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SQL Monitoring and ASH Analytics in Oracle Enterprise Manager: Q&A with Edward Whalen


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Edward Whalen, an Oracle ACE and the Chief Technologist at Performance Tuning Corporation (www.perftuning.com), was recently featured in an Oracle Enterprise Manager SIG webinar about Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. Here, he shares his thoughts about the significance of the features provided in the latest release of Enterprise Manager and why they are important to Oracle users.

Why are you interested in Enterprise Manager 12c?
EW: Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control is the latest and greatest Enterprise Manager product from Oracle. In terms of lifecycle management, in terms of managing the database, and in terms of just managing the whole enterprise, it has got some great features.

In the webcast, I focused on the performance management tools within the Oracle Database, which are ASH Analytics and SQL Monitoring. The reason I was asked to participate is that Oracle Press actually just published a book that I wrote on this topic with my colleagues, Michael New and Matthew Burke, titled, “Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Deep Dive.”

Do you use Enterprise Manager?

EW: I use this technology all the time. I am a database consultant and I mainly focus on performance problems as well as implementations and data migrations, so I use technologies such as Oracle GoldenGate, Data Guard, and Oracle RAC. Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c really provides a lot of capabilities for managing these features of Oracle and gives you the ability to not only manage but monitor and set up alerting. I implement, configure and manage Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c for a number of customers. I love Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. I am a huge fan of the product.

Do your customers find it helpful?

EW: It is extremely useful. The database administrator’s main task in life is to keep the database up and running. So being able to set up proactive alerts and proactive monitoring and pinpoint when something is happening before the user community is calling to complain about it, is really essential to DBAs in order to provide a really great level of service for their customers and end users.

How did Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c evolve as a product?

EW: The 12c version of Oracle Enterprise Manager actually came out a full year before the 12c version of the database. The version 12c of Enterprise Manager doesn’t require the 12c version of the database and, in fact, 12c can manage and monitor not only 12c databases but 11g databases, 10g, 9i, and so forth. Prior to Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, the product was called Oracle Grid Control. Version 10 and version 11 of Oracle Grid Control have been out there for awhile and then with version 12c, Oracle named it Cloud Control.

The new feature for performance monitoring and performance tuning is a feature only available in Oracle Enterprise Manager called ASH Analytics.  ASH stands for Active Session History so ASH Analytics is what I covered in the webinar – showing how it allows you to dig into what is actually happening in your system on a per-session level even to the point of allowing you to isolate which session and which SQL statement is using the most I/O, or has the greatest CPU utilization, or which ones are holding the most locks.  I am able to dig into those details with the ASH Analytics tool and that is a new feature that was not available in the earlier versions of Grid Control.

How long have you been a member of the IOUG?

EW: More than 15 years.

What has your experience been?

EW: I love the IOUG. I especially like the IOUG presentations at COLLABORATE because they provide more of the actual down and dirty database administration – really technical information. If you want to learn something about Oracle products and learn about how the DBAs work and what kind of things they run into, you tend to find more about that at COLLABORATE.

What is it that you will be looking for more information on at Oracle OpenWorld this year?

EW: I am mainly looking forward to getting more information about the new features in Oracle 12c Database. I also work quite a lot with Oracle GoldenGate and I know they are making a lot of improvements there, so I am planning on attending a few of those sessions as well.

View the replay in the IOUG EM SIG Community’s File Library.  You must login with your IOUG user name and password.

Join the IOUG at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.


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