Installing Oracle Enterprise Manager 11.1 Grid Control

This page discusses installation of 11.1 EM Grid Control. To be fair to Oracle once it is installed it works pretty well. However, in my opinion installation is more complex than previous versions.

Our main goal was to verify that, whilst not explicitly supported, Oracle Grid Infrastructure, Database and ASM was compatible with the latest version of Grid Control which was released around March 2010 (and therefore pre-dates by about six months).

The Oracle 11.1 Grid Control installation is a bit more labour intensive than its predecessors. Previous versions optionally installed a management repository database and a application server; in this version you must pre-create the database and install the application server yourself.

We tested the installation on Linux x86-64.

The first step is to install a JDK. The only supported JDK is 1.6 version 18. It took some time to track this down as the current version is 22 so you need to search the archives. Remember that Oracle now owns Java, so the JDK is downloaded from rather than a Sun site.

The next step is to install a WebLogic server; only 10.3.2 is supported (as the documentation says, not 10.3.1 or 10.3.3). There is no operating system specific version of this product for Linux x86-64; instead download the generic version.

Next is the worst bit; you need to patch the WebLogic server with patch WDJ7 which is ONLY available through My Oracle Support. So if you don't have a support contract, you cannot fully install Enterprise Manager. Whilst I can understand why Oracle are not keen on unsupported systems, the downside is that EM is going to be less well tested in the user community and ultimately will probably see a lower take-up amongst the customer base as a result.

Even if you have a support contract, you may still have problems with the WebServer patch. It can only be installed using the Smart Update tool (a fancy GUI product for WebLogic which is similar in many ways to OPatch). By default Smart Update will connect to MOS and download the required patches. If you don't have a direct internet connection this may cause you some issues because althoough Smart Update can install previously downloaded patches, WDJ7 cannot be downloaded directly from MOS. You have two options; the first is to install Smart Update on another server that DOES have a direct internet connection and to download the patch from MOS using the tool; the second is to raise an SR. We did the latter and to be fair we had the patch within an hour. Of course this is a crazy use of Oracle support time; don't be surprised if MOS incident resolution rates improve dramatically by the time they have sent the WDJ7 patch to 100,000 customers individually....

Next step is to install RDBMS software for the management repository database. We used; we were not quite brave enough to try though it would probably have worked. We used DBCA to create a database; there are no restrictions on database name. You can create a RAC database or use Data Guard to provide HA; in the event we did neither as we are using a VMWare virtual machine and the entire server is replicated to another site. The main complaint here is that the documentation is a bit muddled; it took a while to figure out what was required. For example hidden deep in the documentation it states that the management repository needs the Partitioning Option and therefore you must install Enterprise Edition. Why not say this up front?

Once the database has been created you are ready to install Grid Control. To be fair, now the database and WebLogic are installed first, there is a much better chance of the Grid Control succeeding first time and in fact it did for us. It took around an hour on our VM. If you have installed Oracle 10.2 Enterprise Manager you will remember there were about 30 agents that ran after the root script had been executed; in this release there are only about half a dozen agents though a couple took 10-15 minutes each. Go to lunch or leave it running overnight...

We are using secure http (https); the default port number is 7799 and you need to login as SYSMAN initially\n\nAlthough an EM agent was installed on the local machine, EM Grid Control could not access the management repository database until we entered and saved its credentials in EM.

Prior to configuring remote targets it is necessary to install the EM Management agent on remote nodes. After installing the Management agent, it is still necessary to enter credentials for each database in EM before you can monitor it. The agent automatically registers nodes, ASM instances and listeners.

We could not enter credentials for the standby database until we switched over (using DGMGRL); further investigation is required to know if this is user-error or a feature.

We had already configured the Data Guard Broker. EM discovered this automatically on both the physical and standby databases. Once credentials for both databases had been entered, we could use EM to switchover and switchback without any additional configuration.

So, apart from the WebLogic patch issue, I was quite impressed with 11g EM Grid Control. Don't expect to install it first time in a couple of hours though.