Simon Haslam's Oracle Fusion Middleware blog

OTN Appreciation Day: WLST - WebLogic's Swiss Army Knife!

Not wanting to be left out of all the fun, here's my contribution for Tim Hall's OTN Appreciation Day event...

For those of us that came from an Oracle Application Server (iAS/OC4J) background, and with maybe a particular OCD-style bent for automation, I think the the biggest discovery in WebLogic Server was WLST, or WebLogic Scripting Tool. This lets you access the underlying JMX management objects that control every facet of WebLogic via an easy to use tool Python (or, rather Jython, the java variant). Python itself is fairly popular these days but nearly 10 years ago it was a bit of a novelty for me but gave me lots more scripting flexibility and control compared to traditional shell script.

Anyway, for a couple of years I was touting a presentation called "WLST - WebLogic's Swiss Army Knife!" extolling the tool's virtues!

In short:

  • anything you can do "clicky-clicky" in the WebLogic console (and more!) you can do in a WLST script,
  • you can even record WLST, like you might for an MS Word macro, when you do some manual commands in the console (or EM FMWC these days) to give yourself a starting script to tweak,
  • Python gives you a rich programming environment for building modular scripts using helpful language constructs,
  • WLST can be used online or offline (which means with the Admin Server running or not) - offline a bit more restrictive but allows you to build pretty comprehensive configurations without running the server software itself,
  • WLST can be used for both configuring the WebLogic domain, as well as monitoring it when it's up (for example checking the number of messages in a JMS queue or connections in a data source pool),
  • Fusion Middleware products come with WLST libraries, e.g. Oracle SOA Suite includes WLST utilities for deploying composites.

There are probably lots of other nice things about WLST which will occur to me later but, other than Linux, it's probably the only platform tool I use at work most days.

And how is this topic related to the Oracle Technology Network? Well, I think the last time I delivered this presentation was on one of the whirlwind stops on the Nordic ACE Director Tour which is kindly sponsored by the rather wonderful Oracle ACE Program...

Strangely I found I'd never actually published it previously, other than on conference websites, so here it is now for posterity:

WLST: WebLogic's Swiss Army Knife from eProseed | Veriton

 

Announcement of "Oracle Cloud at Customer" service at Oracle CloudWorld

Today in Washington DC, USA, Oracle formally announced what it calls the "Oracle Cloud at Customer" service which, from my understanding, is a new term for the combination of Oracle hardware running in your data centre (see Oracle's Public Cloud Machine - initial thoughts and speculation), the Oracle public cloud software running on this hardware, and remote management by Oracle.

Note that, seemingly as of today, the new hardware is called the Oracle Cloud Machine (it was formerly known as "Oracle Public Cloud Machine" and "Oracle Private Cloud Machine for PaaS & IaaS"), abbreviated to OCM (no doubt to the chagrin of Oracle Certified Masters!).

Oracle had its top brass out today, with Thomas Kurian providing the primary keynote:

Thomas Kurian - keynote at Oracle CloudWorld

Very interestingly Oracle is clearly steering the conversation away from hardware altogether - there was very little mention of specifications and nothing about performance (which we usually hear for Engineered Systems) - this launch was primarily centred on flexibility of service provision.

Oracle Cloud Behind Your Firewall 

Firstly let's recap...

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Oracle's Public Cloud Machine - initial thoughts and speculation

One of the big announcements, or at least to me(!), at Oracle OpenWorld (OOW15) last October was what is now called the "Public Cloud Machine" (PCM). 

Here I've finally written up my initial thoughts on this machine and where it might be useful in modern Oracle infrastructures. All of the information I'm sharing here has either been said publicly by Oracle or else is my own personal speculation - please don't make any planning decisions until Oracle has released more details!

Note: I'm pleased to see that the name of this hardware has changed in the last few weeks from the "Private Cloud Machine for PaaS & IaaS" to the, much more snappy, "Public Cloud Machine" (PCM). Now you could say that running Oracle cloud platforms on your own premises makes it private cloud, but I can see the logic that says that it's a machine for running vanilla Oracle Public Cloud services. Primarily I suspect Oracle tweaked the name to try to reduce confusion with the Private Cloud Appliance (which was renamed from the Virtual Compute Appliance only last summer, rather unfortunately as it has turned out).

Update 24/3/16: this machine has been renamed to the Oracle Cloud Machine (OCM) - see Announcement of "Oracle Cloud at Customer" service at Oracle CloudWorld.

Larry Ellison announcing the PCM at OOW15 

What is the Public Cloud Machine? 

Firstly, let's look at what Oracle has said about the PCM so far...

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What was the "Mandatory Maintenance for Java Cloud Service" last night?

Had I been working in Operations and on-call at an organisation using Java Cloud Service then it appeared I may well have been rudely woken up last night!  

At around 2am in the UK this email innocently dropped into my mail box:

Upcoming Mandatory Maintenance notification

This warning of an impending outage to Java Cloud Service was closely followed by one for Database Cloud Service. Judging by the email - "during the maintenance your services will be unavailable" - it seems an hour and a half later the instance failure notifications (from Enterprise Manager or Nagios etc) would have probably started coming in.

Then at 4:36am I had an email to say my JCS was now available again, and 5:11am to say my DBCS was too so, a total outage according to the emails of just under 2 hours. However when it happened all of my Java and Database test instances (test) were down already but as far as I can tell no changes were actually made to them (they were not started up for example) - be sure to read my conclusions at the end of this post!

[Read More]

SOA Cloud Service - initial impressions for SOA architects and administrators

Yesterday Oracle officially released their SOA Cloud Service (SOA-CS) - see the SOA team's blog post. As with Java Cloud Service (JCS) back in May I thought I'd write up my initial impressions, based on what I've learned so far about SOA-CS "on paper" and drawing on quite lot of hands-on experimentation with JCS.[Read More]

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