Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control 10gR5 is finally here! I hope you all enjoyed the launch webcast. If you missed it, here is the link to the recording.
As I mentioned in my post last week, this release is chock-full of goodies that we believe will please everyone from application administrators to DBAs to CIOs and even the business sponsors of your applications. So what are those goodies? Here are some of the most important enhancements.
For Application Administrators
This release takes Enterprise Manager Grid Control’s top-down application management capabilities to the next level. Of all the new and improved features, probably the most significant is our expanded support for the Oracle Weblogic Server. Weblogic support is important because this component serves as the foundation of many Oracle products. Weblogic not only forms the basis of Oracle Fusion Middleware, which is the foundation for upcoming Oracle Fusion Applications, but it is also a key technology used to modernize the various packaged Oracle applications. In other words, improved support for Weblogic management benefits not only administrators of custom Java applications, but also administrators of packaged Oracle applications. For example, the latest Siebel CRM 8.1.1 release incorporates Oracle Application Development Framework into its software stack to enable the latest generation of customer self service applications. As Oracle evolves the current packaged applications using Java EE technologies, it is important that the tools for managing these applications are evolved with them.
One thing to keep in mind is that Enterprise Manager’s support for Weblogic is not a completely new thing. In fact, Enterprise Manager began supporting Weblogic monitoring in 2006, two years before Oracle acquired BEA. The support was part of Enterprise Manager’s heterogeneous management capabilities, which also include support for monitoring Websphere, JBoss and .NET. In 10gR5, Weblogic support was strengthened to include the ability to:
- monitor the performance of top Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs) & JSP’s in deployed applications;
- discover and monitor web services deployed to WebLogic Server
- monitor server resources (e.g. data sources, JMS servers, resource adapters, JOLT connection pools)
- view, compare and track more configuration items such as JVM vendor/version, additional tuning parameters, cluster configuration, JMS resources, virtual hosts, JOLT connection pools, and configuration files
For packaged applications, Application Management Pack for Siebel was refreshed to add official support for Siebel 8.1.1, the brand new version of Siebel CRM that Oracle released recently. In the old days, it was always a challenge to get third party management vendors to support new Siebel releases in a timely manner. As the old saying goes – if you want to get something done right, you have to do it yourself. Now that we build our own management tools, we can ensure that our new application releases are covered. In addition to 8.1.1 support, this new release of the Siebel Pack also include Workflow Process Monitoring, Workflow Policy Monitoring, Event Log Analysis, improved Discovery and Application Service Monitoring.
In addition to the updated Siebel Pack, we released new application accelerators for Oracle Real User Experience Insight (RUEI). RUEI helps IT monitor actual end user experience, answering important questions such as: Who logged onto the applications? What did the users do? What response time did they get and what sort of errors did they run into? Following the approach that we started with our application management packs to provide tools engineered for specific packaged Oracle applications, our two accelerators – one for Oracle E-Business S uite and one for Siebel CRM, provide out of the box management capabilities for these Oracle applications so that the time to get the tool up and running is reduced.
These three packaged application management improvements are just the first wave of enhanced support for Oracle applications that we are introducing for 2009. Stay tuned for more to come.
In addition to better Weblogic Server support and improved management for Siebel and Oracle E-Business Suite, 10gR5 also contains support for Oracle Coherence application grid technology, improved support Oracle Service Bus, BPEL Process Monitoring, Java Application Diagnostics, Composite Application Modeling and Monitoring and Application Configuration Management. There is way too much information to cover in one post, so check out this document for an overview, and come back to this blog for more indepth discussions later on.
Oracle Enterprise Manager started out as a database management tool, and this 10gR5 release should please DBAs who are looking for further improvements to an already impressive package. This release provides support for Oracle Database 11gR1, enabling multiple database servers to be managed centrally. You may wonder – how could 10g Enterprise Manager Grid Control manage 11g Oracle Database? The answer is even though the two products carry similar versioning schemes, Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control and Oracle Database are on different release schedules. Therefore, there is nothing unusual about using Enterprise Manager 10g to manage an 11g Oracle Database.
Some of the key enhancements for Oracle Database Management includes:
- support for 11g database features such as ADDM for RAC, real-time SQL monitoring, partition advisor and automatic SQL tuning;
- database replay – an automatic way to capture product workload, copying it to a test system, setting up the software and the test database to reflect the state of the source system at time of capture, deploying replay clients, orchestrating the replay process, and analyzing the replay results;
- database change propagation – synchronize data dictionary to propagate schema changes from a dictionary baseline or a database to a target database;
- some of these capabilities actually existed in the 9i version of Enterprise Manager and have brought it back with full integration within Grid Control;
- customizable tile based views to monitor waits and other metrics across multiple RAC nodes in a cluster;
- improved performance workflows for cluster cache coherency, historic views, and drilldown;
- service-centric monitoring facilitates the monitoring of workflows and drilldowns for RAC services;
- a new HA Console to monitor overall HA configuration status and initiate operations;
- a Maximum Availability Architecture Configuration Advisor page allows you to evaluate the configuration and identify solutions for protection from computer, site, storage, human and data corruption failures, enabling workflows to implement Oracle Recommended solutions;
- automatic configuring of Oracle-recommended Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) for databases with minimum downtime;
- you can now migrate database to ASM, and convert single instance database to RAC all with minimum downtime using standby technology to minimize downtime;
- a Streams dashboard, along with improved monitoring of streams configurations, allows you to monitor streams components as well as end-to-end paths for Latency and Throughput metrics.
These enhancements help DBAs plan their database changes better by leveraging production workload in order to analyze the potential impact of database changes, make changes more easily by automating the migration of changes, and ensure the database is more robust by implementing leading database maximum availability practices prescribed by Oracle’s Maximum Availability Architecture guidelines.
For a long time, IT decision makers have had to make important IT decisions on less than perfect information. Worst yet, the information available often did not represent the reality faced by IT’s customers – the lines of business. It puts IT at a rather disadvantaged position. With Real User Experience Insight and Enterprise Manager’s Service Level Management capabilities, CIO can get much better information to demonstrate the value that IT delivers, and to ask for the needed resources using factual information to back up the requests.
Equally important, the expanding capabilities of Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control mean that many important IT assets can now be managed better and with fewer resources. IT is always shorthanded, so freeing up resources mean that the CIO now has the flexibility to invest on new projects that his/her counterparts in line of business have been asking for in order to drive the organization forward.
Enterprise Manager’s expanding footprint also means that IT departments can move forward with their goals of simplifying their vendor management by consolidating their spending with fewer vendors. Gone are the days when organizations have to go to different vendors to get applications, middleware, development tools, databases, O/S and enterprise management systems.
For Applications’ Business Sponsors
While not direct users of Oracle Enterprise Managers, the line of business sponsors of the applications also benefit from all these improvements. For example, Real User Experience Insight (RUEI) can be used by not only IT administrators, but also business analysts to perform click stream analysis in order to understand consumer behaviors on eCommerce and self-service applications, where increasingly amount of business activities are carried out. When the data collected from RUEI is combined with those captured from the business applications and analyzed using tools such as Oracle Business Intelligence, businesses can get unprecedented clarity on business activities. Traditionally, data captured from business applications such as Siebel E-Commerce show the business activities that actually took place – the service requests that are filed or the orders that are placed. They don’t tell why transactions did not happen as users abort their shopping activities. Data from RUEI tells the other side of the picture. Since Oracle develop business applications, enterprise management tools, and business intelligence technologies, we are in the best position to help business leaders put all these information together to achieve insights.
I hope that you find these capabilities appetizing. But there’s more. Check out the complete list of improvements in the first chapter of Oracle Enterprise Manager Concepts Guide, and come back to this blog as I cover the features in more details in the coming weeks.