Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Tutorial Series: Creating a SSH Key Pair on Mac OS X

  • Date: May 26, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

SSH Key Pairs are required by most Cloud Infrastructure (Infrastructure as a Service) providers for use in authenticating the root or admin level users for various UNIX or Linux compute instances and compute shapes as well as for other IaaS provider management systems (i.e. Amazon Web Services – AWS LightSail, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure – OCI console access, etc…)  The procedures below will walk you through creating your own SSH Key Pair using a Mac OS X operating system.

Launch the terminal.app

macOS Catalina Terminal app located within the "Utilities" folder.
macOS Catalina Terminal app located within the “Utilities” folder.

***NOTE***

Backup any existing SSH Key Pairs you might want to save or ensure the target directory/folder is unique from the default location on the Mac ( /home/.ssh)

Run the ssh-keygen command at your shell and answer the prompts.  It will run interactively by default (prompting you for the appropriate information as needed).  The name of the Key Pair we are using for this tutorial is RSA-KEY and will be located under the directory /tmp/oci-stuff/.ssh

ssh-keygen
/tmp/oci-stuff/.ssh/RSA-KEY
***
***
ssh-keygen command on macOS Catalina with interactive prompts
ssh-keygen command on macOS Catalina with interactive prompts

Optionally you can enter all of the details in a single command line.  There are several parameters required at a minimum.  -t <key type>, -N <passphrase>, -b <number of bits in key>, -C <key name>, and -f <filename>

For Example:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -N “yourPassphraseGoesHere” -b 2048 -C “RSA-KEY” -f /tmp/oci-stuff/.ssh/RSA-KEY
ssh-keygen command on macOS Catalina with single command line
ssh-keygen command on macOS Catalina with single command line

Once the SSH Key Pair has been created, do a quick sanity check of it’s contents:

cat /tmp/oci-stuff/.ssh/RSA-KEY.pub
macOS Catalina results of generating a SSH Key Pair using ssh-keygen
macOS Catalina results of generating a SSH Key Pair using ssh-keygen

This completes the process to generate an SSH Key Pair on the Mac OS X for use with various Cloud Infrastructure providers such as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, etc..

PLEASE NOTE:

It’s important to keep this SSH Key pair safe including noting the path it’s stored in and also if you opted to include a passphrase, that should also be recorded safely.  The passphrase cannot be recovered if lost! 

I hope you found this post helpful.  As always any and all feedback is greatly appreciated and if you have further topics to suggest or any questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist!

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OWSM Blog Part 1 – Installation and Configuration of DRM Web Services API with Oracle EPM 11.2

  • Date: Nov 18, 2020
  • Article by: Brad Spelman
Read More

October Patch Updates Breaks Shared Services. 11.1.2.4.x

  • Date: Oct 28, 2020
  • Article by: Jeff Henkel
Read More

Reporting & Analysis Framework Fun

  • Date: May 19, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

Sometimes the simple becomes complex, and you spend more time fixing the little things than expected.  Recently, a client was changing domain names in an 11.1.2.x environment, and issues were encountered with Reporting and Analysis Framework.  This issue will not pop-up in the new 11.2 versions, since Framework has gone the way of the Dodo.  But there are a LOT of clients still on earlier releases, and so this one is probably of some interest.

The EPM toolkit provides a couple of ways to update host values.  In particular, the EPMsys_Registry.bat application offers triggers to update both the hostname, and individual parameter values.  While it can be involved (since the update host change does not seem to update any localhost_name values), the process is straight-forward and well documented by Oracle.

Where an issue was encountered was in updating the V8 tables under Reporting and Analysis.  These values are set during the initial configuration of the system, and they are locked by various table/DB constraints, so editing them in SQL Plus or the Microsoft SQL Management Console is not easy.  Also, a re-configuration prior to the steps below did not update the domain/host values listed in the tables.

Instead, the process to update them requires deleting values in the Shared Services database, and then the BI/RA database.  In both cases, it is recommended that the contents be backed-up before proceeding with any changes.  

Once you have the backups in hand, you can follow the process below:

  1. Backup the RM1 folder (this is the file structure for Reporting and Analysis)
  2. Stop all services and run following two SQL statements against EPM registry database and RA/BIPLUS database

Execute the following statement against the EPM Registry (Shared Services/Foundation) DB/schema:

delete b from hss_component_property_values b where b.component_id in (select a.component_id from hss_component a where a.component_type_id in(49, 50,51,52,53,54,55,56,68))

Execute the following statement against the EPM Registry (Shared Services/Foundation) DB/schema:

delete a from hss_component as a where a.component_type_id in(49, 50,51,52,53,54,55,56,68) 

Execute the following statements against RA/BIPLUS DB/schema:

delete from v8_sa_props

delete from v8_serviceagent

delete from v8_host

Re-run the EPM configuration on hosts running the raframework agents, and select the following tasks:

  • Configure Database (note: select to reuse the tables instead of dropping and recreating)
  • Configure Framework Services
  • Configure Reporting and Analysis Services

Once the above is complete, you will now be able to start the various RA Framework services and successfully explore and execute reports.

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OWSM Blog Part 1 – Installation and Configuration of DRM Web Services API with Oracle EPM 11.2

  • Date: Nov 18, 2020
  • Article by: Brad Spelman
Read More

October Patch Updates Breaks Shared Services. 11.1.2.4.x

  • Date: Oct 28, 2020
  • Article by: Jeff Henkel
Read More

Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cumulative Feature Overview

  • Date: May 15, 2020
  • Article by: Elysha Daly

Oracle has great tool to help you evaluate and compare different releases of Hyperion EPM. It covers releases back to 9.3.1 up to its newest release of 11.2.1.0.000. Using this tool, you will be able to see the products that continue to be available and the ones that have been discontinued. For those products that have not been discontinued the report will show what Oracle has done to improve the functionality and user interface of each Product.

If, for example, you were presently on Oracle EPM 11.1.2.3 and wanted to compare it with Oracle EPM 11.2.  Your first step would be to go to https://apexapps.oracle.com/pls/apex/f?p=20620:1:0 . 

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It is fairly straight forward from there. Please select your current release. Or the earlier version of the 2 you wish to compare. 

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I have chosen 11.1.2.3

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Next choose your Target version. Here I have chosen 11.2

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Now choose the Products you wish to compare. I have chosen to compare Calculation Manager, EPM Architect and Essbase. Then click on “Generate Report.”

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As you can see here it shows all the major changes and improvements that have been made up to the newest release requested.

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If you take a look at EPM Architect, you will see that the last release is shown to be in 11.1.2.4. Meaning that it is no longer available in later releases.

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As a further example, let’s look at Essbase.

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I hope this was helpful for you to get a look into your future. Please use this tool as a starting point to help you understand what EPM Products are available in newer releases. Feel free to contact iArch Solutions to answer any of your Hyperion EPM infrastructure and Application questions.

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OWSM Blog Part 1 – Installation and Configuration of DRM Web Services API with Oracle EPM 11.2

  • Date: Nov 18, 2020
  • Article by: Brad Spelman
Read More

October Patch Updates Breaks Shared Services. 11.1.2.4.x

  • Date: Oct 28, 2020
  • Article by: Jeff Henkel
Read More

Webinar Series – Find Your Path To The Cloud: Encore

  • Date: May 13, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

Updated for 2020 with current insight and enterprise technology trending, please join our President and Certified Cloud Architect Joe Malewicki as he cracks open his award winning presentation “Find Your Path To The Cloud: Encore”. Joe will share more real world experiences and best practices to help you and your organization start (or improve) your journey to the cloud. 

Migrating to cloud may seem like an overwhelming task, but if you want to stay with your current on-premises software, you can still take the first step towards the cloud with an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution. With this option, it’s like you are getting a new stadium to compete in, but you’re keeping the same high-performing team. 

We will go over the different cloud offerings and if upgrading your software in the process can also benefit your team now or in the long run. We will discuss just how cost effective an on-premise migration to a cloud infrastructure (IaaS) solution can actually be. The cost and time savings alone might make you head back to the office and start planning the project today. If you’re ready to move to the cloud and migrate off of your on-premise software, then a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution might be for you. You can get the cutting-edge products with no hardware costs involved. 

We’ll discuss the various options during this presentation and also look at a hybrid approach of starting with IaaS and then moving to SaaS as you bring on new technologies or sunset existing legacy systems. 

Please join us for this educational and informative session and let’s get you up to where you should be today! And remember—one person’s “cloud” is just someone else’s “computer.”

The Webinar will be held Wednesday, May 27th from 12-1PM EST.

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OWSM Blog Part 1 – Installation and Configuration of DRM Web Services API with Oracle EPM 11.2

  • Date: Nov 18, 2020
  • Article by: Brad Spelman
Read More

October Patch Updates Breaks Shared Services. 11.1.2.4.x

  • Date: Oct 28, 2020
  • Article by: Jeff Henkel
Read More

Should you back up your EPM Development environment?

  • Date: May 8, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

Taking regular backups of a Development Oracle EPM environment is a task many companies neglect to perform, yet is a critical step towards insuring the investment in time and money an EPM implementation requires. In a new Hyperion environment, we assume server and relational database backups are being taken, however we do find businesses in which Development servers are not regularly backed up, as they are deemed to be non-essential by the IT portion of the business. Failure of these servers would mean losing not just the Development data, but the Oracle EPM infrastructure would have to be re-built as well! At later stages of the Oracle EPM application creation and deployment process, the assumption that Development is not critical may be true – you have copies of applications, data and objects in Production, QA or Stage you may recover from. However, the early development stages of Oracle EPM applications can be the most costly in terms of consultant time and dollars. Perhaps Production is not yet built, or there may be a new application that is not yet ready for promotion to the Stage environment.  A loss of Development data in this case would mean a substantial set-back for the team. 

There will be two types of backups discussed in this article: external storage and local storage. External storage is defined as a backup that is taken by a 3rd party such as a NetBackup group, that is stored outside of the Oracle EPM server environment. Often, operating system backups are regularly scheduled but exclude the application disk drives. Generally, the Oracle EPM application/infrastructure groups are not in control of these backups directly, but may give directions regarding what to include and exclude from these regularly-scheduled backups.

Local storage is defined as those stored backups that the Oracle EPM application/infrastructure teams create themselves, and are normally located on one or more servers within the Oracle EPM environment. The Oracle EPM team is able to schedule or run these backups at will, and has control over what is backed up and where those backups will be moved to within the Oracle EPM server environment. These backups include exports of Reports, Level0 exports of Essbase, LCM extracts of security, among others. 

iArch Solutions strongly recommends both external and local storage backups be implemented in all environments, including the Development environment, as a critical safety net to keep your investment in Oracle EPM applications safe.

The most common backup sequence looks like this:

  1. Local storage backups are taken by the Hyperion apps/infrastructure team – Essbase Level0 backups are taken while the apps are running, and stored in another local folder. Essbase is then taken down and the remainder of the Essbase-specific files are copied to the same local folder as the Level0 backups. Essbase is then restarted.
  2. Essbase backup files are zipped and moved to a location on another server for safekeeping. This location may be in the same environment or in a different datacenter, depending on the needs of the business.
  3. A weekly full backup, or a daily incremental/differential backup is taken of the Essbase local backup directory, as well as the Essbase /app/epm/Oracle filesystem, with the exclusion of the Essbase /app and /bin directories.

After this procedure completes, there will be three locations from which to retrieve Essbase application backups (local storage, the remote server, and external storage) that are no older than 24 hours. With the current scripts we would have yesterday’s backup, as well as the backup taken the day before that. Should one need Essbase application files from a date prior to those stored by local storage backups, they are available via the external storage backups.

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OWSM Blog Part 1 – Installation and Configuration of DRM Web Services API with Oracle EPM 11.2

  • Date: Nov 18, 2020
  • Article by: Brad Spelman
Read More

October Patch Updates Breaks Shared Services. 11.1.2.4.x

  • Date: Oct 28, 2020
  • Article by: Jeff Henkel
Read More

Azure and Oracle 12c and EPM 11.2.1….Oh My

  • Date: May 1, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

So now that Oracle EPM 11.2.1 has been out for a while, most folks who were eagerly awaiting it have probably installed it, or at least installed components of it.  There are a lot of tips and tricks swirling throughout the interwebs, and I thought I’d add my own take.  

So, I decided to do a couple things different from my usual approach.  First, I decided to build my environments in increments, and actually start small.   Usually with these new versions I go for a big complex initial build and force myself to deal with the fallout.  

But this time I decided on a minimalist approach with a small cloud server for the Oracle DB and EPM suite.  I opted for Microsoft Azure, and while I had the option of using SQL Server 2016, I thought it might be too easy and I wanted a challenge.

For server sizing I opted for 4 VCPUs and 32 GB of RAM.  I was a little skeptical about the amount of RAM but figured I could always detune some of the JVMs or not start some of the services…it was just a lab build after all.

So, after provisioning my Windows 2019 image and getting connected, I installed Oracle DB and got things moving.  Following the install documentation, most things worked ‘as expected’.  The exception to this came with the RCU (Repository Creation Utility).  The RCU builds out the schemas that support the Java applications and requires SYS/SYSDBA credentials.

Filling in the basic information and clicking next, Oracle runs some basic pre-requisite checks when the following message was delivered:

  • RCU-6080:Global prerequisite check failed – The selected Oracle database is a multitenant container database (CDB).

I initially had no idea what this message meant, but some research led me to understand that when installing Oracle 12c, the database server now functions slightly differently than the last time I’d installed it (11g).  

Previously when you installed Oracle DB, one simply used the install specified database and then created tablespaces and schemas.  Once that bit was done, you took those schemas and told the various EPM components which one to use.  As it turns out, now we have multi-tenancy, and the RCU was not happy about it.

Resolving this error was interesting, but relatively simple.  When the Oracle DB Server is installed, it creates the CDB (Container Database), and prior to 12c all Oracle databases were non-CDBs.  However, the installer also offers to create a PDB (Pluggable Database)…and what is that you ask?

  • A PDB is a user-created entity that contains the data and code required for a specific set of features. For example, a PDB can support a specific application, such as a human resources or sales application.

Based on the above, I found that you can locate your PDB with the command:

  • select name from v$services;
    • This should list your Oracle databases and you can note the name of pdb one for future reference, as this is what you’ll feed to the RCU

I also found out that even having the correct DB was not enough, you also need to make it writable with the following command:

  • alter pluggable database all open;

With both of these complete, I could now run the RCU successfully (following the rest of the Install Guide directions).  

Of course, there was still more fun to be had when it came to updating the RCUSchema.properties file, but that’s a tale for our next installment.

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OWSM Blog Part 1 – Installation and Configuration of DRM Web Services API with Oracle EPM 11.2

  • Date: Nov 18, 2020
  • Article by: Brad Spelman
Read More

October Patch Updates Breaks Shared Services. 11.1.2.4.x

  • Date: Oct 28, 2020
  • Article by: Jeff Henkel
Read More