2 Managing Middleware Targets

This chapter describes how you can use Enterprise Manager to monitor Middleware software.

Note:

Oracle provides a free self-paced course regarding the best practices on managing WebLogic and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) applications and infrastructure. It consists of interactive lectures, videos, review sessions, and optional demonstrations, and lasts about two hours.

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c: Best Practices for Middleware Management self-study is available at http://www.oracle.com/webfolder/technetwork/tutorials/tutorial/em/Oracle%20Enterprise%20Manager%20Cloud%20Control%2012c%20Middleware%20Management%20Best%20Practices%20Self-Study%20Course/player.html

This chapter covers the following:

For information regarding discovery of middleware targets, see the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator's Guide.

2.1 Middleware Targets in Enterprise Manager

After you have added a Middleware target (for example, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle WebLogic Domain, Oracle Application Server, JBoss Application Server), you can view general information about the targets including their status and availability on the Middleware page. You can drill down into each target to get further details like how the target is performing, where it is deployed, the version, location of its home directory, and so on.

You can monitor the following middleware software using Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control:

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware software

  • Oracle Application Server software

  • Non-Oracle Middleware software

2.1.1 Oracle Fusion Middleware Components

A farm is a collection of components managed by Fusion Middleware Control. It can contain one Oracle WebLogic Domain, one Administration Server, one or more Managed Servers, and the Oracle Fusion Middleware components that are installed, configured, and running in the domain. You can monitor the following Oracle Fusion Middleware components using Enterprise Manager:

  • Oracle WebLogic Domains, Clusters, and Managed Servers: A WebLogic Server domain is a logically related group of WebLogic Server resources that you manage as a unit. A domain includes one or more WebLogic Servers and may also include WebLogic Server clusters. Clusters are groups of WebLogic Servers instances that work together to provide scalability and high-availability for applications. With Oracle Enterprise Manager, you can monitor and manage the farm, domains, clusters, servers, and deployed applications.

  • Oracle SOA Suite: The Oracle SOA Suite enables services to be created, managed, and orchestrated into SOA composite applications. Composite applications enable you to easily assemble multiple technology components into one SOA composite application. Oracle SOA Suite plugs into heterogeneous infrastructures and enables enterprises to incrementally adopt SOA. You can:

    • Automatically discover and model SOA components such as BPEL Process Manager, Oracle Service Bus, Service Engines, and so on.

    • Monitor the health and performance of the SOA components.

    • Trace the flow of an instance across all SOA Infrastructure applications.

    • Create systems, services, and aggregate services.

  • Oracle WebCenter: The Oracle WebCenter is an integrated set of components with which you can create social applications, enterprise portals, collaborative communities, and composite applications, built on a standards-based, service-oriented architecture. It combines dynamic user interface technologies with which to develop rich internet applications, the flexibility and power of an integrated, multichannel portal framework, and a set of horizontal Enterprise 2.0 capabilities delivered as services that provide content, collaboration, presence, and social networking capabilities. Based on these components, Oracle WebCenter also provides an out-of-the-box, enterprise-ready customizable application, WebCenter Spaces, with a configurable work environment that enables individuals and groups to work and collaborate more effectively.

  • Oracle Web Tier: This consists of:

    • Oracle HTTP Server: Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) is the underlying deployment platform for all programming languages and technologies that Oracle Fusion Middleware supports. It provides a Web listener and the framework for hosting static and dynamic pages and applications over the Web. Based on the proven technology of the Apache 2.x infrastructure, OHS includes significant enhancements that facilitate load balancing, administration, and configuration. It also includes a number of enhanced modules, or mods, which are extensions to the HTTP server that extend its functionality for other enterprise applications and services. You can:

      • Discover and monitor Oracle HTTP Servers.

      • View a list of metrics to gauge the server performance and virtual host performance.

      • View the top URLs being accessed.

      • Perform the enterprise configuration management tasks like viewing, comparing, and searching configuration information.

      • Start, stop, and restart Oracle HTTP Servers. This applies to both managed and standalone Oracle HTTP Servers. Standalone servers are those that are not associated with a WebLogic Domain.

      Note: Cloud Control console supports both managed, as well as standalone HTTP Servers.

    • Oracle Web Cache: Oracle Web Cache is a content-aware server accelerator, or reverse proxy, for the Web tier that improves the performance, scalability, and availability of Web sites that run on any Web server or application server, such as Oracle HTTP Server and Oracle WebLogic Server. Oracle Web Cache is the primary caching mechanism provided with Oracle Fusion Middleware. Caching improves the performance, scalability, and availability of Web sites that run on Oracle Fusion Middleware by storing frequently accessed URLs in memory. You can:

      • Automatically discover and monitor OracleAS Web Cache instances running within application servers.

      • View the metrics associated with this target to analyze their performance.

      • Perform enterprise configuration tasks like viewing, comparing, and searching configuration information.

  • Oracle Identity Management: This is an enterprise identity management system that automatically manages users' access privileges within the resources of an enterprise. The architecture of Oracle Identity Management works with the most demanding business requirements without requiring changes to existing infrastructure, policies, or procedures. It provides a shared infrastructure for all Oracle applications. It also provides services and interfaces that facilitate third-party enterprise application development. These interfaces are useful for application developers who need to incorporate identity management into their applications.

  • Oracle Portal: This is a Web-based tool for building and deploying e-business portals. It provides a secure, manageable environment for accessing and interacting with enterprise software services and information resources. A portal page makes data from multiple sources accessible from a single location.

  • Oracle Forms Services is a middle-tier application framework for deploying complex, transactional forms applications to a network such as an Intranet or the Internet. With Oracle Forms Services, business application developers can quickly build comprehensive Java client applications that are optimized for the Internet without writing any Java code, and that meet (and exceed) the requirements of professional user communities. These Java client applications are Web-deployed applications available on demand for rapid processing of large amounts of data and rapid completion of complex calculations, analysis, and transactions.

  • Oracle Coherence is a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware that enables organizations to predictably scale mission-critical applications by providing fast and reliable access to frequently used data. By automatically and dynamically partitioning data in memory across multiple servers, Oracle Coherence enables continuous data availability and transactional integrity, even in the event of a server failure. As a shared infrastructure, Oracle Coherence combines data locality with local processing power to perform real-time data analysis, in-memory grid computations, and parallel transaction and event processing. Oracle Coherence comes in three editions. You can:

    • Discover and manage a Coherence cluster and its various entities.

    • Monitor and configure various components such as nodes, caches, services, connections, and connection manager instances of a Coherence cluster.

    • Deploy and install a Coherence node based on the Provisioning Advisory framework.

  • Oracle Business Intelligence is a complete, integrated solution that addresses business intelligence requirements. Oracle Business Intelligence includes Oracle Business Intelligence Reporting and Publishing, Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer, and Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher. You can:

    • Manually discover Oracle BI Suite EE targets, and monitor their overall health.

    • Diagnose, notify, and correct performance and availability problems in Oracle BI Suite EE targets.

    • Access current and historical performance information using graphs and reports.

    • Perform enterprise configuration management tasks like viewing, comparing, and searching configuration information.

  • Oracle Universal Content Management System provides a unified application for several different kinds of content management. It is an enterprise content management platform that enables you to leverage document management, Web content management, digital asset management, and records retention functionality to build and complement your business applications. Building a strategic enterprise content management infrastructure for content and applications helps you to reduce costs, easily share content across the enterprise, minimize risk, automate expensive, time-intensive and manual processes, and consolidate multiple Web sites onto a single platform for centralized management. Through user-friendly interfaces, roles-based authentication and security models, Oracle Universal Content Management empowers users throughout the enterprise to view, collaborate on or retire content, ensuring that all accessible distributed or published information is secure, accurate and up-to-date.

2.1.2 Oracle Application Server Components

You can monitor Oracle Application Server 10g components like Oracle Application Server Farms, Oracle Application Server Clusters, Oracle Application Servers, OC4J, Oracle HTTP Servers, Oracle Web Cache, Oracle Portal, Oracle Wireless, Oracle Forms Services, Oracle Reports Services, Oracle Business Intelligence, and Oracle Identity Management.

2.1.3 Non-Oracle Middleware Components

In addition to monitoring Oracle Middleware components, Enterprise Manager can also be used to monitor non-Oracle Middleware software. The third-party Middleware software that can be monitored includes the following:

  • WebSphere Application Server

  • WebSphere MQ

  • JBoss Application Server

  • Apache Tomcat

  • Apache HTTP Server

For additional third-party middleware software that can be monitored, please check the Enterprise Manager certification matrix on My Oracle Support (http://support.oracle.com).

2.2 Monitoring Middleware Targets

Enterprise Manager organizes a wide variety of performance data and administrative functions into distinct, Web-based home pages for the domain, servers, components, and applications.

2.2.1 Middleware Summary Page

Enterprise Manager provides centralized monitoring across domains, configuration management, provisioning, real time and historical performance analysis. Beginning with the Fusion Middleware Plug-in release 12.1.0.4, there are some administration features exposed within the Cloud Control console. These features enable you to perform configuration changes directly from the Cloud Control console rather than drilling down to administration consoles such as the WebLogic Server Administration Console or the Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control console. Some examples of the administration features exposed from Cloud Control include: management of JDBC data sources (for example create, edit, delete, test, control data sources) and access to the System MBean Browser to view, edit and invoke MBeans. However, not all administration and configuration operations can be made from Cloud Control; in many cases, you still need to drill down to the administration consoles.

The Middleware summary page, accessed from the Targets menu, provides two different views of the middleware components configured as managed targets.

These two views are referred to as the Table view and the Heat Map view. While the more traditional Table view provides a detailed summary of status across middleware-related targets, the Heat Map view provides a graphical and more efficient way to analyze the same data. On the Heat Map view, targets are represented as boxes and the size and color of each box depicts potential problem areas. This view enables administrators to quickly analyze a large amount of data, customize the filtering, and pinpoint problems more efficiently.

You can use the Table tab to add or remove middleware targets, as well as set certain monitoring configuration properties for targets, from this page.

By default, the Name, Type, Status, and Member Status Summary are listed for middleware targets. You can also add any of the global target properties such as Department and Line of Business as columns in this table. From the View menu, select Columns, then select Manage Columns.

Columns of particular interest are:

  • Type: The type of target being managed.

  • Status: The availability of the target, if applicable. Note that some targets that represent a collection of components, such as a Fusion Middleware Farm, will not have a standalone status.

  • Status Details: The availability of the middleware components associated with the target. The total number of components associated with the target, such as the number of WebLogic Server instances associated with a WebLogic Domain, is shown outside of the parentheses.

  • Version: The target version.

  • Compliance Score: An overall evaluation of the target's compliance with compliance standard rules defined in your enterprise, presented as a percentage of compliance. A compliance score of 100% indicates full compliance with a policy.

2.2.1.1 Heat Map

You can use the Heat Map tab to view the Middleware Targets Heat Map, a graphical representation of a set of targets depicted as boxes in the heat map which are the root targets that are shown in the table tab. They can be grouped and optionally summarized by attributes like Version and Location. The size of the box represents the number of member targets. You can choose to color the boxes based on either the Status or the WebLogic Servers Only: CPU Usage. You can hover or click on graph elements to see more detail.

If you choose WebLogic Servers Only: CPU Usage, the graph displays boxes that are root targets containing WebLogic servers. If a root target does not contain any WebLogic servers, it is not displayed in the view. The box size is based on the number of WebLogic servers it contains. The box color is based on the average CPU value of all servers it contains. The Properties area in the lower right corner shows the number of WebLogic servers it contains as well as the average CPU value. You can also use tooltips to display this information.

The color of the boxes is meaningful. If you choose Status, red means that several members of the target are down. If you choose WebLogic Servers Only: CPU Usage, then the color represents CPU Usage for the WebLogic Servers. Red would indicate high CPU usage values while green would indicate low.

The slider enables you to determine which CPU usage values are red and which are green.

Note:

Enterprise Manager no longer creates farm targets for Fusion Middleware release 12.1.1 domains and later.

Status and CPU Usage

You can use the Show drop-down menu to change to either of two displays: Status or WebLogic Servers Only: CPU Usage.

The default view is by Status and organized by target version. While this is the default view, you can modify the default and organize the data in a variety of ways using the Options region. For instance, you can organize the data by location of the target or lifecycle status of the target. You can also provide multiple levels of organization; for example, you may want to first organize by location and then by version to gain an understanding of the health of different versions of middleware targets in different geographic areas.

The WebLogic Servers Only: CPU Usage option supports only WebLogic Servers. Each box represents a WebLogic Server or the parent of a WebLogic Server (a cluster, for example). A WebLogic Server will be excluded from the graph if it is down or if its CPU metric data has not yet been collected.

Organizing Data Using Options Region

Each box in the Heat Map view represents a target or set of targets; for example, a farm or domain target. The size of the box represents the number of member targets; therefore, the larger the box, the more members the target contains.

You can organize the display by using the Organize First By field and the Then By field, which allows you to choose a field on which to prioritize the display.

Drilling allows you to focus on one section of the heat map that was grouped using the Organize By menus. To focus on one section of the heat map, drill in by double-clicking on the section header. This displays only the boxes that are in that box and hides all others. To drill out from the view, use the locator links available above the heat map.

Using the Summarize option turns the deepest Organize First By box into one box by summarizing all of the individual boxes it contains.

To gain more information on the potentially problematic targets, you can hover over the target's box and click it. The Properties region, which appears on the right, provides additional details on the target and its members and enables you to drill-down further.

Properties Region

When you click a box, the Properties region on the lower right displays the number of WebLogic servers it contains as well as the average CPU Usage value. Similarly, tooltips also display this information. This area also displays a pie chart with a breakdown of all member statuses.

The Properties region also displays the Type and Target Version as well as a Monitoring and Diagnostics section that shows the Descendant Target Incidents and the Configuration Changes. The Properties region also displays any user-defined properties such as Contact, Location, Department, and so on, if they have been defined.

You can click on the number for the incidents to display the Incidents Manager page where you can search, view, and manage exceptions and issues and you can track outstanding incidents and problems. The colors of the boxes also change since a lower CPU value is better. A lower value corresponds to green, while larger numbers correspond to red.

Importance of Color

The color of the boxes is also meaningful. For example, for Status, red indicates that the target is down and green indicates that the target is up. Using the Options region, you can customize the color range, that is, the meaning of red versus the meaning of green. By default, if 60% or less of the members in the target are up, then the box on the Heat Map view will be red; whereas, if at least 95% of the members of the members are up then the box on the Heat Map will be green. In the case of the WebLogic Servers Only: CPU Usage view, the color represents a range of CPU Usage for the WebLogic Server targets – where the more red the box, the higher the CPU usage.

You can adjust the slider to change the color range.

2.2.1.2 Searching Middleware Managed Targets

To minimize the number of targets displayed in the table and graph, and improve page performance and usability, use the Search function.

The Search list, located on the left, is used to specify target types, as well as target properties, for example Cost Center. Target types only appear in the list if you have access to at least one target in that area.

Use the View menu located at the top right to select the properties you want displayed in chart format. For example, select Lifecycle Status to see a chart depicting lifecycle status like Production.

The search results display as a hierarchy where all displayed targets match all search fields. The leaf nodes are shown in context with their parents. To show the results as a flat list without this hierarchical information, uncheck the "Show Hierarchy" box in the table toolbar.

To clear the filter, click the x next to the property name. Note that when multiple options for a property are selected in the Search list, that information is displayed at the top of the charts, for example Multiple Target Types.

Note: If you are searching for a single target and do not need hierarchy information, the Target Name option located in the upper right is available on most pages.

Additional highlights of the Search feature include:

  • When options in the Search tree are collapsed, all the hidden search options still apply.

  • If you change a search option, the page content is automatically refreshed. Your search criteria is automatically saved as the new default search the next time you visit the page.

  • The Member Status Summary column in the table summarizes only the targets fetched by your search criteria. For example, if you decide to search the 'Oracle WebLogic' target type for targets with contact Smith, only targets matching Smith and their parents would be fetched and used to calculate the Member Status Summary column numbers. Targets which do not match Smith will not be shown or used in the summary column calculations.

2.2.2 Target Home Page

The Home pages make it easy to locate the most important monitoring data and the most commonly used administrative functions—all from your Web browser.

When you login into Enterprise Manager and select a Middleware target, the Home page for the target is displayed. For example, when you click on a WebLogic Server target in the Middleware page, the following screen is displayed.

Figure 2-1 WebLogic Server Home Page

WebLogic Server Home Page

This figure shows the target navigation pane on the left and the content page on the right. From the target navigation pane, you can expand the tree and select a component or an application. When you select a target, the target's home page is displayed in the content pane and that target's menu is displayed at the top of the page, in the context pane. You can also view the menu for a target by right-clicking the target in the navigation pane.

In the preceding figure, the following items are called out:

  • Target Navigation Pane lists all of the targets in a navigation tree

  • Personalize Page Link displays the Personalize Page where you customize how the data on the page is rendered, for example, what regions should be displayed, the order of the regions, and so on.

  • Content Pane shows the current page for the target. When you first select a target, that target's home page is displayed.

  • Dynamic Target Menu provides a list of operations that you can perform on the currently selected target. The menu that is displayed depends on the target you select. The menu for a specific target contains the same operations as those in the Right-Click Target Menu.

  • Right-Click Target Menu provides a list of operations that you can perform on the currently selected target. The menu is displayed when you right-click the target name in the target navigation pane. In the figure, even though the WebLogic Server is selected and its home page is displayed, the right-click target menu displays the operations for the selected target.

  • Target Name is the name of the currently selected target.

  • Context Pane provides the host name, the time of the last page refresh, the Refresh icon, and the Personalize Page icon.

  • View: You can select options to Expand All / Collapse All, Scroll First, and Scroll Last in the navigation tree.

  • Refresh icon indicates when the page is being refreshed. Click it to refresh a page with new data. (Refreshing the browser window refreshes the page but does not retrieve new data.)

From the Home page, you can also access the Fusion Middleware Control and WebLogic Server Administration Console by clicking on the appropriate link or selecting the appropriate menu item on the page.

2.2.3 Out-of-box Performance Metrics

Enterprise Manager provides a set of pre-defined performance metrics for each Middleware target. The metric data is collected and stored in the Management Repository. For more details on the pre-defined metrics, see the Oracle Fusion Middleware Metric Reference Guide. For information regarding the Management Repository Data Retention Policies, refer to the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator's Guide.

For example, Enterprise Manager can automatically monitor:

  • The CPU or memory consumption of the application server, including detailed monitoring of individual Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) being run by Oracle WebLogic servers.

  • Java EE application responsiveness from the application down through individual servlets and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs)

  • Oracle HTTP Server session volumes, connection duration, and error rates

  • Oracle Web Cache hit rates and volumes

  • Top servlets based on number of requests, maximum processing time, and highest average processing time

The performance metrics provide details about the metric as a current real time value (30 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes) or a previous value (past 24 hours, 7 days, or 31 days). The historical information is displayed as graphs and a table. By using graphs, you can easily watch for trends, and by using tables, you can examine details of past metric severity history. The out-of-box metrics can be viewed from the performance summary pages as shown below:

Figure 2-2 Performance Summary Page

Performance Summary Page

You can change which charts are displayed on the performance page and then save the changes on a per-user, per-target-type basis. You can also save multiple customized versions of a performance page, giving each version a name. This will save time by allowing quick access to previously created version of the page. The Performance Summary feature allows you to create named chart views. The generic performance page is always shown in the context of one primary target. However, the performance of that target may be dependent on, or affect the performance of other targets. To explore these relationships you can chart metrics for multiple related targets on one performance page. The Performance Summary feature allows you to chart metrics for multiple related targets.

2.2.4 Analyzing Historical Performance

Enterprise Manager allows you to analyze historic metric data and perform trend analysis. In Fusion Middleware Control, you cannot analyze historical metric data, and the real-time analysis is limited to a single domain. But in Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, the metrics are collected and stored in the Management Repository, so you can analyze the data well after the situation has changed. For example, you can use historical data and diagnostic reports to research an application performance problem that occurred days or even weeks ago.

You can even provide a customized time period for which the data should be retrieved from the Management Repository. You can customize the time period for:

  • Pre-defined range of the last 24 hours, last 7 days, or last 31 days

  • Customized range of any number of days, weeks, months, or years

  • Any start date and end date (such that the duration is not greater than 99 years)

2.2.5 Setting Metric Thresholds for Alert Notifications

When editing metric settings, use the Threshold Suggestion feature to calculate thresholds based on deviations from past performance. Thresholds are boundary values against which monitored metric values are compared. You can specify a threshold such that, when a monitored metric value crosses that threshold, an alert is generated. You can get critical alerts when a monitored metric has crossed its critical threshold or warning alerts when a monitored metric has crossed its warning threshold.

To access the Threshold Suggestion feature from a target's home page:

  1. Select Monitoring from the target's menu located at the top-left of the page, then select Metric and Collection Settings.

  2. On the Metric and Collection Settings page, locate the metric in which you are interested and click the pencil icon associated with the metric.

  3. On the Edit Advanced Settings page, locate the Threshold Suggestion region and change the thresholds as needed.

Enterprise Manager provides a comprehensive set of features that facilitates automated monitoring and generation of alerts. You can gather and evaluate diagnostic information for targets distributed across the enterprise, and an extensive array of Middleware performance metrics are automatically monitored against predefined thresholds. By selecting a metric, you can determine whether the thresholds have been defined for a particular metric. These thresholds are used as a mechanism to generate alerts. These alerts in turn are used to notify you whether a target is up or down, the response time is slow, and so on. Thus, you can monitor their overall performance.

You can set up corrective actions to automatically resolve an alert condition. These corrective actions ensure that routine responses to alerts are automatically executed, thereby saving you time and ensuring that problems are dealt with before they noticeably impact the users.

2.2.6 Monitoring Templates

You can also use monitoring templates to simplify the task of standardizing monitoring settings across your enterprise. You can specify the settings for performance metrics as well as configuration collections, and apply them across multiple targets of a specific target type.

A Monitoring template defines all the parameters you would normally set to monitor a Middleware target, such as:

  • Target type to which the template applies

  • Metrics (including user-defined metrics), thresholds, metric collection schedules, and corrective actions

When a change is made to a template, you can reapply the template across the affected targets in order to propagate the new changes. You can reapply monitoring templates as often as needed.

2.2.7 Managing and Creating Blackouts

Enterprise Manager comes with a bundle of performance and health metrics that enable automated monitoring of application targets in your environment. When a metric reaches the predefined warning or critical threshold, an alert is generated and the administrator is notified.

However, there are occasions when you want to perform maintenance work on your Middleware targets, but do not want any alerts to be generated while you are bringing them down. In this case, you can schedule a blackout and suspend monitoring of the Middleware targets.

Blackouts allow you to suspend any data collection activity on one or more monitored targets, thus allowing you to perform scheduled maintenance on targets. If you continue monitoring during these periods, the collected data will show trends and other monitoring information that are not the result of normal day-to-day operations. To get a more accurate, long-term picture of a target's performance, you can use blackouts to exclude these special-case situations from data analysis. Enterprise Manager allows you to define new blackouts; view the status of existing blackouts; and edit, stop, and delete blackouts that are not required.

2.2.8 Extend Monitoring for Applications Deployed to WebLogic Server

Many administrators often require custom logic to be written to check for conditions specific to their application environments. Enterprise Manager allows integration of application instrumentation in the Enterprise Manager event monitoring infrastructure. If application developers expose application instrumentation using standards like JMX or Web Services operations, then you can build management plug-ins for the instrumentation using easy-to-use command line tools, and leverage the Enterprise Manager event monitoring system to monitor it. You do not have to edit any XML files or write any integration code to integrate such instrumentation. Follow these procedures to integrate application-defined instrumentation:

  • Use Command Line Interfaces that analyze MBean interfaces for JMX and WSDL for Web Services and create management plug-ins

  • Import Management Plug-in Archive in Enterprise Manager

  • Deploy Management Plug-in to Management Agents

  • Create Target-type instances for the target types defined in Management Plug-in Archive

  • Leverage the Enterprise Manager event monitoring system including monitoring templates, corrective actions, historical and real time metric views, alerts, customization of notification rules, and methods on events generated from application instrumentation metrics.

Administrators are able to add performance metrics beyond those available out-of-box for JMX-instrumented applications deployed on Oracle WebLogic Server. Administrators can additionally monitor JMX-enabled applications by defining new target type that can be monitored using management plug-ins, and then use a command line tool emjmxcli to automate the generation of the target metadata and collection files. All JMX-enabled applications deployed to the WebLogic Server can be consolidated and monitored by a single management tool, Enterprise Manager.

For information on creating management plug-ins, see the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Extensibility Programmer's Guide. For information on creating metric extensions, see the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator's Guide.

2.3 Diagnosing Performance Problems

This section describes the methods and tools used to diagnose performance problems. You can:

  • View the list of most active Servlets and JSPs and identify the ones that are causing the bottleneck.

  • Analyze Java EE and SOA applications using Application Dependency and Performance.

  • Use Java Diagnostics to diagnose performance problems in production.

2.3.1 Using Home Pages to Diagnose Performance Issues

When you are troubleshooting performance problems, it can be helpful to know which servlets or JSPs are the most active. By viewing the Most Requested section on the WebLogic Server Home page, you can identify the most active Java servlets, JSPs, Web Services, or Java EE Services running on the WebLogic Server instance.

When you receive an alert notification, Enterprise Manager makes it easy for you to investigate the problem and take corrective actions wherever required. For example, notification of excessive CPU consumption by WebLogic Server may lead to investigation of the applications running on that instance. By using the Servlets and JSPs tab in the Most Requested section of the WebLogic Server Home page, you can quickly identify the highest volume or least responsive application. You can then drill down and diagnose application's servlets, Java Server Pages (JSPs), or EJBs to identify the bottleneck.

Figure 2-3 WebLogic Server Home Page

WLS Home Page (Most Requested)

2.3.2 Diagnostic Snapshots

A diagnostic snapshot consists of all the necessary data to diagnose an issue. The actual diagnostic snapshot data depends on what targets are included in generating the diagnostic snapshot. It also provides a collective snapshot of both JVM and WebLogic Server diagnostics and log data that can be exported or imported into other Cloud Control systems for analysis at a later date. This allows administrators to determine the root cause of problems and ensure that they do not occur again. These snapshots supplement the Fusion Middleware Support Workbench feature that now includes attaching diagnostic snapshots to Support Requests.

Diagnostic snapshots can be generated in the context of one or more Enterprise Manager targets like WebLogic Java EE Server, Java EE Application, Fusion Java EE Application, or Custom Java EE Application targets. These targets can be part of one single WebLogic Domain or multiple WebLogic Domains.

When generating the diagnostic snapshot, you can name the diagnostic snapshot, select the targets that should be used for generating the diagnostic snapshot, select the duration during which the data will be collected for the snapshot and also select an option to either import the generated diagnostic snapshot data into the same Enterprise Manager instance or export the generated diagnostic snapshot data into single or multiple files that can then be imported back into another Enterprise Manager instance (or the same Enterprise Manager instance) later.

Video Demonstration

To view a visual demonstration on how you can capture diagnostics snapshots, access the following URL and click Begin Video:

https://apex.oracle.com/pls/apex/f?p=44785:24:0::NO:24:P24_CONTENT_ID,P24_PREV_PAGE:5465,1

2.3.3 Log File Viewer

You can centrally search logs generated by WebLogic and Oracle Fusion Middleware across all Oracle Fusion Middleware components. You can perform structured log searches based on log properties such as time, severity, or Execution Context ID (ECID). You can also download log files or export messages to a file. This feature provides ready access to log files no matter where they are stored on the file system.

2.4 Managing Problems with Support Workbench

Enterprise Manager Support Workbench enables you to investigate, report, and, in some cases, repair problems (critical errors). You can gather first-failure diagnostic data, obtain a support request number, and upload diagnostic data to Oracle Support. Support Workbench also recommends and provides easy access to Oracle advisors that help you repair data corruption problems, and more.

Support Workbench Compatibility with Fusion Middleware Components

You can use Support Workbench with:

  • Oracle WebLogic Server

  • SOA Infrastructure

Basic Support Workbench Work Flows

You can use Support Workbench to manage problems in two basic ways:

  • Respond to alert notifications by packaging associated problems and uploading them to Oracle Support for resolution.

  • Proactively package observed problems and upload them to Oracle Support for resolution.

The process by which you receive alerts and use Support Workbench is as follows:

  1. The Enterprise Manager Agent has collected one or more metrics that have exceeded the thresholds that have been set.

  2. The alert log generates an incident and you are notified of a pending alert.

  3. You search for and view problems within Support Workbench.

  4. You access My Oracle Support to search for this problem or a similar problem, and to determine a proper course of action to resolve the problem. If the search is unsatisfactory, you continue to the next step.

  5. You create a package for My Oracle Support that includes supporting material, such as external files, executed dumps, and so forth.

  6. You create a service request.

  7. You upload the package to My Oracle Support.

The process by which you proactively observe problems and upload them to Oracle Support is the same as steps 3 through 7 above, but you initiate a user-reported problem before proceeding to step 5.

The following sections provide procedures to perform these tasks.

2.4.1 Accessing and Logging In To Support Workbench

The following sections explain how to access and log in to Support Workbench.

2.4.1.1 Accessing Support Workbench

To access Support Workbench:

  1. From the Middleware home page, click on either an Oracle WebLogic Domain, Oracle WebLogic Cluster, or Oracle WebLogic Server in the Details Table.

  2. From the Oracle WebLogic Domain or Oracle WebLogic Server menu, select Diagnostics, then Support Workbench.

2.4.1.2 Logging In

You can log in using either preferred credentials or named credentials you have previously set up. Otherwise, you can choose the New Credentials option to override the other two login options.

  • Prerequisites

    • The host credentials should have write privileges on the AdrHome location of the target.

    • The WebLogic credentials should have Monitor privileges on the WebLogic server.

  • Preferred Credentials Choice

    Select this choice if you want to use the credentials that you have already registered as preferred credentials on the Preferred Credentials page.

    Preferred credentials simplify access to managed targets by storing target login credentials in the Management Repository. With preferred credentials set, you can access an Enterprise Manager target that recognizes these credentials without being prompted to log into the target. Preferred credentials are set on a per user basis, thereby ensuring the security of the managed enterprise environment.

  • Named Credentials Choice

    Select this choice if you want to use the credentials of a named profile you created on the Named Credentials page.

    You can override host or WebLogic Server preferred credentials with this option. A named credential specifies a user's authentication information on a system. A named credential can be a username/password, a public key-private key pair, or an X509v3 certificate.

  • New Credentials Choice

    You can override previously defined preferred credentials or named credentials by using the New Credentials option. When you enter new credentials, you can save the credentials and give them a name, which consequently becomes Named Credentials.

    Note:

    Support Workbench requires you to save the credentials when you choose the New Credentials option.

2.4.2 Using Fusion Middleware Support Workbench

You can use Support Workbench within Fusion Middleware to:

  • View an aggregated diagnostic summary

  • Execute tests to diagnose a problem

  • Create a problem, package it, and upload it to Oracle Support

The following sections provide procedures for these diagnostic tasks.

2.4.2.1 Viewing Diagnostics

This procedure assumes that an incident occurred on a WebLogic Server, and you received an alert notification. You now need to determine the appropriate action to resolve the problem.

  1. From the domain home page drop-down, select Monitoring, then Incident Manager.

  2. Click the link in the Target column for the incident you want to investigate.

  3. In the Monitoring and Diagnostics section of the page that appears, click the Support Workbench Problems numbered link.

2.4.2.2 Viewing an Aggregated Diagnostic Summary

Fusion Middleware is deployed across multiple systems, and incidents are therefore recorded in multiple Automatic Diagnostic Repository homes. The following procedure describes how to get a quick summary of diagnostic data across all targets and Automatic Diagnostic Repository homes aggregated by the instance, product family, or cluster application.

This procedure is applicable to a WebLogic Domain and WebLogic Cluster in the context of Fusion Middleware. The procedure assumes that multiple Fusion Middleware incidents occurred on the servers deployed in a WebLogic domain, and you received multiple alerts from related servers.

  1. After receiving alerts from related targets, access the Fusion Middleware instance, product family, or cluster application home page.

  2. From the drop-down menu, select Diagnostics, then Support Workbench.

    The Support Workbench home page appears, and displays a summary table with the problems and incidents aggregated by the application.

    Figure 2-4 Aggregated Diagnostic Summary

    Description of Figure 2-4 follows
    Description of "Figure 2-4 Aggregated Diagnostic Summary"

  3. Sort the tables to see which WebLogic Server(s) have had the highest number of problems and incidents.

  4. Drill down through an individual server's Support Workbench pages to view detailed diagnostics information for the server, such as problems and incidents.

2.4.2.3 Searching for Problems

The following procedure assumes that problems are already recorded in Enterprise Manager.

  1. From the Support Workbench home page, enter search criteria in the Filter by problem key field, then click Go.

    Search criteria includes keywords to use in the search, such as date range, problem key, SR number, and bug number.

You can also alternatively click the Advanced Search link, provide search criteria, then click Search.

2.4.2.4 Annotating a Problem

You may want to add short notes to a problem and then communicate this to other administrators.

  1. From the domain home page drop-down, select Monitoring, then Incident Manager.

    The Incident Manager page appears, and displays all open incidents in the table.

  2. From the lower right side of the Incident Manager page, click the Add Comment link.

  3. Add your comment in the pop-up that appears, then click OK.

    Enterprise Manager records the comment and then redisplays it if this administrator or a different one looks at this problem.

2.4.2.5 Adding More Files

You may want to add more diagnosability information, such as diagnostic dumps, to an incident.

  1. From the Support Workbench home page, select the ID link for the problem for which you want to add diagnostics.

  2. From the Incident Details page that appears, click the ID for the associated incident.

  3. Select the Additional Diagnostics tab.

  4. Select a diagnostic from the list in the table, then click Run.

  5. Enter values for required parameters on the Run User Action page, schedule the run, then click Submit.

  6. When the confirmation message appears, click OK.

    The diagnostic dump executes, and the results are attached to the incident.

2.4.2.6 Creating a Package

You have two options for creating a package. You can:

  • Create a package initiated from alert notifications

  • Proactively create a package from observed problems

To create a package initiated from alert notifications:

  1. From the Support Workbench home page, select the ID link for the problem that you want to package.

  2. From the Problem Details page that now appears, click Quick Package.

    The Quick Packaging wizard appears.

  3. Provide the requisite input in the wizard, then click Submit.

    Most of the wizard is self-explanatory. Your input is required for the following wizard steps:

    • Create New Package

      • Package Name — Accept the default system-supplied name, or provide your own descriptive name.

      • Package Description — Provide a description of any length as a reminder what this package consists of.

      • Send to Oracle Support — If you enable t his option, a confirmation message appears when processing has completed stating that the upload file for the package has been successfully generated, and also provides the location of the file.

        If you decide not to send the package to Oracle support now, you can do so later From the Package Details page. The upload file is generated but not sent to Oracle if you choose No.

      • Service Request Number — Enter the SR associated with this package. This is only required if you are uploading.

    • Schedule

      • Immediately/Later — If you want to generate the upload files later rather than now, you do not need to change the time zone unless you want to specify a time in another time zone, such as the database time zone or the OMS time zone.

      • Host Credentials — The required host credentials should be the same as the credentials used to start up the target database.

To proactively create a package from observed problems:

  1. From the Support Workbench home page, click Create User-Reported Problem in the Related Links section.

  2. In the page that appears, select the issue type, then click Continue with Creation of Problem.

  3. Follow the instructions in steps 2 and 3 above.

2.4.2.7 Providing Additional Files

You may want to add more information, such as external files, to a package. This procedure assumes that a package has been created and additional diagnostics have been generated for the problem.

  1. From the Support Workbench home page, click the Yes link in the Packaged column for the package you want to modify.

  2. From the Packages page, click the package name link.

  3. From the Package Details page, click Customize Package.

    The Customize Package page appears, where you can edit the package contents, generate and include additional diagnostic data, or scrub user data.

2.4.2.8 Uploading a Package to Oracle Support

  1. From the Package Details page, described in the previous section, click Generate Upload File.

  2. Indicate the package file type, select the schedule, then click Submit.

  3. After the confirmation message appears, click OK.

  4. Click Send to Oracle.

  5. Choose an existing SR or create a new SR to upload the package to.

2.4.2.9 Creating a Service Request

Following packaging and uploading the problem to Oracle support, you may want to create service request to address a problem through Oracle supp6ort.

  1. From the Cloud Control console Enterprise menu, select My Oracle Support, then Service Requests.

    After providing your Single Sign-on credentials, the Service Requests tab of the My Oracle Support site opens.

  2. Click Create "Contact Us" SR.

  3. Provide the necessary input in the wizard that appears, then click Submit.

2.4.2.10 Managing Problem Resolution

After the problem is resolved, close it so that Automatic Diagnostic Repository (ADR) can purge the required memory for the problem.

  1. From the Support Workbench home page, select the ID link for the problem you want to manage.

  2. From the Problem Details page, click the Manage problem resolution link in the Investigate and Resolve section of the page.

    Several management options are available on the Incident Manager page that appears.

For more information about managing incidents in Enterprise Manager, see the "Using Incident Management" chapter in the Cloud Control Administrator's Guide.

2.5 Administering Middleware Targets

IT organizations typically have several WebLogic Domains - spanning test, stage, and production environments - to manage and administer on a regular basis. Remembering details (such as URLs and credentials) for each of these domain's administration consoles can be difficult, and logging on to the appropriate console each time an administrative operation needs to be performed can be tedious.

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control addresses these challenges by exposing common WebLogic administration operations using its console directly; thereby, removing the need to drill down to the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console or to the Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control console.

Administration operations available directly from the Cloud Control console and the Fusion Middleware Plug-in include the following:

  • Locking a domain configuration using the Change Center prior to making configuration changes to prevent other administrators from making changes during their edit session. Administrators can continue to manage the changes using the Change Center by understanding which server instances need to be restarted for configuration changes to take effect, by releasing a lock, by activating changes, or by undoing changes.

  • Viewing, configuring, and using MBeans for a specific Oracle WebLogic Server or Application Deployment target using the System MBean Browser.

  • Creating, editing, deleting, controlling, or testing JDBC data sources.

  • Recording configuration actions performed from within the Cloud Control console as a series of WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST) commands, and then using WLST to replay the commands to help automate the task of configuring a domain.

  • Configuring log file settings such as log file location, format of messages (for example, Oracle Diagnostic Logging - Text, Oracle Diagnostics Logging - XML), log level for both persistent loggers and active runtime loggers, and rotation policy (either size based or time based). Such settings are available for log files for the following Fusion Middleware target types: Oracle WebLogic Server, Application Deployment, SOA Infrastructure, Essbase Server, Directory Integration Platform Server, Oracle Virtual Directory, Oracle Reports Application, Oracle Reports Bridge, Oracle Reports Server, and Oracle Reports Tools.

  • Performing selective tracing to gain more fine-grained logging data that is limited to a specific application name or other specific attributes of a request (for example, user name or client host).

  • Starting, stopping, or restarting administration servers, managed servers, clusters, domains or other Fusion Middleware components (for example, managed and standalone Oracle HTTP Server, Oracle Data Integrator Agents, and so on) immediately or scheduling the operation to occur at a future point in time. For more information, see Section 2.5.1.

  • Viewing and editing settings for the Oracle WebLogic Domain, Oracle WebLogic Cluster, Oracle WebLogic Server, Server Template (applicable to only WebLogic release 12 and later), and Machine configurations. Changes made to these configurations are managed by the Change Center feature of the Cloud Control console.

2.5.1 Shutting Down, Starting Up, or Restarting a Middleware Target

You can shut down, start up, or restart administration servers, managed servers, clusters, domains or other Fusion Middleware components (for example, managed and standalone Oracle HTTP Server, Oracle Data Integrator Agents, and so on). To do so, follow these steps:

  1. From the Targets menu, select Middleware.

  2. On the Middleware page, select either an administration server, a managed server, a cluster, a domain, or any other Fusion Middleware component (for example, managed or standalone Oracle HTTP Server, Oracle Data Integrator Agents, and so on).

  3. On the Home page, from the context menu, select Control, then select either Start Up, Shut Down, or Restart depending on your requirement.

    Note:

    For Oracle WebLogic Domain and Cluster, only start and stop operations are supported. Restart operation is not supported.
  4. On the Start Up, Shut Down, or Restart page, provide the following details, and click OK.

Element Default Value Description
Create Blackout Before Shutting Down

(Appears only for shutdown operation)

Selected Creates blackouts on targets before they are shut down. By default, the option is selected. Deselect it if you do not want Enterprise Manager to automatically create blackouts on the targets.

Note:

  • This option does not appear for restart operation.

  • If the selected target is a composite target, then Enterprise Manager creates blackouts for all its member targets.

  • If the option is selected, then the blackouts are created on targets even if the start up or shut down operation fails.

End Blackout After Starting Up

(Appears only for start up operation)

Selected Ends blackouts on targets after they are started. By default, the option is selected. Deselect it if you do not want Enterprise Manager to automatically end blackouts on the targets.

Note:

  • This option does not appear for restart operation.

  • If the selected target is a composite target, then Enterprise Manager ends blackouts for all its member targets.

  • If the option is selected, then the blackouts are ended on targets even if the start up or shut down operation fails.

Include Administration Server

(Appears only for Oracle WebLogic Domains)

Not Selected Select this if you want to start or stop even the Administration Server when the Oracle WebLogic Domain to which the Administration Server belongs, is started or stopped.

Note: The Administration Server can be stopped only if the Management Agent that is monitoring it is running on the same host as the Administration Server.

Time Out After (in minutes) 5 Minutes Per Target Set the time limit (in minutes) for the job to wait while it is trying to start, stop, or restart a target before terminating the attempt and generating an error.

By default, it is set to 5 minutes, and it applies to each target. If a composite target is selected, then the timeout is per member target.

Process Control Method

(Appears only for Oracle WebLogic Domains, Oracle WebLogic Clusters, Oracle WebLogic Servers)

Administration Server Select one of the following ways in which the shutdown, start-up, or restart operation can be performed:

Note: Options not applicable to a particular target type are disabled.

  • Administration Server

    Uses the Administration Server to start up, shut down, or restart a target.

    For this option, as a prerequisite, ensure that the Administration Server is up and is accessible by the Oracle Management Agent monitoring the server.

  • Default Script

    Uses the startManagedWeblogic script and the stopManagedWeblogic script located in the <DOMAIN_HOME>/bin directory to start up, shut down, or restart a target.

    For this option, as a prerequisite, ensure that the Administration Server is up and is accessible by the Oracle Management Agent monitoring the server. Also, configure the boot.properties file for the server. For information on boot identity files and instructions to configure them, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Administering Server Startup and Shutdown for Oracle WebLogic Server.

  • Custom Script

    Uses a custom script you specify to start up, shut down, or restart a target.

    For this option, as a prerequisite, ensure that the Administration Server is up and is accessible by the Oracle Management Agent monitoring the server. Also, configure the boot.properties file for the server. For information on boot identity files and instructions to configure them, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Administering Server Startup and Shutdown for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Credentials Preferred For standalone Oracle HTTP Server target type, enter the credentials of the host where the standalone Oracle HTTP Server is running. For all other target types, enter the credentials of the host where the target is running, and the credentials of the Oracle WebLogic Domain.

You can use preferred or named credentials if you have already registered the credentials with Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, or you can enter a new set of credentials to override the preferred or named credentials.


Note:

If a remote Management Agent is monitoring a Java EE application target, such as Oracle Data Integrator Agent, then while starting up, shutting down, or restarting that Java EE application target, you might see errors. A remote Management Agent is a Management Agent that is not installed on the host where the target is running.

To circumvent this error, follow these steps:

  1. On the host where the Java EE application target is running, navigate to the following location in the middleware home:

    cd $<MIDDLEWARE_HOME>/wlserver_10.3/server/lib

    For example,

    cd /u01/software/middleware/wlserver_10.3/server/lib/

  2. Generate the wlfullclient.jar file:

    java -jar wljarbuilder.jar

  3. On the remote host where the Management Agent is running, copy the generated wlfullclient.jar file to the following location in the Management Agent home:

    <AGENT_HOME>/sysman/jlib

    For example,

    cp /u01/software/middleware/wlserver_10.3/server/lib/wljarbuilder.jar /u01/software/agent/core/12.1.0.3.0/sysman/jlib/

Note:

If a job fails at the Start/Stop/Restart step with the following error, then follow the workaround steps outlined in this note to resolve the issue.

Remote operation finished but process did not close its stdout/stderr

  1. Open the user-defined custom script file.

  2. Identify the line where command, which caused the error, was invoked.

    For example,

    my $startStopScript = "/scratch/aime/wl_home/user_projects/domains/base_domain/bin/startManagedWebLogic.sh"; 
    
  3. Add the following code snippet after the above line:

    if($isWindows){
         $startStopScript= "cmd /c start /b $startStopScript";
         # redirecting to NUL
         close STDOUT;
         close STDERR;
         open(STDOUT, ">", "NUL");
         open(STDERR, ">", "NUL");
     } else{
         $startStopScript= "$startStopScript > /dev/null 2>&1 &";
    } 
    

2.6 Lifecycle Management

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control offers lifecycle management solutions that help you meet all lifecycle management challenges easily by automating time-consuming tasks related to cloning, patching, configuration management, ongoing change management, compliance management, and disaster recovery operations.

2.6.1 Managing Configurations

Enterprise Manager provides a suite of configuration management functions that can be performed on Middleware targets.

Oracle Management Agent collects configuration information about Oracle Fusion Middleware targets from their respective configuration, and communicates this information over HTTP/HTTPS to Oracle Management Service, which stores it in the Management Repository. This information is periodically collected and updated while maintaining the audit of changes. Configurations for Middleware targets are also collected. For example, for WebLogic Server, the config.xml configuration file is collected from the WebLogic Administration Server. The Enterprise Manager configuration management capabilities efficiently guide the users to desired configuration data in a particular component.

You can compare these configuration details and view the differences and similarities between the two instances of a Middleware target. You have the flexibility to compare two last collected configurations or two saved configurations. You can also compare one configuration with multiple configurations or one configuration in the Management Repository with a saved configuration. When a comparison operation results in differences that you do not require, you can synchronize the configurations so that one of the configurations replaces the other one. This synchronization can be performed on demand based on the configurations being compared.

Figure 2-5 Comparing Configurations

Synchronizing Configuration Files

You can also compare configurations by using the default comparison templates. A comparison template is associated with a specific target type that determines the configuration item type and property that is to be compared. A template can specify rules or expressions that enable you to parse comparison data and fine-tune comparisons. For example, you can specify rules that indicate which differences must initiate email notifications and which differences must be ignored when the configuration is compared.

Using Enterprise Manager, you can search configurations across Middleware targets and find configuration anomalies - whether they are a mismatch of an install/patch version of Oracle Fusion Middleware software, or they are a mismatch of the software configuration data. You can perform more intelligent searches to identify all the components hosting a particular application or other resources. You can create and save more intelligent searches. For example, you can create a new search to retrieve all 10.3.5 WebLogic Server targets running on the Linux 64 bit platform that are using JDK 1.6.0_31.

In addition, for BPEL Process Manager targets, you can view the BPEL Processes, its different versions, and the suitcase files associated with each version. You can also compare the BPEL Process suitcase files of different versions and track the changes that were made to a version. This allows you to identify the cause for improved or deteriorated performance due to a change in the BPEL Process suitcase file.

2.6.2 Compliance Management

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control offers the following compliance management features:

  • The compliance results capability enables you to evaluate the compliance of Middleware targets and systems as they relate to your business best practices for configuration, security, and storage. In addition, compliance results provide advice on how to change configuration to bring your Middleware targets and systems into compliance.

  • Using the compliance library, you can define, customize, and manage:

    • Compliance frameworks

    • Compliance standards

    • Compliance standard rules

    By using these self-defined entities, you can test your environment against the criteria defined for your company or regulatory bodies.

For additional information about compliance management, refer to the Oracle Enterprise Manager Lifecycle Management Administrator's Guide.

2.6.3 Patch Management

Patching is one of the critical phases of the software lifecycle that helps you maintain the software over a period of time and keep it updated with bug fixes and latest features offered by the software vendor. However, in today's world, with numerous software deployments across your enterprise, patching becomes very complex and virtually impossible to manage.

You can get automated patch recommendations from My Oracle Support on what patches to apply and then use patch plans to apply them. Patch Plans enable you to create a collection of patches you want to apply to one or more targets. Each target can have a separate group of patches.

In addition, you can save the deployment options of a patch plan as a patch template, and have new patch plans created out of the patch template. This gives you the ability to apply patches in a rolling fashion to minimize downtime or in parallel fashion, thus implementing the best possible patch rollout for your organization.

Fusion Middleware best uses patch management for:

  • Applying one or more patches to WebLogic Servers spanning one or more domains

  • Applying patches to SOA Infrastructure targets

  • Using validation checking to identify patch conflicts or other potential problems before the patches are actually applied.

For additional information about patching, refer to the Oracle Enterprise Manager Lifecycle Management Administrator's Guide.

2.6.4 Provisioning

Rather than spend resources on manually installing and configuring Oracle Fusion Middleware software, administrators would rather spend time and money on more strategic initiatives. To help achieve this, Enterprise Manager has automated common provisioning operations such as scaling out an Oracle WebLogic Domain. Making such critical datacenter operations easy, efficient and scalable results in lower operational risk and lower cost of ownership. To access these provisioning operations, from the Enterprise menu, select Provisioning and Patching, then select Middleware Provisioning.

From the Middleware Provisioning page, you can:

  • Gain access to all Fusion Middleware related operations.

  • Create profiles in the software library that can be used for future cloning operations. A WebLogic Domain Provisioning Profile consists of the Middleware Home, binaries and the domain configuration. You can create a profile, save it in the Software Library, and then use the saved profile as the source for creating new WebLogic domains. This will ensure that future WebLogic installations follow a standard, consistent configuration.

  • Deployment procedures, both pre-defined and user-defined, can be accessed to provision software and configurations.

  • Automate the cloning of WebLogic Domains and / or Middleware Homes either from a reference installation or from a profile present in the software library.

  • Automate the scaling up or scaling out of a domain or cluster by adding a new managed server to an existing cluster or by cloning a managed server.

For more details on using provisioning, see Middleware Provisioning section in the Enterprise Manager Lifecycle Management Guide.

2.6.4.1 Cloning from Test to Production Environments

Typically, creating a new environment to support WebLogic domains entails several manual, error prone installation and configuration steps. With Oracle Enterprise Manager this can be accomplished with very little effort and time using a predefined, customizable deployment procedure. This deployment procedure clones an existing WebLogic domain environment to a new set of hardware per a hierarchical series of steps. These predefined steps can be edited or disabled and new steps or custom scripts can be added to the deployment procedure to satisfy unique business needs.

The deployment procedure also supports secure host authentication using super user do (sudo) or pluggable authentication modules (PAM). While running the deployment procedure, administrators can specify configuration settings such as the domain name, credentials for the administration console, port values, and JDBC data resources. After the procedure completes, the newly created WebLogic domain environment is discovered and automatically added to the console for centralized management and monitoring.

2.6.4.2 Scaling Out Domains

To address growing business demands, modern data centers must augment and relocate resources quickly. Using Oracle Enterprise Manager, administrators can rapidly scale out a WebLogic Domain and Cluster with additional managed servers to accommodate an increase in application load.

2.6.4.3 Deploying / Undeploying Java EE Applications

You can deploy, undeploy, and redeploy Java EE applications (for example, .war and .ear files) on a WebLogic Server. You can create a Java EE Application component in the Software Library and deploy multiple versions of an application, or roll-back to a previous version.

2.7 Managing Service Levels

Enterprise Manager allows you to create infrastructure services for Middleware targets such as Oracle BPEL Process Manager targets, Oracle Service Bus targets and Oracle SOA Composite and SOA Infrastructure instances.

An infrastructure service is a dependency service that is created to identify the infrastructure components on which the Middleware target depends. Here, the infrastructure components refer to hosts, databases, application servers, and so on that work together to host the Middleware target.

You can either create an infrastructure service with a new system or an existing system, or simply refresh an existing infrastructure service, if there is already one existing. By creating infrastructure services and systems, you can better manage your Middleware targets and also the components on which the Middleware targets depend.

Figure 2-6 Create Service for SOA Infrastructure

Creating Infrastructure Service for SOA Infra

For example, once you create an infrastructure service for an Oracle SOA Infrastructure target, Enterprise Manager allows you to create an aggregate service for every process within that SOA Infrastructure target. An aggregate service is a logical grouping of services, in this case, infrastructure services and availability services. Aggregate Services give you a bird's-eye view of the services that have been created for the SOA Infrastructure target and helps you monitor their availability, performance, and usage. Service availability can be composed of both metrics on the underlying target and service test results from period synthetic transaction execution.

You can define service level (measure of service quality) for a service. A service level is defined as the percentage of time during business hours a service meets specified availability, performance and business criteria.

A Service Level specifies the percentage of time a service meets the performance and availability criteria as defined in the Service Level Rule. By default, a service is expected to meet the specified criteria 85% of the time during defined business hours. You may raise or lower this percentage level according to service expectations. A service level measures service quality using two parameters: Expected and Actual Service Levels.

  • Expected Service Level: A Service Level specifies the percentage of time a service meets the performance and availability criteria as defined in the Service Level Rule. By default, a service is expected to meet the specified criteria 85% of the time during defined business hours. You may raise or lower this percentage level according to service expectations.

  • Actual Service Level: The Actual Service Level defines the baseline criteria used to define service quality.

2.7.1 Service Dashboard

The Service Dashboard provides a consolidated view of the critical aspects of the service including the status, availability, type of service, performance, and the SLAs that have been enabled for this service. It also shows the performance and usage metrics for the service, status of the key components, and any system incidents.

You can view all the information related to the service on a single page and assess the health of the service. You can customize the dashboard by adding or removing regions according to your requirements and make these changes available to all the users.

You can also personalize the dashboard and make changes that are visible only to you and not to the other users.

2.8 Job System

You can use Enterprise Manager job system to schedule tasks you want to automate. You can schedule a job for a target by selecting the Control menu option (only available for process control jobs) on the Home page. For example, for an Oracle WebLogic Server, you can create a job to schedule a start or stop operation for that WebLogic Server. You can view details about the jobs that are scheduled, running, suspended, or the ones that have a problem. You can also use jobs to automate the execution of the WLST (WebLogic Scripting Tool) scripts.

To access the WLST scripts:

  1. From the Enterprise menu, select Job, then select Library.

  2. From the Create Library Job field, select WLST Script.

See the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator's Guide for more details on the Job System and its functionality.

2.9 Routing Topology Viewer

Enterprise Manager provides a Routing Topology Viewer which is a graphical representation of routing relationships across targets, components and elements. You can easily determine how requests are routed across components. For example, you can see how requests are routed from Oracle Web Cache, to Oracle HTTP Server, to a Managed Server, to a data source.

The Routing Topology Viewer provides the basic navigation applications, such as zoom, pan, and fit-to-contents. You can change the source of data being viewed, the layout mode, and the flow direction between objects. Using filters you can alter global properties of the topology diagram, such as the visibility of link labels or altering the link style. It enables you to easily monitor your environment including performance metric data. You can see which entities are up and which are down. You can also print the topology using the Print to File feature on your printer's settings/options. For more details, see the Enterprise Manager Online Help.