2 New Features In Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c

This chapter provides an overview of the new features available in Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c. It lists new features specifically associated with the base Oracle Enterprise Manager platform which includes the Cloud Control console, Oracle Management Service, and Oracle Management Agents.

This document contains the following sections:

2.1 Virtualization

Oracle VM is a platform that provides a fully equipped environment for better leveraging the benefits of virtualization technology, and it enables you to deploy operating systems and application software within a supported virtualization environment.

The entire Oracle VM environment can be managed from within Oracle Enterprise Manager. Oracle Enterprise Manager offers extended functionality beyond that of Oracle VM. The Enterprise Manager for Oracle Virtualization (VT) Plug-in has been extended to work seamlessly with Oracle's latest server virtualization product, Oracle VM Release 3.4. Oracle VM Release 3.4 delivers many important features and enhancements to enable rapid enterprise application deployment.

2.2 Database Management

This section describes new features and enhancements for database management.

  • Discovery and monitoring of database 12.2 including monitoring of database shards.

  • Lifecycle management of database 12.2 including support for provisioning, patching, and upgrading from earlier versions.

  • Database as a Service support for database 12.2 including support for relocation and clone refresh.

  • Fleet patching is now supported for 12c pluggable databases. Enterprise Manager provides automated patching for a fleet of container databases then migrate the pluggable databases in phases. The feature is complemented with sophisticated reporting to track the overall progress.

  • Simplified deployment of SaaS applications through multi-tenant application container database support. Discovery and administrative operations of application containers and associated PDBs is also supported.

  • Accurate performance diagnostics with simplified database administration using per-PDB snapshots and reporting in a multi-tenant environment.

  • Out-of-the box visualization of resource usage at the PDB level and ability to navigate and analyze large number PDBs in a scalable manner. Enterprise Manager provides intuitive visualization for PDB level resource usage distribution, identifying resource usage outliers, and analyzing resource usage trends over time.

2.2.1 Database Fleet Maintenance

Database Fleet Maintenance uses the software end-state to standardize the Oracle home content and provides a simple and reliable way to roll out patches and upgrades across the database estate.

It enables administrators to recognize configuration pollution in their database estate and provide recommendations to patch and upgrade their databases to the standardized configurations. Administrators can subscribe databases to these standardized configurations and perform automated bulk updates without any manual intervention and with minimum downtime.

2.3 Middleware Management

2.3.1 Weblogic Management Enhancements

The enhancements in this release are:

  • Provisioning and Patching Support for WebLogic Release 12.2.1.1 and 12.2.1.2 Domains: Provisioning and patching of Oracle WebLogic Server Release 12.2.1.1 and 12.2.1.2 is now supported. In terms of provisioning, all use cases are now supported against releases 12.2.1.1 and 12.2.1.2 – including creation of profiles, cloning of profiles and scaling up/out of clusters.

  • Configuring Application Deployments: Administrators can configure and tune application deployments directly from the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control console. Using the Cloud Control console as the single pane of glass for configuring, monitoring and fully managing all domains helps to guarantee the security of your WebLogic environments.

  • Support for Staggered Restart of WebLogic Cluster: Administrators can stop and restart one server at a time, ensuring zero down time for applications deployed to the cluster.

  • Deploy/Undeploy/Redeploy Java EE Applications to Resource Groups or Resource Group Templates: The Java EE Applications provisioning capabilities have been enhanced to support deployment into resource groups and resource group templates. This saves administrators time and effort by automating deployment tasks across multiple domains in a single operation rather than several on a domain by domain basis.

  • Custom WLST Commands Supported in WLST Script Job Type: Administrators can now schedule, execute and track custom WLST commands. With this enhancement to the predefined WLST Script job type, administrators can specify the directory location from where WLST should be launched (the Oracle Common home or component home). 

  • Improved User Experience for Scaling Up/Out WebLogic Cluster: The deployment procedure to scale up or scale out an existing WebLogic Cluster has been simplified and enhanced.

2.3.2 JVM Diagnostics

The enhancements in this release are:

  • The new agent deployment system provides faster, simpler, and more reliable installation of JVMD agents on WebLogic servers.

  • Automatic deployment of JVMD agents as part of a WebLogic and SOA domain provisioning is now supported.

  • Enhanced Java Workload Explorer user interface, allows for easy zoom-in and granular view of at 1 second intervals.

2.3.3 SOA Management

For FMW 12.2.1.2 and higher, SOA composites are not modeled as targets. This will reduce the load on Enterprise Manager while continuing to provide all existing functionality.

2.3.4 Oracle HTTP Server Management

The new features in this release are:

  • Track Compliance to the Oracle HTTP Server 12c Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG): The Fusion Middleware Plug-in Release 13.2.2 provides an out-of-the-box compliance standard based directly on the Department of Defense's Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) for Oracle HTTP Server 12.1.3. Administrators can directly leverage this standard to confirm that their Oracle HTTP Servers – whether in a WebLogic Server domain or standalone domain - conform to the CAT I rules included in the STIG.

  • WebLogic Server Proxy Plug-in Metrics for Oracle HTTP Server: New performance metrics specific for the Oracle WebLogic Server Proxy Plug-in (mod_wl_ohs) module are available. These new metrics are available with Oracle HTTP Server Release 12.2.1.x when collocated with a WebLogic Server domain.

2.3.5 Fusion Middleware Lifecycle Management

The enhancements in this release are:
  • Fusion Middleware Patching: Opatch auto based patching for Fusion Middleware 12.2.1.x and higher is now supported.

  • Provisioning of Oracle Fusion Middleware Infrastructure Release 12.2 Installation Media: Provisioning of JRF domain from installation media profile is now supported. Administrators can provision the profile to install WebLogic Server across multiple hosts and configure a domain with Oracle JRF or Oracle Restricted JRF templates.

  • Import domain as a partition (WebLogic 12.2.1.2 and higher): This capability facilitates domain consolidation and allows for quick domain upgrade. Administrators can export one or more existing 12.1.x or 10.3.6 domains and import them as partitions of a 12.2.1.x domain.

2.3.6 Coherence Management

Support of standalone Coherence clusters configured with dynamic management node (12.2.1.x and higher) is now available. With this functionality, if the management node fails, administrators can continue monitoring by quickly switching to a new management node.

2.3.7 Fusion Middleware Plug-in (13.2.1.0) Features

2.3.7.1 Middleware Routing Topology Viewer

Beginning with Fusion Middleware Plug-in release 13.2.1.0, the Fusion Middleware Routing Topology Viewer’s dependency on Adobe Flash has been removed.

The Routing Topology Viewer provided in previous Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control releases required the use of Adobe Flash. Removal of the Adobe Flash dependency improves the users experience with the routing topology viewer as well as reduces the risk of security vulnerabilities.

2.3.7.2 Process Control for Node Manager

Administrators can now perform start or stop operations against Oracle WebLogic Node Manager targets directly from the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control console.

In addition to immediate execution of these process control operations, administrators can also choose to schedule such operations in the future. When administrators discover that a Node Manager process is unexpectedly down, they want to immediately bring the process back up. Being able to control Node Manager processes directly from Cloud Control helps the administration team to be more efficient and effective in managing their middleware environment.

2.3.7.3 Expiry Time of SSL Certificates for Oracle HTTP Server

This release introduces certificate monitoring for Oracle HTTP Server targets.

By enabling and configuring the out-of-box “No of days left for expiry of the certificate” metric for Oracle HTTP Server, administrators can be alerted about SSL certificates that are about to expire. This ability enables administrators to be more proactive in monitoring their middleware environment.

2.3.7.4 Oracle Traffic Director Performance Metrics

With Fusion Middleware Plug-in 13.2.1.0, Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control introduces several new performance metrics for the Oracle Traffic Director instance target type.

These metrics span the three categories of Connection Queue metrics, Keep Alive metrics and Session metrics. By tracking data for these performance metrics, administrators are able to ensure optimal performance of the Oracle Traffic Director instance. In addition, administrators can set thresholds for the metrics so that if the thresholds are breached, alerts and notifications are sent to on-call staff.

2.3.7.5 New Thread State (Other)

The new thread state, Other, is introduced to display threads executing user requests, even if the thread is idle at the time of sampling.

In previous releases, threads that were not identified as using JVM or OS resources, were identified as idle and were ignored. As result, during the request execution, the user experienced long wait-times and JVMD did not show the state of the threads. However, with the new enhancement, JVMD marks such threads as being in “Other” state. This change enables users to see samples of request states during the entire execution period.

2.3.7.6 SOA Management Features

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Release 2 includes several new Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) management features.

  • Heat Map for SOA Composites

    Using SOA heat maps, administrators have a clear view of the entire SOA estate. The Heat Map tab shows the health and performance of a composite. Administrators can change the configuration of the heat map, select metrics for the size and color, group by specific criteria (for example, by Partition) and limit the service count for scalability. Administrators will save time by viewing the entire SOA estate in a single page.

  • Integration of the IWS Report

    The SOA Integrated Workload Statistics (IWS) report is a new diagnostic feature added as part of the SOA 12.2.1 release. IWS reports provide a variety of statistics such as system resource usage, message flows at key points in the system, backlogs at various components, and activity execution times which can diagnose performance/scaling issues. With this release, users can generate and download an IWS report from Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, enabling administrators to use Enterprise Manager Cloud Control as the single tool to manage their entire SOA estate.

  • Download/Export SOA Composite

    This release of Enterprise Manager provides the ability to export and download SOA 11g and SOA 12c SAR files from Enterprise Manager Cloud Control. This feature is very useful for hybrid cloud scenarios where users can download a composite from one SOA instance and deploy it on another SOA instance from within Enterprise Manager Cloud Control.

  • SOA Cloud Service Certification

    Enterprise Manager now certifies all monitoring and diagnostic features on SOA Cloud Service (CS). Using the hybrid cloud approach, users can now discover SOA instance running on SOA CS in Enterprise Manager Cloud Control and avail of all monitoring and diagnostic features. This is a very useful feature for hybrid cloud scenarios. With this feature users can add an SOA CS instance to Enterprise Manager and start monitoring and managing it from a single pane of glass.

2.3.7.7 Support for Service Bus Patching

Users can now patch Oracle Service Bus (OSB) targets or an OSB cluster target from Enterprise Manager using the Enterprise Manager patching framework.

Patch plans have been improved to contain heterogeneous patches so users can apply Weblogic and OSB patches in a single patch plan. Users can now run post patch SQL scripts through the patching wizard. This feature enables administrators to perform automated patching to patch OSB targets and clusters. With the ability to contain heterogeneous patches in a single patch plan and run post patch SQL scripts, administrators will save the effort required for manual execution.

2.3.7.8 Configure Multitenancy in Oracle WebLogic Server

Beginning with Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control release 13.2 and the Fusion Middleware Plug-in release 13.2.1.0, administrators can configure settings related to multitenancy in Oracle WebLogic Server 12c.

Administrators can now create, edit, and delete resource groups, resource group templates, virtual targets, and partitions directly from the Cloud Control console to provide a sharable infrastructure for use by multiple organizations.

Having multitenancy configuration capabilities integrated into the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control console simplifies an administrator’s job and increases productivity by offering a single interface for comprehensive management of the WebLogic environment.

2.3.7.9 Export and Import Partitions in WebLogic Server Multitenant

Beginning with Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Release 2 and Fusion Middleware Plug-in Release 13.2.1.0, administrators can use Cloud Control to export a partition from one domain and then import that partition into another domain. The source or destination domain can be installed on-premises or it can be running in the cloud.

Creating partitions with the export and import feature of the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control console offers maximum flexibility to administrators and simplifies their job by offering a single console from which to perform all of their day-to-day operations.

2.4 Infrastructure Management

The new features in this release are:
  • Discovery and Monitoring of New Hardware Targets: Oracle MiniCluster S7-2, Oracle Server X6-2 and SPARC S7-2 Server can now be monitored.
  • SuperCluster Virtualization Provisioning: Support for creating a RAC Cluster including VMs, Oracle Database, Grid Infrastructure and ASM is now available. Scale up and scale down of a RAC Cluster by adding or removing VMs including Oracle Database, Grid Infrastructure, and ASM is also supported.

2.5 Hybrid Cloud Management

The new features in this release are.

  • Automated Service Discovery and Target Promotion on the Discovered Services: Discovery of cloud services specific to a particular tenant and the discovery of targets belonging to these services is now supported. Discovery can also be driven at scale using command line and response files.

  • Data Management for Hybrid Cloud: Data backup (full and incremental) from on-premise or Oracle Cloud to Oracle Cloud based on a periodic schedule is now supported. The data can then be used to instantiate a new DBCS service or refresh existing DBCS instances periodically for development and testing purposes. Additionally, the new workflow allows users to "time-travel" to a point in time and refresh the data. The database on Oracle Cloud can also be cloned using storage-efficient thin cloning technologies on Oracle Cloud.

2.6 Framework and Infrastructure

2.6.1 Support for Transport Layer Security 1.2

Enterprise Manager 13c now supports monitoring targets on Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 secure communication protocol.

2.6.2 Support for Exadata X6–2

Enterprise Manager can now monitor and manage Exadata X6-2 systems.

2.6.3 Support for Exadata and Real Application Custers with IPv6

You can now use Enterprise Manager to monitor and manage IPv6 enabled Exadata systems and IPv6 configurations with Real Application Clusters (RAC) databases.

The IPv6 network provides several technical benefits including larger address spaces.

2.6.4 Upgrade and Transition to Disaster Recovery Readiness Feature

The Upgrade and Transition to Disaster Recovery (DR) Readiness feature provides seamless transitioning from two-domain disaster recovery installations to single-domain disaster recovery installations.

This feature enables users to transition Enterprise Manager 12c installations with existing disaster recovery implementations from the Standby OMS instances using Standby WebLogic Domain disaster recovery architecture (also known as a two-domain installation) to the Standby OMS instances using Storage Replication disaster recovery architecture (also known as a single-domain installation) on Enterprise Manager 13c. It is available through the Upgrade option in the Enterprise Manager Installer.

After starting the installer with the UPGRADE_TRANSITION flag specified, the Upgrade and Transition to DR Readiness option appears and enables users to configure an alias host name  and specify an installation location on replicated storage. This option can also be used to configure an Enterprise Manager 13c installation according to Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) best practices to support a future disaster recovery implementation.

2.6.5 Federated Caching Monitoring

Federated caching provides support for active-active, active-passive, hub and spoke, and custom multi-datacenter topologies.

When a monitored cluster participates in data federation, Enterprise Manager Cloud Control identifies the remote cluster and presents metrics related to the data federation including performance and volume metrics at the cluster, node, and service levels. Federated caching provides improved scalability, durability, latency, and configurability of data replication. Data monitoring enables users to ensure the health, impact, and performance of the federation on the monitored cluster.

2.6.6 Support for IPv6

Enterprise Manager 13c can now be configured on pure IPv6 or dual IPv6/IPv4 stack.

2.6.7 Software Only Install with Plug-ins

This feature provides an efficient way of performing an upgrade with minimal downtime and is the recommended approach. It enables the user to deploy the software binaries along with plug-in binaries well ahead of the downtime and also deploy all the mandatory plug-ins. Additionally, it enables users to select and deploy other optional plug-ins of their choice.

2.7 Enterprise Monitoring and Incident Management Features

2.7.1 Always-On Monitoring Enhancements

Always-On Monitoring provides continuous monitoring of target down and other critical alerts when the regular Enterprise Manager monitoring and notification services are unavailable during Enterprise Manager planned downtime.

This release provides the following enhancements to Always-On Monitoring:

  • Always-On Monitoring Installed on a Different Host

    Always-On Monitoring can now be installed on a different host than the Oracle Management Service. This allows Always-On Monitoring to provide continuous monitoring of targets when the Oracle Management Service host is not available.

  • New emsctl list_agents Verb

    The new emsctl list_agents verb provides information about Management Agents that are communicating with Always-On Monitoring. Prior to a planned Enterprise Manager downtime, it is necessary for the Enterprise Manager administrator to know if all agents are uploading their alerts to the Always-On Monitoring service. The emsctl list_agents verb provides a count of the agents that have communicated with the Always-On Monitoring Service within the past hour, as well as the URL for each agent. This gives the Enterprise Manager administrator assurance that the agents are uploading their alerts to the Always-On Monitoring service prior to a planned Enterprise Manager downtime.

2.8 Cloud Management

2.8.1 Virtual Infrastructure Plug-in (13.2.1.0)

The Virtual Infrastructure Plug-in (13.2.1.0) works seamlessly with Oracle's latest server virtualization product, Oracle VM Release 3.4. 

Oracle VM is an enterprise-class server virtualization solution comprised of Oracle VM Server for x86, Oracle VM Server for SPARC, and Oracle VM Manager.  Oracle engineered the Oracle VM server virtualization and management solution to address the market segments of private cloud infrastructure within a corporate data center, or at a hosting site (managed cloud services) as well as cloud service providers.  Oracle VM enables virtual machines to be deployed, managed, and moved throughout Oracle’s public and private cloud infrastructure.

Oracle VM Release 3.4 delivers many important features and enhancements to enable rapid enterprise application deployment. The entire Oracle VM environment can be managed from within Oracle Enterprise Manager.  In addition, Oracle Enterprise Manager offers extended functionality beyond that of Oracle VM. 

2.8.2 Database Lifecycle Management on Compute Cloud

Administrators can now achieve complete automation on provisioning databases using locked down configurations along with binaries (Profile) on any Compute Service. Using out-of-box deployment procedures, they can also upgrade any existing databases running on Compute Cloud. Data cloning and refresh across clouds is available for secure (TDE enabled) databases via a context sensitive wizard based on library of backups (db_clone_managment emcli verb group) to Oracle Cloud, within Oracle Cloud, and from Oracle Cloud back to on-premise databases.

2.8.3 Extend DBaaS to Oracle Cloud

Cloud Administrators can design dedicated PaaS Infrastructure zones and database pools for provisioning databases through the Self Service Portal on Compute nodes. With Enterprise Manager version 13.2, creating pluggable databases on container database Cloud Service instances using published service templates is also supported.