Oracle Database 12c Manageability—Answers to Your Common Questions

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Since the launch of Oracle Database 12c, we at Oracle have received several questions about the new management capabilities built into Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. Here are the answers to some of your more common questions. Enjoy!

Question: How does data masking differ from data redaction?

Data Redaction, which is part of Oracle Database 12c Advanced Security's product portfolio, provides selective, on-the-fly redaction of sensitive data in query results prior to display by applications so that unauthorized users cannot view the sensitive data. It enables consistent redaction of database columns across application modules accessing the same data. Data Redaction minimizes changes to applications because it does not alter actual data in internal database buffers, caches, or storage, and it preserves the original data type and formatting when transformed data is returned to the application. Whereas Data Masking, which is part of Oracle Data Masking Pack, allows DBAs and testers to "mask" sensitive and valuable information and replace it with realistic values for QA and testing purposes. This allows production data to be safely used for development, testing, and outsourced/off-shore partners or other non-production purposes. Read the Data Redaction whitepaper and read the Oracle Data Masking whitepaper.

Question: What is EM Express?

Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Express, or simply EM Express is embedded inside the database and is auto-configured at the time of installation. With only a 20 MB disk footprint, there is no resource usage when EM Express is not invoked or used. Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Express can manage both single instance and Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) databases. The tool also has built-in support for container databases (CDBs). Along with in-depth support for performance management features, Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Express can be used for configuration management, storage management and security management.

Question: Does each pluggable database (PDB) have its own EM Express? How do you make sure EM Express is not installed with every 12c database?

Yes. You can setup EM Express for each pluggable database. EM Express is installed by default. If you do not want to use it then do not set the XDB http/https port. Read the introduction to EM Express.

Question: How do you use EM Express to monitor pluggable databases?

EM Express can be invoked at the root container or inside a PDB. So either a container database administrator (CDBA) or a pluggable database administrator (PDBA) can use EM Express to monitor and manage a pluggable database. Read the introduction to EM Express.

Question: Do you use EM Express and EM cloud control at same time? What's the difference?

You can use both EM Express and EM Cloud Control on the same database. EM Express is built inside the database while EM Cloud Control uses an agent to monitor the database. Read the documentation.

Question: In order to use EM Express functionality in Oracle Database 12c, do you need to have the database packs installed?

Although the basic administration features (configuration, security, storage management) are included in EM Express, the performance management features such as, Performance Hub and SQL Tuning Advisor are licensed separately by Oracle Diagnostics Pack and Oracle Tuning Pack.

Question: Is EM Express available for Oracle Database Standard Edition?

Yes. EM Express is available for Oracle Database 12c Standard Edition. Read more.

Question: Can you do metering and chargeback in EM Express?

No. You cannot do metering and chargeback in EM Express. Metering and chargeback functionally is built into Oracle Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database and can be used with delivering database as a service (DBaaS). Read the Delivering Database as a Service whitepaper for more details.

Question: Will EM Express be able to manage Data Guard?

No. There are no Data Guard management capabilities in EM Express.

Question: Can we create reports using metric extensions in EM Express?

No. You cannot create reports using metric extensions in EM Express.

Question: Can we use our existing Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g to monitor and manage Oracle Database 12c?

No. You cannot use Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g to manage Oracle Database 12c. In order to take advantage of all the new capabilities you will need to upgrade to Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c (Release 3) and use database plug-in

Question: Which previous database versions are compatible with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c?

Please check the support matrix in My Oracle Support as the information is updated regularly.

Question: Which versions of Oracle Database can be used with the Consolidated Database Replay feature?

You can use the Consolidated Database Replay on Oracle Database and above. Please see My Oracle Support Note 1453789.1.

Question: We are using both Oracle Database 10g and 11g, we are trying to consolidate onto Oracle Database 12c, what is your recommendation?

We recommend using Oracle Real Application Testing to thoroughly test your consolidation. Learn more about using SQL Performance Analyzer to do unit testing of your SQLs' for response time and consider using Consolidated Database Replay to test your consolidation on Oracle Database 12c for throughput and scalability. You can capture workload on Oracle Database 10g and 11g and use Consolidated Database Replay on Oracle Database 12c. For more information on upgrading, be sure to visit the Oracle Database 12c upgrade page on the Oracle Technology Network.

Question: Do we still need the management server and agent running on every box if we upgrade to Oracle Database 12c?

Yes. The architecture used by Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c remains the same and is independent of your upgrade to Oracle Database 12c.

Question: When using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c (not EM Express), is a separate agent still needed to monitor and collect stats on the instances and hosts?


Question: Are there Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c agents available for Oracle Solaris?

Yes. Read more.

Question: Is Enhanced Real-time ADDM only for Oracle Database 12c or can you use it for previous versions?

Enhanced Real-Time ADDM is only available with Oracle Database 12c. Read the data sheet.

Question: Is ADDM integrated into the database or is it a database option?

For ADDM you need to license Oracle Diagnostics Pack.

Question: Several of our applications deal with spikes of activity as a norm, for example, we would get a file every 15 minutes and then process it. So spikes in our systems are normal. How does the new Enhanced Real-time ADDM work to spot the performance spikes?

Enhanced Real-Time ADDM uses a built-in algorithm to detect performance spikes. The current state of the database is evaluated against 9 different criteria (CPU, Memory, I/O, etc.) to determine whether there is a performance problem with your database.

Question: What's the difference between DBAs, PDBAs, and CDBAs?

The database administrator in the multitenant world has two new roles. The Container Database Administrator (CDBA) is responsible for the entire database which holds or contains pluggable databases. The Pluggable Database Administrator (PDBA) is responsible for individual pluggable databases servicing a specific application. For more information read the Oracle Multitenant whitepaper.

Question: To monitor batch jobs, where multiple sessions could be created, how is the batch job identified for monitoring?

Real-Time Database Operations monitoring doesn't’ support multi session yet. However if your batch job uses a single session you can set this job for monitoring via bracketing (i.e. begin operation and end operation).

Question: For the new multitenant architecture, how are resources (i.e. CPU, I/O, memory) handled among pluggable databases? Will there be memory set aside or capped for each PDB? How do you isolate PDBs for one another?

You can allocate CPU resources across pluggable databases via resource management plans. Memory management across PDBs is not yet supported. Read the documentation.

Question: For pluggable databases (PDBs), do you apply database patches to specific PDBs or do you apply the patches to the entire container database?

Database patches should be applied to the entire container database. Read the Oracle Multitenant whitepaper and watch the Pluggable Lifecycle Management demo for more information.