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Oracle Thursday expanded its systems management ambitions for Oracle Enterprise Manager beyond its original focus of providing a single management console for multiple Oracle database systems.
Enterprise Manager 11g will manage Oracle applications, application servers, Fusion Middleware, and the Solaris operating system as well as database systems, Oracle President Charles Phillips announced Thursday during at press conference at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
In the past, systems management has consisted largely of monitoring hardware and software to check that it remains up and running. Enterprise Manager 11g will seek to monitor running systems to see what kind of user experience they are delivering. Are they responding within allowable response times? Are they sending application processing results or error messages?
"We can instrument that entire stack now We can connect what's in your IT stack and map it to business events," Phillips said. Enterprise Manager will provide Oracle customers with a management console that covers everything from the application to the disk drives, he added.
Oracle Real User Experience Insight in its 6.5 release is part of Enterprise Manager 11g and supplies performance and usage statistics on application transactions. It can also be used to generate artificial transactions to be run against the system.
Integrated diagnostics can supply a reading on the latter to assess a running application's remaining capacity. Real User Experience works with Siebel CRM, Oracle E-Business suite and Java-based applications, which would include Oracle's next-generation Fusion application due in the second half. Future monitoring of all these applications for the end user experience can be done from a single Enterprise Manager console.
Enterprise Manager 11g also includes business transaction management, with the system able to discover a transaction that cuts across the Web server, application server, applications and databases to provide visibility on how it is executing. In case of an issue, the system can be used for a "deep dive" through the transaction process to discover at what point it is encountering a problem, said Richard Sarwal, senior VP of product development.
Business transaction management in Enterprise Manager discovers transactions on its own and can identify long running transactions.
In addition to the transaction point of view, Enterprise Manager can deliver a business service analysis as well, in dashboards devoted to particular services. Sarwal demonstrated the technique with a multi-step transaction that was operating according to plan until it reached its "submit" step, where it would produce an error. The submit step invoked five different services, and Sarwal was able to illustrate that it was a fault in the shipping service that was disrupting operations.
Sarwal said Oracle will incorporate functions and features of Sun Microsystems' Ops Center acquisition as fast as it can to extend coverage to Solaris and other elements of Sun's technologies. Those features include the ability to sense temperatures and power usage in Sun hardware and to report on deviations from norms. The Exadata database machine already enjoys monitoring in that vein, he said.
Enteprise Manager 11g also recognizes and monitors in depth Oracle Linux as well as Solaris, and recognizes both OracleVM virtual machines and Sun Microsystems' virtual machines, which include those built using Sun's xVM hypervisor and those running under Solaris in Containers.
Phillips commented in his opening remarks that the launch of Enterprise Manager 11g gives Oracle a stronger footing from which it can "say why we did the Sun acquisition We are transitioning to the next major product phase."
The capabilities of Enterprise Manager 11g will be combined with Oracle's new approach to customer support, My Oracle Support, where Oracle maintains agents on customers' systems that report in daily to a support center.
Oracle will keep a knowledgebase of optimum configurations of its many systems and identify configurations that tend to produce problems. Customers will be advised of best practices and in some cases, My Oracle Support may be able to anticipate problems instead of reacting to them once they occur. "We need to know what you're actually running to give you our best advice We need to be pro-active," Phillips said.
In response to a question from InformationWeek, Sarwal said the agents and instruments embedded in the software for metric reporting purposes add 2-5% overhead to a system's operation.
The application management packs have been created for each application that draw information from and help manage it. With other vendors, systems management comes from a third party supplier that specializes in the field. At Oracle, the application teams which know the application best determine the parameters of systems management, claimed Phillips.
Enterprise Manager 11g is engineered to manage the Oracle Fusion Middleware Suite, including provisioning, configuration and change management of Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle SOA Suite.
Enterprise Manager 11g can manage multiple instances of Oracle 11g Release 2 and earlier versions, including change detection, compression, partitioning, diagnostics and tuning.