As you may know, Oracle and Hyperion before them acquired many best of breed products in the Enterprise Performance Management area to form the original Hyperion System 9 suite, which evolved into what Oracle now provide as the EPM 11.x Middleware suite.
This process resulted in many differing IT technologies being bolted together to form the Suite, which must be able to run on the diverse Enterprise platforms that Oracles customers utilise. For example:-
- Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) - these form the Web enabled Application Servers to provide active content. These usually run on the supplied Weblogic instance but do support manual deployments on other similar technologies.
- Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) - this is actually an evolved version of Apache and is often used as an alternative to using Microsoft IIS server to host the EPM Static content and reverse proxies to the back-end Weblogic components.
- .Net / ASP / DCOM - These Microsoft technologies are used by the likes of FDM (Classic), EPMA and HFM among others via IIS and hence necessitate a Windows Server requirement.
- Java / Client Server - Several components in the Suite utilise the classic client/server TCP/IP listener + ephemeral socket connections to perform their role. An example being Essbase itself.
- JDBC & OCI - While both SQL Server and Oracle RDBMS are supported the suite uses several differing connection methods behind the scenes. These include JDBC, ODAC/MDAC, OLE DB and classic Oracle Thick (OCI) client & tools. To make life that bit more interesting some use 32bit while others use 64bit (on appropriate platforms)
- Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) - Many of the Oracle components can or do utilise SOAP type requests to provide remote process execution/automation. This includes the Financial Close Management product as well as HPCM Batch/Automation client among others.
Not your usual IT challenge
While none of the above technologies individually should cause IT support departments a problem, the combination and complexity can make it a challenge.
The above gives just a hint of why the installation/configuration or upgrading of the EPM suite is not just a Run of SETUP.exe and can take several days (per environment). Add High Availability and/or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) into the mix and it can be up to two weeks for each environment.
At EPM Infra Ltd we are adept at working with your IT department to ensure that the servers are prepared and used optimally to get the best out of the resulting system. This may include such things as:-
- Clarifying that High CPU clock speed are a requirement (as opposed to curent IT trend of max CPU cores), especially for Essbase servers
- Ensuring that Server Power profiles do not throttle server performance
- Applying several windows registry changes and other server prerequisites to optimise TCP/IP socket & RPC connections
- Defining Client workstation requirements (including IE browser settings)
- Agreeing a sensible approach to Virtualisation to allow efficient service delivery while maximising EPM Calculation potential.
- Generating quicker system start & stop scripts
- Creating batch routines to extract and archive internal EPM artifacts (e.g. Dimensions, Applications, Essbase Outline/data/calcs, Reports, etc), to facilitate more granular restore options.
- Advise on the current Oracle position regarding Recommended Patches, and application of the patches. Oracle Premier support now requires that environment be within 3m of the latest Patch Set Updates (PSU)!