I've just returned from the Emerald City (Oracle's Redwood Shores HQ) where I was given a demo of the latest version of Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control, Release 4.
After reviewing Oracle Database 11g I felt it was time to take a look at Grid Control R4, released in November 2007.
I was just able to scratch the surface of the Oracle ecosystem manager in the over 3 hours of demonstration time. My basic takeaway is that database and system administrators should definitely get the basic Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control R4 product, which is available at no extra license cost with most Oracle products. I'll take a closer look at the add-on management packs that Oracle charges for when I take a full look at the product.
In most respects, the basic shape of Grid Control R4 is comprehensive systems and application management. The three-tier architecture uses agents on the monitored target systems, a repository (based, of course, on the Oracle Database) and a centralized management server that brokers the relationship between the agents, repository and Web-based user interface.
New in this version are Java application diagnostics, monitoring for Microsoft Exchange Server and connectors to the help desk applications in PeopleSoft and Siebel, among other features.
Enterprise Manager has been around since 1995, but the product may gain even more importance as Oracle Database 11g and the trend to virtualization conjoin. Database 11g is loaded with management smarts, while virtualization makes it easy to provision and then decommission databases and applications as the need arises. To keep these beneficial activities cost-effective in a quickly changing environment requires an able central management tool set. I'll see if the latest version of Enterprise Manager is up to the task while looking at some of the alternatives in the coming months.