Monday, August 27, 2007

What happened to 9i's OEM

I've been seeing this a lot, so here's the answer (I posted in the Oracle forums) in a nutshell ...

What is Oracle Enterprise Manager

OEM, Oracle Enterprise Manager, is a family of products designed to help monitor and administer Oracle products and other technology.

Some of the products in the 'family' include

Oracle8i Enterprise Manager
Oracle9i OEM [database] Console
Oracle9i OEM Management Server
Oracle10g Database Control
Oracle10g Application Server Control
Oracle10g Grid Control

In Oracle9i database, we used Oracle9i OEM [database] Console in either standalone or management server mode.

The successor to Oracle9i OEM [database] Console in standalone mode is Oracle10g Database Control

In Oracle9i database, the Management Server mode used
- a central repository,
- a central management server and
- database agents,
and this was accessed by
- Oracle9i OEM [database] Console in management server mode

In Oracle 10g, we now have additional products that are manageable using the Enterprise Manager family, and these are all visible through the Grid Control. From a database point of view, the Grid Control is successor to the Oracle9i Management Server stuff above

The Grid Control is a set of software that consists of
- a central repository,
- a central management server and
- host agents,
and is accessed by
- a web browser


The Packs

For many releases now, Oracle has been extending the functionality with add-on Packs. These packs are available at an extra cost. Two points about the cost:

1) In most cases, the packs are licensed against the product being monitored - not against Enterprise Manager;

2) The cost can often be justified, or at least offset, if one realistically looks at the scripts that are written and maintained (and re-maintained for every version and for every instance being administered). If one does not value their time, then the packs are expensive!

Although the Enterprise Manager controls are fairly useful without the Packs, the Packs make the difference. At the very least, the Diagnostics Pack is a real blessing in any multi-host, multi-product, multi-instance environment.

Gotchas


1) I really do not like the behaviour of the Application Server Control and Grid Control towards the Oracle Forms and Oracle Reports. As soon as Forms and/or Reports are included in the App Server, the Grid Control (10.2.0.2) shows 'down' even though all components are up. And the discovery of Reports servers feels like we are dealing with a poor and almost unwelcome cousin.

2) In 10g, the default behaviour is to turn on all Packs. But these cost extra money! So any Packs not used should be turned off by going to the Setup link in top right corner of any control, clicking on Management Pack Access, and turning the pack access off in the resulting page. After the access is off, the Enteprerise Manager will not provide access to the functionality - in most cases the functionality will not even appear.

3) The 10g Release 3 is actually only a major patch to 10g Release 2. That means you need to install 10gR2 and upgrade - there is no fresh 10gR3 install.



More Information

Several places to get more information:

1) As always, start at OTN

Overview: http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/oem/index.html
Self Help: http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/oem/tutorials/index.html

2) Docs (from http://docs.oracle.com)

Documentation: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B16240_01/welcome.html
and each product has it's own section as well

3) Education (from http://education.oracle.com)

Oracle U offers an excellent ILT course "Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control Release 2"



4) Pricing and Licensing

Use of database as Grid Control Repository is in Chapter 1 of the Database Licensing manual.

General Enterprise Manager Licensing Information

Pricing at http://store.oracle.com


My conclusion


The Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g is a pretty powerful family of tools. It is well worth learning. As with all tools of this sort, if you don;t spend the time to learn it well, you will simply not get the most out of it.

I've had no end of discussion with others about how product X does the same thing (in this area) or product Y has a better or more intuitive interface. Go for it - obviously those people have invested the time to learn those other products.

But, especially with the Extensibility capability and the number of new capabilities and packs, I suggest the Oracle Enterprise Manager is something to seriously investigate. (If investigation means 'click, click, click, it does not work', then it simply will not work for you )

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