together into database cloud and deploy agents on those servers
    • Next step is to pool these server resources into a 'PaaS Infrastructure Zone'. As Cloud Administrator user, Create PaaS Infrastructure Zone via Enterprise -> Cloud -> Middleware and Database Cloud option
    • Deploy Oracle Database and Configure listener - As SSA Administrator user, setup target database(s) for Schema pool using Provision Oracle Database deployment procedure Refer to EM 12c database provisioning section in EM 12c Lifecycle Management Administrator's guide. Ensure listener is configured and discovered in EM for all the servers part of the Schema Cloud.
    • Setup Database Pool for Schema Cloud - As SSA Administrator user, create database pool via Setup -> Cloud -> Database option. you can specify max workload allocated to each database and also can enable Resource manager at this stage
  • Setup Service Catalog
    There are two distinct use cases here. you can either have SSA user get a) reference schema(s) imported or b) empty schema(s) provisioned . In case of empty schema(s) use case you can directly create service template and skip first step of configuring profile
    • Configure Profile - Profile captures required information from reference database including metadata and actual schema(s) content. As SSA Administrator, create profile via Setup -> Cloud -> Database and select 'Profiles and Service Templates' under Database cloud SSA portal and use 'Export Schema Objects' option.
    • Create Service template - Service template defines the standardization and actual flow that will be run when SSA user requests for Schema(s) from service catalog. As SSA Administrator, create a new service template via 'Profiles and Service Templates' option. you can select the related profile using which schema should be auto-imported when SSA user requests for schema. Important Tip - As part of Service template creation flow, there is this option of including standard custom scripts that can run part of service request flow before or after self-service schema(s) are provisioned.
  • Setup governance rules and policies
    • Configure Request Settings - As SSA Administrator, configure request settings via Setup -> Cloud -> Database and select Request settings tab under Database cloud SSA portal. you can define maximum duration of requests, how far in advance requests can be made etc and other request associated settings
    • Configure Quotas - As SSA Administrator, configure quotas via Quotas tab in Database cloud SSA portal and define total amount of memory, storage, no of Schemas that can be granted to each user. Quotas are assigned at role level and only the roles that has EM_SSA_USER privilege assigned can be selected.
    • Configure Chargeback/Showback - Chargeback is all about accountability and here you can track and meter resource usage and related costs in shared resource model and provide IT and business some powerful reports related to resource utilization and consumption costs. As SSA Administrator, Refer to Setting up Chargeback flow for defining charge plans and cost centers, chargeback settings. Important tip - Cost Center name is set by default as SSA user name for any new schema service provisioned by SSA users. Cost center can be changed via the Setup -> Cloud -> Database ->  Chargeback tab,  select 'Configure targets' and here the schema service target can be assigning to a different cost center.
  • Rollout Self-Service Portal to SSA Users
    •  Requesting Schema service - SSA Users at this stage can login to the Database cloud SSA portal and select the service template to request for schema service. During schema service request you can provide schema prefix to be added, workload size of service, schema passwords etc
    • Access Schema service - SSA users can access provisioned schema service from SSA portal and they can use the connection details from summary. There are performance and usage graphs provided for schema service monitoring by SSA users. There is also option to export/import data for all Schemas part of this Schema service.
  • Monitor and Manage Schema Cloud
    • SSA Administrator can monitor the schema service requests via request dashboard via Enterprise -> Cloud -> Middleware and Database request dashboard.
    • Refer to Private Cloud Administrator's guide for additional details to monitor the infrastructure at service, pool and zone levels. Important tip - Services Instances UI provides lot of useful detail in a single screen as you get to see all types of services along with their pool, zone association and also with related service template details.
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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.