Sending Data to Oracle Management Cloud

Sending Data to Oracle Management Cloud

Lately I’ve been busy helping customers deploy the new Oracle Management Cloud (OMC) services and discover what it can do for them.   One of the most frequent questions I get when talking with new customers about OMC is how do we collect the data and send it to Oracle’s Cloud?  Using Agents installed on-premises or in the Cloud, we can collect various points of data to be used in the many services that make up Oracle Management Cloud.  The goal of this blog is to introduce you to our points of communication and explain where we get data and how it’s used.

It’s important to note, all communication is outbound from Agents to Oracle Cloud.   There is no inbound communication.  All agent communication is over HTTPS.  If your systems have direct access to the internet, they can communicate directly.  Most enterprise customers will likely configure a proxy or firewall/ACL changes to allow communication over certain servers and ports.

Each tenant will have a unique URL that the agents would access, typically it would look like:

https://<tenant>.itom.management.us2.oraclecloud.com/*

Example:
https://tenant1.itom.management.us2.oraclecloud.com/registry

OMC Architecture

Agents

Cloud Agent

The Cloud Agent is responsible for collecting log, monitoring and performance data to be used in the various services (Log Analytics, IT Analytics and Infrastructure Monitoring).  This agent will sit on the target host, whether on-premises or in a Cloud.  The agent can communicate to OMC directly, via a proxy, or the Gateway (to be discussed below).

APM Agent

When using Application Performance Monitoring (APM), you’ll be using the APM agent which is installed on the server where the application runs. Whether the application is Java, .Net or Node.js, the agent collects and sends performance data about the application to OMC.  This agent can communicate directly, via a proxy, or through the Gateway.  As APM also collects End User Metric data from the application users browser, that data is sent directly to OMC.

Gateway

The Gateway is an optional component and is used to buffer and send all data from Cloud Agents, APM Agents and Data Collectors to the Oracle Cloud.   This way, only one server has to have internet access.  Due to the amount of activity for buffering data, this may require a standalone machine as the CPU utilization can be up to 20% for large environments depending on the number of agents and volume of data being sent.

Data Collector

There is also an optional Data Collector component for users who already have Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) configured.  The Data Collector extracts target properties, associations, metrics, incidents, version and additional configuration data about the targets in OEM and shares this with OMC.   The Data Collector talks to OMC through the Gateway.  You can have multiple Data Collectors if you have more than one OEM configured.  This is a great opportunity to consolidate data into one place if your OEM is separated by organization, geography or lifecycle status.

Deployment

Installing these agents is easy.  Customers download a master install kit from  OMC which is used for all installs.  The install kit contains tenant information and a registration key is provided during install to authenticate your agents.

A sample installation command for installing the Cloud Agent communicating through a Gateway:

$ ./AgentInstall.sh AGENT_TYPE=cloud_agent AGENT_BASE_DIR=/u01/app/oracle/omc/cloud_agent GATEWAY_HOST=hostname.server.com GATEWAY_PORT=1840 AGENT_REGISTRATION_KEY=<tenant specific> 

Downloading lama agent software ...
Generating emaas.properties ...
Extracting Agent Software ...
Installing the Agent ...
Registering the Agent ...
Downloading Certificates ...
Configuring the Agent ...
Cleanup temporary files ...

The following configuration scripts need to be executed as the root user
#!/bin/sh
#Root script to run
/u01/oracle/omc/cloud_agent/core/1.12.0/root.sh

Maintaining Agents

Since Oracle Management Cloud is an agile product with monthly releases, the agents may be updated monthly as well.  This does not mean you have to upgrade your agents monthly, but upgrading quarterly will keep your agents in top shape.   When you’re ready to upgrade your agent, you simply go to the Agents administration page and select Upgrade.  This will instruct your agent to download the latest agent and perform an out-of-place upgrade seamlessly.  If the upgrade fails for some reason, your original agent will remain active.   There is also an option to batch upgrade your Agents.

Summary

As you can see, communication to Oracle Management Cloud has a couple of options to meet different needs.  All communication will go over https and can communicate directly to the cloud or through a centralized gateway.  If you’re looking for additional information, you may find these sources helpful:

An Introduction to Oracle Management Cloud Log Analytics

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about anything, but I have good reason!  I’ve been busy working with a new service offering that Oracle has launched, called Oracle Management Cloud.   I gave a quick glimpse earlier this year of the three services that were launched – Log Analytics, Application Performance Monitoring and IT Analytics.   Since then we’ve also added Infrastructure Monitoring.   Right now, I’m going to talk a little more about Log Analytics and how you can get started using it.

Log Analytics

From application managers to system admins to DBAs, we all have to look at log files. If you have multiple servers, it can take hours to gather all the relevant logs and comb through them, correlating times and searching for error messages.  Log Analytics can make this process simpler and automated.  By loading all related log files to the Oracle Cloud, you can search through logs from multiple targets, and store terabytes of data. Gone are the days of being approached by someone weeks after an issue happened and asked for another log file only to find out that the logs have rolled over already.

The beauty of Log Analytics is that instead of making you create all your own parsers and log sources, Oracle has provided some very common parsers and sources out-of-the-box.  This list continues to grow every  month.  You can get started immediately for Oracle Database (including audit, trace alert, listener, asm), WebLogic, Tomcat, Windows Events, Linux, Solaris, Apache and more.  But what if you have another product, like LifeRay portal supporting your PeopleSoft application that you want to collect logs for?  Easy.   Log Analytics is very flexible and allows you to create a new parser specific to any kind of log you want to read and pull that data in alongside your other logs for quick analysis and troubleshooting.

Getting to Know Log Analytics

Let’s breakdown the Log Analytics page and take a look at what we can do. At the top we have our search bar which allows us to search using keywords and phrases.  It also shows you the recent searches when you click in the search bar, so you can select one from your history and rerun it.   To the right, you have options to Save, Open and Configure.  Save allows you to save your search as a custom widget.  This can be added in a dashboard, we’ll talk more about that later. Open allows you to open a previously saved search.  Configure takes you to the configuration options for log sources and parsers. We’ll talk about this more in another blog.  The Run button executes your search.

Log Analytics Search Bar

Also in this section you have the time selector.  This window expands to give you many pre-defined time windows, or allow for a custom time window.

Log Analytics Time Selector

The Data panel on the left has all the properties and fields.

log10

We can filter on any of these fields to find a specific entity type, entity, severity or error ID.  You can also filter on Groups or Systems (created within OMC or imported from Oracle Enterprise Manager). When you click on one of the fields, you’ll be presented with the list of entries, as well as a chart that shows the trend of logs associated with that entry over the time period you have selected.

entity

The Visualize panel allows us specify which fields and how we want to view the data.  Pie chart, records with a histogram, heat map, tile, sunburst… An option for any type of query.

log4

Then you have your chart.  By default you’ll see a pie chart of logs by log source over the last 60 minutes.

log11

Putting it to Work

Now that we’ve talked about the layout and features of Log Analytics, let’s take a look at some of the ways we can use our log files.  If we select a certain type of logs, let’s say PeopleSoft Application Tuxedo Access Logs (shown here), and with a couple of clicks drill down, we’re presented with the histogram view of this particular log type, and a time sequence of the entire set of associated log files.  From here I can continue to drill down or filter based on specific fields or time.

log12

One thing that’s important to note in the picture above, is that all timestamps are normalized to UTC.  This can be a great help when you’re consolidating logs from different applications and servers across the globe that have different timezones.  With all log files automatically consolidated and aligned in time-order, I can now see for example, when someone logged in and changed permissions or my transaction rate dropped.

One of my favorite LA features is what I call the needle in the haystack finder, aka clustering.  Let’s say we take a look at our Database Listener logs for the last 7 days.  Looking at the chart below, you can see we have 7m+ entries.

cluster1a

Now that’s a lot of logs to look through!  In fact, I really can’t remember the last time I found anything good in the Listener logs.  Always hated those.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could see what was clogging up the logs, or if there’s really anything important in there?  A lot of time, you’ll see connection errors sporadically and they don’t mean anything.  But how do you know if they are safe to ignore or if they’re repeating frequently?

I’m  going to use the Cluster command to show OMCs powerful machine learning.  I can do that by just adding |cluster to the search string, or selecting Cluster from the Visualize dropdown.  Now I see that my 7 million entries comprises of 25 unique message signatures.  This is much easier to digest and identify problems.  You see that the top error in this case is TNS-12514 error, and it happens to coincide (as seen in the Trend chart) with the connection established from the exaboard user.  Now I have something to go on.  In just a few clicks I’ve found a problem with the service_name being used by this user.

cluster2

Again, this can be applied to all types of log files.   Database, Middleware, Host, Application…  just to name a few.  I’ve seen customers identify changes to filesystems, invalid user attempts and more with just a few clicks.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this quick introduction to Log Analytics.  I’ll be back with more details on how to use this in everyday tasks, as well as how to create custom log sources and parsers.

To learn more about Oracle Management Cloud go to https://cloud.oracle.com/management or contact me here.

 

 

 

Viva Las Vegas – Collaborate 2016

It’s that time of year again, time to spend a few days in Las Vegas at Collaborate with some of the top Oracle experts and exercise your brain (and your feet)! I will be heading out in a few days and have a great schedule lined up!

Collaborate 16

This year will be a little different as I’m representing two products.   For a while now I’ve been working more on Oracle Management Cloud, which is our new cloud services for Log Analytics, IT Analytics and Application Performance Monitoring.   These services are complimentary to your existing Oracle Enterprise Manager solution.  From a DBA perspective, I’m especially excited about IT Analytics, as it’s an answer to many of the questions we get asked about long-term performance, capacity and resource data that Oracle Enterprise Manager collects.  We will have a demo booth, as well as a session on Monday at 10:30 in Palm B – Oracle Management Cloud: Next-Generation Monitoring, Management and Analytics.   Be sure to attend this session to hear about what Oracle Management Cloud has to offer!   You can also learn more about the Oracle Management Cloud services here.

As always, there’s a lot of excellent Oracle Enterprise Manager sessions this year!  If you’re in Las Vegas on Sunday morning, be sure to register for the Hands-on Lab: Everything I Needed to Know About Enterprise Manager I Learned at COLLABORATE.   We’ll start at 9am with an overview of EM 13c and work on new features in target properties, dynamic groups, creating gold agent images, tablespace corrective actions, and more!  You won’t want to miss out on this one!  Be sure to pre-register as space is limited.

Here’s where you’ll find me:

Sunday – 9-1 – Hands-on Lab: Everything I Needed to Know About Enterprise Manager I Learned at COLLABORATE

Monday – 10:30am Palm B – Oracle Management Cloud: Next-Generation Monitoring, Management and Analytics – Learn about the latest offering in IT Operations Management – Log Analytics, IT Analytics and Application Performance Monitoring.

Tuesday – 4:45pm Palm B – Building a High-Available Enterprise Manager system with Werner de Gruyter – This session is a must attend for anybody who needs to build or maintain a highly available Enterprise Manager.

Wednesday – 8:00am Palm B – Oracle Enterprise Manager Security: a Practitioners Guide – Rise and shine with my session on how to make Enterprise Manager security work for your company in more ways than one!

For a full list of Oracle Management Cloud and Oracle Enterprise Manager demos, labs, sessions and SIG meetings be sure to save or print this handy schedule!   Don’t worry, if you’re not heading to Las Vegas, you can still catch my session by registering for the IOUG Virtual Forum!

I will also be on the Oracle demo grounds either at the Oracle Enterprise Manager booth or Oracle Management Cloud booth.   If you follow me on twitter or read my blog and we haven’t met in person, stop by and say hi!

Introducing Oracle Management Cloud…

Oracle Management Cloud

If you were at Oracle OpenWorld this year you might have had the chance to preview Oracle’s latest cloud service – Oracle Management Cloud (OMC).   The three OMC services launched this month are Application Performance Monitoring (APM), Log Analytics (LA) and IT Analytics (ITA).    The goal for OMC is to bring together different types of operational data for use by both businesses and IT.  All data is stored in a unified data platform that allows you to navigate from one service to another while working on specific use cases.   Here’s a quick overview of each service to get you up to speed.

Application Performance Monitoring

This service gives you insight into the end user performance and experience, from  browser statistics to  AJAX calls.  With statistics on page load times and errors, you can drill down to find errors, see the request calls, and review memory usage and garbage collection.

omcla4

The integration with Log Analytics allows the user to drill down to server and application logs related to the poor performance time periods.  By using saved searches and creating custom dashboards you can see the information that’s important to your application in one view.

omsla

Log Analytics

Upload all your logs to the cloud – database, application, middleware, server, infrastructure – then search and explore to identify problems or resolve issues.   Troubleshoot problems by exploring logs in context of the application using topology-aware log exploration. Then utilize the cluster feature to identify outliers or frequently occurring patterns.  There’s always a lot of noise in log files, so this allows you to filter out the noise and get to the real errors that you need to see.

la

Another key feature is the ability to correlate other logs within a time period.  Let’s say you found an error at 1:00, you can then see the log entries 1 minute before and after on different systems to identify any correlated log entries.    LA also includes the ability to save queries and use them in a dashboard so you can replicate your searches with ease.  Not to mention storing logs in the Oracle cloud instead of on your servers for long periods of time.

IT Analytics

Finally a way to look at IT resources holistically and see how targets in your environment compare to one another.  Resource Analytics will allow you to view current utilization as well as forecast things like storage and CPU across targets, or groups of targets. Answer questions like how much storage will we need in 6 months?  How about what databases are consuming the most CPU and how much have they increased recently?   itacpu1

With Performance Analytics you can identify bottlenecks across Database or Middleware targets.  Have you ever wondered what the worst SQL in your environment is?  I had a manager once who really liked to point out the worst performing SQLs across applications, how easy this will be now!

Probably the most exciting feature is the Data Explorer which allows you to create custom queries and save them as a dashboard that you can create for your unique requirements.   Below I’ve searched for database instances based on their DB Wait time, hovering over the chart you get a popup with the target, type of wait and value.  I can now save this widget to a dashboard if I like.itawaits

Learn More

More information on OMC can be found in this ebook from Oracle and on the Oracle Cloud website.   You can also watch the launch video here.   I will be posting more about each of the services over the next few weeks, as well as sharing my experiences with our first customer implementations, so stay tuned!