EM / phone home

I can’t get this out of my head so hopefully posting it here will free my brain to enjoy the rest of my post-conf vacation in Vegas.   Most databases are not in the DMZ.  They perhaps can call out locally, but not to the Internet.  This is not a “crazy” or rare setup, especially for companies with stringent security and auditing requirements.  So – why didn’t Oracle anticipate this?  Why not create an application level proxy server (free, hopefully) that could sit in a less-secure place on a company’s network and ferry phone-home traffic from EM to Oracle’s site.  Or at least provide enough openness for companies to do this themselves — don’t require online phone-home (it’s not real-time anyway), allow flat-file dumps that a company can move around as they wish before transmitting them, allow them to be analyzed and customized to exclude inappropriate data, etc.

Could be that some of this is available, and I just don’t know about it.

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IOUG Collaborate – Thursday

Highlight of the day was the global launch of Enterprise Manager 11.  Well, the actual highlight was the elite DBA debate over whether to upgrade to 11g or not.  Nice job folks!  Anyway, back to EM – cool stuff, and going in an even cooler direction.  See lots more info at Oracle’s site.

The new EM promises to be extremely cool and useful.  Two tidbits that drew a lot of complaints from attendees:

1) Licenses that you already own may incur a new cost when upgrading, even if you have premium support.  The reason given for this was that a lot of work went into the products.

2) Phone home capabilities are getting more and more crucial to using EM effectively.  It can be turned off as in previous versions. Many people put their hand up and said, “There’s no way to implement this, my servers are not allowed to talk to the Internet, period.”

Oracle is trying to provide a complete stack mgmt tool with biz logic, phone home proactive monitoring, etc.  This is not the EM DBAs are used to, although the DBA bits remain largely the same or same-enhanced.  This is a top to bottom tool to manage the entire stack, right down to OS, SAN, and server buildout.  We already knew that EM could monitor Peoplesoft, but this is clearly an attempt to make it a tool that is perfectly tailored to managing your application, database, and OS/disk tiers.

A few notes:

– there are no new packs

– phone-home data will generate configuration issue analysis based on specific config, delivered to your EM interface

– “ops center” – for infrastructure stack (built by sun – was existing sun product and has been around for quite a while, so this is more of an integration with EM than a new product)

– can deploy sun servers

New:

– real user experience monitoring

– sounded like coradiant or other network packet sniffing, real user experience platforms … the difference is that this would integrate into EM so that you could tie system events to user events.  It is smart about products like Peoplesoft, so that you don’t just see random long urls, you see psft-aware module/page info and tuning advice

– has web to db tracing of all sorts of tech (j2ee, psft), it is tier aware and has auto SLAs

– seems to go as far, if you want, as “see problem – alert – diagnose – deploy new virtual servers to mitigate” … Or rollback java code … Etc

Basically if you buy all the way in, it looks amazing. Not a decision we are likely to make now, since it probably means invalidating how we use a few big current non-oracle tools. But something to watch.

Shoutout to Oracle for the Ed Muntz videos.  Not all the Oracle videos have hit the funny bone, but these are just enough cornball without being silly.

– addon: application testing suite – automated script generation – doesn’t look like too many psft-specific goodies yet – like mercury loadrunner

– standby db tuning added

– RAT improvement – capture large load and replay only part of it, prev had to play whole capture

– patch recommendations WITH integrated community download stats, reviews, discussion of issues experienced, etc – cool!!! Basically integrating community into patch and fix stuff, all in EM. If patch isn’t available you can req it via EM without a call to support(!), you can also roll your own patches (you choose) with conflict detection