What is our primary use case?
Our primary use is to administer the different databases we have, development, UATs, and production databases. We use it to have a central environment so we can make policies for all users; whether the passwords have expired or not.
The reason we have this is because before, let’s say I had 10 to 12 databases. I had to go to each server and log in to the enterprise manager, and do this job on each server. Another of our concerns that this helps us address is to get notifications regarding if the space is, let’s say, 80% used. In that case, I need it to send me a notification so I can maintain; or on the host level where our systems are, to have alert notifications regarding space or CPUs.
Our main use of Enterprise Manager is on the database level.
How has it helped my organization?
Using Enterprise Manager, I was able to create user profiles for all the instances that have the same profile. Secondly, it's easier to manage performance, to automate the AWR reports to run every half an hour, or hour. Then, if you have a performance issue you just open the report and you can see what was running the last one hour, the SQL statements, or what was causing the performance issues. And, of course, the alerts.
What is most valuable?
The most important, of course, is the monitoring feature, because we want to monitor the host and the databases.
Of course, that you can manage and create the backup strategies from a central environment for all your environments, so you don’t have to do so on each database. You can set up the policy you want for each database, but you do it from a central environment.
And, of course, the notifications, if the backup succeeded or not.
What needs improvement?
Because all our banking infrastructure is based on Oracle, I’ve tried to register Enterprise Manager on the middleware level, let's say, WebLogic applications. But I cannot say that I can do all the administration from Enterprise Manager, that I can do from the WebLogic Admin Console. So, I think here it needs some improvement: Things that you can do on the WebLogic Admin Console, you should be able to do them on the Enterprise Manager, so you don’t have to log into the Admin Console.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
No issues with stability, really.
Sometimes the alerts are coming a bit late, for example, an alert for the CPU. It depends on the threshold that you have, how long you want to check the CPU of the machine. I got some faulty alerts with Data Guard. I had stopped a synchronization for maintenance and then I re-synchronized Oracle Data Guard. It took some time to appear in Enterprise Manager and send me the right notification that Data Guard was up and running and synchronizing. I realized this because I went directly into the database to check the status of Data Guard, and it was telling me that it was running okay. But in Enterprise Manager, it needed some more time to update the interface. It doesn’t happen really often, that I get faulty alerts or late alerts.
Another example is when the database is down and then you start the database, it needs some time to load everything from the database. I don’t know if some maintenance can be done on the agent side that is installed on the database server. But the lack that I'm seeing might be from 20 seconds to two minutes. It depends.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I cannot think of any scalability issues.
How are customer service and technical support?
In general, we have experience with Oracle support. For some things they are giving us solutions quickly. For some other cases they need more time, but for Enterprise Manager specifically, I have never used Oracle support.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I used Oracle Grid Control 10 a few years ago, as a consultant, and it was very useful. So when I came here and we started having more and more environments, I said, “Okay, the only way to manage all these environments is to have Oracle Enterprise Manager." And it’s impressive how much better Oracle 13c is, how much improved it is over Oracle Grid Control 10.
How was the initial setup?
The installation, I think is, straightforward. It's not very, very complex.
You need some background on the order, what you have to install first and what second, and you need to check which versions of support that will be your back-end or WebLogic. But if you have a bit of background and you go through the main Oracle Database to get the versions that you need, I think there's no issue with installation.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We are using the free version. We are not using any licensed packages of Enterprise Manager, so I’m not quite sure how much each package is. As I understand it, there are different plug-ins that you need to buy for Enterprise Manager, but I’m not sure how much they cost.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
The only solution I could think of was Oral Enterprise Manager because our infrastructure is based on Oracle.
What other advice do I have?
To implement, you need to have a good server with a reasonable CPU, and good RAM on the server. You need to check the configurations that need to be done on each database where you want to install the Oracle agent, so it will be automatic; you need to make some changes on the host, the host that you want to register. I don’t think there is anything else complex in order to do this.
I would rate this product an eight out of 10. To be a 10 it needs to be more viable for using it for middleware software.