New Features of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c

For those of you that have been wondering why I’ve been so quiet of recent times, it’s because my wife and I took advantage of a trip to England for UKOUG in December to spend nearly 5 weeks touring around Europe (2 weeks of which was spent river cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest with the fabulous APT river cruises, something I can HIGHLY recommend if you want to see Europe!). But while I might have been taking time off, you can bet the Enterprise Manager developers were not, with the result that Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c was released just before Christmas! That makes two releases in a row where Enterprise Manager is the first Oracle product to use a new major version number – EM 12.1.0.1 was the first product to use the version number 12, while EM 13.1.0.0 was the first product to use the version number 13!

So what’s the key new feature of EM13c?

Well, I guess that one could be argued, and everyone would have a different answer! But to me, the key new feature is something we’re calling “always on” monitoring. EM12c has really become the nerve centre of IT operations for many of our customers, and indeed is the tool that we use ourselves to monitor the millions (and I do literally mean millions) of targets in Oracle’s public cloud. When you’re looking at managing an IT operation that is that large, one that has to remain up and running around the clock, it can only be done by a tool that remains up and running during both planned and unplanned downtime windows. That’s what always on monitoring is about. It provides a way of receiving critical alerts out-of-band from agents while the OMS is down. That means you can patch the OMS but still continue to be alerted about critical events. You can learn more about always on monitoring and another neat little piece of functionality called system broadcast in this video.

So what’s the first new feature you’ll see?

Well, that’s easy. It’s the changes to the user interface (UI). Just when you get used to the EM12c UI, Oracle goes and changes it. 🙂 Actually, I think the changes are largely for the better. One of the first things you’ll notice is the new menus, which are placed together on the right hand side of the page – no more searching on both the left hand side and right hand side to find what you want (yay!). Overall, the UI has been updated to match that of a lot of other newer generation Oracle products, which means the focus is much more on presentation of the data so you can get to the information you need more quickly.

Other new features in EM13c

Of course, one new feature (no matter how cool) does not make a new release. Other areas that have great new functionality include (in no particular order):

  • Database Consolidation Workbench – this is a tool that provides the ability to perform database consolidation planning for various scenarios. It provides an end-to-end workflow comprised of three main parts:
    • What-if analysis on various consolidation scenarios: commodity to engineered systems, non-multitenant to multitenant databases and on-premises to Oracle Cloud.
    • The actual consolidation process by integrating with the relevant provisioning functionality
    • Post consolidation testing to ensure there is no regression, using SQL Performance Analyzer (more commonly known as SPA)
    • You can find out more about the Consolidation Workbench by watching this video.

  • Notification Blackouts – Unlike normal blackouts that suppress monitoring on targets in order to perform maintenance operations on those targets, notification blackouts are solely for suppressing the notification on a target while the agent continues to monitor the target. The OMS shows the actual target status, along with a message that the target is under notification blackout. More details on this functionality can be found by watching this video.
  • Flexible Database Access Control – one request we’ve been receiving for a long time is to enable fine grained access control for database targets. Some of this functionality came in EM12c, and has been enhanced in EM13c. Fine grained access control allows the segregation of duties among the different roles performed in IT. For example, a developer may be allowed to tune the application but not patch the underlying database. EM13c enables fine grained privileges for controlling access to these types of features. Again, you can find more details on this functionality by watching this video.
  • Configuration Drift Management – in terms of cloud management, one of the key focus areas of the EM13c release is the ability to manage configuration drift at scale. This feature allows administrators to proactively spot the “needle in the haystack” among the hundreds and thousands of members that can constitute a cloud or even across multiple clouds. Again, you can find more details on this functionality by watching this video.
  • Hardware and Virtualization Management – Ever since we acquired Sun, we’ve had two systems management tools – EM and OpsCenter. EM13c goes a long way towards integrating the OpsCenter functionality into EM. That means you can now drill down to infrastructure problems more easily. You can also publish hardware layer incidents to 3rd party ticketing systems using the connector framework, an enhancement that hardware customers have been after for a long time. More details on all of this can be found in this video.
  • JVM Diagnostics – Java Workload Explorer is a JVM diagnostics feature that enables you to investigate causes for slowness in your Java applications. Java Workload Explorer presents a time and resource model, time by resource, and resource utilization. More detail on Java Workload Explorer can be found in this video.

Obviously there’s a bunch more that I could allude to as well, so for the complete list have a look at the doc.

More information

There are, of course, a lot of places you can go to for more information, starting with the EM13c documentation. But there have also been quite a number of useful posts by others while I was off swanning around Europe. Some (but by no means all) of these are:

There are also a bunch of articles by Rob Zoeteweij at his website, so Rob clearly has too much time on his hands as well! 🙂

Well, there you go. That should be enough to get you well and truly started. If you have any questions, or need any help installing 13c or upgrading your 12c environment to 13c, let me know via email.

Pete

After 22 years of working at Oracle in just about every role except Marketing and Support, I am now working as a Senior Managed Services Consultant with Data Intensity, specializing in Oracle Database technology, High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions. I am also a member of the OakTable Network, and have presented at RMOUG Training Days, Hotsos Symposia, Oracle OpenWorld conferences, and other user group events. I have co-authored the Expert Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and Practical Oracle Database Appliance books published by Apress, and am one of the authors of the Building Database Clouds in Oracle Database 12c book published by Addison Wesley.

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