Posts Tagged ‘Simon Haslam’

clip_image002

Had I been working in Operations and on-call at an organisation using Java Cloud Service then it appeared I may well have been rudely woken up last night! At around 2am in the UK this email innocently dropped into my mail box:

This warning of an impending outage to Java Cloud Service was closely followed by one for Database Cloud Service. Judging by the email – “during the maintenance your services will be unavailable” – it seems an hour and a half later the instance failure notifications (from Enterprise Manager or Nagios etc) would have probably started coming in.

Then at 4:36am I had an email to say my JCS was now available again, and 5:11am to say my DBCS was too so, a total outage according to the emails of just under 2 hours. However when it happened all of my Java and Database test instances (test) were down already but as far as I can tell no changes were actually made to them (they were not started up for example) – be sure to read my conclusions at the end of this post!

What’s New?

So this evening I’ve been having a good look round. The most obvious first change is that you can provision new domains with WebLogic 12.1.3.0.4, and existing full JCS ones (i.e. the ones including ‘cloud tooling’ for patching) have the following patches available: Read the complete article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

Blog Twitter LinkedIn Forum Wiki

 

Last week I spent a few days in Oslo with SYSCO, O-box’s partner in Norway, as they had kindly invited me to speak in the middleware track of their SYSCO Energy Days event.

clip_image001Between SYSCO and I we covered topics on automated provisioning, why O-box chose Chef, enterprise deployment, O-box & ODA (me, of course), and SYSCO’s SOA 12c upgrade experiences. There were plenty of discussions too with other companies sharing their Fusion Middleware experiences. All told it was a very interesting and constructive day.

We also had a very nice dinner, including performances by a Norwegian musical/comedy double-act. Whilst the jokes (in Norwegian) went over my head, the musical numbers from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “He Ain’t heavy” were very entertaining, not least the audience participation! Read the complete article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

Blog Twitter LinkedIn Forum Wiki

 

clip_image003There’s no doubt that "the cloud" is coming, even in the relatively conservative world of mission-critical Oracle platforms.

At the end of 2012 I took a trial of what was then "Java (or WebLogic) as a Service" (now known as "SaaS Extension"). Back then I wasn’t hugely impressed – yes, I could deploy a simple web app, but the WebLogic environment was very heavily constrained and almost entirely hidden from the administrator – no WebLogic console, no WLST, minimal logs. As a result as soon as I tried to deploy something non-trivial, in this case Apache Roller (the software running this blog), I ran into all sorts of class white-list issues and with little debug information so I quickly gave up in despair!

Anyway here we are, over 2 years later, and Oracle’s latest "Java Cloud Service" (JCS) is looking far more promising, so here are my initial impressions of what I’ve seen and read. First things first: JCS comes in 3 variants:

  • Java Cloud Service – SaaS Extension: essentially this is product I tried previously which is now targetted at extending Oracle’s SaaS applications (including cloud-based Oracle Fusion Applications), presumably with relatively simple ADF apps.
  • Java Cloud Service – Virtual Image: this is a single instance WebLogic VM intended for development use and simple testing.
  • Java Cloud Service: the "full" version (Oracle doesn’t seem to have a distinct name to differentiate it) which can be clustered and is designed for production workloads.

For this article I’m only going to focus on the last of these options, i.e. fully clustered WebLogic with root level access to the VMs but automated provisioning and management provided by Oracle! clip_image001

Pricing

Before we get into too much technical detail, let’s get an idea of pricing for a single, production-grade environment. To keep it simple I’m going to make some assumptions:

  1. I need WebLogic Suite for all its various benefits, as well as the option to run SOA Suite, etc.
  2. I’m only considering a 2 node cluster of 2 x 2 vCPU (or 2 x 4 vCPU) running in a single data centre.
  3. The cluster is of static specification and running 24/7 for a year.
  4. I need a load balancer to front my cluster and for SSL termination.

Oracle has come up with a term called the Oracle (OCPU) for billing purposes. 1 OCPU equates to the "CPU capacity of an Intel Xeon E5-2600 … processor core with hyper threading enabled. Each OCPU corresponds to two hardware execution threads, known as vCPUs." Elsewhere (I can’t find it now) I’ve seen it called a "2012 model 3.0 GHz Xeon core", which would be an E5-26xx (v1) processor, though, like Amazon EC2, I suspect there will be some variability – if you’re lucky you might "land" on a new E5-26xx v3-based server. Very sensibly Oracle are allocating those vCPUs from the same cores (see below) – modern hyper-threading gives you a performance boost but it’s a long way from double the single core performance, and having vCPUs on hyper-threads on different, fully populated, cores would be very bad for performance.

The virtual machines, aka instances, come in what Oracle called "shapes". A shape is a very similar concept to Amazon’s EC2 instance type and describes fixed vCPU/memory permutations. There’s a full table of VM shapes here but, for this article, we’re interested in the following:

  • OC3: 2 vCPU, 7.5 GB => 1 OCPU (general purpose)
  • OC1M: 2 vCPU, 15 GB => 1 OCPU (high memory)
  • OC2M: 4 vCPU, 30 GB => 2 OCPU (high memory)

Read the complete article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

Blog Twitter LinkedIn Forum Wiki

Today, as part of the "Next Generation of Oracle Engineered Systems" webcast,  Larry Ellison launched the new X5 systems. This bullishly-titled post attempts to summarise what’s new specifically with the ODA X5-2, and what’s most important, especially for those using ODA Virtualized Platform (ODA VP) to build entire Oracle infrastructures as an appliance.

We’ve known since last September when Intel released the Haswell-EP processors (the E5-2600 v3 models) that there would likely be refreshes to many of Oracle’s engineered systems. However for this year’s ODA refresh there have been far more changes than the previous one (which was just the processor update and fibre option).

clip_image001

Summary of Changes

Here are the most significant changes in the ODA X5-2, as compared to the previous X4-2 generation, biased towards my perspective of running Fusion Middleware products, and associated databases, on ODA VP for O-box:

  • Extra SSD on shared storage ("ODA Flash Accelerator") to hold some database data ("ODA Flash Cache") and ACFS metadata ("ODA Flash Files")
  • 40Gb/s InfiniBand for interconnect between server nodes
  • DDR4 memory with the option to upgrade to 768GB per node, so 1.5TB total
  • SAS3, which runs at 12 Gb/s – I assume/hope this is for connections to server disks, internally within the array(s) and between the arrays and servers Read the complete article here

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

Blog Twitter LinkedIn Forum Wiki

 

clip_image001Last week I was a speaker on the OTN sponsored Nordic ACE Director Tour 2014. It’s well over a year now since I was kindly invited to take part but, as an "ACE Tour virgin," I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so hopefully this non-technical article will help others in a similar position. Heli Helskyaho, a fellow speaker, has pipped me to the post so you can read about her experiences too.

The tour consisted of 4 one-day events in 4 countries on consecutive days – given my distance from London Heathrow this meant I was away from home for 6 days. I had offered 5 abstracts, most of which I’d actually presented elsewhere, but I also included the new EDG presentation that my good friend Jacco Landlust and I have submitted for a few conferences this autumn/winter. Each speaker delivered 2 presentations per day and the 4 user groups chose the sessions they wanted – for me that meant 4 out of my 5, for others it was the same 2 presentations given 4 times. What surprised me was that the event in each country had a different feel.

We started in Sweden in a Japanese-style health spa, in the countryside about an hour’s drive away from the airport. This was a very peaceful setting for meetings though all guests were provided with kimonos and seemed to wear them around the hotel. Being almost the only one in the restaurant without one on Sunday evening I hopefully redeemed myself by spending the whole of the following day in one (over my normal clothes I hasten to add!).

After a couple of taxis and a flight we ended up in Oslo. We had a very pleasant dinner courtesy of OUGN (I had reindeer – a first for me!), and I started the following morning presenting across tracks about EDG. I knew the audience would be database-biased so tried to include as much database commentary as I could – I’m not quite sure how well it worked, but hopefully showed how many interesting technical challenges there are in middleware platform design and administration. Nobody walked out anyway!

The OUGN leg was a much bigger event – around 80 or so delegates, including partners exhibiting in the foyer – so it felt more like a day from their annual conference. I later ran my SSL session – using a flip chart which I thought might be useful for data flows – but at 45/50 minutes ran out of time without being able to fit in the demo. I concluded that the subject really needs 2 sessions – one for PKI and encryption concepts, the second for WebLogic configuration and demos. Although you can set up WebLogic SSL without necessarily knowing what’s happening underneath, I think the more you know the easier it is to debug when configuration goes wrong (which it invariably does in my experience!).

 

One benefit of being on the tour is that you can attend most of the presentations at some point – here’s Jože talking about 12c database upgrades and new features (like hybrid histograms): Read the complete article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

Blog Twitter LinkedIn Forum Wiki

clip_image002Oracle has been putting a lot of engineering effort into the new ODA 12c release so this is quite a long article. The latest ODA news from last week can be summarized as:

· ODA 12.1.2 database: 12c including pluggable database support, ACFS integration

· ODA 12.1.2 VP: ACFS snapshots, option to add disks to VMs

· WLS ODA 12.1.3: support for WebLogic 12.1.3, WebLogic Standard Edition, faster provisioning using ACFS snapshots, additional single VM topology, new Coherence option

· Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c: sneak peak at up-coming plug-in for ODA

There were no announcements about an ODA X5-2 although, given that Intel has recently released Hawell-EP processors (E5-2600 v3 family) – and based on the v2 update last year – it seems likely that there will be a new version of the ODA hardware at some point.

Now to discuss each of these topics in a little more detail:

WLS ODA 12.1.3

Frances Zhao-Perez, the Product Manager responsible for the WebLogic implementation (and related components) on ODA and I described WLS ODA 12.1.3 in our joint presentation Oracle WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance: Combining High Availability and Simplicity [CON8004]. I wrote about that yesterday, but the enhancements are:

· Support for the new WebLogic Server 12.1.3 version (and dropping support for 12.1.1 and possibly 12.1.2).

· Coherence can now also be provisioned, creating up to 6 additional VMs (as part of a specific WebLogic domain and with Coherence lifecycle managed via console/Admin Server etc).

· VMs may now be created from an ACFS snaphot of the template leading to far quicker provisioning time (for a 6 VM topology I’d expect around 30 minutes instead of 60, and the saving will be greater for larger clusters).

· Additional domain topologies available for a single Admin Server with no Managed Servers (for a development environment for example), or Admin Server co-located with a Managed Server (if you like that idea please read my Admin Server Separation – Pros and Cons article and comments).

· Some minor changes to the user interface of the ‘configurator’.

Read the complete article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

Blog Twitter LinkedIn Forum Wiki

OHS in co-located WebLogic configurationHere’s a silly little issue I hit this afternoon – mostly a case of "administrator error" but a time waster nevertheless.
To recap, there was a big change to Web Tier administration in 12.1.2 in that OHS is controlled with what’s now called the "WebLogic Management Framework" – in short this means OHS instance configuration is handled via WLST and lifecycle (start/stop etc) by Node Manager (i.e. OPMN has gone). You have a choice of either co-locating OHS in your existing WebLogic domain (diagrams from the Oracle Documentation):
Otherwise you can have OHS on its own: Read the complete article here.

WebLogic Partner Community

For regular information become a member in the WebLogic Partner Community please visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners/goto/wls-emea ( OPN account required). If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

Blog Twitter LinkedIn Mix Forum Wiki