Making good on its promise to ease support of non-Oracle technology, Oracle has added support for the Microsoft .Net Framework and Windows Server System, including the SQL Server database, to Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control.
Oracle EM is technology for monitoring applications and services through one integrated console. It allows for application- and service-level management, configuration management, grid computing automation, and reporting capabilities to streamline complex processes, automate manual tasks and better align IT resources with business objectives.
Seven new plug-ins are generally available as of Feb. 22. They take care of monitoring, service-level management and diagnostics for .Net and Windows Server.
The plug-ins monitor SQL Server databases and their applications. They also monitor Active Directory services product performance and configuration data, simplifying management of applications that use Active Directory as an LDAP server.
Also covered is Microsoft BizTalk Server, with monitoring of performance data for BizTalk transactions, orchestrations and business activity service. The plug-ins also improve business process management where BizTalk and .Net applications are used.
The Oracle plug-in for Microsoft Commerce Server monitors related hardware performance, catalogs, pipelines, user profile management and business data in an effort to ease service-level management of Web sites and stores using Commerce Server.
Another Oracle plug-in monitors data for Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services), checking up on WWW, Web services, FTP, SNMP, ASP and other network protocols.
The Oracle plug-in for ISA (Internet Security and Acceleration) Server monitors the servers performance as it relates to bandwidth control, cache performance, firewalls and Web proxies.
Finally, the plug-in for Microsoft .Net Framework allows users to manage their entire application environment, including architectures that include .Net and Java.
These new plug-ins pick up on the same set of capabilities of Oracles Grid Control: alerts; lights-out monitoring; automatic performance data collection and trending; end-to-end transaction monitoring; blackout windows; and templates to provide system-service monitoring and to enhance service delivery.
The plug-ins can also provide remote management without requiring users to install Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g agents in Microsoft environments.
The Microsoft support follows up on third-party application server support that Oracle announced in October. Enterprise Manager picked up plug-ins for BEA WebLogic and IBM WebSphere at that time, as well as for firewalls, load balancers and storage components, all in a bid to offer an integrated management solution for customers whose environments include both Oracle and non-Oracle components.
Jay Rossiter, Oracles vice president of System Management Products, said that the focus of Oracles push to support heterogeneous environments is to reduce the cost of managing applications that are built using a mix of Oracle and non-Oracle technologies. "The Microsoft piece fits squarely into that from the point of view of being the operating system platform that Oracle software runs on, as well as having a number of components that serve applications in different parts of the stack," he said.
For example, Active Directory is a key server that supports Oracles database and its identity management products. As well, many applications use Active Directory through the LDAP interface, Rossiter said.
Support for SQL Server plays in a number of ways with Oracle. It plays both in support of Oracles package applications, like PeopleSoft and Siebel, as well as with its Fusion middleware being able to support the database.
Another driver for SQL Server support in particular is that Oracle has many administrators who have standardized on use of Grid Control but also have a mix of other technologies in their environments, Rossiter said. "A lot of DBAs have SQL Server in their mix," he said. "We get many requests to extend our support of that."
Oracle also plans support for IBM DB2, along with "many other databases," Rossiter said, although he said the point isnt what databases, per se, are supported.
"Thats not the point—the point is to cover the main sets of IT components that play in an application environment," he said.
In the same line of thinking, support for load balancers such as Nortel, Citrix and F5 are also due out "shortly," according to Will Scelzo, Oracles director of business development.
With the .Net Framework and Windows Server System pieces in place, Oracle now has support for some 80 to 90 percent of the applications deployed on top of Oracle technology, Rossiter said.
"This gives us a blanket and, I think, first-class coverage of this," he said. "Look at SQL Server, for example: We monitor the health of the SQL Server system both in terms of performance and configuration. We have over 300 pieces of information we collect. We provide over a dozen packaged reports that make it very simple to pull information, as well as allow people to create others. We can snapshot what configurations are on systems, we can track changes, we can track drift in configuration, so if a problem happens, you can check to see if somebody changed something, which often is a cause of [system] failure," he said.
Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Release 2 is generally available now on the Windows platform, as well as on Linux and Unix.
Plug-Ins for Microsoft .Net Framework and Microsoft Windows Server System are available via the Oracle Technology Network Web site.
Oracle Grid Controls System Monitoring Plug-Ins for Microsoft Windows Server System and .Net Framework are each priced at $1,500 per CPU.