Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c R4 focuses on cloud, IT efficiency

Oracle announced Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4, an upgrade that offers new features for managing both enterprise stacks and private clouds.

Oracle this week released the latest version of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, the fourth release since the systems management software's debut in 2011. New features added in Release 4 include expanded capabilities for setting up and managing Oracle-based private clouds, and increased automation for the Oracle stack.

Dan Koloski, senior director of product management and business development for Oracle Enterprise Manager, explained the two major use cases that R4 targets. The first is companies looking to increase their efficiency and lower the amount of time IT staffers need to spend just to keep the lights on in Oracle systems environments; the second is companies looking for increased agility, including the ability to deliver computing services faster via the cloud.

With that in mind, R4 is optimized for Oracle technology and provides new and upgraded functionality for managing both traditional enterprise stack deployments and private cloud implementations.

The highlights include rapid-start kits that automate the setup of private clouds; they come with Oracle best practices built-in and feature "push-button" provisioning tools and speedy data cloning capabilities, Koloski said.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4 also offers a broader cloud service catalog than previous versions. The catalog acts as a point of entry for Oracle systems managers setting up private clouds. The cloud service catalog in R4 delivers self-service deployment of Oracle's Database as a Service with high availability -- a feature not available elsewhere -- as well as active failover and disaster recovery.

An extensible chargeback and usage metering feature is meant to be used internally for "transformational cultural change," Koloski said. IT managers can use it to demonstrate to business users the cost associated with their use of the private cloud. The new version of this feature has increased flexibility that allows companies to customize chargeback and metering processes to their own financial setups.

For organizations using Oracle Enterprise Manager for database management, an automatic workload repository (AWR) warehouse is one of the key new features in R4. The AWR warehouse is a data warehouse that provides a deep look at performance data. Creating an AWR warehouse can help with capacity planning, tracking changes over time, look-back diagnostics and performance tuning, Koloski said.

Enterprise data governance capabilities in the new release are designed to find sensitive data in Oracle databases, to make recommendations for masking the information, and to automatically handle the masking process. R4 also supports automated upgrading of databases, Koloski said. He added that the software was designed with the idea of making it "more efficient for people to manage their investment in Oracle."

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 4 also adds new middleware management capabilities. For instance, a Java Virtual Machine Diagnostics (JVMD) as a service feature makes the JVMD tool available to developers and DevOps teams, exposing IT staffers to it further upstream in the Java virtual machine development cycle.

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