For us, the most valuable feature is really the ability to monitor. We're using Enterprise Manager to monitor our database infrastructure. Whenever we create a database, we'll apply those templates, and it will monitor. Database will send alerts and create instances that will allow our team to be both reactive and proactive and use some of the warnings that it brings us. We're using it a lot for that -- the ability to do performance tuning, using the OEM, the ability to create different reporting, the ability to be able to get some suggestions from the OEM, in terms of the database performance.
The tool also gives us the ability to create reports for a set of databases, or a set of applications, such that we can create a daily report, weekly report, monthly report, whatever you want, to know about the performance utilization of that group of databases or specific databases.
That's really the key advantage of Enterprise Manager. Although we're using it for Database, the tool has enhancements to provide benefits to an entire IT shop in terms of monitoring and managing the entire IT infrastructure.
Improvements to My Organization
As with any organization, before we embark on anything, we have to look at the ROI as well as the ability of a particular tool. Enterprise Manager gives us a tool that's fast and reliable for monitoring and managing our whole IT infrastructure. We're a mutual fund company, so speed is really key in providing satisfactory customer service. The performance and functionality of Enterprise Manager has been huge for us.
Room for Improvement
The latest release, 13c, which I think came out in December, has additional enhancements in the areas of security, management, creation of users, and different level of functionality. It's much better than before, which was very limited and the majority of users created with the tool were forced to have more privilege than they should have. We're currently working on upgrading to 13c, and I'm looking forward to seeing whether that will apply for our environment.
Deployment has been fine. There have been no issues.
With Enterprise Manager, you've got a tool that's providing end-to-end administration and monitoring of your IT infrastructure. The tool, therefore, has to have a very smooth way to configuring so that it is highly available. This, of course, plays a very important role in functionality because you don't want the tool to be a single point of failure.
So Oracle has claimed that they've enhanced that part of Enterprise Manager. For me, that's important because as a data architect, I play a lot of roles and I've been able to configure the tool to have four nines of High Availability. If you have a tool that you depend on for monitoring and administrating your entire IT infrastructure, the last thing you want is for it to have an level of unavailability.
It's scaled to our needs.
Customer Service and Technical Support
We have premier support from Oracle, so we have a very good relationship with technical support.
Right now, the only complexity is setting up our environment for High Availability so that we can scale it and have it highly available not just within the same data center but spanning to multiple, different locations. That's the only tricky part because it involves additional products from other companies, like Cisco and F5. So for us, setting up a standalone, vanilla Oracle Enterprise Manager is a very, very small part. It's because we have to set up the large, diverse environment with maximum-availability architecture that it's been a challenge for us.
One piece of advice is just why, if you don’t have Oracle Enterprise Manager, you aren't taking advantage of it. I assume your DBA's might be spending extra hours and off hours, and if you set up and deploy Enterprise Manager the right way, you will see at least a 50% decrease in unnecessary, mundane work.