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Oracle® Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Getting Started with Oracle Fusion Middleware Management Plug-in
Release 12.1.0.5

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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.

      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 an overview of middleware components configured as managed targets. 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.

The following details are displayed for middleware targets. Additional information can be displayed through the View Column menu:

  • 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.

Heatmap

You can use the Graph tab to view the Middleware Targets Heatmap, a graphical representation of a set of targets depicted as boxes in the heatmap 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 percent of members that are up or on average WebLogic CPU usage. Hover, click and double-click on graph elements to see more detail.

You can select Area, which limits which target types are displayed at a given time on the heatmap and table tabs. If you choose All, all target types are displayed. Other options include WebLogic Servers, WebLogic Full Hierarchy, GlassFish, JBoss, and so on. When an area is chosen that only contains one target type (such as the WebLogic Servers area), the heatmap displays that target type as the root node and does not display its parents.

You can use the Show drop-down menu to change to either of the two displays. When you choose CPU Usage for WebLogic Servers, the graph displays a heatmap with boxes that are root targets containing WebLogic servers. If a root target does not contain any WebLogic servers, it does not show up in the view. A box is displayed if the root target contains a WebLogic server that has a reported CPU value, not necessarily just a server. This means that servers that are down or blacked out are not counted in either the size of the box or the averaging. Also, if a server does not have a CPU value, which occurs if that metric has not yet been collected, or is blacked out, it will not be counted.

The box size is based on the number of targets and the box color is based on the metric value of all the targets it contains.

When you click a box, the selection details on the right show the member status or member CPU information appropriate to the current display. Similarly, tooltips also display this information. The selection details also display a Properties section that shows 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 section 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.

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 heatmap that was grouped using the Organize By menus. To do this, double-click on the header of the Organize First By box. This displays only the boxes that are in that box and hides all others. Click on the breadcrumbs to return to the original view. Summarizing turns the deepest Organize First By box into one box by summarizing all of the individual boxes it contains.

You can adjust the sliders to change color thresholds. Note that the color scale changes between the Percent of Targets Up and the CPU views. A lower value corresponds to green, while larger numbers correspond to red. You can take advantage of the "Hide dark green boxes" option. The dark green corresponds to the darkest green on the color slider. For example, if your higher limit is 95 and you are showing Percent of Targets Up, all boxes with an average Percent of 95 or greater are hidden from view.

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 Area drop-down list is used to specify a set of target types, for example Oracle WebLogic Servers. Only target types in that set will be returned when you click Search. Areas only appear in the drop-down list if you have access to at least one target in that area.

The search results are a hierarchy where the leaf nodes match all search fields. The leaf nodes are shown in context with parents who are only required to match the Area drop-down list's target types constraint.

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

In addition:

  • Though only the Area and Name appear when the Search region is collapsed, all the hidden search options still apply when you click Search.

  • If you change the Area or some other search field, click Search to update the page contents. Clicking Search also saves your search criteria 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 Domains, Clusters, and Servers' area for targets with contact Smith, only domains, clusters, and servers 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 in the table, used in the summary column calculations, or considered in the heatmap display.

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 Diagnostics 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 which 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.

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 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.

    Enterprise Manager Cloud Control provides flexibility in terms of how to control such processes. You can choose to control processes by using Node Manager, default scripts located in the domain home, or custom scripts. Relying on scripts to perform process control requires the boot.properties file to be properly configured.

    The process control feature is accessible from the target home page, target menu, or from the Job Library using the out-of-the-box Fusion Middleware Process Control job.

    Note:

    • For Oracle WebLogic Domain and Cluster, only start and stop operations are supported. Restart operation is not supported.

    • For Oracle WebLogic Server (Managed Server), start and stop operations are supported through a node manager, through a default script, or through a custom script. However, restart operation is supported only through a node manager or a custom script.

    • For Oracle WebLogic Server (Admin Server), start operation is supported through a default script or a custom script. Stop operation is supported through a node manager, through a default script, or through a custom script. However, restart operation is supported only through a custom script.

      • The Via Node Manager option requires the Admin Server and the node manager to be up and accessible by the Management Agent monitoring the server.

      • The Via Default Script option uses the startManagedWeblogic and stopManagedWeblogic scripts located in the <DOMAIN_HOME>/bin directory, and the option requires the boot.properties file to be configured for the server.

      • The Via Custom Script option uses custom script you specify, and the option requires the boot.properties file to be configured for the server if it is required by the custom script.

2.5 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.

2.5.1 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 2-4 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.

2.5.2 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.

2.5.3 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.

2.5.4 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.

2.5.4.1 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.

2.5.4.2 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.

2.5.4.3 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.

2.6 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 2-5 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.

2.6.1 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.

2.7 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.

2.8 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.

2.9 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. The Support Workbench also recommends and provides easy access to Oracle advisors that help you repair data corruption problems, and more. You can use Support Workbench with:

  • Oracle WebLogic Server

  • SOA Infrastructure