Sunday, August 3, 2014

Enhancements to Monitoring in EM12c Release 4

Dear Readers,
What are the enhancements to the Enterprise Monitoring Framework in EM12c Release 4? This is the framework that controls the monitoring of enterprise targets.
Improvement - The “Target Down” status is detected by Enterprise Manager within seconds of its occurrence. This applies to the Database, Weblogic Server, Host, Agent as well as deployed applications. This kind of ability is very important for enterprise-level monitoring.
The Host level monitoring has also been improved. There is a new “Host Down” event, and a new “Host Up (Unmonitored)” status. This covers the situation where a host can be up but the agent is not running, rather than the situation in earlier releases where it was difficult to distinguish if the host was really up or down if the target showed as down.
These kinds of enhancements improve higher target availability, compliance with SLA goals, and diagnosability in the case of the agent unreachable event. See here for the documentation.
Improvement - Thresholds are now more flexible, with the introduction of Time-based Static thresholds and Adaptive thresholds.
In the case of time-based static thresholds, different thresholds can be set up for different times of the day or night, since the workload will be different during the day and night. Or, different thresholds for the weekend as opposed to weekdays as in the following example.
Adaptive Thresholds are also available; these are thresholds auto-calculated on a percentage deviation from the norm. The norm is determined by a baseline behavior built from collected historical data. This helps us to be alerted on abnormal behavior. See here for the details.
Improvement - SNMP Version 3 is now supported by Enterprise Manager; this version is more secure than the previous version. Notifications on events can be sent using SNMPv3 traps.
Security enhancements in Version 3 include authentication, that the message is from a valid source, and message integrity and encryption, that ensures the packet sent has not been tampered with. This enables Data Centers to comply with security best practices when sending event information from Enterprise Manager to third party monitoring systems.
This blog post was originally posted at this link.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Enterprise Manager Agent Deployment gets better on Windows

Dear Readers,
In Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4, released in June 2014, agent deployment on Windows just got better. In earlier versions, Cygwin was often used as the mechanism for an EM agent install on Windows target servers via a Push from the Oracle Management Service (OMS). This is no longer necessary.
The Push method is the most popular method for EM agent install, and uses standard protocols like SSH1 or SSH2 (offered by OpenSSH) on Unix systems.  However, for the Windows platform, the Push method used the capabilities of Cygwin. This software had to be installed separately, and was often a bone of contention with Windows administrators who did not prefer this Linux-like software to be installed on their Windows systems.
In EM12c Release 4, there is now an alternative. The PSExec software can be used for EM Agent pushes. This is a light-weight telnet replacement and is a part of Microsoft Windows Sysinternals software – have a look at this Microsoft link.
If your central EM12c OMS is already on Windows, then you can deploy the PSExec software on the OMS server itself, it takes less than a few minutes to deploy. If your OMS is not on Windows and you want to deploy the Windows EM agent to multiple Windows targets, then you need a staging Windows server on which PSExec can be deployed.  This deployment is a one-time activity. The PSExec software is not required on any target Windows server.
The step-by-step instructions for both these scenarios can be found in the EM Basic Installation guide at this link. A script to deploy agents using PSExec (agentDeployPsExec.bat) has also been made available, see MOS Note 1636851.1 . As per the note, this agentDeployPsExec.bat file works for both / OMS. A response file is used along with this script for automatically inputting the information for agent installation, such as the host name, agent base directory, and so on.
In this way, EM agents can be installed seamlessly on multiple Windows targets, and in considerably lesser time than the time that was required for Cygwin setup and agent deployment. And it also makes a lot of Windows administrators happy, that they do not have to install Cygwin if they use the PSExec approach. This looks like another great enhancement in EM12c Release 4 by Oracle.

This blog post was originally posted at this link.

Database Cloud gets better in Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4

There are a number of great improvements to the Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) capability in Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4.
As a recap, in earlier releases it was possible to set up a private database cloud very easily, so that developers, testers or project managers/business users could self-service the creation of new databases, schemas or pluggable databases (PDBs) as per a pre-defined quota,  and then have those databases, schemas or PDBs metered and used for dollar chargeback, so that each department knew exactly how much it was spending on IT services.
This was done through the set up of a pre-defined “Service Catalog” which defined small, medium, large, and other types of databases or schemas or PDBs., that did or did not have data from a gold copy.
In EM12c Release 4, the database service catalog is enhanced with the ability to create Oracle standby databases (usingOracle Data Guard) along with the main self-service database.  This is seen in the following screenshot where a service catalog is being used to create a new database, and two standby databases are being created at the same time in the self-service request.
Both single-instance and RAC standby databases can be created, with the ability to specify multiple standby environments. The versions of the database supported are Oracle Database,, 11.2.x, and 12.1 so far.Oracle Active Data Guard standby databases can also be set up, this gives the ability to have the standby database open in read only mode at the same time the redo logs are being applied to the Active Data Guard standby.
The ability to include SI, RAC and Active Data Guard standbys during self-service database creation makes the service catalog offering more robust, and the database as a service capability enterprise-grade, since it now allows the offering of Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA)-compliant databases to be created by the self-service DBaaS user.
This blog post was originally posted at this link.



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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