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OEM After Hours Notification Schedule Option- Part I

I came across a discussion on Oracle-l on how after hours paging was handled for many companies and was kind of surprised how many DBAs still carry around a secondary pager/cell phone or are just expected to be woke up if on call or not.  I’m not one to go back to sleep once I’m woke, so I’ve been a proponent of EM notification schedules for after hours paging.  Now there are other ways to handle this in Enterprise Manager 12c as well, but we’ll use this method, as it is backward compatible to OEM 10g, too.

The requirement of this setup is to have an inbox alerting option separate from your SMS/Texting option on your smartphone, which can be Android or iphone, even blackberry, any of these are more than acceptable to satisfy the requirement.  The next is know your SMS notification email address.

Example-  TMobiles would be @tmomail.net and ATT would be @mms.att.net.

Your mobile provider can verify what your email extension is for your SMS address.  With this information in hand, you can then proceed with the setup.  The design is simple-  All email notification will continue to go to your email, no matter if warnings or critical, but we will create a secondary user that will have the SMS addresses for the DBAs oncall and set them up for a rotation to be notified of critical issues.

Sit down and first figure out how often you want to rotate your schedule, weekly, every two weeks, once per month and any vacation or time off coming up.  That should tell you what your rotation needs to be to keep things sane.

Create the Paging User in Enterprise Manager

First we need to create the user that will then be utilized for paging.  This can be done from the Setup, Security, Administrators menu in the console.

admin_pg_0416

We have all our DBAs currently listed, but for this user, we will need each of their SMS addresses and once you have those, click on Create.

Name the user DBA_PAGE and put in the following values, and it can be set to an Administrator, but just for this example, I shortened the process and created it as a Super Admin, (this is not required…)

dba_page_0416

Note that I’ve entered each of the DBA’s SMS addresses into the Email Address section, separated by commas and that I’ve entered a clear description of what this login is used for.

Click on Finish and your new DBA_PAGE user is now listed.

admin_pg_2_0416

Managing the DBA_PAGE User

Once you’ve completed the entry and then log out of the EM12c console as your current user and log back in as the DBA_PAGE user, (just easier to manage the notification schedule as this user…)

dba_page_login_0416

 

Next you need to create the notification schedule, but I’ll first show you how you can add more users easily to this Administrator:

dba_page_login_3_0416

 

Once you’ve accessed this page, you will note that new email addresses can be added easily:

dba_page_info

 

The Add Another Row option will allow you to add another SMS address and then you can check mark just that address and test it.  You can also remove addresses from here of DBAs that have moved on from the company.

Editing the My Notification Schedule

dba_page_notif_sched1

 

This is again accessed from the Setup menu on the right hand of screen and once you are in the My Notification Schedule, you will see the following:

dba_page_notif_sched2

This is the default schedule, starts from the day the user was created and would notify ALL email addresses in the list.  We are going to replace this schedule with a new one that supports a three week rotation of oncall, notifying on one DBA each week, switching automatically each week to the next DBAs SMS address.

Click on Edit Schedule Definition in the upper right of the screen.

dba_page_notif_sched3

As starting a rotation in the middle of a schedule would be difficult, we are going to choose the following Monday as our beginning.  You can see the default is a one week rotation and that the time zone is set to Canadian Central Time, (I have no idea where that came from… :))

dba_page_notif_sched4

 

For our example, we are going for a three week rotation, (three DBAs, three week rotation… :)) We’ll start the rotation this following Monday, April 21st and we’re going to say that the DBAs are on Mountain Time.

We are then given a schedule of three weeks to fill in for who is oncall.  By default, it will want to offer us all three SMS addresses entered for the user.  We will only use the first one, we will click on Week 1 to fill in, ensure we are VIEWING Week 1 and now to fill in our schedule.

dba_page_notif_sched5

 

To create a schedule that DOES NOT notify during business hours, there is a batch file for each week of three steps.  There is no way around this, so I’ll use the following schedule creation and then repeat it for the 2nd and 3rd week for the two other DBAs.

dba_page_notif_sched6

 

Now notice that we’re still viewing and editing week 1, and choosing all the days, but I’ve changed the time to show 12am-8am to fill in with the first DBA’s SMS address.

Finally, we fill in for the last time slot, Saturday and Sunday during the weekend daytime.

dba_page_notif_sched7

 

Your scheduled should now look something like this, with all sections above and below business hours filled in with the 1st DBA’s SMS Address for notifications:

dba_page_notif_sched8

 

We then will click on the down arrow button on the View menu and choose the second week, then do the same for the check mark in the box for Weeks, ensuring we are changing the schedule for Week 2.  We’ll repeat the scheduling, but will also change the Email Address to the second DBA’s SMS Address by clicking on the search.

dba_page_notif_sched9

Once you have filled in everything for the Second DBA, you will switch to View Week 3 and edit Week 3 for the third DBA and fill in that schedule:

dba_page_notif_sched10

 

Once completed, Save the changes.

The default view may alarm you at first, as it will be empty:

dba_page_notif_sched11

 

The reason is the first date that is shown, which is the current date and if you remember from our example, we decided to start our rotation on April 21st.  Go to the View Week Containing and change it to April 21st.

You will now see the rotation schedule for the first DBA for after hours.

dba_page_notif_sched13

 

Updating the date for the next week will display the 2nd DBA’s rotation:

dba_page_notif_sched14

 

And then if you switch the date to first week of May, we see the third DBA:

dba_page_notif_sched15

 

If you go past that, you’ll see that the rotation continues, starting again with the first DBA for the next week and will continue on without change unless you edit or replace the schedule.

If for some reason, let’s say a DBA can’t take a shift that is in their weekly schedule for one night, you can go into that DAY’s shift and edit it to one of the other two DBAs in the list.

Now you’ve finished setting up an after hours pager in a notification schedule.  In Part II, I will show you how to use the notification schedule/user with rule sets to page on critical notifications.

 

 

 

 



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Copyright © DBA Kevlar [OEM After Hours Notification Schedule Option- Part I], All Right Reserved. 2014.

An introduction into Oracle VM (V3.x)

One other internal presentation that was presented by me, showed the technical architecture and production experiences regarding Oracle VM V3. It was based on demo of a Hands-On Lab (HOL-9870, Oracle VM) given during Oracle Openworld 2013. Based on this HOL, structures were explained and demoed for architects and database administrators. An introduction into Oracle

Read More...

An introduction into Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3

I have given some internal and customer presentations lately that you might find useful or like, so hereby a direct share to the presentation about Oracle’s Enterprise Manager Cloud Control (V3) An introduction into Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Release 3 from Marco Gralike

WordPress 3.8.3 – Auto Update

WordPress 3.8.3 came out yesterday. It’s a small maintenance release, with the downloads and changelog in the usual places. For many people, this update will happen automatically and they’ll just receive and email to say it has been applied.

I’m still not sure what to make of the auto-update feature of WordPress. Part of me likes it and part of me is a bit irritated by it. For the lazy folks out there, I think it is a really good idea, but for those who are on their blog admin screens regularly it might seem like a source of confusion. I currently self-host 5 WordPress blogs and the auto-update feature seems a little erratic. One blog always auto-updates as soon as the new a new release comes out. A couple sometimes do. I don’t think this blog has ever auto-updated…

I’d be interested to hear if other self-hosting WordPress bloggers have had a similar experience…

Cheers

Tim…


WordPress 3.8.3 – Auto Update was first posted on April 15, 2014 at 8:53 am.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

OAUTH_UTL first draft done

So this months project is an implementation of Oauth. I have now created a package that can create a request for temporary credentials in Oauth version 1.0, and have almost implemented authorize, access and resource calls as well.

Parallel Execution Skew – Demonstrating Skew

This is just a short notice that the next part of the mini-series "Parallel Execution Skew" is published at AllThingsOracle.com

Performance live discussion on twitter, 12pm PST Tue April 15

Confio software is hosting a live discussion on twitter tomorrow Tuesday April 15 at 12pm PST on the subject of Oracle performance.

I’ll be online answering performance questions and have invited many other friends to participate. Some friends who’ve said they’ll be there are

Participation and tracking of the discussion can accomplished by either posting with and  following along with the #datachat  hashtag.

Get on TweetDeck or your favorite Twitter tool, search #datachat, add a column and you’ll see our chat appear. Always include #datachat in your tweet so you’ll be part of the conversation.

For an example of a previous #datachat check out Confio’s hosting of  Pete Finnigan on  the subject of security.

 

8109445607_150e8a5310_z

photo by elod beregszaszi

EM12c Auditing

Lately I’ve been having more discussions on securing the EM12c environment.  All of IT has a tendency to treat the Enterprise Manager as a afterthought in both hardware allocation, as well as security best practices.  No one is sure of exactly why this is-  they all have their theories, but we do know it happens often.

Today we are going to go over some of the auditing options within EM12c.  Basic auditing is turned on by default in the environment, but only covers basics processes.  There are over 150 auditing options and extensive information can be collected, retained within the repository, as well as turned into an externalized service to reside as log files on the OS file system.  These options include login/logout information, updates, OMS password changes and EM key copy and removals from the repository.

Basic auditing information can be gained through the console via the Setup, Security, Auditing Data menu option, but the auditing configuration, additional features, updates and externalized service setup, must be performed through the Enterprise Manager command line interface, (EM CLI).

If you haven’t used the EM CLI before, please refer to my blog post on Beginning with the Command Line Interface, otherwise log in a user with appropriate rights to run the EM CLI and connect to the repository.

First, let’s inspect the current operations list and what will impact the infrastructure if executed:

audit_blog_1

Note that the last option, APPLY_UPDATE, is to update the repository and yes, it will impact the infrastructure by doing so.

Next, let’s look at the current settings. As I stated earlier, auditing is turned on by default, but the next options are disabled for the externalized service, so it is marked as disabled.

audit_blog_2

The defaults for the externalized service, outside of the directory, (configured in the DBA_DIRECTORIES and read/write privileges granted to SYSMAN) are pre-configured with default information.

  • File prefix is the prefix used for all audit log files so that they are easily identified in the directory.
  • File size is default to 50M
  • Retention is default to 365 days.  Keep this in mind before enabling, as this could be impacting to disk space if you OS directory has limited space.

Notice that there is also a note informing you that Infrastructure Audit is always on, (go inspect the access.log and you will see information that can be sync’d up with the emctl.log and others to create a solid picture that this feature can create for you.)

Enabling/Disabling Features

To enable or disable audit features, the following syntax is used:

>emcli update_audit_settings -audit_switch="ENABLE/DISABLE" -
operations_to_enable="" -
operations_to_disable="" 

To demonstrate this, we’ll enable auditing for logins and logouts:

audit_blog_3

The response letting us know if the change was successful in the auditing configuration completes the task and we can move on to other tasks.

Next, we’ll configure the externalized service for auditing.  This is an excellent choice and should be considered for all EM12c environments.  Even with high availability options, the idea of keeping a minimum of 7-31 days of auditing information regarding the EM12c environment, especially considering the access and power of the EM12c, is a good idea.

The syntax for the configuration for the externalized auditing service is:

>emcli update_audit_settings -file_prefix= -
directory_name= -file_size =  -data_retention_period= 

And in our example, we will update the service to file sizes of 25M each, with a prefix of “em12c_audit” and retain 31 days of audit files that our OS file system can easily handle.

>emcli update_audit_settings -externalization_switch=ENABLE -file_prefix=em12c_audit -directory=AUD_DMP -file_size=25000000 -data_retention_period=31

After executing this statement, the audit files will automatically start generating to the directory, (make sure you HAVE created a DBA Directory to hold this data first!) and we can then view logs as needed to inspect what activity is occurring in the EM12c environment.

This is a solid best practice to ensure you are offering one more line of protection to the database and software that is essential to you, your business and your environment.

 



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Copyright © DBA Kevlar [EM12c Auditing], All Right Reserved. 2014.

An accusatory error message

I found this hilarious

SQL> startup
ORACLE instance started.

Total System Global Area 1469792256 bytes
Fixed Size                  2402776 bytes
Variable Size             536872488 bytes
Database Buffers          922746880 bytes
Redo Buffers                7770112 bytes
Database mounted.
ORA-19821: an intentionally corrupt log file was found

Really ? I intentionally corrupted my log file ?  I dont think so !

:-)

SQL injection

Another big public username and password leak…

http://o.canada.com/technology/bell-canada-security-breach-391451/

Some good reading on how it was done, and thus ensuring your code isn’t prone to SQL injection here:

http://www.troyhunt.com/2014/02/heres-how-bell-was-hacked-sql-injection.html