Oracle Database on VMware – Top to Bottom

Running Oracle on VMware is becoming commonplace in modern IT environments, but operational challenges still exist. One challenge with virtualized Oracle is understanding the relationship between the database and virtual machine. Most tools are VMware-centric (like vSphere) or Oracle-centric (like Oracle Enterprise Manager), and don’t have native awareness of each other.

SelectStar can help you optimize your virtualized Oracle monitoring and troubleshooting with a unified solution. In fact, almost any database you run (on or off VMware) can be monitored with SelectStar to gain the same benefits of unified monitoring. For this post, however, let’s stick to Oracle Database on VMware.

Key Insights for Oracle

At the Oracle Level, both databases and instances are monitored in SelectStar. Both levels have Health and Compliance monitoring to ensure peak performance and consistent configuration.

Alerts, which are performance-based threshold violations, will cause the Health level to degrade. Recommendations, which are configuration-based values, will cause your Compliance score to drop. Alerts and Recommendations can be customized to meet your specific performance tolerance and expected configuration. Email notifications can also be setup to ensure you are notified when problems occur.

Figure 1: Health, Compliance, Configuration, Alerts, and Recommendations for an Oracle Database.

Key performance metrics can be found at both the database and instance level. Metrics such as Wait Time, Sessions, Redos, and Undos are readily available at the database layer, as well as a Query explorer to identify expensive queries. More information is available at the instance layer such as Cache metrics, OS metrics, I/O, Locks, Sessions, and many more.

Figure 2: Explore query performance history to identify expensive queries.

Key Insights for VMware

VMware resources in SelectStar have the same Health, Compliance, Alerts, and Recommendations sections as Oracle resources. If problems are happening at the VMware layer, the Health and Compliance will degrade. Key resources such as CPU, Memory, and Disk Space are readily accessible at the VMware layer. Configuration values such as the Guest OS, IP, and DNS names are also available.

Figure 3: Capacity, Config, and CPU metrics are just a few of the available metrics at the Virtual Machine layer.

Some of the most important metrics for understanding virtualized resource contention are also available, including CPU Ready and Ballooned Memory. Visibility into these metrics is critical to ensuring your Oracle Databases get the resources they need to perform well.

Oracle to VMware

Understanding the performance at both the Oracle and VMware layers is just as important as understanding the relationship between them. For that reason, the relationship between and Oracle Database and a VMware Virtual Machine is easy to find.

When an Oracle Database is running on VMware, you will see “Oracle on VMware” in the Environments page.

Figure 4: The Oracle Database running on VMware will list as “Oracle on VMware” in the environments page.

When you open an Oracle Database, you will see the Virtual Machine name in the “Configuration Details” section at the top of the page.

Figure 5: The Virtual Machine name at the top of an Oracle Database page.

Scrolling down on a VMware-virtualized Oracle Database page will show key VMware resources in context with Oracle Database KPIs. If you click on this section, you are brought to the VMware Virtual Machine page where you can get more information.

Figure 6: VMware VM Performance information on an Oracle Database page.

Both the VMware Virtual Machine page and the Oracle Database page have a Relationships section, making the connection between Oracle and VMware obvious.

Figure 7: From top to bottom: VMware Virtual Machine resource, Oracle Database, Oracle Instance. Clicking on any of these will show you more information about the selected layer.

Finally, Alerts active at the Oracle Database level are available at the VMware Virtual Machine Level in the Alerts sidebar.

Figure 8: An RMAN Alert from an Oracle Database is visible on the underlying VMware Virtual Machine.

Never worry about your VMware-virtualized Oracle Databases again with top-to-bottom visibility in SelectStar.

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