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Oracle® Enterprise Manager Concepts
11g Release 11.1.0.1

E11982-03
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3 Overview of Enterprise Manager Grid Control

This chapter provides an overview of Enterprise Manager Grid Control and helps you understand its architecture and the various core components that are integrated within the product. It contains the following sections:

Overview

Enterprise Manager is a system management software that delivers centralized monitoring, administration, and life cycle management functionality for the complete Oracle IT infrastructure, including systems running Oracle and non-Oracle technologies. Your infrastructure may comprise multiple Oracle Databases, Oracle WebLogic Managed Servers, Web applications deployed on these servers, hosts running these targets, and so on. You can, of course, use the individual product consoles to monitor the status of each of these targets, but it becomes cumbersome to shuttle between multiple console windows and track the performance of each of these targets using so many windows.Enterprise Manager offers a single-window solution that allows you to monitor and manage the complete Oracle IT infrastructure from a single console. Enterprise Manager Grid Control also offers support for monitoring certain non-Oracle products, for example, IBM WebSphere Application Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Juniper Networks NetScreen Firewall, and so on.With a broad set of end-to-end monitoring, administration, configuration management, provisioning, and security capabilities, Enterprise Manager Grid Control reduces the cost and complexity of managing such grid computing environments. Robust service-level management functionality within Enterprise Manager Grid Control dramatically improves service levels through rich transaction and end-user performance monitoring and deep diagnostics for multi-tier Internet applications.

Enterprise Manager Architecture

Although Enterprise Manager is viewed as a single entity, technically, it is built with the following software components:

While OMS acts as the brain of the Enterprise Manager Grid Control architecture responsible for communicating with Management Agents and a central repository that stores information, Management Agent acts as the hands and legs of a body responsible for collecting information from the monitored targets and transporting them to OMS. And, Management Repository is the repository configured in Oracle Database to store the collected information.

The following illustrates the Enterprise Manager Grid Control architecture:

Figure 3-1 Enterprise Manager Grid Control Architecture

Enterprise Manager Grid Control Architecture

After installing Enterprise Manager Grid Control, what you see is the Grid Control Console, the user interface that displays information about the health of the monitored targets. However, internally, OMS orchestrates with Management Agents to discover targets, monitor and manage them, and store the collected information in a repository for future reference and analysis.

To summarize, Enterprise Manager Grid Control has the following core components:

Table 3-1 Enterprise Manager Grid Control Components

Component Definition

Oracle Management Agent (Management Agent)

Management Agent is an integral software component that is deployed on each monitored host. It is responsible for monitoring all the targets running on those hosts, communicating that information to the middle-tier Oracle Management Service, and managing and maintaining the hosts and its targets.

Oracle Management Service (OMS)

OMS is a J2EE Web application that orchestrates with Management Agents to discover targets, monitor and manage them, and store the collected information in a repository for future reference and analysis. OMS also renders the user interface for the Grid Control console. OMS is deployed to the application server that is installed along with other core components of Enterprise Manager Grid Control.

Oracle Management Repository (Management Repository)

Management Repository is the storage location where all the information collected by the Management Agent gets stored. It consists of objects such as database jobs, packages, procedures, views, and tablespaces.

Technically, OMS uploads the monitoring data it receives from the Management Agents to the Management Repository. The Management Repository then organizes the data so that it can be retrieved by OMS and displayed in the Grid Control console. Since data is stored in the Management Repository, it can be shared between any number of administrators accessing Grid Control.

Management Repository is configured in Oracle Database. This Oracle Database can either be an existing database in your environment or a new one installed along with other core components of Enterprise Manager Grid Control.

Enterprise Manager Grid Control Console

Enterprise Manager Grid Control Console is the user interface you see after you install Grid Control. From the Grid Control console, you can monitor and administer your entire computing environment from one location on the network. All the services within your enterprise, including hosts, databases, listeners, application servers, and so on, are easily managed from one central location.


Key Features

Enterprise Manager enables users to manage their applications from top to bottom - from monitoring service levels to proactively isolating business exceptions before they escalate to addressing issues at any level in the IT stack. Users can manage the entire application lifecycle with comprehensive application quality management and compliance solutions. The key features are listed below:

System Monitoring

Enterprise Manager provides comprehensive, flexible, easy-to-use monitoring functionality that supports the timely detection and notification of impending IT problems across your enterprise. For applications built on Oracle, Enterprise Manager offers the most comprehensive monitoring of the Oracle Grid environment - from Oracle Database instances to Oracle Real Application Clusters to Oracle Application Server Farms and Clusters.

For example, Enterprise Manager's monitoring functionality is tightly integrated with Oracle Database 10g manageability features such as server-generated alerts. These alerts are generated by the database itself about problems it has self-detected. Server-generated alerts can be managed from the Enterprise Manager console and include recommendations on how problems can be resolved. Performance problems such as poorly performing SQL and corresponding recommendations that are generated by the database's self-diagnostic engine, called Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM), are also captured and exposed through the Enterprise Manager console. This allows Enterprise Manager administrators to implement ADDM recommendations with ease and convenience.

Enterprise Manager comes with a comprehensive set of performance and health metrics that allow monitoring of key components in your environment such as applications, application servers, databases, as well as the back-end components on which they rely, such as hosts, operating systems and storage.

The Management Agent on each monitored host monitors the status, health, and performance of all managed components (also referred to as targets) on that host. If a target goes down, or if a performance metric crosses a warning or critical threshold, an alert is generated and sent to Enterprise Manager and to Enterprise Manager administrators who have registered interest in receiving such notifications.

Some metrics have predefined limiting parameters called thresholds that cause alerts to be generated when metric values exceed these thresholds. An alert indicates a potential problem indicating that a warning or critical threshold for a monitored metric has been crossed. An alert can also be generated for various availability states such as:

  • Target is down.

  • Oracle Management Agent monitoring the target is unreachable.

When an alert is generated, you can access details about the alert from the Enterprise Manager console. Administrators can be automatically notified when an alert is generated, and corrective actions can be automatically set up to resolve an alert condition.

Corrective actions allow you to specify automated responses to alerts. They ensure that routine responses are automatically executed, thereby saving administrators time and ensuring problems are dealt with before they noticeably impact users.

All monitoring information is accessed via the Enterprise Manager console, providing quick views into the health of your monitored environment.

The Enterprise Manager console home page shown in the figure below gives you an at-a-glance view of the overall status of your monitored environment. As shown in the following figure, the home page summarizes key monitoring areas such as availability across all managed targets, open alerts, policy violations, and recent problems with job executions. Links on this page allow you to drill down to detailed performance information.

The Resource Center is your central access point to Enterprise Manager documentation as well as the comprehensive technical resources of the Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

Console Home Page
Description of the illustration gc_console.gif

Managing Groups

Today's IT operations staff are often responsible for managing a great number of components, such as databases, application servers, hosts, or other components. The Enterprise Manager Group Management System lets you combine components (called targets in Enterprise Manager) into logical sets, called groups. By organizing targets into groups, you can manage and monitor many components as one. The group management system enables you to organize, manage, and effectively monitor the potentially large number of targets in your enterprise.

The group management system allows you to:

  • View a summary status of the targets within the group.

  • Monitor outstanding alerts and policy violations for the group collectively, rather than individually.

  • Monitor the overall performance of the group through performance charts.

  • Perform administrative tasks, such as scheduling jobs for the entire group, or blacking out the group for maintenance periods.

Job System

The Enterprise Manager Job System provides the capacity to automate routine administrative tasks and synchronize components in your environment so you can manage them more efficiently. A job is a unit of work that you define to automate commonly-run tasks. One of the advantages of jobs is that you can schedule a job to start immediately or start at a later date and time. You have the option to have the job run once or at a specific interval.

The Enterprise Manager Job System serves a dual purpose:

  • Provides for the automation of many administrative tasks, for example, backup, cloning, and patching

  • Allows users to create their own jobs using their own custom OS and SQL scripts

Enterprise Manager provides predefined job tasks for database targets and deployments. A job task is used to contain predefined, unchangeable logic—for example, patch an application, back up a database, and so on. In addition to predefined job tasks, you can define your own job tasks by writing code to be included in OS and SQL scripts. In addition to submitting jobs to individual targets, you can submit jobs against a group of targets. Any job that you submit to a group is automatically extended to all its member targets and takes into account the membership of the group as it changes.

Information Publisher

Information Publisher, Enterprise Manager's powerful reporting framework, makes information about your managed environment available to audiences across the enterprise. Reports are used to present a view of enterprise monitoring information for business intelligence purposes, but can also serve an administrative role by showing activity, resource utilization, and configuration of managed targets. IT managers can use reports to show availability of sets of managed systems. Executives can view reports on availability of applications (such as corporate email) over a period of time.

The reporting framework allows you to create and publish customized reports. Intuitive HTML-based reports can be published via the Web, stored, or e-mailed to selected recipients. Information Publisher comes with a comprehensive library of predefined reports that allow you to generate reports out-of-box without additional setup and configuration. The key benefits of using Information Publisher are:

  • Provides a framework for creating content-rich, well-formatted HTML reports based on Management Repository data.

  • Out-of-box reports let you start generating reports immediately without any system configuration or setup.

  • Ability to schedule automatic generation of reports and store scheduled copies and/or e-mail them to intended audiences.

  • Ability for Enterprise Manager administrators to share reports with the entire business community: executives, customers, and other Enterprise Manager administrators.

Information Publisher provides you with a feature-rich framework that is your central information source for your enterprise.

Compliance Management

To have your enterprise run efficiently, it must adhere to standards that promote the best practices for security, configuration, and storage. Once these standards are developed, you can apply and test for these standards throughout your organization; that is, test for compliance. Compliance in this context is the conformance to standards, or requirements, or both.

Using Enterprise Manager, you can test the conformance of your targets for security standards, and configuration and storage requirements. By continually testing your systems, services, and targets, you are ensuring the best possible protection and performance for your system.

Enterprise Manager provides two types of compliance management: policies and policy groups. Together these define the optimal configurations of systems.

Policies and policy groups are similar in purpose, that is, they both provide rules against which managed entities are evaluated. However, there are differences:

  • Rules within a policy group are managed as a set. They are viewed, maintained, evaluated, and reported, in the context of a policy group.

  • Policies are evaluated as a set. Policies are viewed, maintained, and evaluated as standalone entities. Out-of-box policies and user-defined policies are available.

Whether you use the out-of-box policies and policy groups or customize policies and policy groups to meet your particular system requirements, any deviations to your systems or applications are reported. Examples of deviations include inappropriate settings and incorrect system configurations. Using the Information Publisher feature, you can view reports of any policy violations and policy group reports.

Extending Enterprise Manager

Enterprise Manager allows you to monitor and manage a variety of components out-of-the-box.

Enterprise environments consist of a wide variety of components: OS platforms, hardware, software, network, and storage devices. All of these components work in concert to deliver critical information and functionality required to keep enterprise operations performing optimally and providing information to make important business decisions. While Oracle Enterprise Manager allows you to monitor and manage a variety of components out-of-box, you may want to monitor third party components or custom applications specific to your environment.

In addition, you can use the same mechanism used by Oracle and its partners to extend Enterprise Manager to monitor custom components via modular Management Plug-ins. The Management Plug-ins allow you to seamlessly monitor and manage non-Oracle components from the Grid Control console by providing an easy way to specify new classes of components for Enterprise Manager to monitor. Once you have created the new Management Plug-in, you can use the Enterprise Manager console to deploy the new plug-in throughout your enterprise.

Extending Enterprise Manager for monitoring additional components provides the following benefits:

  • Centralize management information in a single console: When deployed, components defined by the Management Plug-in automatically appear in the Grid Control console. Being able to monitor all targets in your environment provides a consolidated view of your entire enterprise, thus allowing you to monitor and manage all components from a central point.

  • Extend Enterprise Manager's monitoring and management features to non-Oracle components: Newly added components automatically inherit Enterprise Manager's powerful monitoring and management features, such as: alerts, policies, blackouts, monitoring templates, groups/systems, configuration management, and enterprise reporting.

  • Comprehensive Service-Level Management: By managing all of your enterprise components with Enterprise Manager, you can more fully utilize the Service-Level Management features offered in Enterprise Manager.

Tip:

For more details, see http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/oem/extensions/index.html

Managing Targets

Enterprise Manager can monitor, administer, maintain, and manage different types of targets. For more details on these targets, refer to the following chapters: