Oracle Enterprise Manager Review

Represents the best of the breed. Very powerful product and should be used to automate more key DBA type tasks.

What is our primary use case?

We use OEM for managing Production, Test and Development environments. It provides a centralized location for proactively administering all database components with the ability to do much more.

How has it helped my organization?

SQL Tuning allows massive performance gains behind the scenes in order to more easily troubleshoot the most complex SQL statements. The use of SQL Profiles and creating SQL Baselines, makes improving SQL performance a less time consuming exercise. We've developed a number of monthly metrics we use to show our customer performance and any potential bottlenecks. In addition, we have set up a number of alerts for quickly addressing potential issues.

What is most valuable?

SQL Tuning Advisor, ADDM, Top Activity, ASM Space Manager, Incident Notifications. The ability to identify performance bottlenecks and make an immediate impact can serve as a significant contribution to Database Administers which saves time and resources.

What needs improvement?

Patching. It's extremely difficult to determine what requires patching and the process to patch each component is slightly different. In desperate need of a single patch or a simplified process at a minimum. OEM 13c is out and we have it installed. There seems to be some potential bugs associated with implementing third party certificates and the Tuning Advisor so just something to consider before upgrading. 

One new issue came up recently. We upgraded to 12.2 and went with a container/pdb model for each database. After doing so, some of the functionality gets a little tricky with OEM. For some things you need to be in the PDB to work and for other things you need to be in the cdb$root. You can create SQL Profiles through OEM but dropping them through OEM has become a point in futility. Instead, we are doing more manual SQL Tuning Advisor functional through sqlplus which works well.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than nine years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

OEM is a very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not an issue with OEM. It can support a number of targets and target types without sacrificing performance.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used cron jobs and custom scripts for some of the capability. However, many of those scripts are no longer necessary.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not too painful with as there's good documentation on it. Earlier versions presented some challenges and sometimes required opening a SR to cut through some of the confusion.

What about the implementation team?


What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The initial setup was probably a couple of hours of installation time. Besides applying the quarterly patches which takes 2 - 4 hours (we have two Cloud Control environments) another "cost" is hardware resources on a VM. There are a few bugs with the software which require opening SRs with Oracle Support which contribute to the day-to-day cost. Perhaps 8 hours per month is spent dealing with support, just as a rough guess. I would highly recommend the Tuning and Diagnostic Packs for OEM to greatly aid performance tuning with come with additional licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also have Foglight and AppDynamics in house. Foglight will be going away and from my perspective, it doesn't offer any real value over what Cloud Control can provide. AppDynamics offers some nice capabilities in terms of drill down and identifying bottlenecks. I would say it's better about determining the root cause of a problem especially if the root cause is with the application code. However, if the problem is on the database side, Cloud Control will provide through the Advisors ways of fixing the problem which AppDynamics can not do.

What other advice do I have?

The product is very powerful and should be used to automate more key DBA type tasks. Performance tuning bad SQL becomes extremely simplified as long as you leverage the out of box capabilities and you have purchased the Tuning and Diagnostic Pack. Those are a must have to really take advantage of the capabilities.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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author avatarit_user74154 (IT Administrator at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees)

As a DBA, OEM has really redefined proactivity.

OEM gives me a single command centre from which to manage the whole Oracle infrastructure.

Starting off, getting some things done takes some time and work but it's worth it.

Chris is spot on, describing some of my experiences, and I also agree with his view on the ROI.
One demerit though, is the addition of third party targets. The process of adding a Microsoft server for example, is complex and I had to open an SR for that.