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Oracle® Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator's Guide
12c Release 4 (12.1.0.4)

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6 Managing Groups

This chapter introduces the concept of group management and contains the following sections:

6.1 Introduction to Groups

Groups are an efficient way to logically organize, manage, and monitor the targets in your global environments. Each group has its own group home page. The group home page shows the most important information for the group and enables you to drill down for more information. The home page shows the overall status of the group and other information such as current availability, incidents, and patch recommendations for members of the group.

Group Management Tasks

You can use Enterprise Manager to perform the following group management functions:

  • Edit the configuration of a selected group, remove groups, and, in the case of an Administration Group, associate or disassociate a Template Collection.

  • View the status and health of the group from the System Dashboard

  • Drill down from a specific group to collectively monitor and manage its member targets.

  • View a roll-up of member statuses and open incidents for members of the group.

  • Apply blackouts to all targets in a group.

  • Run jobs against a group

  • Run a report

  • Apply monitoring templates

  • Associate compliance standards

In addition to creating groups, you can also create specific types of groups, such as redundancy groups, privilege propagating groups, and dynamic groups. The following sections explain the different types of groups.

6.1.1 Overview of Groups

Groups enable you to collectively monitor and administer many targets as a single logical unit. For example, you can define a group to contain all the databases serving an enterprise application, and define another group to contain all the hosts in a host farm. You can then use these groups to perform administrative operations. To create a group, you can manually select and add the members of the group. If you add an aggregate target, such as a Cluster Database, all of its member targets are automatically added to the group.

A group can include targets of the same type, such as all your production databases, or it could include all the targets on a host which would be comprised of different target types. You can nest static groups inside each other. In the target selector when you are selecting group members, choose Group as the target type, or choose a parent group as part of the process of creating a group.

If a system target is added to a group, it automatically pulls in its member targets. This could be the case of a regular group where a system such as WebLogic Server is added and also pulls in its members, or in a dynamic group where you specify a Target type to be an Oracle WebLogic Server and it also pulls in members of the WebLogic Server even though it does not match the dynamic group criteria. In this scenario, the group operations (for example, runnning jobs, blackouts, and so on) apply to all members of the group.

After you configure a group, you can perform various administrative operations, such as:

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

  • View a roll-up of member statuses and open incidents for members of the group.

  • View a summary of critical patch advisories.

  • View configuration changes during the past 7 days.

  • Create jobs and view the status of job executions.

  • Create blackouts and view the status of current blackouts.

6.1.2 Overview of Privilege Propagating Groups

Privilege propagating groups enable administrators to propagate privileges to members of a group. You can grant a privilege on a group once to an administrator or a role and have that same privilege automatically propagate to any new member of the group. For example, granting operator privilege on a privilege propagating group to an Administrator grants him the operator privilege on its member targets and also to any members that will be added in the future. Privilege propagating groups can contain individual targets or other privilege propagating groups. Any aggregate that you add to a privilege propagating group must also be privilege propagating as well. For example, any group that you add to a privilege propagating group must also be privilege propagating.

Privileges on the group can be granted to an Enterprise Manager administrator or a role. Use a role if the privileges you want to grant are to be granted to a group of Enterprise Manager administrators.

For example, suppose you create a privilege propagating group and grant a privilege to a role which is then granted to administrators. If new targets are later added to the privilege propagating group, then the administrators receive the privileges on the target automatically. Additionally, when a new administrator is hired, you only need to grant the role to the administrator for the administrator to receive all the privileges on the targets automatically.

6.1.3 Overview of Dynamic Groups

The membership management for groups is typically manual or static in nature. Manually managing memberships works well for small deployments but not necessarily in large, dynamic environments where new targets come into the system frequently. Groups whose members are added frequently would be easier to maintain if they were to be defined by membership criteria instead of adding targets directly into the group. When the membership criteria is defined once, Enterprise Manager will automatically add targets.

A dynamic group is a group whose membership is determined by membership criteria. The owner of a dynamic group specifies the membership criteria during dynamic group creation (or modification) and membership in the group is determined solely by the criteria specified. Membership in a dynamic group cannot be modified directly because targets cannot be directly added to a dynamic group. Enterprise Manager automatically adds targets that match membership criteria when a dynamic group is created. It also updates group membership as new targets are added or target properties are changed and the target matches the group's membership criteria.

It is important to note that static groups can contain dynamic groups as members but not the other way around. You cannot include a static group as a member of a dynamic group.

Use the Define Membership Criteria function of Dynamic Groups to define the criteria for group membership. Once you have defined criteria, the targets selected by the criteria will be displayed in a read-only table in the Members region of the Groups page. Since dynamic groups are defined by criteria, you can intentionally or unintentionally define criteria that could result in very large groups.

The following requirements apply to dynamic groups:

  • Dynamic groups cannot contain static groups, other dynamic groups, or administration groups.

  • Administration groups cannot contain dynamic groups, however, a static group can contain dynamic groups as a member.

  • OR-based criteria is not supported. All criteria selected on the criteria page are AND-based.

  • Supported properties are limited to global properties plus other attributes specifically supported for administration groups such as Version, Platform, Target Name and Type, and so on. Specifically user-defined properties and other instance properties, plus config data elements are not supported as criteria.

  • The View Any Target and Add Any Target privileges are required to create a dynamic group.

  • The Full Any Target, Add Any Target, and Create Privilege Propagating Group privileges are required to create a privilege-propagating dynamic group.

6.1.4 Overview of Administration Groups

Administration Groups greatly simplify the process of setting up targets for management in Enterprise Manager by automating the application of management settings such as monitoring settings or compliance standards. Typically, these settings are manually applied to individual target, or perhaps semi-automatically using custom scripts. However, by defining Administration Groups, Enterprise Manager uses specific target properties to direct the target to the appropriate Administration Group and then automatically apply the requisite monitoring and management settings. This level of automation simplifies the target setup process and also enables a datacenter to easily scale as new targets are added to Enterprise Manager for management.

Administration groups are a special type of group used to fully automate application of monitoring and other management settings upon joining the group. When a target is added to the group, Enterprise Manager applies these settings using a Template Collection consisting of Monitoring Templates, compliance standards, and cloud policies. This completely eliminates the need for administrator intervention.

To watch Part 1 of a video about using administrative groups and template collections, click here.

To watch Part 2 of the video about using administrative groups and template collections, click here.

6.1.5 Choosing Which Type of Group To Use

There are two major types of groups you can choose to manage targets: Static Groups/ Dynamic groups, which can be one or more groups that you define, and Administration Groups for automating monitoring setup using templates.

You should carefully consider the purpose of your group and the function it serves before determining which type of group to use.

The following table diagrams when you should use Administration Groups or Dynamic Groups.

Table 6-1 When To Use Administration Groups vs. Dynamic Groups

Type of Group Main Purpose Membership Based on Criteria Additional Membership Requirements Privilege Propagating

Administration Group

Auto-apply monitoring templates

Yes, based on target properties

Target can belong to at most one administration group

Yes (always)

Dynamic Group

Perform any group operation.

Yes, based on target properties

Target can belong to one or more groups

User-specified option


The main purpose of an Administration Group is to automate the application of management settings, such as monitoring settings or compliance standards. When a target is added to the group, Enterprise Manager automatically applies these settings using templates to eliminate the need for administrator action.

Dynamic groups, on the other hand, can be used to manage many targets as a single unit where you can define the group membership by defining the properties that constitute the group. For example, you could use dynamic groups to manage privileges or groups that you create containing the targets that are managed for different support teams.

6.2 Managing Groups

By combining targets in a group, Enterprise Manager provides management features that enable you to efficiently manage these targets as one group. Using the Group functionality, you can:

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

  • Monitor incidents for the group collectively, rather than individually.

  • Monitor the overall performance of the group.

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

You can also customize the console to provide direct access to group management pages.

When you choose Groups from the Targets menu in the Enterprise Manager, the Groups page appears. You can view the currently available groups and perform the following tasks:

  • View a list of all the defined groups.

  • Search for existing groups and save search criteria for future searches.

  • View a member status summary and rollup of incidents for members in a group.

  • Create Groups, Dynamic Groups or the Administration Group hierarchy, edit the configuration of a selected group, remove groups, and, in the case of an Administration Group, associate or disassociate a Template Collection.

  • Add groups or privilege propagating groups, remove groups, and change the configuration of currently defined groups.

  • Drill down from a specific group to collectively monitor and manage its member targets.

  • Customize the homepage of a specific group

Redundancy systems and special high availability groups are not accessed from this Groups page. You can access them from the All Targets page or you can access Redundancy Systems and other systems from the Systems page.

6.2.1 Creating and Editing Groups

Enterprise Manager Groups enable administrators to logically organize distributed targets for efficient and effective management and monitoring.

To create a group, follow these steps:

  1. From the Enterprise Manager Console, choose Targets then choose Groups. Alternately, you can choose Add Target from the Setup menu and choose the menu option to add the specific type of group.

  2. Click Create and choose the type of group you want to create. The Enterprise Manager Console displays a set of Create Group pages that function similarly to a wizard.

  3. On the General tab of the Create Group page, enter the Name of the Group you want to create. If you want to make this a privilege propagating group, then enable the Privilege Propagation option by clicking Enabled. If you enable Privilege Propagation for the group, the target privileges granted on the group to an administrator or a role are propagated to the member targets. As with regular groups with privilege propagation, the Create Privilege Propagating Group privilege is required for creation of privilege propagating dynamic groups. In addition, the Full any Target privilege is required to enable privilege propagation because only targets on which the owner has Full Target privileges can be members, and any target can potentially match the criteria and a system wide Full privilege is required. To create a regular dynamic group, the View any Target system wide privilege is required as the group owner must be able to view any target that can potentially match the membership criteria.

  4. Configure each page, then click OK. You should configure all the pages before clicking OK. For more information about these steps, see the online help.

After you create the group, you always have immediate access to it from the Groups page.

You can edit a group to change the targets that comprise the group, or change the metrics that you want to use to summarize a given target type. To edit a group, follow these steps:

  1. From the Enterprise Manager Console, choose Targets then choose Groups.

  2. Click the group Name for the group you want to edit.

  3. Click Edit from the top of the groups table.

  4. Change the configuration for a page or pages, then click OK.

6.2.2 Creating Dynamic Groups

The owner of a dynamic group specifies the membership criteria during dynamic group creation (or modification) and membership in the group is determined solely by the criteria specified. Membership in a dynamic group cannot be modified directly. Enterprise Manager automatically adds targets that match membership criteria when a dynamic group is created. It also updates group membership as new targets are added or target properties are changed and the targets match the group's membership criteria.

To create a dynamic group, follow these steps:

  1. From the Groups page, click Create and then select Dynamic Group from the drop-down list. Alternately, you can choose Add Target from the Setup menu and then select Group.

  2. On the General tab of the Create Dynamic Group page, enter the Name of the Dynamic Group you want to create. If you want to make this a privilege propagating dynamic group, then enable the Privilege Propagation option by clicking Enabled. If you enable Privilege Propagation for the group, the target privileges granted on the group to an administrator or a role are propagated to the member targets. As with regular groups with privilege propagation, the Create Privilege Propagating Group privilege is required for creation of privilege propagating dynamic groups. In addition, the Full any Target privilege is required to enable privilege propagation because only targets on which the owner has Full Target privileges can be members, and any target can potentially match the criteria and a system wide Full privilege is required. To create a regular dynamic group, the View any Target system wide privilege is required as the group owner must be able to view any target that can potentially match the membership criteria.

    The privilege propagating group feature contains two privileges:

    • Create Privilege Propagating Group

      This privileged activity allows the administrators to create the privilege propagating groups. Administrators with this privilege can create propagating groups and delegate the group administration activity to other users.

    • Group Administration

      Grant this privilege to an administrator or role that enables him to become group administrator for the group. This means he can perform operations on the group, share privileges on the group with other administrators, etc.

      The Group Administration Privilege is available for both Privilege Propagating Groups and conventional groups. If you are granted this privilege, you can grant full privilege access to the group to other Enterprise Manager users without having to be the SuperAdministrator to grant the privilege.

  3. In the Define Membership Criteria section, define the criteria for the dynamic group membership by clicking Define Membership Criteria.

    The Define Membership Criteria page appears where you can Add or Remove properties of targets to be included in the group. Group members must match one value in each of the populated target properties. Use the Member Preview section to review a list of targets that match the criteria. Click OK to return to the General page.

    At least one of the criteria on the Define Membership Criteria page must be specified. You cannot create a Dynamic group without at least one of the target types, on hosts or target properties specified. Use the following criteria for dynamic groups:

    • Target type(s)

    • Department

    • On Host

    • Target Version

    • Lifecycle Status

    • Operating System

    • Line of Business

    • Platform

    • Location

    • CSI

    • Cost Center

    • Contact

    • Comment

    You can add or remove properties using the Add or Remove Target Properties button on the Define Membership Criteria page.

  4. Enter the Time Zone. The time zone you select is used for scheduling operations such as jobs and blackouts on this group. The groups statistics charts will also use this time zone.

  5. Click the Charts tab. Specify the charts that will be shown in the Dynamic Group Charts page. By default, the commonly used charts for the target types contained in the Dynamic Group are added.

  6. Click the Columns tab to add columns and abbreviations that will be seen in the Members page and also in the Dashboard.

  7. Click the Dashboard tab to specify the parameters for the System Dashboard. The System Dashboard displays the current status and incidents and compliance violations associated with the members of the Dynamic Group in graphical format.

  8. Click the Access tab. Use the Access page to administer access privileges for the group. On the Access page you can grant target access to Enterprise Manager roles and grant target access to Enterprise Manager administrators.

  9. Click OK to create the Dynamic Group.

6.2.3 Adding Members to Privilege Propagating Groups

The target privileges granted on a propagating group are propagated to member targets. The administrator grants target objects scoped to another administrator, and the grantee maintains the same privileges on member targets. The propagating groups maintain the following features:

  • The administrator with a Create Privilege Propagating Group privilege will be able to create a propagating group

  • To add a target as a member of a propagating group, the administrator must have Full target privileges on the target

You can add any non-aggregate target as the member of a privilege propagating group. For aggregate targets in Cloud Control version 12c, cluster and RAC databases and other propagating groups can be added as members. Cloud Control version 12c supports more aggregate target types, such as redundancy systems, systems and services.

If you are not the group creator, you must have at least the Full target privilege on the group to add a target to the group.

6.2.4 Converting Conventional Groups to Privilege Propagating Groups

In Enterprise Manager release 12c you can convert conventional groups to privilege propagating groups (and vice-versa) through the use of the specified EM CLI verb. Two new parameters have been added in the modify_group EM CLI verb:

  • privilege_propagation

    This parameter is used to modify the privilege propagation behavior of the group. The possible value of this parameter is either true or false.

  • drop_existing_grants

    This parameter indicates whether existing privilege grants on that group are to be revoked at the time of converting a group from privilege propagation to normal (or vice versa). The possible values of this parameter are yes or no. The default value of this parameter is yes.

These same enhancements have been implemented on the following EM CLI verbs: modify_system, modify_redundancy_group, and modify_aggregrate_service.

The EM CLI verb is listed below:

emcli modify_group
   -name="name"
   [-type=<group>]
   [-add_targets="name1:type1;name2:type2;..."]...
   [-delete_targets="name1:type1;name2:type2;..."]...
   [-privilege_propagation = true/false]
   [-drop_existing_grants = Yes/No]  

For more information about this verb and other EM CLI verbs, see the EM CLI Reference Manual.

6.2.5 Viewing and Managing Groups

Enterprise Manager enables you to quickly view key information about members of a group, eliminating the need to navigate to individual member targets to check on availability and performance. You can view the entire group on a single screen and drill down to obtain further details. The Group Home page provides the following sections:

  • A General section that displays the general information about the group, such as the Owner, Group Type, and whether the group is privilege propagating. You can drill down to the Edit Group page to enable or disable privilege propagating by clicking on the Privilege Propagating field.

  • A Status section that shows how many member targets are in Up, Down, and Unknown states. For nested groups, this segment shows how many targets are in up, down, and unknown states across all its sub-groups. The status roll up count is based on the unique member targets across all sub-groups. Consequently, even if a target appears more than once in sub-groups, it is counted only once in status roll ups.

  • An Overview of Incidents and Problems section that displays the summary of incidents on members of the group that have been updated in the recent period of time. It also shows a count of open problems as well as problems updated in recent period of time.

    The rolled up information is shown for all the member targets regardless of their status. The status roll up count is based on the unique member targets across all sub-groups. Consequently, even if a target appears more than once in sub-groups, its alerts are counted only once in alert roll ups.

    Click the number in the Problems column to go to the Incident Manager page to search, view, and manage exceptions and issues in your environment. By using Incident Manager, you can track outstanding incidents and problems.

  • A Compliance Summary section that shows the compliance of members of the group against the compliance standards defined for the group. This section also shows a rollup of violations by severity (critical, warning, minor warning) as well as the average compliance score(%).

  • A Job Activity section that displays a summary of jobs for the targets in the group whose start date is within the last 7 days. You can click Show to see the latest run or all runs. Click View to select and reorder the columns that appear in the table or to adjust scrolling and expanding the table.

  • A Blackouts section that displays information about current or pending blackouts. You can also create a blackout from this section.

  • A Patch Recommendations section that displays the Oracle patch recommendations that are applicable to your enterprise. You can view patch recommendations by classification or target type.

    You can navigate to My Oracle Support to view all recommendations by clicking the All Recommendations link.

  • An Inventory and Usage section where you can view inventory summaries for deployments such as hosts, database installations, and fusion middleware installations on an enterprise basis or for specific targets. You can also view inventory summary information in the context of different dimensions. From here you can click See Details to display the Inventory and Usage page.

  • A Configuration Changes section that displays the number of configuration changes to the group in the previous 7 days. You can click the number to display a page that displays detailed information about the changes. Enterprise Manager automatically collects configuration information for group targets and changes to configurations are recorded and may be viewed from that page.

Viewing a Group

To view a group, follow these steps:

  1. From the Enterprise Manager Console, choose Targets then choose Groups. A summary table lists all defined groups.

  2. Click the desired group to go to the Home page of that group.

You can use View By filters (located in the upper right corner of the home page) to change the view of the homepage to members of targets of a specific type. When you do this, the Group homepage refreshes to only show information for targets of that type. Additional regions of interest might display. For example, DBAs might switch to the Database filter to view information specifically on Database targets in the group.

You can also personalize the home page by clicking the Actions icon in the upper right corner of each region on the home page to move that region up or down on the page. You can also expand or contract a region by clicking the arrow icon in the upper left corner of each region.

You can also navigate to other management operations on the group using the Group menu. For example, you can view all the members in a group by choosing Member from the Group menu. Likewise you can view the Membership History of the group by choosing Membership History from the Group menu.

6.2.6 Overview of Group Charts

Group Charts enable you to monitor the collective performance of a group. Out-of-box performance charts are provided based on the type of members in the group. For example, when databases are part of the group, a Wait Time (%) chart is provided that shows the top databases with the highest wait time percentage values. You can view this performance information over the last 24 hours, last 7 days, or last 31 days. You can also add your own custom charts to the page.

6.2.7 Overview of Group Members

Enterprise Manager allows you to summarize information about the member targets in a group. It provides information on their current availability status, roll-up of open incidents and compliance violations, and key performance metrics based on the type of targets in the group.

You can visually assess availability and relative performance across all member targets. You can rank members by a certain criterion (for example, database targets in order of decreasing wait time percentage). You can display default key performance metrics based on the targets you select, but you can customize these to include additional metrics that are important for managing your group.

You can view the members of a group by choosing Members from the Group menu. Enterprise Manager displays the Members page where you can view the table of members filtered by All Members, Direct Members, or Indirect Members. Direct members are targets directly added to the group. Indirect members are targets that are members of a direct member target, and are automatically included into the group because their parent target was added to the group. The page provides the option to Export or Edit the group.

You can also access information about membership history by choosing Membership History from the Group menu. The Membership History page displays changes in the group membership over time.

6.2.8 Viewing Group Status History

You can view Status History for a group to see the historical availability of a member during a specified time period or view the current status of all group members. You can access the Status History page by choosing Monitoring from the Group menu and then selecting Status History.

Bar graphs provide a historical presentation of the availability of group members during a time period you select from the View Data drop-down list. The color-coded graphs can show statuses of Up, Down, Under Blackout, Agent Down, Metric Collection Error, and Status Pending. You can select time periods of 24 hours, 7 days, or 31 days.

To view the current status of a member, you can click a Status icon on the View Group Status History page to go to the Availability page, which shows the member's current and past availability status within the last 24 hours, 7 days, or 31 days. Click a member Name to go to the member's Home page. You can use this page as a starting point when evaluating the performance of the selected member.

6.2.9 About the System Dashboard

The System Dashboard enables you to proactively monitor the status, incidents and compliance violations in the group as they occur. The color-coded interface is designed to highlight problem areas — targets that are down are highlighted in red, metrics in critical severity are shown as red dots, metrics in warning severity are shown as yellow dots, and metrics operating within normal boundary conditions are shown as green dots.

Using these colors, you can easily determine the problem areas for any target and drill down for details as needed. An incident table is also included to provide a summary for all open incidents in the group. The incidents in the table are presented in reverse chronological order to show the most recent incidents first, but you can also click any column in the table to change the sort order. The colors in top bar of the Member Targets table change based on the incident's critical level. The priority progresses from warning to critical to fatal. If the group has at least one fatal incident (irrespective of critical or warning incidents), the top bar becomes dark red. If the group has at least one critical incident (irrespective of warning incidents), the top bar becomes faint red. If the group has only warning incidents, the top bar turns yellow. If the group has no incidents, the top bar remains colorless.

The Dashboard auto-refreshes based on the Refresh Frequency you set on the Customize Dashboard page.

The Dashboard allows you to drill down for more detailed information. You can click the following items in the Dashboard for more information:

  • A target name to access the target home page

  • A group or system name to access the System Dashboard

  • Status icon corresponding to specific metric columns to access the metric detail page

  • Status icon for a metric with key values to access the metric page with a list of all key values

  • Dashboard header to access the group home page

  • Incidents and Problems table to view summary information about all incidents or specific categories of incidents.

Click Customize to access the Customize Dashboard page. This page allows you to change the refresh frequency and display options for the Member Targets table at the top of the dashboard. You can either show all individual targets or show by target type. There is also the option to expand or contract the Incidents and Problems table at the bottom. To change the columns shown in the Member Targets table, go to the Columns tab of the Edit Group page which you can access by choosing Target Setup from the Group menu.

In the Group by Target Type mode, the Dashboard displays information of the targets based on the specific target types present in the group or system. The statuses and incidents displayed are rolled up for the targets in that specific target type.

If you minimize the dashboard window, pertinent alert information associated with the group or system is still displayed in the Microsoft Windows toolbar.

You can use Information Publisher reports to make the System Dashboard available to non-Enterprise Manager users. First, create a report and include the System Monitoring Dashboard reporting element. In the report definition, choose the option, Allow viewing without logging in to Enterprise Manager. Once this is done, you can view it from the Enterprise Manager Information Publisher Reports website.

6.3 Using Out-of-Box Reports

Enterprise Manager provides several out-of-box reports for groups as part of the reporting framework, called Information Publisher. These reports display important administrative information, such as hardware and operating system summaries across all hosts within a group, and monitoring information, such as outstanding alerts and incidents for a group.

You can access these reports from the Information Publisher Reports menu item on the Groups menu.