RealTime IT News

Oracle Making Noise Over Management Software

Oracle  President Charles Phillips introduced Enterprise Manager 10g Release 3 in a move designed to increase sales of the management software pack.

A multi-billion-dollar market, management software is a crucial part of any IT stack at a time when Web services and grid computing are throwing more applications into the service-oriented architecture (SOA) hurly-burly and compliance regulations demand properly preserved data. It does anything from monitor service levels to fix computer glitches to minimize application downtime.

Phillips made the announcement during a conference call with reporters, an unusual move in that Oracle has traditionally given Enterprise Manager short shrift by presenting it almost as an afterthought in database seminars.

But Phillips said Enterprise Manager 10g Release 3, is a viable and valuable choice for customers, as it supports software from SAP , Dell , IBM  and BMC Software  in a variety of devices.

With Release 3, administrators can clone test instances of the Oracle E-Business Suite and deploy the tested application stack in the production environment. Also, administrators can convert a single-instance database into a clustered database and add or remove capacity from a database or cluster with a single click.

Release 3 also lets administrators orchestrate patching across Oracle Automatic Storage Management, Oracle Database and Oracle Cluster Ready Services and Oracle Real Application Clusters without disrupting system operations.

Integration with newer middleware products is also a key theme.

Enterprise Manager 10g Release 3 now lets users automatically discover and monitor processes orchestrated through Oracle BPEL Process Manager, as well as track evolution of process definitions of the BPEL processes and the associated services.

Bi-directional data exchange between Release 3 and Oracle's Business Activity Monitoring product lets IT administrators monitor top business performance indicators and squash business activity issues that crop up in IT systems.

Previously, Enterprise Manager did not communicate with Oracle's BPEL and BAM middleware.

As for its new interoperability with disparate vendors, Oracle and Nimsoft agreed to integrate the NimBUS SAP R/3 plug-in with Enterprise Manager 10g to let customers monitor and manage SAP R/3 applications.

Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g users may also now open, close and update BMC Remedy Service Desk trouble tickets, and can evaluate the system health and performance of systems relying on IBM WebSphere MQ.

Enterprise Manager 10g Release 3 also works with Dell's OpenManage Server Administrator to provide joint customers with richer host monitoring of Dell servers.

With the enhanced management platform, Oracle is not expecting to contend with management software leaders IBM, HP , CA  or BMC overnight; but it does want to make customers more aware of Oracle as a player in the market.

"We've been in the management business for awhile but I think we were more narrowly focused in the past," Phillips said. "We've probably undersold this product. It's been selling on its own on the back of other deals."

"What's changed is we've become more complete. And more open."

Richard Sarwal, senior vice president of systems management products at Oracle, said on the conference call that Oracle's ability to manage computer systems from the "top-down," or from applications to operating systems, makes the Enterprise Manager an intriguing choice.

This includes the ability to provision complete applications for Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel and even SAP R/3.

To spur Enterprise Manager sales, Phillips said certain members of the sales force will only get paid for selling the product. There will also be extensive training of application server and database server representatives on Enterprise Manager.