Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c : Navigation and “Look and Feel”

o-enterprisemgr-13c-clr-2769481I’ve continued to play around with Cloud Control 13c and I’m generally getting a nice vibe from it.

One of the things I really hated about Grid Control 10g and 11g was the navigation. It felt like you had to click on 50 links to get to the thing you wanted. When Cloud Control 12c came along and had a main menu it was a massive improvement. Even so, it was still a little annoying as the menu was split, with some bits on the left and some bits on the top-right.

em12c-menu

In Cloud Control 13c, these menus have been brought together into the top-right of the screen.

em13c-menu1

If the screen size is smaller, the buttons collapse to show just the icons, which saves space.

em13c-menu2

It probably sounds really trivial, but having both menus together is a really nice touch. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been fumbling around, unable to find something, only to remember it is in that blasted menu at the top-right. Now there is no excuse. :)

The job scheduler navigation is also a lot nicer. In Cloud Control 12c we had a bunch of drop-downs and a “Go” button.

em12c-jobs

In Cloud Control 13c there are tiles along the top to alter the context of the output and the tree on the left allows you to quickly flip between criteria.

em13c-jobs

It is so much quicker to get the information you want this way.

So as far as I’m concerned, Cloud Control 13c is getting a big thumbs-up from a navigation perspective!

A couple of people have asked my impression about the new look and feel. If we ignore the navigation, most of the pages are quite similar to what we had before, so there is no need to panic. Overall it has a sparser, cleaner look, which is more in keeping with the way the web is these days, so I think that’s a good thing. Anyone who has used Oracle Cloud will find the look very familiar. :)

I guess the biggest bonus of the new look and feel is it is more responsive. On some of the old pages you had a lot of sideways scrolling to do if you have a small browser window. The new look and feel deals a lot better with that. It’s not perfect, but it is better. So I’m giving the new look and feel a big thumbs-up too!

Being the bitter old man that I am, I reserve the right to change my mind and hate it all in the future. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Caveat: I use a very small subset of the functionality available from Cloud Control, so my opinion is going to be based on the bits I use a lot. It might be that other areas have been adversely affected by the new navigation or look and feel, but the bits I care about are looking good.

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Upgrade

em-12cA couple of weeks ago I posted about doing a fresh installation of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c (article, blog post). I’ve finally got around to doing an upgrade test from EM CC 12cR5 to 13cR1. You can see the result of that here.

upgrade-meme

Gokhan Atil did a post about this upgrade pretty much as soon as it was released, so I’m a little late to the party compared to him. :)

As you’ll see from the article, the upgrade process was similar to the patches that came before it. There are of course some extra prerequisites which you can read about in either my post, Gokhan’s or the docs…

Even though the upgrade tests were fine, after discussion with our system administrators, we are probably going to go for a clean installation and migrate the monitored hosts one at a time.

Why the slash and burn approach? I’ve made some mistakes with our installations in the past and they persist with every subsequent upgrade. It would be nice to take a step back and fix stuff. We are doing a similar thing with our WebLogic installations. I was learning new stuff all the time while I was installing our WebLogic 11g infrastructure. Rather than upgrading to WebLogic 12cR2, we are going to build a new infrastructure, migrate to it and throw the old one away.

This is relatively easy for us for a few reasons.

  1. We use virtualization for everything. We will provision the new VMs, set everything up. Start migrating stuff. When the migration is complete we will throw away the old VMs. No major hardware overhead.
  2. We are a pretty small operation. If we had a massive amount of infrastructure, a slash and burn approach would be very time consuming and as such, very costly.
  3. I am really anal about some things and I am willing to go the extra mile to get things right. I did the best I could at the time, but I’m happy to admit I made mistakes and I want to sort them out. This is not because I’m a company boy. It’s because those mistakes eat away at me and I want them eradicated so they will only haunt me in my memories, not in my day to day life.

If we had been going for the upgrade approach, I probably would have done it in the next couple of weeks. With clean slate approach, we’ll probably take a few more weeks to get ready for it. No point rushing in and making more mistakes. I would rather let the idea brew for a while before we start. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c : First Steps

o-enterprisemgr-13c-clr-2769481Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Release 1 (13.1.0.0.0) was released a few days ago. Does that have the acronym “oemcc13cr1”? :)

As usual, my first steps are to do some basic installations. The approach is pretty similar to the 12c installations, but it’s a little greedier now. :)

My first attempt was a bit of a disaster. I was trying to install it on a VM with 8G of memory, about all I can spare on my work PC) and it was running like a dog. It got nearly to the end of the configuration section and I ran out of disk space on the physical host. That would have been OK if the installer were running on the VM itself, as the VM would have paused and resumed once I had cleared some space. Unfortunately, I was doing from an X session, which got killed and took my installer with it. :( Rather than trying to continue on my piece of shit work PC, I waited until I got home to do it on my server.

Once home, I kicked off two installation simultaneously. One on OL6 and one on OL7. Each VM had 10G of memory and their virtual disks were on different spindles to the OS disk. As a result, they ran through at a reasonable pace. Not mega fast, but OK.

Over the Christmas break I’ll have a go at some upgrades, then decide if we should be doing this in production at work. If you’ve followed the discussion on Twitter, you’ll know some of the basic requirements.

  • Oracle 12c (12.1.0.2) Enterprise Edition for the repository database. Patched to latest security patch.
  • You can use a Non-CDB or a PDB for the management repository. The template database is still non-CDB.
  • OPTIMIZER_ADAPTIVE_FEATURES=FALSE

That means we will need an upgrade of our repository database from 11.2.0.4 to 12.1.0.2. That’s no big drama, but another thing to do. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Thanks to Seth Miller for pointing out my mistake about the PDB support for the OMR.

Cloud Control 12.1.0.5 : Some minor issues (fixed)

em-12cSince the upgrade to Cloud Control 12.1.0.5, we’ve been having a couple of issues, mostly around EMCLI.

Some of our databases use Service Guard, so you don’t know which node they are running on. Rather than having an agent per package, we have one on each node. One of my colleagues wrote a little script to check which node the instance is running on, and relocate it if it has moved. This is done using EMCLI and was working fine before the move to 12.1.0.5. Since the upgrade it’s been rather erratic. It would work for a while, then fail. After watching for a while I noticed a couple of things.

EMCLI calls to the OMS that sent SQL were intermittently killing in the Agent on the Cloud Control server itself. It seemed to cause Out Of Memory errors. The heap size for the agent on the CC server was set to something like 1860M. Changing it to 2048M seemed to fix that issue. The setting is in the “agent_inst/sysman/config/emd.properties” file. We now have this.

agentJavaDefines=-Xmx2048M -XX:MaxPermSize=128M

Note. The agents on the monitored servers have a tiny heap size. Nothing like this bad-boy. :)

After running OK for a few days, we started to get the following type of errors from EMCLI.

$ emcli sync
Error: Session expired. Run emcli login to establish a session.

We fixed this by running the “setup” command again.

emcli setup -username=sysman -password="MyPassword" -url="https://myserver.example.com:7799/em"

Since then, EMCLI has seemed to behave itself.

Note. As part of the upgrade, we downloaded the latest EMCLI jar file from the server and did the setup, so this part was working fine for a while. Not sure why it started to screw up…

Anyway, all seems fine now. I’m guessing if we weren’t using EMCLI, we would never have had a problem in the first place.

Cheers

Tim…

Cloud Control 12.1.0.5 : It’s production upgrade day…

cloudI mentioned a couple of months ago I was planning to upgrade our production Enterprise Manager Cloud Control installation from 12.1.0.4 to 12.1.0.5. Well, today was the day. I held back a while because I knew I would be out of the country for a while on the Latin America tour and I didn’t want to make a big change before I ran away. :)

So today I pretty much did exactly what was in my upgrade article and everything went well. I upgraded the OMS and the local agent and I’ll run like that for a couple of days before I start pushing out the agent updates to the monitored hosts.

Happy days!

If you are interested, you can see some of my Cloud Control articles here.

Cheers

Tim…

Upgrade Cloud Control 12cR4 to 12cR5

em-12cA couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about doing a Cloud Control 12cR5 installation and said I would be testing the upgrade from 12cR4. I’ve now done that.

The upgrade documentation is quite extensive and the prerequisites are going to be different depending on the database and cloud control versions you are starting with, so this is no way a “recommended” way to do the upgrade. Each one will need to be approached on a case-by-case basis. It’s just meant to give a flavour of what you have to do.

Suffice to say, it worked fine for me. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 5 (12.1.0.5) : My first two installations

em-12cI’ve done a couple of play installations of EM12c 12.1.0.5, just to get a feel for it. You can see the result of that here.

From an installation perspective, everything was pretty similar to the previous releases. I tried the installation on both OL5 and OL6, in both cases using 12c as the database repository. No dramas there.

A couple of things of note.

  1. The 12c repository template database is a Non-CDB architecture.
  2. The Weblogic installation uses Java6.

Interesting…

The next step is to try some upgrades from EM 12.1.0.4 (on DB 11.2.0.4) to EM 12.1.0.5, which is what I’ll need for my upgrades at work. The testing is quite time consuming and boring, but it’s got to be done before I can unleash this on the company. :)

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Remember to download from edelivery.oracle.com (in a couple of days) for your production installations. Apparently there is a difference to the license agreement.

EM Cloud Control 12c : The 24 Hour DBA

I think I’ve lived through all the ages of Enterprise Manager. I used the Java console version back in the days when admitting you used it got you excommunicated from the church of DBA. I lived through the difficult birth of the web-based Grid Control. I’ve been there since the start of Cloud Control. I’ll no doubt be there when it is renamed to Big Data Cloud Pixie Dust Manager (As A Service).

I was walking from the pool to work this morning, checking my emails on my phone and it struck me (not for the first time) that I’m pretty much a 24 hour DBA these days. I’m not paid to be on call, I’m just a 9-5 guy, but all my Cloud Control notifications come through to my phone and tablet. I know when backups have completed (or failed). I know when a Tnsping takes too long. I know when we have storage issues. I know all this because Cloud Control tells me.

Now you might look on this as a bad thing, but being the control freak I am, I prefer to get a message on a Sunday telling me something is broken, hop on the computer and fix it there and then, rather than coming in on Monday to a complete sh*t-storm of users complaining. I’m not paid to do it, but that’s the way I roll.

While walking down memory lane I was thinking about all the scripting I used to do to check all this stuff. Endless amounts of shell scripts to check services and backups etc. I don’t do hardly any of that these days. Cloud Control handles all that.

We are a pretty small Oracle shop, but I think life would be a whole lot more difficult without Cloud Control. I’ve mentioned this a number of times, but it’s worth saying again… If you have more than a handful of Oracle databases, you really should be using Cloud Control these days. It’s as simple as that.

Just in case you are wondering, this is how our infrastructure looks this morning… :)

em-all-green

Cheers

Tim…

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12cR4 Production Upgrade

I’ve already written about the 12cR3 to 12cR4 upgrade here. I did a few run through’s at home to practice it and it all seemed good.

Setting The Scene

Just to set the scene, for our production environment we run Cloud Control in a VMware virtual machine, using Oracle Linux 6.5 as the guest OS. With that setup, we can use a simple installation (DB and OMS on the same VM) and use VMware to provide our failover, rather than having to worry about multiple OMS installations and any DB failover technology etc. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Cloud Control, it’s Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)! As far as our managed servers go, most of our databases and all our middle tier stuff runs on VMware and Oracle Linux too. We have a handful of things still hanging around on HP-UX and Solaris, which will hopefully be migrated soon…

Upgrade Attempt 1 : Non-Starter

Yesterday I started the upgrade of our production system. Pretty much straight out of the blocks I hit a road block. It didn’t like the agents running on our HP-UX servers. The upgrades of the HP-UX agents are so painful. Every time so far I’ve had to reinstall them. As a result, I didn’t bother to upgrade them last time and kept running with the previous version of the agents. The upgrade wouldn’t have anything to do with that, so I forgot about the Cloud Control upgrade and I spent yesterday attempting to upgrade the HP-UX agents to 12cR3, before I could attempt the 12cR4 Cloud Control upgrade.

As usual, the upgrade of the agents on HP-UX involved me uninstalling, removing all the targets, installing, discovering all the targets and setting up the backups etc. Not all of it is scripted yet, so it is an annoying and painful process. I’m not sure if other HP-UX users suffer this, but it seems pretty consistently bad for us. The sooner we get rid of these straggling HP-UX servers the better!

So this wasn’t so much a failure of the upgrade. It was really down to me being lazy and not bothering to upgrade some agents.

Fast forward to this morning and I was actually ready to start the upgrade. :)

Upgrade Attempt 2 : Success

With the 12cR3 agents in place on HP-UX, the upgrade ran past that step with no problems and on to the main body of the installation. The install and upgrade were textbook.

I’ve upgraded the agent on the cloud control server, but I’m not going to upgrade any of the other agents until I know things are working fine.

Happy days!

Cheers

Tim…

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 4 (12cR4) Articles

I’ve started to play around with Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12R4. The clean installations on Oracle Linux 5 and Oracle Linux 6 were really easy. You can see how I did them here.

I used 11.2.0.4 as the database repository. I’ll probably have a go with a 12c database in future, which is now supported, but my main focus this time was to check out something similar to what I have at work. Forgive my caution, but I’ll not be using 12c database for my EM repository for a while yet. Cloud Control is too important to risk…

I wasn’t going to bother with an upgrade article because  wrote a good blog post about the upgrade here. Whilst going through the upgrade, there were a few things I needed to make extra notes on, since I have an terrible memory, so it ended up as a separate article.

Ultimately, you are going to need to read the upgrade docs because there are lots of caveats to think about, depending on what options you use.

Previous upgrades at work were a pain, but we had a more complicated installation with multiple management servers and a separate database. More recently we switched to running a simple configuration (DB and OMS on the same server) on an Oracle Linux VM. That makes doing a trial run of the upgrade at home a more realistic test. Whether it’s an improved Cloud Control upgrade process or the fact this is a single machine setup, the upgrade was really easy. Now that I’ve practiced the upgrade at home, I’m feeling relatively confident doing the upgrade in production. I’ll probably leave it until I get back from Bulgaria (BGOUG). It’s not really fair to change everything and then leave the country… :)

Cheers

Tim…