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How Do I Upgrade to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?

Author: Avinash Kumar | 7 min read | August 27, 2015

Oracle Enterprise Manager is no longer a simple tool, but a full line of enterprise technology solutions. Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c allows users to take advantage of cloud computing for a wide range of benefits.

According to Oracle, Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c is designed to:

Reduce downtime by up to 90%. Improve staff productivity by up to 75%. Reduce capital expenditures on servers by 20% or more. Increase IT agility while lowering the cost of managing IT by an order of magnitude.

In the modern business environment, many organizations depend on IT to deliver always on systems and mission-critical services. But behind the scenes, IT organizations are coping with more and more complexity than ever before—complexity from growing data volumes, to composite applications, to virtualization and the cloud. Managing all these systems and services 24×7, in a global environment is one monumental challenge and constant battle for IT.

However, help is at hand. Today Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle’s flagship enterprise class management solution, helps IT organizations cut through the complexity and brings order to chaos by managing and monitoring the performance and availability of today’s enterprise applications and their supporting infrastructure from an end-to-end, top-down, end-user perspective in both enterprise private clouds and traditional environments.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is successful in its ability to manage the entire cloud stack. There are extensive capabilities for managing Oracle Applications such as Oracle Fusion Applications, Siebel, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards Enterprise One. In addition to applications, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c has a broad range of solutions for managing Oracle Databases, from performance management and database testing, to database lifecycle management and database as a service.

There are also comprehensive solutions for managing Oracle Fusion Middleware, including Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle SOA Suite, and Oracle Application Server. Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can also manage Oracle VM, and Oracle Sun Servers and Storage in the form of close integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c even goes beyond just managing applications and disks. It goes further to the business layer, and is able to define and manage your business Advanced Uses of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c 5 transactions on services across a service bus, and can be used to set up the entire infrastructure for the cloud—whether the cloud is infrastructure as a service (IaaS), database as a service (DBaaS), schema as a service (Schema-aaS) or middleware as a service (MWaaS)—the latter three forming Oracle’s offering of platform as a service (PaaS).

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c also enables you to build a private cloud, deliver services in private cloud via its self-service portal, and manage the private cloud, including metering and chargeback. The DBaaS capabilities are based on Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Database Lifecycle Management (DBLM) Pack and Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database.

Besides the Oracle technology stack, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is able to monitor and perform configuration management of non-Oracle hardware and software, such as non-Oracle Hosts (for example, HP-UX, IBM AIX, and Windows), non-Oracle virtualization such as VMWare, non-Oracle storage such as EMC and NetApp, as well as firewalls, load balancers, and network devices. This is done via Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c plug-ins written either by Oracle or third-party vendors, such as Blue Medora, Pyhtian, Entuity, NetApp, F5, Dell, Symantec and so on.

As IDG News Service explained:

Oracle Enterprise Manager was originally created to deploy and manage groups of Oracle databases. Over the years, Oracle has extended the software to manage the Oracle Application Server and third-party software packages from Microsoft and others, through the use of plug-ins and connectors…To help organizations set up cloud services for internal use, Oracle has been adding more features to Oracle Enterprise Manager.

With the addition of enhanced resources for private cloud environment management, the question isn’t whether you should upgrade; it’s how to effectively upgrade from your existing or products.

Upgrading Oracle Enterprise Manager

Oracle has detailed information available regarding best practices for upgrading Oracle Enterprise Manager, which begins with “proper planning to ensure a successful implementation.” Based on its experience with more than 80 Enterprise Manager 12c installations for its customers, Oracle recommends using “a phased approach to ensure success.” The company explains:

The goal is to complete the basic deployment and monitoring configuration before diving into extended features such as Lifecycle Management and Cloud. If you start with a solid infrastructure, the rest of the feature implementations will also be successful.

Start by fully backing up the database and archive logs. Using emctl exportconfig oms, back up the binary plus the software library and oraInventory. Run this after any configuration change and update, making certain to fully test the recovery process to ensure it works properly. Then, hope you never need it.

Upgrading was designed by Oracle to be both smooth and non-disruptive, states Akanksha Sheoran Kaler, senior product manager at the company, in his primer on upgrading.

Single-System and Two-System Oracle Upgrades

There are two different approaches a user can take to upgrading: single-system and two-system. Each has its merits and challenges.

Kaler points Oracle users to additional online resources including the upgrade guide and a page of resources regarding installations and upgrades. With the single system approach, a user can completely upgrade the entire system, which results in more system downtime. The two-system approach creates less downtime, but is completed in phases.

The best practices involved in both approaches start with deploying the OEM 12.1 agents, then running a health check on those agents.

In the one-system installation, the switchover is followed by a complete manual backup of the repository. Next in the installation, the old server is shutdown, before 12c is installed and the repository upgraded again. Remember: backup is an essential best practice needed following every configuration change and/or update. After the server is started, the system can begin accepting agent connections.

Differences from Prior OEM Upgrades

There are several differences between this technology and that of prior upgrades. Notably, health checks and a monitoring console are now available and fallback is possible where it used to require a system restore.

With the two-system approach, following the health check and backup, you must next configure the Oracle Management Server. The repository is also upgraded at this stage. The new server is started, followed by the incremental shutdown of all old agents. The 12c agents are then activated. Once the agents are all moved successfully, then the old server is decommissioned.

Some additional activities are required following the successful upgrade, regardless of the approach used. Through the post-upgrade console included, you need to complete any deferred data migration, access reports about system configuration changes to the old system, and delete old agents.

You should now have some ideas about the best practices for upgrading to Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c. We’ve previously offered other ideas for working with Oracle, including a webinar with Chuck Ezell on the value of conducting Oracle Health Checks.

If you have questions about how to optimize your Oracle configuration, Datavail can work with you and your organization to effectively support your Oracle environment for your benefit and that of your clients and customers.

To learn more about our remote database services and how our experts can help with your ongoing Oracle operations, please contact Datavail to discuss a custom solution designed for your enterprise.

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