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7 Things Oracle Enterprise Manager Can Do

Rakesh Nagdev | | January 14, 2020

Over the years, Oracle has made a lot of innovations in their Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) cloud control tool. And we all know what an impressive monitoring and management tool OEM is for small to very large complex environments.

Using OEM, you can monitor and manage your wide-ranging enterprise environment including databases, applications, middleware, virtualization infrastructure, cross deployments and non-Oracle targets.

Oracle Enterprise Manager provides additional functionality with the help of management packs that includes Oracle Diagnostics Pack and Oracle Tuning Pack, Database Lifecycle Management Pack, Oracle Configuration Management Pack, Oracle Change Management Pack, Oracle Data Masking Pack and many more. However, these management packs require a separate license.

Let’s dive into the 7 things OEM 13c can do that you may not know about!

1. Intelligent Incident Compression (Smart alerting)

If you have used any of 11g or 12c Enterprise Manager versions then up until now, you must have experienced the “flood of alerts” during host down or similar situations when you received alerts from every target hosted on same server that went down due to some underlying issue.

This results into too many alerts or tickets being generated and you don’t really want these alerts for the same issue as it imposes multiple challenges. This in turn could cause you to lose real sight on important alerts, and it may end up creating too many incident tickets, which is a total waste of time and efforts.

So, the question is, how can I reduce the number of unnecessary alerts? The good news: Beginning with Enterprise Manager 13c, Intelligent Incident Compression allows multiple events to be automatically grouped into a single incident.

Some of the situations where it is useful to deal with multiple related events as a single incident are

  • Consolidation of events from targets on same host.
  • Merging of all Tablespace Used (%) alerts across all tablespaces for a particular database into a single incident.
  • You want to an automatic union of all Metric Collection Errors for a target into a single incident.

 
By compressing notifications, we can manage related events as one unit. This will also save space in the repository as it compresses duplicates copies of the same incidents into a single incident.

In this screenshot, we are compressing events from targets on the same host.

2. Chef Job Support

Chef is a declarative configuration management and automation platform. Chef has become very popular for its concept of “infrastructure as code,” in which machine-readable files called Chef recipes are used to provision infrastructure including computing hardware and networking.

Chef recipes are now supported with a new job type introduced in 13c Enterprise Manager cloud control.

You can now manage and access Chef cookbooks and Chef recipes in the software library. The execution of chef recipes is now supported by deployment procedures.

Please note you can now store Chef cookbooks and Chef recipes in the Software library or even locally to a host where it gets executed.

  • Must have chef-solo setup
  • Create a folder in Software library
  • Chef cookbook should be uploaded
  • Create an OEM job using the new Chef job type and submit it

3. Always-ON Monitoring

I believe everyone would agree with me that we’re always looking for a way to monitor the targets. Especially for critical and down alerts in the event when Oracle Enterprise Manager services are down for a planned maintenance or unavailable during the outages. Fortunately, the wait is over now as Oracle introduced “Always-ON Monitoring” in 13c Cloud Control.

Always-ON Monitoring (AOM) is a lightweight application that is included in 13c cloud control.

You can enable AOM monitoring by following a few simple steps in OEM and it just requires creating a schema in Oracle database. This is separate from OEM repository database and it will hold all necessary objects for AOM.

The Administrator can enable notifications as and when required. However, it’s best practice to keep AOM running all the time and notifications can be enabled as per requirement. It’s particularly useful to enable notifications during planned maintenance work like quarterly patching or Enterprise Manager (EM) upgrades.

The monitoring configuration of targets and notifications data including contacts and email gateway configuration synchronized with Always-ON Monitoring as it will be reusing existing configuration of Enterprise Manager.

Once AOM is properly setup and synchronized, the EM notifications can be received even when Enterprise Manager services are unavailable.

4. Notification Blackouts

Notification Blackout disables notifications during the blackout period on the targets which are under notification blackout. Please note the targets still get monitored by agent and events still get generated, just notifications will be suppressed. This would help to introduce more efficiencies on target availability calculation and Service Level Agreement (SLA).

There are two types of Notification Blackouts:

Maintenance Notification Blackout: This type of blackout is particularly useful when we don’t want to receive notifications for planned maintenance work. As this is a planned maintenance, the Notification Blackout duration will not be considered while calculating the availability (%) and SLA.

Notification-only Notification Blackout: This type of blackout is setup for an unexpected outage such as a host crash or SAN issue. As the blackout is setup due to some unexpected outage the blackout duration will be considered while calculating the availability (%) and SLA.

5. System Broadcast

It’s always best practice to notify the users who are currently connected to enterprise manager about the outages before bringing down Enterprise Manager services for any planned maintenance. Oracle introduced a new feature in 13c cloud control known as System Broadcast. Using this feature, the super administrator can now notify all users who are connected to Enterprise Manager by sending a message before any planned maintenance work.

The EMCLI provides new send_system_broadcast verb using which we can send message including severity levels. This is especially useful in avoiding an enterprise manager from being taken down without prior notification to the connected users.

Based on the requirement you should set necessary user preferences for System Broadcasts as shown in the screenshot below.

Example:
emcli send_system_broadcast -messageType=”INFO” -toOption=”ALL” -message=”Enterprise
Manager will be taken down in an hour for an emergency patch”

6. Export and Import of Incident Rule Sets

The much-needed functionality of exporting incident rule sets from One Enterprise manager site into another is now available in 13c cloud control. The rule set can be saved in most popular XML format.

This feature is very useful when you have multiple Enterprise managers and you would like to quickly mimic the rule set configuration between two or more Oracle enterprise managers cloud control without redoing the configuration of incident rule sets manually.

Please note, the rule sets along with incident rules, users, recipients’ email addresses, targets on which rule set are configured and notification methods can also be exported. If any of these entities are already available in the target Enterprise Manager cloud control then they will be kept in the rule set, else they are removed during the import to target site.

This also helps us to standardize the notification rulesets across multiple enterprise managers in the global complex environment where multiple Enterprise managers are hosted in different data centers.

7. Metric Enhancements

In previous releases of Enterprise Managers, we used to extend monitoring by creating user defined metrics which had limited functionality, and it was available only for few known target types.

In 13c cloud control the metric extensions allow you to create full-fledged metrics for a multitude of target types, such as Hosts, Databases, Oracle Exadata databases and storage servers, Siebel components, Oracle Business Intelligence components, Fusion Applications IBM WebSphere.

The following are some of the advantages of Metric Extensions

  • Metric Comparison operators can now be modified for alerts
  • Compute expressions are now supported in metric extensions.
  • Metric Extensions are can be setup for RAC and NON-RAC (single instance) databases

 
These enhancements in Metric Extensions provide better monitoring and flexibility to meet requirement of monitoring complex environments.

As you can see, Oracle has made some significant enhancements that can impact organizations’ efficiency directly while improving service. If you’re looking for assistance with OEM for your database monitoring, we can help, contact us today.

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