Oracle Support Agent
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Enhancements to Oracle Metalink - my Configs & Projects
This post contains details of a new feature on Metalink, namely my Configurations and Projects.
My Configurations and Projects is a comprehensive set of enhancements to Oracle’s existing web support service. According to Oracle, this new feature provides the following functions: -
- An environment to proactively exchange information between customer environment(s) and Oracle Product Support.
- Tools and methodologies to automate and standardize information collection.
- The ability to dynamically run Healthchecks to identify and prevent problems.
The my Configs and Projects section of Metalink is shown below (I don’t have any configs yet since I haven’t done the install)
Typically your configurations will contain a description of a computer or a group of computers and the software those computers are running. On the other hand, projects will list activities defined by a customer describing business objectives involving Oracle products.
Oracle Support Agent
To provide you with the information for my Configs and Projects it is necessary to download and install the Oracle Support Agent.
According to Metalink: -
The Support Agent is a data collector agent designed to provide continuous tracking of key Oracle and system statistics of the machine it is running on. The support agent provides precise information to Oracle Support analysts so they can understand the problem and deal with it quickly and effectively. One support agent is required per machine running Oracle. Data collected by the support agent is sent via secured HTTP back to Oracle Support where we can maintain an updated view of your Oracle instance.
- Greatly reduce service request resolution time
- View your latest platform and Oracle configuration online from MetaLink
- Track which Oracle software components are out of date
- Easy to deploy, install, and use
- Lightweight agent that consumes little CPU resources
- Automatic discovery of Oracle and platform profiles at first start-up
- Collects data from Host, Oracle 8i/9i database, Oracle iAS, and Oracle Applications 11i
- Collects data at pre-defined intervals or by event threshold
- Uses HTTPS protocol to communicate securely with Oracle
Support Agent Downloads
If you click the button highlighted in Green on the diagram you will be taken to a list of The following downloads are available from Metalink for the support agent (Metalink Password Required)
- Support Agent Readme
- Support Agent Installation Guide
- Oracle Support Agent FAQ
- Network Connection Methods for Automatic Configuration Upload
- Support Agent Pre-installation Checklist
Based on the information gathered by Oracle Support Agent, a variety of Health Checks (dynamically generated reports) can be prepared in the following areas: -
- Host HealthChecks
- 9i Application Server
- EBS (eBusiness Suite)
- Database Configuration
Concerned about Data Security?
Certainly, one of the key concerns for those using Oracle Support agent might be the security of data transmitted to Oracle and residing on their web site. Oracle’s response to this is as follows: -
- Support Agent only collects configuration information; it does not collect business transactions, passwords, or control sensitive information
- Configuration information is securely collected by encrypted internal upload or Oracle OCCN (VPN)
- The Configuration Repository is located in the Oracle Intranet and protected by several firewalls
- All uploads go through a series of validation checks before the configuration is viewable by MetaLink
- No other customers are able to access your configuration data
Additional Reading and Learning
- Metalink Note:250434.1 Learn More About My Configs & Projects - contains various web based tutorials/training slides
- Metalink Note:236534.1 MySupport V1.0 Collection White Paper
- If you are an Oracle Partner check out the presentations at ilearning.oracle.com
Lastly, I would be interested in receiving comments from anyone who has made use of this Oracle Support Tool. Certainly if your an organisation running a number of environments this would be a very useful way of monitoring and keeping track of them.