1 Introduction to Sizing and Performance

This document provides an overview of the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center software product design and includes what to consider when planning to deploy the software. It provides guidelines on how to effectively size an Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center environment, how to configure a scalable deployment for your datacenter and optimize performance.

The following topics are covered in this document:

1.1 About Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center provides a converged management solution for Oracle servers, storage, Oracle Solaris and Linux operating systems, zones, and Oracle VM Server for SPARC virtualization.

The software provides system administrators with a comprehensive solution including change and configuration management, firmware and OS patching, bare metal and VM provisioning, hardware telemetry (”phone home”), performance management, integrated diagnostics, and automatic tuning.

This chapter contains the following topics:

1.2 Product Design and Resource Utilization

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center is designed to scale from small installations up through large installations. To scale, you must deploy key components of the product architecture appropriately to meet the requirements. You should be familiar with the following key components:

  • Browser user interface. Ops Center provides a rich interface inside a browser. The user interface heavily leverages JavaScript and AJAX technology to provide a highly dynamic and asynchronously updating user view.

  • Enterprise Controller. The Enterprise Controller is the core component of Ops Center, it provides a centralized place where management information is stored and from which operations are initiated. The browser user interface connects into a standard API that the Enterprise Controller provides.

  • A Management Repository. The management repository is based on an Oracle Enterprise Edition Database and provides a permanent storage location for all management data used by the Enterprise Controller. In this release the management repository can either be co-located in the same operating system instance as the Enterprise Controller or deployed onto an external database server.

  • Proxy Controller. The Proxy Controller is designed to be distributed throughout the networks. It provides proxy capabilities for operations that must be logically located close to the targets due to network considerations, such as OS provisioning activities. It also provides a fan out for minimizing network load, proxy load balancing, and failover. Using this technology, you can configure proxies to see the same assets and can load balance traffic and provide a failover model between proxies.

  • Agent Controllers. Agent Controllers provide monitoring and update capabilities for the host operating system. Specialized agents support basic and virtualization control virtualization technology. When an asset is agent-managed, the agent gathers information for the Enterprise Controller. The VC Agent Controller is for virtualization technology, such as zones and logical domains. This agent manages the logical domains that run on the Control Domain and the zones that run on the logical domains.

    You have the option to not install an agent on a host, referred to as agentlessly managed. The management functionality is limited without the agent.

1.3 Architecture

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center is designed to provide increased scalability, high availability and optimized performance in large, distributed data centers. The architecture is scaled as your organization grows. The Enterprise Controller, Proxy Controllers, Agent Controllers, and user interface are the major architectural components. They are supported by the Knowledge Base, which is hosted by Oracle and accessed through the Internet. This architecture lets you customize your deployment for the size and network topology of your organization by varying the placement of the Proxy Controllers and use of Agent Controllers.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, downloads information from the Knowledge Base and Package Repository to the Enterprise Controller, which stores the information along with basic management tools, such as the profiles and plans. At least one Proxy Controller distributes the Enterprise Controller's work. Secure network connections between all components transfer control commands and data. For operating systems, Agent Controllers provide update capabilities, management and monitoring, and control of virtualization environments. Agent Controllers are required for Oracle Solaris 9 and 10 and Linux catalogs. Oracle Solaris 9 and Oracle Solaris 10 boot environment management also requires an agent-managed operating system.

Figure 1-1 shows the relationship between the browser console, Enterprise Controller, Proxy Controller, and multiple Agent Controllers. The Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Ports and Protocols Guide provides details on the communication direction, protocol and port, and the purpose for each level of communication.

Figure 1-1 Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Architecture

Description of Figure 1-1 follows
Description of "Figure 1-1 Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Architecture"

1.3.1 Knowledge Base and Package Repository

The Knowledge Base and Oracle Solaris 11 Package Repository store metadata about Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux operating system components. The metadata includes patch dependencies, standard patch compatibilities, withdrawn patches, and rules for download and deployment.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center is configured to connect to Oracle Corporation sites for updated metadata for operating systems. However, you can configure the product software without a direct connection to these sites.

1.3.2 Enterprise Controller

The Enterprise Controller is the central server for Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center. All operations, or jobs, are initiated from the Enterprise Controller. The Enterprise Controller manages firmware and operating system images, plans, profiles, and policies. The Enterprise Controller relies on a database of asset data and site customizations. The database is a local embedded database or a remote customer-managed Oracle Enterprise Edition database that is accessible on the network to the Enterprise Controller. Include the Enterprise Controller in an active-standby High Availability configuration to increase the availability of the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center software.

The Enterprise Controller connects to the Internet to get access to contract information, to create service requests, and to download updates, Oracle Solaris images, and updates to the product software itself. When an update is requested, the Enterprise Controller retrieves the software from the Knowledge Base, package repository, or vendor. This default mode of operation is called Connected mode.

If your site policy does not permit an Internet connection, you can operate the software in Disconnected mode. In this mode, you must load and maintain the Knowledge Base and package repository data and updates in the Enterprise Controller. For Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux operating systems, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center provides a script that you run on a system that is connected to the Internet to retrieve the contents of Oracle's Knowledge Base or Oracle Solaris 11 Package Repository and then you upload the baselines and updates to the Enterprise Controller.

1.3.3 Proxy Controller

Proxy Controllers distribute the operation load and provide fan-out capabilities to minimize network load. The Proxy Controller can also be used to provide a network presence behind a firewall or to provide access to a private network. A Proxy Controller links the managed assets to the Enterprise Controller and performs operations that must be located close to the managed assets, such as operating system provisioning. Proxy Controller performs management operations on assets and reports the results to the Enterprise Controller. The actions required to manage, provision, and update assets are handled as a queue of jobs.

You must have at least one Proxy Controller. When you install the Enterprise Controller, a Proxy Controller is automatically installed on the same system. To enhance performance and scalability, the preferred method is to install the Proxy Controllers on separate machines.

Most sites benefit from using multiple Proxy Controllers. The following are some reasons for using multiple Proxy Controllers:

  • Some assets are in remote locations and you want to maintain performance.

  • You anticipate creating multiple jobs to run concurrently.

  • Some assets are behind a firewall and need their own Proxy Controller.

  • To provision Oracle Solaris 10 or Linux with ISO boot, you will need a local Proxy Controller. To provision Oracle Solaris 11 SPARC or Oracle Solaris 10 SPARC with Solaris Flash archive, you can use WAN boot to provision the operating system on a wide area network.

  • You can designate a Proxy Controller for the Management Network and another Proxy Controller for the Data Network.

1.3.4 Agent Controllers

Physical and virtual Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux operating systems require agent software to perform many functions, such as creating update reports, creating and using system catalogs, and managing Oracle Solaris 9, 10 and 11 boot environments. Some monitoring and Analytics data also require an agent-managed operating system. However, you can use many of the monitoring and management features without installing an Agent Controller on the operating system.

The Agent Controller is a lightweight Java software that identifies the asset and responds to Proxy Controller. When an operating system is agent-managed, the agent receives the command from its Proxy Controller, performs the required action, and notifies the Proxy Controller of the results. When an operating system is agentlessly managed, the Proxy Controller uses SSH (Secure Shell protocol) to perform tasks and to monitor the operating system.You can change the method of managing an operating system asset.

Hardware management does not require the Agent Controller. Instead, a Proxy Controller runs commands on the hardware system and reports the results to the Enterprise Controller.

1.4 Product Design

To fully understand the best approach to a deployment, it is important to understand how the product uses resources and under what use conditions.

Ops Center provides such a wide range of potential use cases that it is difficult to provide an accurate and simple answer about how far a particular product deployment can scale.

Ops Center is designed around two key design models:

  1. A distributed state machine. Maintains the information about all of the managed assets and what can be done to the assets under Enterprise Manager Ops Center's control. This state machine is incremented by discovering new assets, adding new services or metrics to the machine or creating new logical groups of assets. The state machine size is decreased by deleting assets. Each modification of a variable, for example a CPU utilization measure, causes a change in the state machine.

  2. An asynchronous job dispatch system. All actions that are requested through the Ops Center console are dispatched asynchronously through the system. The job system has a throttle that prevents the overloading of the system and manages queues of pending jobs.

1.4.1 Enterprise Manager Ops Center's State Machine

Enterprise Manager Ops Center's state machine is maintained in a combination of memory and database. As the managed environment of assets increase, so will the resource utilization (mostly in terms of memory required) of the system.

The diagram above shows a simple deployment of Enterprise Manager Ops Center. Each component of Enterprise Manager Ops Center manages part of the state machine. A basic Agent will add the asset information for the operating system being managed and insert all of the relevant metrics, data, and operations that are supported as part of a discovery action. This part of the state machine is then pushed up to the Proxy Controller, which manages the part of the state machine for all of the assets it is managing and ultimately up to the Enterprise Controller, which can see the entire state machine.

The state machine imparts the highest load on the managed systems during discovery actions. Every part of the system is involved, beginning with the initial location of the asset by way of network requests to the addition of the asset into the state machine, through to the propagation and automated correlation of the new asset in the Enterprise Controller.

Steady state operation of the state machine involves the changing of metrics on the assets themselves. For example, an operating system's asset will have metrics showing network I/O utilization; these are sampled periodically by the Agent from the operating system and updated into the state machine on the Agent. The Agent caches to the state machine, per policy updates, and then sends the updates up to the Proxy Controller. The Proxy Controller follows a similar process up to the Enterprise Controller. The network load in steady state is very low because only changes to metrics are sent and connection management caching is in place to reduce the SSL handshake overhead between the tiers.

The browser user interface reflects a view of the state machine. Assets and their relationships as they exist in the state machine are displayed in the navigation panels, details of the assets are displayed in the center panels and actions associated with the assets are displayed in the Action panel. The Enterprise Controller manages the translation of data from the state machine into a form the browser can display. Viewing different assets or asset groups can place a processing load on the Enterprise Controller. Each user performing these actions in parallel will increase the processing load on the Enterprise Controller. In addition, a small amount of memory is dedicated to each user session.

1.4.2 Ops Center's Job Management System

The job management system performs actions that are requested by the user. The job management system is completely asynchronous and active jobs are capped and queued to manage resource utilization by the entire Ops Center system. Depending on the particular action, job actions can run on the agent, the Proxy Controller, or the Enterprise Controller, or a combination of all three. For example, an OS provisioning job is managed from the Proxy Controller that is managing the system that is the target of the action. The Proxy Controller will run the majority of the processes during such an action and will impart the majority of the CPU load that is used during such an action.

The Agent Controller on the hosting operating system executes the software patch install on the operating system. The agent performs all of the requests required to fulfill the required action and imparts a minor CPU load on the host through job completion.

1.5 High Availability

The design for a High Availability (HA) architecture must consider all single points of failure, such as power, storage, and network connectivity in addition to the software. See the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Administration Guide for configuration options for high availability.

1.6 Related Resources for Product Architecture

For more information about managing an Enterprise Controller HA configuration, see the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Administration Guide.

For more information about the ports, see the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Ports and Protocols Guide.