Many of our company’s customers have multiple databases. Thus they often need help determining how to consolidate them, monitor them and move forward with their business plans. I bring insight to these customers by showing them how to optimize their IT environments. When it comes to helping customers identify best practices, 90 percent of the time I end up talking about Oracle Enterprise Manager. Many of these customers have adopted Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c as their primary monitoring platform.
I recall a situation with an Atlanta-based tax services company that required extremely high availability during the busy tax season (approximately December 15 and April 15). We had to uphold very strict service level agreements that carried serious penalties and huge financial implications. An unscheduled outage of one hour leads to a $1 million fine. Previously this company used five separate monitoring tools, which was causing extra effort for system administrators and was a source of concern regarding unplanned down time. I spent a few days helping these administrators understand the full potential of a centralized monitoring and management solution based on Oracle Enterprise Manager. It took some convincing and it came down to setting them up with a prototype for the next tax season. Using the new system, they had zero problems and were impressed with the stability. After that, they decided to standardize on Oracle Enterprise Manager as their system management foundation going forward.
I implemented the Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Lifecycle Management Pack, complete with the configuration and change management features, simplifying the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance work necessary for this company’s large government customers. Now they can see what is changing in their environment all the time, which gives them a real-time glimpse into the security of the database. This company’s senior management admitted that without Oracle Enterprise Manager their tax season would not have gone successfully. Day and night, if there were issues, we were notified and we resolved problems immediately.
My take on OEM 12c is that I especially like the performance tuning features since they let DBAs identify problems very quickly. The real time ADDM (Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor) and associated reports let me drill down into these issues without having to prepare snapshots. I can identify and resolve issues immediately. I also likes the Oracle Enterprise Manager Consolidation Planner, which I find to be an extremely flexible and valuable tool. For example, if a client wants to move to an Oracle Exadata system, you can use the Oracle Enterprise Manager Consolidation Planner to identify precisely how big of an engineered system that client will need. This tool simplifies requirements gathering when you are consolidating to engineered systems.
I recommend Oracle Enterprise Manager because today’s DBAs are being asked to do more with the tools and resources that we are given, to drive change within the organization so that IT teams are more knowledgeable and efficient. Oracle Enterprise Manager empowers database administrators to resolve problems quickly—to identify bottlenecks and pinpoint performance issues. Many DBAs still like the command line, but in my experience the GUI makes it twice as fast to resolve issues. This insight is especially helpful at the outset of a project. Too often DBAs don’t get called in until the end of the development cycle, as somebody who can run the database. But ideally they should have input on the front end of that cycle, while there is still time to identify issues with the SQL code or with other aspects of the hardware or software infrastructure. DBAs can drive the changes that optimize applications and make databases run better.
I believe some Oracle customers are slow to adopt cloud models simply because they don’t realize that Oracle Enterprise Manager can help pave the way. It’s an enterprise tool, not just a database tool. Once organizations understand that Oracle Enterprise Manager can help them manage their whole stack they will realize how much it can help in the context of deploying and managing clouds. Deploying a private cloud is often the first step towards a database as a service environment in which developers can provision databases themselves via a self-service portal. This model has the potential to fundamentally change the way developers do things. You can click a button and clone a database. This will shorten the development cycle, especially with Oracle Database 12c, which lets you provision a pluggable database quickly from a multitenant architecture. Developers can provision what they need and move on. I believe that championing these database as a service environments will elevate the role of DBAs. They can lead their organizations to embrace a new type of fast, efficient provisioning. This will make DBAs more important to the development cycle and push them to the front-end of many projects.