Getting Ready for OpenWorld 2014

This is going to be a busy month as I finish up presentations for multiple sessions at OpenWorld 2014.  It’s always such a great event, but a lot of work in September!

There’s a lot of valuable EM sessions that you can find here, but I’m going to highlight a few of the ones I’m working on with my team.

Zero to Manageability in One Hour: Build a Solid Foundation for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c [CON8134]

Wednesday, Oct 1, 12:45 PM – 1:30 PM - Moscone South – 303
Speakers: Courtney Llamas (Oracle), Kellyn Pot’Vin (Oracle),  Dan Brint (SUNY)

We’re calling this our EM 101.  While we will have to skip a lot of the basic information due to the shorten sessions, this is geared towards those who are installing or upgrading to EM 12c and would like to learn from our experience with our “Fast Track” Methodology.   Even if you’ve already implemented or upgraded, you might learn a thing or two about organizing targets or managing your EM system.  We will also save some time for one of our customers (State University of New York) to share their experience in this process.

Abstract: Learn how to properly architect and deploy your Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c implementation, including designing for high availability and scalability. This session focuses on the essential tasks an implementation team must do to ensure Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c rollouts occur in a timely fashion and deliver a solid foundation for exploiting the marquee features of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. Topics such as users, roles, groups, templates, and incidents are discussed, plus key architectural decisions. The Strategic Customer Programs team in Oracle Enterprise Manager Development works with customers worldwide to guide them to success with their implementations and has compiled some essential techniques and tips for getting from zero to manageability in the shortest time possible. 

Under the Hood: Diagnosing and Troubleshooting Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4 [CON8225]

Monday, Sep 29, 1:30 PM – 2:15 PM - Moscone South – 302
Speakers:  Werner DeGruyter (Oracle), Andrew Bulloch (Oracle)

This is our “graduate level” class.  For the people responsible for EM day by day, who have to troubleshoot performance issues or agent issues, this session is for you!  Don’t miss out.

Abstract:  This session equips attendees with the knowledge they need in order to understand the health and status of Oracle Enterprise Manager. It covers essential background information on the Oracle Enterprise Manager infrastructure (such as the repository and the agent) and selected managed targets. Building on this knowledge, the session then looks a little deeper and discusses techniques and tips for monitoring the performance of Oracle Enterprise Manager and tuning any bottlenecks that are commonly identified in Oracle Enterprise Manager. It also explores the essential parts of the Oracle Enterprise Manager UI every Oracle Enterprise Manager administrator should be familiar with and discusses some techniques for logging and tracing to assist in diagnosing problems.

Wait, there’s more!

In addition to the sessions above, I’ll be co-presenting with a few customers on their sessions, so come see how real customers are using EM to manage and monitor their targets!

Advanced Diagnostics and Monitoring with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c [CON4114]

Thursday, Oct 2, 10:45 AM – 11:30 AM - Moscone South – 301
Speakers:  Tyler Sharp (Cerner), Aaron Rimel (Cerner), Courtney Llamas

Abstract:  This session covers how Cerner Corporation, a leading healthcare IT company, leverages Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c for database-specific thresholds, creating proactive monitoring of 26,000+ targets. Learn how to scrape Automatic Workload Repository data combined with Oracle Enterprise Manager repository data, exploiting common script issues in a homogeneous environment or personalized thresholds with historical data to proactively alarm, hours or even days before a potential outage. Report on compliance to feed management data on complexity and compliance of your data centers. With metric extensions, Cerner realized a 40 percent reduction in patient hours affected. Increase returns on your Oracle Enterprise Manager investment, and move your organization to proactive smart alerting.

Using Oracle Enterprise Manager to Deliver Multitenant DBaaS on Oracle Exadata: Lessons Learned [CON5875]

Tuesday, Sep 30, 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM - Moscone South – 301
Speakers:  Manish Shah (Hartford), Brian Bennett (Hartford), Courtney Llamas

Abstract: Have you migrated to or are you planning to migrate to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c? Want to know how to automate repetitive tasks and categorize and auto-assign targets to customized monitoring and alerting groups based on bronze, silver, and gold definitions in your DBaaS catalog? This session shows how to build an Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c framework aligned with your organizational model to manage targets on various platforms such as Oracle Database 12c pluggable and container databases. You’ll also learn how to optimize these targets on Oracle Exadata with a combination of administrative and privilege propagating groups, target properties, monitoring templates, and enterprise rule sets, resulting in a flexible yet scalable operational setup for your DBaaS offerings.

Full Visibility into Oracle WebLogic/Java Diagnostics with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c [CON5983]

Monday, Sep 29, 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM - Moscone South – 200
Speakers:  Mark Consoles (Omgeo), Eldad Ganin (Omgeo), Avi Huber (Oracle)

Abstract: In this session, hear how Omgeo’s application team has leveraged Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c to streamline monitoring and management of its Oracle WebLogic Servers, JVMs, Oracle iPlanet Web Servers, and more to ensure that it can maximize the visibility and reliability of the company’s application systems built on Oracle technology to their fullest extent. By leveraging JVM Diagnostics and Oracle WebLogic monitoring to pinpoint and isolate problems in product environments without having to reproduce them in a test environment, Omgeo has been able to cut down its root cause analysis by orders of magnitude


Organizing Your Oracle Enterprise Manager Targets

If you’re monitoring more than a handful of servers or databases in your Enterprise Manager 12c (EM), you have probably started creating groups to manage many targets together.   If you haven’t, this is one of the most critical aspects of setting up your EM to properly monitor and manage targets.  There are several use cases where you will want to perform a single action on multiple targets.

  • Setting monitoring thresholds
  • Granting privileges
  • Sending notifications
  • Applying compliance rules
  • Viewing dashboards
  • Running jobs, upgrades, backups
  • Creating reports

Continue reading

EM12c Release 4: Using Repository Side Metric Extensions to Alert on Collected Metrics

A few weeks ago, someone asked on the OTN forums how to alert on some of the JVM metrics such as ‘JVM Threads – Threads Started (since startup)’ using Enterprise Manager 12c (EM).    This is one of those few metrics that EM collects, but does not allow custom thresholds.    Let’s take a look at the metrics that EM collects on the WebLogic Server target.

Select WebLogic Server / Monitoring / All Metrics


From here we can scroll down to the JVM Threads section and find the real-time data (by click on the category JVM Threads).  The real-time data is not stored in the EM repository.  Let’s continue to drill down by clicking on the specific metric, JVM Threads – Threads Started in this case.


This shows us the data as of the last collection, the chart shows the history, and if you click on the link Table Data you’ll get a nice chart with timestamps and values.


Now let’s take a look at the Metric & Collection Settings page to see what the thresholds are set at.

Select WebLogic Server / Monitoring / Metric & Collection Settings

On the Metrics tab, click the view drop down and select All Metrics, and scroll to the JVM Threads section.


As you can see there’s no threshold setting for JVM Threads – Threads Started (since startup).  In fact, you can not add a threshold to this particular metric.   Why not?  Who knows.   But that’s not going to stop us.

At the time I the only option was to create a Metric Extension to collect this data from the JVM and then store it as a metric and set your thresholds.  I referred to one of my previous blog posts showing how to create a Metric Extension on Fast Recovery Area.   With the release of EM you can now create a Repository-side Metric Extension to alert on the already collected data!  This Metric Extension uses a query to pull data from the repository, and then you can manipulate that as needed.    No more re-collecting data just to trigger an alert!

Select Enterprise / Monitoring / Metric Extensions


On the Metric Extensions page, select Create / Repository-side Metric Extension.


Select the target type, in this case we select Oracle WebLogic Server. Enter a metric name, display name. and adjust collection schedule. Since our metric we’re going to use is collected every 30 minutes, we’ll use that schedule as well.   Click Next.


Next you will enter the SQL to obtain the metric.  This is where your EM Repository skills will be put to the test.   The following query will find the current (last collected) metric information for the WebLogic Server target type and the specific metric we are interested in.    Be sure to read the tips and examples on the right side for more detailed queries.

SELECT target_guid,value as JVMThreadsStarted
 FROM   mgmt$metric_current
 WHERE  target_type = 'weblogic_j2eeserver'
 and metric_name='jvm_threads'
 and metric_column='totalStartedThreadCount.value'

Click Validate SQL to verify, and click Next.   EM will pre-populate the required columns based on the query you provided.   If you select the row JVMThreadsStarted and click Edit, you can now set a category or set default thresholds.  This particular metric may not be a good example for default thresholds as it could be very target specific.   In this example, we will go ahead and set the defaults.   If you don’t set thresholds here, you can add them at the target level.  After editing click OK and then click Next.

Next we have the chance to Test our metric against a selected target. Click Add, select a WebLogic Server, and click OK.  Then click Run Test.  You will then see in the bottom pane, the results of your metric test.


Verify that your results are as expected, and click Next .  You’ll be presented with a Review screen before clicking Finish to complete your Metric Extension.


Once created, select your Metric and click Actions / Save as Deployable Draft.   Then select Actions / Deploy to Targets and select a test target or two that you can deploy to.   Once you’ve tested successfully, select Actions / Publish Metric Extension and start adding your metric to templates.

By going back to the Oracle WebLogic Server target I deployed to, and viewing Monitoring / All Metrics, I can now see my Metric Extension and that it’s already generated a Critical threshold violation.  Be patient, it may take a few minutes to update the status once metric is deployed.


If you’re not on yet, you’ll need to create a Metric Extension and select target type Oracle WebLogic Server, and use a Mbean browser to find the metric you’re interested in.  In this case, the Metric = java.lang:type=Threading and the Column Order = TotalStartedThreadCount.


For more details on using Metric Extensions and their life cycle, see the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administration Guide section on Using Metric Extensions.

Network Ports Used in Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

When planning and configuring your Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c implementation, you will have many infrastructure considerations. One of the most often discussed pieces is the network ports that are used and how to configure load balancers, firewalls and ACLs for communication.

This blog post will help identify the typical default port and range for each component, how to identify it and how to modify the port usage.

Read original post here.

Monitoring Archive Area % Used on Cluster Databases

One of the most critical events to monitor on an Oracle Database is your archive area. If the archive area fills up, your database will halt until it can continue to archive the redo logs. If your archive destination is set to a file system, then the Archive Area % Used metric is often the best way to go. This metric allows you to monitor a particular file system for the percentage space that has been used. However, there are a couple of things to be aware of for this critical metric.

Read original post here.

Fast Recovery Area for Archive Destination

If you are using Fast Recovery Area (FRA) for the archive destination and the destination is set to USE_DB_RECOVERY_FILE_DEST, you may notice that the Archive Area % Used metric does not trigger anymore. Instead you will see the Recovery Area % Used metric trigger when it hits a Warning threshold of 85% full, and Critical of 97% full. As this metric is controlled by the server side database thresholds it cannot be modified by Enterprise Manager (see MOS Note 428473.1 for more information). Thresholds of 85/97 are not sufficient for some of the larger, busier databases. This may not give you enough time to kickoff a backup and clear enough logs before the archiver hangs. If you need different thresholds, you can easily accomplish this by creating a Metric Extension (ME) and setting thresholds to your desired values.  This blog will walk through an example of creating an ME to monitor archive on FRA destinations, for more information on ME’s and how they can be used, refer to the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator’s Guide.  


Read original post here.

Simplified Agent and Plug-in Deployment

On your site of hundreds or thousands of hosts have you had to patch agents immediately as they get deployed?  For this reason I’ve always been a big fan of cloning an agent that has the required plug-ins and all the recommended core agent and plug-in patches, then using that clone for all new agent deployments. With EM 12c this got even easier as you can now clone the agent using the console “Add Host” method. You still have to rely on the EM users to use the clone.The one problem I have with cloning is that you have to have a reference target for each platform that you support. If you have a consolidated environment and only have Linux x64, this may not be a problem. If you are managing a typical data center with a mixture of platforms, it can become quite the maintenance nightmare just to maintain your golden images.You must update golden image agents whenever you get a new patch (generic or platform specific) for the agent or plug-in, and recreate the clone for each platform. Typically, I find people create a clone for their most common platforms, and forget about the rest. That means, maybe 80% of their agents meet their standard patch requirements and plug-ins upon deployment, but the other 20% have to be patched post-deploy, or worse – never get patched!

While deployed agents and plug-ins can be patched easily using EM Patches & Updates, but what about the agents still getting deployed or upgraded? Wouldn’t it be nice if they got patched as part of the deployment or upgrade? This article will show you two new features in EM (12cR3) that will help you deploy the most current agent and plug-in versions. Whether you have 100s or 1000s of agents to manage, reducing maintenance and keeping the agents up to date is an important task, and being able to deploy or upgrade to a fully patched agent will save you a lot of time and effort.

Read original post here.

Leveraging Target Properties to Enhance Enterprise Manager Capabilities

Do you still maintain a spreadsheet with Database or Server contact or business unit ownership?  In Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c (EM) Target Properties allow you to store descriptive target information, such as Contact or Location, which can then be used in dynamic/administration group definition, reports, incident rules and notifications.   This blog will show you how you can better leverage the features of EM to store your configuration data and utilize it to the fullest extent. 

Read original post here


Patching 101 – The User Friendly Guide to Understanding EM Patches

There was a conversation on twitter last week about available patches for Enterprise Manager (EM), and it got a little deeper than 140 characters will allow.  I’ve written this blog to give a quick Patching 101 on the types of EM patches you might see and the details around how they can be applied.

Read original post here

Enterprise Manager, Oracle and other bits of life.