Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g Is 'iPod for the Enterprise'

Oracle rolls out Enterprise Manager 11g, which allows IT administrators to manage the entirety of an enterprise stack with consolidated management and support tools. In a presentation at the Guggenheim Museum, Oracle CEO Charles Phillips describes Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g as an iPod for the enterprise thanks to its ability to integrate hardware and software in a single management and monitoring platform.

NEW YORK-Oracle unveiled Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g, a platform that consolidates various systems management and support tools with an integrated interface, during an April 22 presentation at the Guggenheim Museum.

"Traditional systems management products don't address the complexities of modern data centers," Richard Sarwal, Oracle's senior vice president of Product Development, said in a statement delivered before the presentation's start. "They create islands of automation but do not provide a holistic, integrated picture of the health of the entire IT stack."

In a keynote address here in the basement auditorium of the Guggenheim, Oracle President Charles Phillips described Enterprise Manager 11g as an attempt to take "control of this complex thing called IT and manage the entire stack in a way that's different from the past. We're at a point in Oracle strategy where that's possible.

"What we're building is an iPod for the enterprise," Phillips added, "where you have hardware and software working together."

Enterprise Manager 11g offers tools for managing the various parts of the Oracle stack, including Fusion Middleware, Database, Solaris, Enterprise Linux, VM and Sun Servers. Other features include increased support for the management of Fusion Middleware 11g, with provisioning for large-scale SOA Suite and WebLogic Server environments, as well as Database 11g Release 2.

Additionally, Enterprise Manager 11g draws on Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, including Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, which allows an IT administrator to manage the life cycle of physical and virtual Sun environments and Solaris Containers.

From a broader perspective, however, the rollout of Enterprise Manager 11g marks yet another step in Oracle's oft-stated attempt to become the largest and most mission-critical IT systems vendor in the world.

During a September 2009 appearance at the Churchill Club in San Jose, Calif., Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison told an audience, "We've already beaten IBM in software ... Now we want to beat them in systems."

Ellison continued, "We have a deep interest in the systems business. Great systems vendors ship a hardware-software combination that allows them to be instrumental in the acceleration of the Internet." His company's melding of software and hardware would theoretically "deliver systems that can be the backbone of most enterprises around the world."

To that end, Oracle has been releasing products such as Fusion Middleware 11g, which promised a prefabricated environment that gives IT administrators control over their networks without the need to improve a cobbled-together IT infrastructure for their enterprise. Another benefit of a prefabricated environment, particularly one optimized for virtualization and other facets of the modern data center, is the ability to upgrade up and down the entire stack.

"Now that we have servers and storage, we can start to build management tools where we can manage this whole stack together," Phillips told the audience during his keynote. "It's going to be easier to manage and upgrade."

Enterprise Manager 11g also follows in that complete-stack tradition, this time by enabling IT pros to use tools at every layer of the stack, whether it be middleware, database, operating systems or hardware. There's also a focus on complete-stack monitoring, via features such as Oracle Real User Experience Insight 6.5, which offers single-console access to diagnostics for Oracle's Siebel CRM, Oracle E-Business Suite and Java technology-based applications.

Enterprise IT monitoring tools include Smart Configuration Management, which offers real-time change detection for compliance, Automated Workflow, which enables the deployment of patches across an enterprise IT environment, and Community-Based Console, which allows knowledge exchange between members of the IT community.

For those involved more on the development side of the equation, the new Oracle Application Testing Suite Release 9.1 tracks application quality management through features such as automation of test script generation based on real user actions, access to middleware diagnostics during load tests to identify performance bottlenecks and a new test starter kit for Oracle E-Business Suite R12 applications.