Monitoring & Observability with Oracle: the optimal tools for a proactive approach

By Alessandro Belluomo, Technology Administrator Cloud & On-Premise Services, Bridge Consulting | Kirey Group


Cloud & On-premise

As we move from monoliths to microservices, Today's IT infrastructure and applications have become complex, more difficult both to build and to manage. Complexity is synonymous with dynamism, which in the IT world corresponds on the one hand to speed, on the other to an increase in potentially dangerous elements, if not adequately monitored. It is in this context that an increasingly conscious approach to the world is spreading Monitoring & Observability: Gartner, in fact, expects that by 2026, 70% of organizations that successfully apply observability will achieve shorter latency for decision-making, thus enabling a significant competitive advantage for business processes or IT targets.

Monitoring vs. Observability, the differences

But what is the difference between Monitoring e Observability? IBM defines Observability as the ability to understand the internal state of a complex system based on external outputs. When a system is observable, a user can identify the root cause of a performance problem by examining the data it produces without further testing or coding. Monitoring, on the other hand, has the task of evaluate the integrity of a system by collecting and analyzing aggregated data from IT systems based on a predefined set of metrics and logs. In concrete terms, Monitoring and Observability are two approaches that are useful for identifying the cause of errors or problems. Monitoring identifies when something is wrong, while Observability indicates what is happening and how to fix it.

A solid expertise in Monitoring & Observability

Our expertise in Monitoring & Observability translates into important partnerships, but also into high-level specialised skills and tools designed specifically to meet our customers' needs.

An example is Event Manager, a product developed by the Bridge Consulting team, which addresses the need to monitor events generated by IT infrastructure management and control applications, such as Oracle Enterprise Manager.

How Oracle's Enterprise Manager works

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control is a monitoring tool from Oracle that is part of Oracle's integrated enterprise IT systems management product line, providing the first comprehensive cloud and on-premises lifecycle management solution designed to scale for specific data deployment options. database. The services offered by the Enterprise Manager are many and its main features are the Diagnostica e Tuning, performance monitoring and management packages (The Value of Oracle Enterprise Manager for Managing Oracle Databases).

As illustrated in the “Database Management Packs Progression” figure, the architecture of the package allows adopting customers to align their key business needs with the capabilities and value of each of the Enterprise Manager package offerings. 

Management packages such as Database Lifecycle Management and Diagnostics&Tuning they represent the “core” of database management.

When we accompany our customers in adopting this tool, the first step is standardize and stabilize their IT operations with these basic capabilities. Secondly, we move on to proactive activities with greater added value tramite Real Application Testing. The Cloud Management Pack it's for anyone who deploys private cloud services through self-service provisioning or provides patching services, and is easily scalable into the Enterprise Manager portfolio.

Going into the details of the system part, in order to make the Enterprise Manager communicate with the objects to be monitored (such as databases, disks, hosts, applications, etc.) it is necessary to install an Oracle product called Management Agent on the central host and Standalone Management Agent on the other hosts to monitor them. Alongside a picture of the components included in the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control:

  • Oracle Management Agent
  • Oracle Management Service (OMS)
  • Oracle Management Repository
  • Plug-ins
  • Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Console

Event Manager, the ad hoc solution that simplifies event management

As already mentioned, the Bridge Consulting team developed the product in-house Event Manager to meet the needs of many customers to ensure business continuity and a proactive approach in the resolution of anomalies and critical issues. Created specifically for the management of events generated by Oracle's Enterprise Manager, Event Manager has evolved over time to adapt to different sources such as Zabbix, MongoDB, Kubernetes, for example.

One of the main advantages of Event Manager is the simplified management of real-time events, where the operator is able to identify the source, the criticality and the possible solution to be implemented for each event/alert.

From Monitoring to Observability with Grafana

Continuous and constant improvement is central to our work philosophy, so that we can provide our customers advanced and high-performance solutions. About Monitoring, Grafana has enabled us to evolve Event Manager even further. How? Grafana is a web application for interactive data visualisation and analysis that allows us to centralise certain event information, useful for monitoring management.

To support the Event Manager we have introduced, thanks to Grafana, the following features:

  • Data centralization
  • Simplified display of issues
  • Better handling of customer requests
  • Management of a simplified history of events

In this way, Event Manager monitoring is complemented by a proactive approach to Observability and active resolution of network issues, thus bringing a real competitive advantage to the achievement of IT's goals.

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