WebLogic Server 11g: WLS Administration Essentials

I used Weblogic version 6 and 7 in the early 2000’s for a SAP web front end before Oracle bought Weblogic. I had never attended an administrator course though, so there were a lot of gaps in my knowledge. We are using Weblogic here for Oracle Fusion Middleware SOA, Enterprise Manager Cloud Control and APEX (Oracle Application Express).

I had a limited time window for training and the only class available was in Belmont, CA on the Oracle campus. This worked out pretty well and I had the opportunity to explore the campus and the surrounding area. Our instructor Takyiu Lui spent a lot of time making sure we really understood the material and supplemented the material with diagrams on the whiteboard as well as pdfs of all of the whiteboard diagrams for each day of the 5 day class. Here are the course topics. Here’s an architecture diagram.

I came away from the training with a new appreciation of what is possible with Weblogic. I think most people are not utilizing much of it’s functionality. I also got some good information on sizing garbage collection and tuning in general. So I can recommend this as a valuable class for anyone managing or configuring Weblogic Server.

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Using OEM 12c canned clone process

Today we got a request to refresh a development database from a copy of production. I decided to use the canned clone process that ships with OEM 12c instead of the usual scripts or manual processes. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. There was a failure related to an NFS problem and I was able to restart the process easily.

Pro:

  • Minimizes the amount of scratch disk space by backing up and restoring one datafile at a time.
  • No scripting or manual process required.
  • Uses standard RMAN under the covers.
  • Works with older versions (This one was 10.2)
  • Works with existing backups or directly from the source database (This database was not previously backed up and was not in archivelog mode)
  • Can duplicate a live database if it is in archivelog mode and running at version 11
  • Easy to restart after errors.
  • Runs as a database job in the background, unattended.
  • Works on the same machine or across the network.

Con:

  • More time required – one datafile at a time, no parallelization. 763G ran for 6.5 hours.
  • No email notification for errors or completion.
  • Black box – you really need to know how to do the steps manually and this will not teach you.
  • Needs scratch space on local disks to avoid NFS performance problems.  (size of largest datafile)