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Heterogeneous Data Center Management with Enterprise Manager 12c


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By Bryce Kaiser, Product Manager, Blue Medora

When I envision a perfect data center, it would consist of technologies acquired from a single vendor across the entire server, middleware, application, network, and storage stack - apps to disk - that meet your organization’s every IT requirement with absolute best-of-breed solutions in every category.   To quote a familiar motto, your data center would consist of "Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together."

In almost all cases, practical realities dictate something far less than the IT utopia mentioned above.   You may wish to leverage multiple vendors to keep licensing costs down, a single vendor may not have an offering in the IT category you need, or your preferred vendor may not have the solution that meets your needs.    In other words, your IT requirements dictate a heterogeneous IT environment.  Heterogeneity, however, comes with additional complexity. The following are two pretty typical challenges:

1) No End-to-End Visibility into the Enterprise Wide Application Deployment - Each vendor solution which is added to an infrastructure may bring its own tooling, thus creating different consoles for different vendor applications and platforms.

2) No Visibility into Performance Bottlenecks - When multiple management tools operate independently, you lose diagnostic capabilities, including the ability to identify cross-tier issues with the database, as well as hung-requests, slowness, memory leaks, and hardware errors/failures causing DB/MW issues. 

As adoption of Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM) has increased, especially since the release of Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle has seen an increase in the number of customers who want to leverage their investments in EM to manage non-Oracle workloads.  Enterprise Manager provides a single pane of glass view into their entire data center.  By creating a highly extensible framework via the Oracle EM Extensibility Development Kit (EDK), Oracle has provided the tooling for business partners such as my company Blue Medora as well as customers to easily fill gaps in the ecosystem and enhance existing solutions.  

As mentioned in a previous post on the Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange, customers have access to an assortment of Oracle and partner-provided solutions through this Exchange, which can be accessed at www.oracle.com/goto/emextensibility.  Currently, there are over 80 Oracle and partner-provided plug-ins across the EM 11g and EM 12c versions.  Blue Medora is one of those contributing partners, and you will find three of our solutions, including our flagship Plugin for VMware through the Exchange.

Let's look at Blue Medora’s Plugin for VMware as an example of what I'm trying to convey.  Here is a common situation solved by true visibility into your entire stack:

Symptoms
•    My database is bogging down; however, the database appears okay internally.  Maybe it’s starved for resources?
•    My OS tooling is showing everything is “okay.”  Something doesn’t add up.

Root cause
•    Through the VMware plugin we can see the problem is actually due to resource contention on the virtualization layer and is producing missed CPU cycles.

Solution
•    From within Enterprise Manager  - the same tool you use for all of your database tuning - we can overlay the data of the database target, host target, and virtual machine target for a true picture of the true root cause.

Simply put, Oracle Enterprise Manager boasts a growing ecosystem that provides the single pane of glass for your entire datacenter from the database and beyond. 


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