Why I think Out-of-Place Patching is a very nice new feature in EM 12c

When working with shared Oracle Homes you environment will look like this:

  • One ORACLE_HOME in which installed the most recent release of Oracle DB, for instance
  • Several Database Instances running on the Oracle Software installed

If we want to apply a Patch to an environment like this we need to follow a scenario like this:

  1. Download the Patch manually from MOS
  2. Study the documentation
  3. Check if the proper version of OPatch is available and upgrade if necessary
  4. Clone the current ORACLE_HOME (you might be using a Golden Image in the EM Software Library for this)
  5. Install the Patch on the cloned ORACLE_HOME
  6. Stop database per database and copy necessary files (<oracle_home>/dbs/…)
  7. Modify /etc/oratab to modify the path to the cloned ORACLE_HOME
  8. Startup the database in the clone ORACLE_HOME
  9. Execute necessary sql scripts

10. Check and document

Indeed an intensive and error prone scenario.

EM and 11.1 provided us with a Patching procedure that was unable to cover this scenario.

EM 12c however now provide us with a procedure that takes care of this “Out-of-place” Patching procedure.

Starting with the support of Single Instances and RAC on Exadata, the support for RAC on clustered Servers is soon to follow (obviously as this is a more or less same procedure as the support for Exadata).

By this IT departments are able to perform a robust, complete patching procedure in which databases will be patched one by one with a minimum of down time.


Enterprise Manager Consolidation Planner

Again I will do my post in the form of a summary of features. Simply need some more time to revise these posts, so stay tuned. For now this is what I wanted to share with you guys.

Yes these are my notes in Stagato Style, sorry guys.

For planning the consolidation of multiple server to one server

Plans based on collected resource history data for a certain time interval

Cloud Consolidation Planning Workflow

  • Collect data from source servers
  • Select resources to be analyzed
  • Define constraints
  • Specify Target Servers
  • Review Consolidation Plan Results

User creates consolidation project and defines:

Type of consolidation P2P P2V

Source servers

After source data collection you can analyze the gathered data and resource usage trends.

Consolidation Analysis

  • Consolidation scenario specifies which metrics will be analyzed for the purpose of the consolidation exercise
  • Resource requirements fir each source server calculated
  • Each resource aggregated to 24-hour patterns based on specified formula
    • Conservative
    • Medium
    • Aggressive

Consolidation constraints

Use constraints to specify which server workloads can be placed together and which workloads must be kept apart for business or technical reasons

Consolidation planner uses SPECint data related to specific processor types

Policies for existing servers – Fewest Servers, Even distribution

Specify Maximum Resource Utilization % on Target Servers

Exadata Target Planning, to use Exadata as a Target platform

Server Mapping (the actual running of the consolidation)

Automatic Mapping of Source Servers onto Target Servers

Manual Mapping can be used on existing servers


Consolidation scenario report available after running scenario


  • Identify under-utilized and over-utilized servers
  • Help admins determines candidates for consolidation
  • Work physical and virtual


  • Metering and Chargeback enable cloud consumers to take control of their costs
  • Cloud empowers end-users to provision resources onto shared infrastructure using self-service
  • Without chargeback there can be a perception that cloud resources are ‘ free’
  • Without metering charges will be flat regardless of usage

Chargeback – Key Concepts

  • Charge Item
    • Targets that are chargeable
    • Charge Plan
      • Defines the charge items and associated rates that will be used for charge calculations
      • Cost Center
        • Organization unit that will be charged for the costs
        • Reporting Cycle

Chargeback Workflow

Select targets for metering

Define charge plans

Define cost center hierarchy

Assign charge items to charge plan

Target metering dedicated and shared mode

Dedicated mode consumers using the target are from the same cost center

Shared mode: consumers using the target are from different cost centers

Setup charge Plan

  • Simplest way to leverage chargeback
  • Contains 3 universal charge items
    • CPU
    • Memory
    • Storage
    • Can be assigned to any type of supported chargeback target
    • Extended charge plan
      • Target specific charges
        • VM machine size
        • Database Option
        • Host OS
        • WebLogic User Requests
  • Supports fixed, configuration and usage based rates
  • Can leverage the universal plan with universal rate adjustment
  • Extended Plan conditions
    • Under specific conditions

Define Cost Centers

  • Used in aggregation in Charge reports
  • Import from LDAP option
    • OID
    • AD
    • Open LDAP
    • Novel EDirectory
    • SUN IPlanet
    • Default cost center sued for unassigned targets

Charge Plan and Cost Center Assignment

Chargeback admin uses target and plan assignment


  • Daily job calculates all charges for current reporting cycle
  • Ad-hoc reports available from chargeback reports tab
  • Chargeback tab in self-service portal provide summary
  • Trending shows charge and utilization trend over specific period
  • BI Publisher – Generate Reports in variety of formats
  • Email reports to recipients

Chargeback – MRB integration

Integrate with oracle billing and revenue management

Next Generation Database Patching – Maximum Ease – Minimum Downtime

Hari Srinivasan
John Young
Tim Misner

Again I will do my post in the form of a summary of features. Simply need some more time to revise these posts, so stay tuned. For now this is what I wanted to share with you guys.

Yes these are my notes in Stagato Style, sorry guys.

Patching Challenges

Database patch management process

  • Complex
    • Many steps to perform
    • RAC – Grid – ASM
    • Manual
    • Error Prone
    • Time consuming
    • Labor intensive
    • Affects application uptime/business continuity

Current Patching Tools

  • Opatch
  • Custom scripts
  • Enterprise Manager

EM 12c Patching Features

  • Patch advise
    • Based on Configuration
    • Community information
    • MOS
      • Complete integration between EM and MOS
      • Support for Off-line Mode if Online connection is unavailable
      • Patch planning
        • Plans & Templates
          • Bundle multiple Patches
  • Detects conflicts and fie merge requests
    • Automatic Patch Conflict Resolution
    • Files Patch request incase of conflict
  • Pre-flight dependencies and impact analysis
  • Patchability Reports
    • Identify what can be patched before starting the process
  • Real-time target sanity checks:
    • Is there enough disk space
    • Opatch checks on version
    • Cluster verification
    • Inventory sanity like locks, access…
    • Patch rollout
      • Out of Place patching/upgrade for single instance
      • Rolling patching for RAC
      • One-offs, Patch sets, CPU, PSU and GI bundles
      • Support AC, Clusterware, ASM, Database, Exadata
      • Patch verification & Reporting
        • Patch Compliance Tracking
        • Associate targets to Compliance standards
        • Track compliancy

User profiles tailored for Datacenters

  • Site Administrator
  • Patch Designer
    • Create patch plan
    • Apply on Test
    • Save as Patch Template
    • Publish Template so that the Patch Operator can use it for Production
    • Patch Operator

Upgrade Planning

  • Identify the path to upgrade
  • Download required software
  • Perform upgrade

Out-of-Place Patching

  • Multiple Database running form same home
  • Clone Oracle Home
  • Patch Cloned Oracle Home
  • Switch instances to newly cloned Oracle Home
  • Apply SQLs (as needed) to the instances

Rolling Real Application Cluster Patching

Rolling upgrade instance by instance

Patching Database Clusters on Exadata

Also supports out-of-place patching

Automated Upgrade Deployment

For instance à

Patching in off-line mode

Also supported

Manually download the patches and upload to Software Library

Customer Story: Enterprise Holdings

World largest Car Rental Company

400+ databases

100+ Oracle Database software

Three datacenters

AIX and Linux

Average 4 databases per Oracle Home

Out of place Patching

  • Less down time
  • Less risk
  • Consistent gold code across enterprise
  • Easily Rollback
  • No common downtime across all applications with shared environments

Currently takes a lot of time to complete with multiple DBA’s (30 days)

Engineering time spent automating changes and testing

Still manually pre/post step necessary

DBA privileges required to execute commands

OEM 12c Solution

Search patches and check patch conflicts directly with MOS

Predefined procedures with pre-requisite checks

Building a gold code – Clone from an existing install and patch it

Ability to move databases with a shared ORACLE_HOME one at the time

Run post SQL scripts

Access and Manageability

Separation of Roles (Designer and Operator)

Manage as Groups

Create Named credentials for security and store them as Preferred Credentials for reuse

Ability to create Templates with patches, enforcing standards

Restrict Operators to specific Databases and allowed actions

Expected Savings

Reduce effort form 30 days to a few days

Process streamlined by using Designer?operator instead of multiple teams/roles

Significantly reduce documentation overhead

DBA are now able to focus efforts on business related applications

An Inside Look at Oracle Enterprise Manager: New Framework and Architecture Overview

Mark McGill
Ashish Agarwal

Room fully packed, looks like many people are interested in this new release.

Again I will do my post in the form of a summary of features. Simply need some more time to revise these posts, so stay tuned. For now this is what I wanted to share with you guys.

Yes these are my notes in Stagato Style, sorry guys.

Unique management requirements

  • Personalization
  • Extensibility
  • Performance stability and scalability
  • Security
  • Manageability
  • Fault diagnostics


  • Tailor EM experience based on job role
    By this not everybody will get the same homepage, but can choose the page layout the like and suit best to their jobs
  • Custom Homepages
  • Customize Target Homepages
  • Favorites
  • History
    Very easy for context switching, so being able to get back to where you were 2 clicks ago.

OK, because of technical issues no DEMO was given.


  • New architecture for extensibility
    • EM platform – cannot be updated between releases
    • EM plugins – can be updated between releases
    • All out of the box target types modeled as plug-ins
    • Enables target support and other vertical capabilities
    • Target plugins
      • Management for new versions of targets like: databases, fusion middleware, Siebel, Exedata etc
      • Monitoring of 4rd party targets through metadata based plugins
      • Solution plugin
        • Provide enhancements in vertical functionality
        • Chargeback end trending
        • Self service cloud management

Plugin deployment

  • Single console to manage lifecycle
  • Pre-requisite checks and logging
  • Seamless deployment of plugins across middle tier and agent tier

Enhanced custom plug-ins

  • Target to target associations
  • Automatic discovery
  • Custom target credentials
  • Configuration Management
  • Compliance standards


Automatically update of:

  • Agent Core images
  • Plug-ins
  • Compliance standards and rules
  • Diagnostics checks
  • VM templates
  • Management Connectors
  • Administrators notified that update is available
  • Update is downloaded from Oracle store to customer site
  • Update is applied by administrator

Performance, stability and scalability

  • Fault tolerant Agent
  • Robust
    • Less port specific issues
    • Suspension of misbehaving taks
    • Self-tuning
      • Memory allocated based on environment
      • Lightweight
        • Scales to thousands of targets per agent
        • Unified
          • Integration of acquired technology
          • New “ Lifecycle Status” target property
            • Being able to set Production, Staging, Test, Development
            • Missions critical and production servers treated with higher priority than data from development and test systems
            • Helps ensure tat adding more targets does not impact performance
            • Improved Loader
              • Faster uploads
                • Synchronous uploads from Agent
                • No filesystem staging area, simply upload directly to the Management Service
  • Isolation of Loader problems
    • Resources partitioned by type of data and lifecycle status
  • Flow control
    • Agents backed off by Lifecycle status
    • Stops loader becoming saturated


  • Integrate with enterprise security
  • Improve authentication to EM
    • Integration with (OAM SSO)
    • Direct LDAP authentication support (AD and OID)
    • Strong host and database target authentication
    • Improved credential management
    • Fine grained authorization
    • Out-of-the-box roles


  • Deployed across thousands of distributed systems
  • Agent software download with self-update
  • Deploy to multiple servers and platforms in a single step
    • SSH ensures confidentiality and integrity of agent deployment
    • Remote prerequisite checks
    • Automatically registers agent with OMS
    • All control operations from UI and EMCLI
      • Start
      • Restart
      • Shutdown
      • Secure
      • Update Agent Properties
      • Support for batch control operations and property changes
      • Agent monitoring
        • Performance, resource usage
        • Configuration information
        • Deployed metric extension and plug-in summary
        • System/Service modeling of EM Application
          • Database components
          • Weblogic comp
          • Hosts
          • EM services
          • Auto discovery
          • New target types
            • OMS/OMS console/OMS platform
            • Rich relationships
              • Composite application contains
              • Provided by
              • Topology viewer and EM services dashboard
              • Central location to assess EM health
              • Dependency analysis for EM system
              • Shows relationships between system components
              • Customizable views and component grouping

Diagnostics framework

  • Reduce time to resolution of EM problems
  • Simplifying customer interaction with Oracle Support
  • Problem prevention

Incident Manager

  • Manage complete lifecycle of all incidents and problems
  • Assigns ownership, add comments, prioritize, escalate and track incidents
  • Guided resolution
  • Integration with Support Workbench

Configuring and managing a private cloud with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Kai Yu – Dell Oracle Solutions Lab

Madhup Gulati

After a short introduction to the Cloud Concept by Madhup Gulati from Oracle, Kai Yu started his presentation.

When looking at Cloud management and Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control it all comes the integration with OracleVM 3.0

In his presentation Kai showed us the integration of Oracle VM Manager and EM. Instead of the “Half baked” solution we found in EM 11.1, the integration of Oracle VM Manager 3.0 in EM 12c is a “plugin” based solution where you are actually using Oracle VM Manager when in EM 12c.

By means of synchronization configuration changes made while in Oracle VM Manager can be synchronized with EM. This new way of integration allows you to fully configure the Oracle VM environment while connected to the EM console.

One of the Cloud Key features, the Self Service portal relies fully on the definition of Roles. Assigning Quotas, Zones and Network Profiles to the Role allows you to authorize your users to access and work with the Portal.

Some of the things I have learned from attending the “Database as a service – Enterprise Cloud in three simple steps” session this morning at Oracle Open World

Some of the things I have learned from attending the “Database as a service – Enterprise Cloud in three simple steps” session this morning at Oracle Open World:

Both presenters Adeesh Fulay and Matthew McKerley did a very good job explaining things.

Traditional Database deployments DBaaS (Database as a Service)
Configuration of Hardware Request Database deployment via the Cloud
Configuration of Middleware Adjust capacity on demand
Configuration of Database Deploy Applications via the Cloud
Configuration of Application

Self Service

  • Pre-packaged
  • One click provisioning
  • On demand scaling
  • Metering – Chargeback
  • Comparable with Amazon Cloud Services

Metering / Chargeback

  • Charge reports for Cost Centers
  • Rollup based on LDAP hierarchy

Creating a Cloud

  • Automated discovery and resource base-lining
  • Consolidation Planning
    • Eliminates inefficient use of resources
    • Cloud models on Virtualized and Physical platforms

Something on Hiearchy

  • Cloud – Top-level entity
    • Database zones – Defines a logical unit based on configuration, version etc.
      • Database software – Oracle Home
        • RAC Cluster – Collection of Servers with Clusterware installed

Cloud Administrator

  • Provision
  • Manage Cloud Resources
  • Create Users and Roles
  • Manage Security and Policies
  • Provision Database Software

Self Service Administrator

  • Define deployment procedures for database provisioning
  • Define services in Service Catalog for deployment by Self Service users
  • Assign quotas to Users and Roles
  • Define access boundaries (map Roles to Zones)

Database Provisioning Procedures

  • Usage of Provisioning Profiles
  • Ability to lock down certain Configuration Parameters
  • Catalog of Service Templates – saved Deployment Procedures

Creation of database zones

  • Policy constraints per Host
    • Max CPU utilization
    • Max MEM
    • Max number of database instances

Cloud Administration – Self Service

Starting to like this concept more an more.

Does solve several issues I see at various customers, like ability to limit resource usage per server.

A Self Service Administrator is able to create it’s own Service Catalog (Predefined Deployment Procedures).

Metering an Charge Back based on a Charge Plan. Based on this you are able to create Charge Back reports based on for instance a Cost Center.
Charge Back reports can also be created as a drill down based on a LDAP hierarchy.

Also we need to get used to the concept of Database Zones, which are a logically group of Databases based on configuration, version etc.

The official launch of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c

Finally the moment was there, the official announcement of the complete new release of EM, Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c.

In the Novellus Theater, Richard Sarwal (Senior Vice President Oracle) gave us a 1 hour presentation of some of the EM 12c highlights.

Some figures he mentioned:

  • 200 new features
  • 500 enhancement requests included
  • 3 years of development
  • A complete rebuild

As the ‘c’ in the new release obviously tells us, the new release of Enterprise Manager has got a lot to do with the monitoring and management of the cloud. Including a Self Service feature to allow end users to fully profit from the grid and the desired by many, charge back feature.

Here are some other features that draw my attention:

  • Cloud services
  • Support physical and virtual clouds
  • Console feature will run on iPad and other mobile devices
  • ADDM like feature for middleware
  • Out of place patching
  • Integrated hardware & software for EXADATA
  • Increased support MOS integration
  • ASR automated creation of SR
  • New web 2.0 UI
  • Many partner plugins
  • Business transaction monitoring related to business services SLA
  • Real-time ADDM analysis

During the night I have been downloading the software from OTN and will try to start installation one of these days 😉

Today I will be attending some presentations focusing on this new release, so stay tuned.

Monday October 3rd – Database performance tuning: Getting the best out of Oracle EM

Tariq Farooq

an Oracle ACE en founder of BrainSurface

During the presentation a clear explanation if given of the Database performance process using Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control. Showing several examples from the Database Performance Tab and showing the advantage of several linked features like Top Activity, Blocking Sessions.

The presentation next focuses on the three A’s for Database Performance Tuning:

  • ASH  (Activity Summery History)
  • AWR (Activity Workload Repository)
  • ADDM (Automatic Data Diagnostic Monitoring)

Realizing AWR is the successor of the former statspack feature, several examples are given of how to interpret some of the output.

I think a very good and solid presentation, focusing merely on novice users of which there are a lot in the OEM GC arena.