Oracle's latest update to the Oracle EM12c Plugin for Microsoft SQL signals a shift in approach to managing heterogeneous environments

by bluemedora_editor on September 9, 2014

Most long time Oracle Enterprise Manager customers are aware that Oracle provides a number of Oracle EM Plugins for non-Oracle databases including Microsoft SQL, Sybase ASE, and IBM DB2. Until fairly recently these were fairly minimalistic in nature. For the most part, they allowed Oracle to “check the box” for Oracle App users who required high-level Oracle EM based visibility into non-Oracle databases backing workloads like Siebel, PeopleSoft, JDE, etc were running on.

Earlier this year Oracle released a fairly big upgrade to the Microsoft SQL plugin – the first sign they were getting serious about enhancing Oracle EM’s ability to provide comprehensive monitoring for non-Oracle environments. This week, roughly just 5 months after the first major update of the Microsoft SQL plugin, Oracle has released new versions of the Microsoft SQLSybase ASE, and IBM DB2 Plugins.

This blog post is going to provide an overview the first of these — the Microsoft SQL plugin. The two major updates to the Microsoft SQL plugin so far in 2014 have introduced a dramatically expanded set of features and functionality that make the previous versions of the plugin look like a far distant ancestor.

First let’s take a look at the major new features introduced in this release of the Oracle EM12c Plugin for Microsoft SQL Server v12.

What’s New in EM12c Plugin for Microsoft SQL Server v12.

  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server – SQL Server 2014. The plug-in supports not only standalone but also the cluster configuration of this version
  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server’s AlwaysOn Availability Groups. The plugin can be configured to monitor an AlwaysOn Availability Group will allow the plug-in to gather information on availability databases, group names, group states, and more
  • Updated UI including the Home and Analysis pages, which have been enhanced with new tables and metrics for better and quicker access the linked databases. Two new UI pages have also been added to provide information on Microsoft SQL Server’s performance at the instance level as well as for individual databases within the monitored instance
  • Support for database backup and restore from within the plugin UI and available via EM jobs

Microsoft SQL UI / Dashboard pages

The Microsoft SQL Server homepage provides a high level view of Microsoft SQL Server instance as well as individual database health, capacity, and availability.  It allows provides information of open incidents as well as Microsoft SQL Server cluster and/or SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn HA availability

The Microsoft SQL Server Database page allows you to drill into the details of individual databases running within the monitored instance.  Health, availability, database composition, and performance views are provided.  The ability to Backup (now) or Schedule a Back has been included directly on the page as well.

The Microsoft SQL Server Analysis page enables the end-user to deep-dive into Microsoft SQL session and query metrics.  You can drill all the way down to the performance characteristics of individual SQL queries and understand why they may be underperforming or utilizing more system resources than expected.  The ability to kill sessions is also directly integrated into the UI.

The Microsoft SQL Server Performance page provides a dashboard view of key performance metrics for the Microsoft SQL instances. This view is particuarly useful for identifying historical performance trends and troubleshooting performance issues.


Microsoft SQL focused Management ‘Jobs’

This release of the Microsoft SQL plugin exposes more Oracle EM12c management “jobs” so that administrators can perform management functions against their Microsoft SQL database, instances, and sessions.  In particular the ability to backup and restore Microsoft SQL databases from within Oracle Enterprise Manager really highlights Oracle’s intention to extend the full management capabilities that you’d typically only see exposed for Oracle products to non-Oracle technologies.

That’s just a small glimpse of everything that has been added in this latest release.  In summary — from all indication Oracle is making significant investments in enhancing major aspects of Oracle EM12c’s heterogeneous management capabilities.  The latest Microsoft SQL plugin enables Oracle EM12c to provide a surprisingly comprehensive and credible solution for monitoring a key non-Oracle database technology.

Release the Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, and Sybase ASE Plugins are all now available via EM12c Self-Update.  I encourage you to check them out.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll also be providing overviews the latest releases of the Oracle EM12c plugins for Sybase ASE and DB2. Stay tuned!

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