Exploring the features of Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c

Cloud Control, a feature of Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c, can be used to monitor and manage databases, middleware, infrastructure and hardware running on-premises or in the cloud.

Oracle Enterprise Manager provides administration and performance management capabilities for Oracle Database and other heterogeneous databases. This includes database change and configuration management, patching, provisioning, testing, data masking, and data subsetting.

The latest version, Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c Release 1, offers Cloud Control, a single pane of glass for monitoring and managing databases, middleware, infrastructure, and hardware running on-premises or in the cloud. The product enables access to the built-in performance features of Oracle Database.

Oracle offers two add-on packs for database performance management: Oracle Tuning Pack for Oracle Database and Oracle Diagnostics Pack for Oracle Database. These packs guide the user through the performance tuning process using wizards and advisors. The Oracle Tuning Pack for Oracle Database automates performance tuning via real-time monitoring of database operations and built-in tuning advisors. Database administrators (DBAs) can use Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c with the Tuning Pack to capture important performance metrics, including elapsed time, CPU time, number of reads and writes, and I/O wait time.

The SQL Tuning Advisor automates the SQL tuning process by exploring all tuning possibilities to deliver optimally performing SQL statements. The SQL Tuning Advisor can analyze database statistics, profile SQL, review access paths, examine SQL structures and review alternative SQL access plans.

The Oracle Tuning Pack also delivers the Database In-Memory Advisor that looks at your workload and recommends which database objects to move to the In-Memory column store to improve performance.

Database reorganization, which is also part of the Oracle Tuning Pack, helps users manage space usage, remove wasted space, rebuild fragmented indexes, relocate objects to another tablespace or recreate objects with optimized storage characteristics.

The other Oracle EM add-on pack, the Diagnostics Pack for Oracle Database, provides an array of real-time, automatic performance diagnostics and monitoring functionality that can be used on one or multiple databases.

Using the Diagnostics Pack, DBAs can identify and improve a slowly performing or hung system. Oracle Diagnostics Pack is powered by Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM), a diagnostics engine built into the Oracle Database kernel. ADDM focuses on the activities that the database is spending the most time on and drills down into a problem classification tree to determine the root causes of problems.

Oracle Diagnostics Pack uses a built-in repository within Oracle Database called Automatic Workload Repository (AWR), which contains operational statistics captured into snapshots at regular intervals. AWR stores the historical performance details on how the database is being used. It delivers a moving, eight-day baseline out-of-the-box, which can be customized as needed. AWR baselines are used to compare current system performance to a historical period. Additionally, the information in the AWR can be stored for longer periods of time in the AWR Warehouse, a performance data warehouse for the Oracle system and applications.

The Diagnostics Pack also captures the current state of all active sessions every second and stores this information in memory as part of its Active Session History capability. The in-memory data can be accessed by a V$ view and is pushed into AWR every hour for performance diagnostics.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c manages other databases

Oracle EM can also be used to manage database systems other than Oracle Database. Oracle and its partners support a wide array of plug-ins that can be used to extend the capabilities of Oracle Enterprise Manager. This includes Oracle offerings such as TimesTen and MySQL, as well as non-Oracle products such as IBM DB2, Sybase ASE, Microsoft SQL Server, and NoSQL DBMSes such as HBase and MongoDB. In addition, nondatabase resources can be managed using Oracle Enterprise Manager. This includes servers, networks, storage and frameworks. A complete list of supported plug-ins can be found on the Oracle Enterprise Manager Extensibility Exchange.

The performance management features differ for each of the DBMSes supported, so it's important that the specific functionality for each DBMS be reviewed thoroughly if Oracle EM will be used for any DBMS other than Oracle Database.

Oracle EM licensing, pricing and support

Base functionality is delivered with the Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c product, and add-on functionality must be licensed separately, including the two packs mentioned above and the plug-ins for managing other DBMS products.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c can be licensed for use on-site or in the cloud. Oracle offers several levels of support, including standard, 24/7 premier and advanced. Online support is available via the web and mobile devices.

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