As the Oracle family of products continues to expand and evolve, management and maintenance continues to be a big chore for administrators. Since the days of 9i when Oracle first introduced the stand-alone java tool (Oracle Enterprise Manager), Oracle has focused on creating a robust tool to help administrators with the increasingly complex and challenging job of keeping on top of their Oracle "world". With Oracle 10g they introduced Enterprise Manager Grid Control, a centralized tool to manage not only Oracle objects, but also third party products. This tool was enhanced greatly with 11g Grid Control, especially in the area of functionality. As Oracle continues to add more and more functionality and tools into their web-centric DBA management tool, it is fast becoming the preferred tool of database administrators
Oracle's newest release of Enterprise Manager is 12c Cloud Control. Cloud Control has a multitude of new features and lots of very interesting new functionality. So much so, that it would be impossible to cover all of the significant improvements in one single article.
Oracle looked at ten key focus areas and incorporated new functionality and features in each of them. The ten key areas are:
1) The infrastructure or framework behind Cloud Control
2) Cloud Control Management
3) Capacity Planning
4) Exadata/Exalogic Management
5) Configuration Management
6) Provisioning/Patching, Application Management
7) Database Management
8) Fusion Middleware Management
9) Middleware Management and
10) Application Quality Management whew...what a list!
This article is going to focus on the first of these areas, changes to the infrastructure behind Cloud Control. In my next few articles, I will look at several of these key focus areas and share what are my favorite new features and/or new functionality in each of them.
12c Cloud Control Infrastructure/Framework New Features
Let's start with changes to the basic infrastructure of 12c Cloud Control. Below is a simple diagram of the key pieces.
Cloud Control Infrastructure
Essentially, like its predecessor, Grid Control, 12c Cloud control has four key parts. First, we have the Oracle Management Repository (OMR), where all of the data/metadata for 12c Cloud Control is stored.
Second, we have the Oracle Management Service (OMS). Essentially the OMS consists of a set of J2EE applications that run on an Oracle WebLogic Server.
Third, we have the Oracle Management Agents (now with plug ins) on each of our managed hosts.
Fourth, we have the web interface itself, the Cloud Control Console.
Let's explore what's changed in each of these areas....
The OMR is actually a set of some 4000 objects owned by the SYSMAN account in the database and is now stored in three different tablespaces (used to be two tablespaces). These are MGMT_ECM_DEPOT_TS, MGMT_TABLESPACE and MGMT_AD4J_TS. Also, when installing Cloud Control the database must already exist (this actually changed in 11gR2).
By the way, for installing 12c Cloud Control, if you had created the database using DBCA with Database Control, you should use the enterprise manager configuration assistant (emca) to remove the existing repository from the database prior to installing 12c. The following is the basic syntax of the emca command to remove database control and its repository objects.
$ORACLE_HOME/bin/emca -deconfig dbcontrol -repos drop \ SYS_PWD <password> SYSMAN_PWD <password>
Also, the database should be 100% dedicated to the OMR and not shared, even for an RMAN repository. This is for a combination of performance, ongoing maintenance and patching and the fact that Cloud Control now comes with a restricted-use database license that can only be used for the OMR.
Cloud Control also has a new installation feature, which is a command line utility called emprereqkit (EM Prerequisite Utility Kit) which is run against the database you intend to use to house the OMR. It makes recommendations on (and may change) database configuration settings to ensure it will be properly configured to be the OMR database.
In previous versions, the installation of additional OMSes required that the Oracle WebLogic Server had to be already installed. Now in 12c that is no longer the case, additional OMSes and the corresponding WLS can be deployed directly from the Cloud Control Console.
A second change, is the fact that metrics in 12c are now gathered by the plug-ins rather than the agents as was the case in both 10g and 11g.
However, I think the most significant change is the new user interface. (More on that in future articles). One of the new features that affects the user interface is that you can now customize what you see on the various target home pages either based on the target itself or the user logged into Cloud Control
The OMA is a Java applet that runs on the host machine that services any target that is to be monitored and managed using Cloud Control.
The new definition of a target is "any software or system for which a plug-in exists". Cloud Control targets include Oracle Databases, listeners, Exadata/Exalogic servers, Oracle Application Server, Oracle WebLogic Server, SOA and E-Business Suite. Third party (non-Oracle) products can also be managed by Cloud Control by creating or using customized plug-ins.
Plug-ins actually have components that reside in both the OMS and the OMA and two of them are installed into the OMS by default. These are the Oracle Database plug-in and Oracle Fusion Middleware plug-in. Other plug-ins can be installed as required in the OMS. The corresponding plug-in components for the OMA would be added to the agent as matching targets are discovered on the managed host systems.
This move to plug-ins for all target types including even Oracle Databases is new in 12c, and offers a very interesting advantage to us. Let's assume that Oracle introduces a new release of the database. In the past, we would have to wait until a new version of Cloud Control was introduced to be able to fully have all functionality incorporated. Now, with this new plug-in technology - all we would have to is download and install the updated plug-in for the target type...have to love this concept!
While none of these may seem "huge" in the grand scheme of things, the new features of the basic infrastructure, especially the plug-ins concept, look like they're going to be a nice benefit to us as administrators.
Until the next article...