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Oracle® Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator's Guide
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13 Enterprise Configuration Management

This chapter explains how Enterprise Manager Cloud Control simplifies the monitoring and management of the deployments in your enterprise. The chapter contains the following sections:

Targets and Configuration Collections

Enterprise Manager collects configuration information for all managed targets that have a running Management Agent. The agent periodically sends the configuration information to the Management Repository over HTTP or HTTPS, allowing you to access up-to-date configuration information for your entire enterprise through Cloud Control.

Cloud Control enables you to view, save, track, compare, search, and customize collected configuration information for all managed targets. Supported target types include:

Table 13-1lists examples of configuration information collected for a cross-section of target types.

Table 13-1 Collected Configurations for Various Targets

Target Type Collected Configuration Information

HostFoot 1 

  • Hardware (includes memory, CPU, I/O device, and network information)

  • Operating system (includes installed patches and patch sets)

  • Oracle software (includes installed products and their components, patch sets, and interim patches applied using OPatch)

  • Other software (includes all software registered with the operating system)

DatabaseFoot 2 

  • Database and instance properties

  • Initialization and System Global Area parameters

  • Tablespace, datafile, and control file information

  • Redo logs, rollback segments, and high availability information

  • Licensing information

Middleware such as WebLogic Server

  • Node Manager, machine, Web service, and Web service port configurations

  • Resource Adapter, including outbound

  • Web and EJB modules

  • Server information

  • JDBC Datasource and Multi Datasource

  • Resource usage

  • Virtual hosts

  • Startup Shutdown classes

  • Jolt Connection Pool

  • Work Manager

  • JMS Topic, Queue and Connection Factory

  • Network channels

ClientFoot 3 

  • Hardware

  • Operating system (includes properties, file systems, patches)

  • Software registered with the operating system

  • Network data (includes latency and bandwidth to the Web server)

  • Client-specific data that describes configuration for the browser used to access the client configuration collection applet

  • Other client-oriented data items

Non-Oracle Systems

  • Hardware details including vendor, architecture, CPU, and I/O device information.

  • Operating system details including name, version, software and package lists, kernel parameters, and file system information.

  • OS Registered software including product name, vendor, location, and installation time.

Footnote 1 The default collection period for host configuration information is 24 hours.

Footnote 2 The default collection period for database configuration information is 12 hours.

Footnote 3 Refer to "Client Configurations" in this chapter for more information.

Cloud Control and Configuration Management

Use Cloud Control to manage enterprise configurations:

Configuration Search

Use Configuration Search to search configuration data across the enterprise. Enterprise Manager ships with a set of out-of-box configuration searches, which you can use as a starting point to explore the volume of configuration data collected. As you work with a provided search, you can tailor the search criteria to refine or broaden the results, and save the altered search under a new name.

Perform powerful searches across the enterprise using sophisticated combinations of search filters, options, and relationships. Consider these search examples:

  • Show all hosts with dual core CPUs

  • Show all targets in a specific geographic area

  • Show all tablespaces having at least one 10MB datafile

  • Show all Oracle Homes installed on Linux 5.6 hosts

  • Show all targets monitored by a particular agent

  • Find all database instances with initialization parameters p1 and p2 having values v1 and v2, respectively

Enhance the search filtering criteria by adding your own SQL query statements. Save interesting search results by printing a report or exporting to a file.

To access the search capability, from the Enterprise menu select Configuration, then select Search. See the Cloud Control online help for information on setting up and executing configuration searches.

Configuration Comparisons

Enterprise Configuration Management deals with the collection, storage, and monitoring of configuration data tied to managed entities within the enterprise. A host, for example, has configuration item types related to its hardware and software components—number of CPUs, memory, IO devices, OS platform and version, installed software products, and so forth.

Changes to configuration data invariably happen, typically because of common events like patches and upgrades. At some point a change to one component can affect the overall system in a negative way. Detecting the root cause becomes paramount.

The comparison tool enables you to compare configurations of a target with configurations of another target of the same type. The comparisons can be done on the current configuration or configurations previously saved (perhaps, for example, just before applying a patch or doing an upgrade).

A comparison template is an exemplar for fine-tuning a comparison of like configurations. A template is associated with a specific target type, which determines the configuration item types, items, and properties to be compared. A set of default templates ships out-of-box to support various target types.

A template enables you to establish certain constants to take into account when comparing configurations of the given target type; for example, which property differences to ignore, and which property differences trigger an alert. You also can use constraints to establish acceptable values for specific properties. A configuration being compared that does not comply with the constraint constitutes a difference.

A template can invoke rules, or expressions, to be evaluated in determining when there is a match for comparison purposes, and when to disregard differences detected in a comparison.

For systems, you design a system template that references member templates, based on the target types that make up the system. Create the member templates before you create the system template.

Comparisons allow you to do the following:

  • Ignore certain attributes during a comparison

  • Notify key personnel when differences are detected

  • Design and share comparison templates with other administrators

  • Schedule a comparison to run on a recurring basis

  • Compare complete target systems; match target system members automatically or manually

  • Compare configuration file data as raw file content or in a parsed format

  • Drill down in comparison results to address detected differences

  • Execute a comparison again with a single click on the Jobs page

To access the comparison feature, from the Enterprise menu select Configuration, then select:

  • Compare to access the comparison wizard.

  • Comparison Templates to manage templates.

  • Comparison Job Activity to view and rerun comparison jobs and drill down to comparison results.


You must have the CREATE_JOB privilege to see these menu items.

For information on managing comparison templates and setting up configuration comparisons, see Chapter 14, "Configuration Comparisons, Templates, and Rules."

Configuration Views

Use the Configuration Browser to view configuration data in the context of a single managed entity. Configuration data can include:

  • Configuration item types and properties

  • System configuration data as well as all system members and their configuration data

  • System and target relationships (immediate, member of, uses, used by, and so forth)

  • Custom configuration collection data

The browser window consists of left and right panes. The left pane is a tree hierarchy. The right pane consists of tabs that display information in tables. As you navigate in the tree, your selection dictates the contents in the right pane. Depending on the selection, tabs appear containing data such as properties and values, relationships, a hierarchical structure of a system and its members, and file contents in both a parsed and raw text format.

The viewed data can be the latest collected or previously saved. Saved configurations are snapshots in time of collected data preserved for future reference. You may simply want to view the saved data, or you may want to use it for some other purpose such as the basis of a comparison.

To view a target's configuration data, right-click the target of interest and select Configuration, then select Saved to search for a previous collection, or Last Collected to view the most recent data collection.

Cloud Control offers several summary views to monitor the state of the enterprise. From these views, you can drill down to the details and take various actions. Use the Inventory and Usage Details page to:

  • View inventory summaries for deployments such as hosts, database installations, and fusion middleware installations on an enterprise basis or for specific targets.

  • View inventory summary information in the context of different dimensions. For example, for host inventory summary, you can view by platform, vendor, or OS version.

  • Drill down multiple levels of inventory details.

  • See trends in inventory counts charted across a time line. Chart bars are color-coded to match the view selection.

  • Switch to a pie chart to break down the inventory data for the rollup option by color-coded percentages.

  • Click a patch indicator to link to patch details.

  • Repeatedly revise selections to refresh chart and details based on new selections.

  • Export deployment and details tables toa CSV file.

To view these summaries and drill down to details, from the Enterprise menu select Configuration, then select Inventory and Usage Details. Alternatively, click See Details in the Inventory and Usage region of the Enterprise Summary page.

See the Cloud Control online help for information on working within Configuration Browser and Inventory and Usage Details.

Configuration History

Use Configuration History to monitor change activity across the enterprise. The history is a log of changes to a managed entity (target) recorded over a period of one year; it includes changes both to configurations and to relationships. Relationships are the associations that exist among managed entities.

While viewing a configuration history you can:

  • Track changes to targets over time by specifying and refining search criteria.

  • View change history and manipulate how the information is presented.

  • Annotate change records with comments that become part of the change history.

  • Schedule a history search to capture future changes based on the same criteria.

  • View the status of scheduled history jobs.

  • Notify others of future change detection.

  • Save change history details to a file.

You can also view a list of all current and past history searches. Use search criteria to filter the list of history jobs. For example, show all scheduled history searches started over the past 24 hours; or, show all successful history searches involving hosts started over the past 31 days. The jobs engine purges history jobs older than 31 days

To access Configuration History, from the Enterprise menu, select Configuration, then select History. See the Cloud Control online help for information on performing tasks related to Configuration History.

Custom Configuration Specifications

Custom configurations provide end users the means to define configurations to collect that Enterprise Manager has no way of knowing about. These customized configurations can be collected on well-known target types or on target types introduced as part of the custom configuration definition.

A custom configuration is a specification intended for deployment to an agent-monitored target where the agent uses it to gather configuration data about target instances. A custom configuration can be a combination of the following:

  • File specifications—configuration files in a specified directory on the target to collect and upload to the repository

  • Command specifications—commands and scripts to run against the target, given appropriate credentials, and upload command/script output as configuration data to the repository

  • Query specifications—SQL database queries to run against a database on the target, given appropriate credentials, and upload query results to the repository

The configuration data that the agent collects and uploads is stored in both raw and parsed form. The custom configurations application has a host of out-of-box parsers that you can use to convert collected configuration data into a standard format for storing in the repository. The format is a tree of ordered nodes, also known as containers. Containers have names and possibly an additional identifier in square brackets determined by rules that you specify for the purpose of distinguishing the container from other containers. This is important when comparing configurations and tracking change history to avoid flagging "false positive" differences. It also aids in specifying search criteria and crafting SQL queries used in compliance rules.You can view collected configuration data in both raw and parsed form.

To work with custom configurations, from the Enterprise menu, select Configuration, then select Custom. For information on creating, maintaining, and deploying custom configuration specifications, including detailed parser reference information, see Chapter 15, "Custom Configurations, Parsers, and Rules."

Client Configurations

A "client" represents an end-user or customer system—a system that is not part of your own IT infrastructure. A "client configuration" represents the configuration data collected about the end-user's system. These configurations differ from the internal deployments that you manage using Cloud Control.

The Client System Analyzer (CSA) application allows Web server administrators to collect and analyze data from end-user systems. The client data is collected by an applet, diagnosed, and sent back to the CSA application. You can either use the CSA application that comes pre-installed with Cloud Control, or you can deploy CSA independently to your Web server.

To access client configurations, from the Enterprise menu, select Configuration, then select Client Configurations. See the Cloud Control online help for information on performing tasks related to client configurations.

Client System Analyzer in Cloud Control

Using the pre-installed application allows you to collect client data without having to set up a separate Web server. The Management Agents collect, analyze, and upload the client data to the Management Repository. End users do not need login credentials to access Cloud Control. Example usage scenarios include:

  • End users who call the Help Desk may be asked to navigate to the out-of-box CSA page so that their system information is uploaded. The Technical Support Representative can then review the system information and offer solutions.

  • The client's application can be changed to provide an "Upload my system information" link to the Client System Analyzer in the Cloud Control application. The link can specify certain configuration parameters, such as the URL to return to after the Client System Analyzer runs.

  • The client's application can be modified to redirect its users to the Client System Analyzer in the Cloud Control page during login or at other points in the application. Collected information can then be used from within Cloud Control to obtain various bits of information about the client systems. Examples include most popular browser versions, or systems that do not have a necessary Operating System patch applied or do not have enough RAM.

To access the CSA application, from the Enterprise menu, select Configuration, then select Client System Analyzer. See the Cloud Control online help for information on working with the CSA application.

Client System Analyzer Deployed Independently

CSA can be deployed independently to any J2EE-capable Web server. This deployment strategy is appropriate when:

  • Clients accessing CSA cannot reach or have limited access to a Cloud Control deployment; for example, due to a firewall.

  • Further customization to the CSA application is required, such as:

    • Custom rules can be supplied to the CSA application so that the end users have immediate feedback as to whether their systems satisfy certain constraints.

    • The behavior of the applet can be changed to collect additional information or to present end users with additional or different user interfaces.

    • The load on the Management Service Web servers needs to be reduced.

Both pre-installed and standalone types of deployments assign a configurable identifier called a Client Configuration Collection Tag to every client configuration collection. After the client configuration data has been collected by the client configuration collection applet and written to the Web server directory specified by the CSA application, you must configure Cloud Control to collect the client configuration data and upload it to the Management Repository.

See the Cloud Control online help for information on collecting and viewing client configurations.