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Upgrading to and Other Technical Considerations

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In June, Finit hosted the last in our 5-part series on the new Oracle EPM version, which was released in February of this year. Finit has done extensive testing in our own labs on version and we have several clients migrating to now. During this webinar we will be focusing primarily on the technical aspects around upgrading to We will also be taking a detailed look into some options for deploying your EPM environment, performance, and managing the environment(s). Join us for details on items such as:

Upgrading to
Technical Options for your upgrade and how these effect the cost and timeliness of your project
"In-Place" upgrade versus 'New- Hardware'
Benefits of Virtualization
Exalytics - what does it mean for the future of Oracle EPM (and more specifically....HFM)
Third Party Compatibility
Disaster & Recovery / High Availability
What do these key terms really mean and does your organization actually 'practice what they preach' when it comes to this area?

Presenter: Dawn Mathews & Frank Zidar

Veröffentlicht in: Technologie
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Upgrading to and Other Technical Considerations

  1. 1. www.finitsolutions.com Getting the Most out of EPM: Upgrading to and Other Technical Considerations June 12, 2015 Frank Zidar (fzidar@finitsolutions.com) Dawn Mathews (dmathews@finitsolutions.com)
  2. 2. www.finitsolutions.com - 2 - Finit Overview • Founded in 2002 • 75+ employees in 20+ states – Mostly CPAs, MBAs – We have extensive Hyperion product and financial reporting backgrounds • 80+ HFM Clients – Managed several of the largest EPM projects in the U.S. – Including the largest roll-out of HFM in North America • Market Leader in ARM/FCM • World Leader in FDM implementations and custom solutions • 50+ Planning / Essbase Clients
  3. 3. www.finitsolutions.com - 3 - EPM Services • Finit Answers – Technical Support – Functional / Admin Support – Access to Hyperion SMEs – Dedicated support team and guaranteed response times – Customer Service Focus – Flexible Time and Material support packages • ‘Pay as you Go’ option • Oracle Financial Close Suite ‒ Hyperion Financial Management ‒ Financial Close Manager ‒ Account Reconciliation Manager • Hyperion Planning & Essbase • Infrastructure • Data Services • Project / Program Management • Redesign / Enhancements • Product Upgrades • Application enhancements / redesign • Performance optimization Dedicated Support Upgrades Full Cycle Implementations
  4. 4. www.finitsolutions.com Finit Solutions Introduction Finit as a company: Who we are…Why? How?
  5. 5. www.finitsolutions.com - 5 - • We make and deliver personalized financial reporting solutions and experiences. – By listening, questioning, and analyzing – By building relationships …not company to company, but person to person. – We are Makers and Doers WHY is Finit Here?
  6. 6. www.finitsolutions.com - 6 - We Run Finit like a Family • Invest in our employees • All owners actively involved in the business • No debt or external owners – Prioritize the customer, not profitability • Long term stability – Hire employees, not subcontractors • Compensation model based on client satisfaction HOW do we achieve our beliefs?
  7. 7. www.finitsolutions.com - 7 - Our values, on which we ask you to provide consultant feedback: Finit Values
  8. 8. www.finitsolutions.com - 8 - Our values, culture, and approach to becoming a trusted advisor to customers has led to 100% customer success for every Finit client (220+) and for every Oracle Hyperion project (400+) Finit Customer Success
  9. 9. www.finitsolutions.com - 9 - Some Finit Customers
  10. 10. www.finitsolutions.com - 10 - Question and Answer
  11. 11. www.finitsolutions.com - 11 - About the Presenters Dawn Mathews (dmathews@finitsolutions.com) • Practice Director, Finit Answers • Eleven years Oracle EPM experience • HFM, FDM, Hyperion Enterprise • Project manager in multi-product projects • Oracle HFM 11 Certified Implementation Specialist • Support lead for 60+ clients
  12. 12. www.finitsolutions.com - 12 - About the Presenters Frank Zidar (fzidar@finitsolutions.com) • Practice Director, Infrastructure Services • Nearly 25 years experience with software and information systems • Specializes in environment design and sizing, performance testing and tuning, disaster recovery
  13. 13. www.finitsolutions.com - 13 - • Common Questions and Technical Background – Virtualization – Exalytics and Exadata – Disaster Recovery and High Availability – Oracle’s Version Numbering • Upgrade Methodologies ( Agenda
  14. 14. www.finitsolutions.com - 14 - • What is it and why are IT departments moving to it? – Virtualization means simulating computing resources on a physical host server (computers, storage, networking, etc.) – Significant benefits to IT • Faster server provisioning • Consolidation of resources • Spreading computing workload • Easier hardware upgrades • Disaster recovery and backup Virtualization
  15. 15. www.finitsolutions.com - 15 - • Nearly all of our customers employing some level of virtualization – Most often used for non-production environments – Many production environments have virtual/physical mix – Some have corporate mandates to go 100% virtual • Will EPM work in a virtual environment and what happens with support? Virtualization
  16. 16. www.finitsolutions.com - 16 - • Everything about Oracle’s stance on virtualization is detailed in doc ID: 562663.1 on Oracle’s support site. At a high level: – Oracle will support but does not certify EPM in a virtualized environment – Only certified on Oracle VM – Oracle may ask you to try to replicate an unknown issue in a physical environment • We have not encountered such a situation • All of EPM works perfectly with virtualization • Can be problematic for Finance team Virtualization
  17. 17. www.finitsolutions.com - 17 - • Extra layer of software and complexity – Shared server resources means variable performance – Difficult to diagnose performance issues – Processing overhead • You will not be able to achieve the same level of performance as you can with physical • Mitigation with CPU and RAM affinity might go against IT policies • We have encountered all of these situations at clients Virtualization
  18. 18. www.finitsolutions.com - 18 - • Recommendations – Essbase, database, and potentially HFM app server are physical in production – No concerns with Java application layer • FDMEE, Planning, Workspace, Financial Reporting, etc. • If virtualization is employed: – Avoid unscheduled vMotion – Use dedicated host for EPM related servers • Avoid impact of other applications Virtualization
  19. 19. www.finitsolutions.com - 19 - • Pre-built, highly optimized servers – Built using industry standard components (Intel) which are fully tested, optimized and loaded with an operating system (“plug-and-play”) – Extremely powerful: significant RAM and CPU • Each kind of server has separate purpose – Exadata: designed for the single purpose of running Oracle Database • 6TB+ RAM • 120+ CPU cores • Flash storage (much faster than traditional physical disk) • Preconfigured with Oracle 11g or 12c database Exalytics and Exadata
  20. 20. www.finitsolutions.com - 20 - –Exalytics: general purpose server • Up to 2TB of RAM • 2.4TB of PCIe flash storage memory • 60 CPU cores – Exalytics runs an optimized version of Oracle Enterprise Linux v5.8 or 5.10 • Operating system is installed by default but you still need to install and configure the EPM software – Limited use to EPM product suite until version • Before now Planning, Essbase, FDMEE, FR Exalytics and Exadata
  21. 21. www.finitsolutions.com - 21 - • has extended HFM server OS compatibility with Linux and eliminated classic FDM • This allows very nearly the entire EPM product suite to run on an Exalytics machine • Product exceptions for Exalytics support – EPMA Dimension Server • Provides back-end services for dimensionality, applications, and jobs console • Web and Data Synchronization front-end components are supported – DRM – Will need separate Windows servers Exalytics and Exadata
  22. 22. www.finitsolutions.com - 22 - • Additional benefits of Exalytics – Essbase has special optimizations on Exalytics to MDX query engine and parallel operations • Take advantage of the number of CPU cores – HFM consolidation times will be reduced because of available RAM and number of cores • Entire application can be loaded into memory (“In- Memory Machine”) • Network and database latency are dramatically reduced – Drawbacks to keep in mind • Pre-built Linux server - no virtualization • Single point of failure Exalytics and Exadata
  23. 23. www.finitsolutions.com - 23 - • Disaster recovery and high availability are very different in terms of what they are attempting to accomplish • High Availability – how to maximize up time of system – Also called fault tolerance – Multiple machines for each EPM function clustered together in an environment • Other machines take over immediately in the event of a failure on another – Automatically handled via WebLogic and HFM application server clusters – users automatically routed to various servers in the cluster(s) – Allows I.T. to handle scheduled system maintenance without down time Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  24. 24. www.finitsolutions.com - 24 - • Additional benefits of a highly available configuration in EPM – Load balancing • Multiple servers means more horsepower available • For larger clients this is more important than HA – Performance scaling • If you outgrow your system, easy to add additional servers to the cluster • As always, this creates added complexity – Multiple servers means it will be much more challenging to debug sporadic issues Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  25. 25. www.finitsolutions.com - 25 - • Disaster Recovery – What to do if there is a complete disruption of service at primary data center • Networking or technology failure • Natural disaster • Fire, power outage, human error, etc. – Reports need to be filed -- how long can the business afford to have EPM offline? • Speed of recovery will determine how best to approach DR • Discuss SLA with I.T. • Design and implement prior to go-live Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  26. 26. www.finitsolutions.com - 26 - • Approaches – “Hot site” • Completely separate installation of EPM that is always up and running in a separate data center • Different URLs and separate databases • Data kept in sync via LCM, RDBMS backups, HFM CopyApp process • Refreshed nightly or potentially more frequently – This can be a significant drawback • Benefit of a nearly instant failover • Can also be used as a DEV/QA system to overcome waste of resources for a system that is *hopefully* never used Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  27. 27. www.finitsolutions.com - 27 - • Approaches – “Cold site” • Separate EPM installation that is completely offline – This allows IT to perform operations that are not possible with a live system • Best configuration has databases replicated between data centers – Almost up to the minute data/information • FDM data replicated • LCM extracts taken nightly for Financial Reports, user provisioning and stored in the DR data center • Will take time to get system back online Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  28. 28. www.finitsolutions.com - 28 - • Approaches – “Cold site” (with virtualization) • Virtualization systems have some kind of DR mechanism built in to replicate entire active virtual machines to other facilities • In the event of a disaster, full and complete replications of the existing PROD systems can be booted up in DR data center Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  29. 29. www.finitsolutions.com - 29 - • Whatever method is chosen, you must document and test! – Solid, simple, and repeatable process – Must simulate an actual outage to know for sure Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  30. 30. www.finitsolutions.com - 30 - • Very different from traditional software versioning • Broken into 2 major parts • Oracle keeps major platform and maintenance release consistent across many products – Tied to Oracle DB, WebLogic – Core of the system • Fusion Middleware – Application support stack – SOA – ADF (dev. framework) – Java – Developer tools Oracle’s Version Numbering
  31. 31. www.finitsolutions.com - 31 - • For EPM, only the last 2 digits are truly important – Going from version to is a patch (ex. PSU500) • Patches are done in place on existing environments – sometimes system wide, other times just very specific products – Going from version to is an upgrade • Upgrades generally require a full system rebuild with new servers, application upgrades/migrations, data reconciliations, UAT, etc. • wef Oracle’s Version Numbering • HFM --> .2 was a complete rebuild of the web front end (look and feel changed) • HFM --> .4 was a complete rebuild of the HFM consolidation engine • Also FDM to FDMEE
  32. 32. www.finitsolutions.com - 32 - • Reasons you may want to upgrade: – Oracle Premier Support • 11.1.2.x versions on Premier Support until April 2018 • Extended support until April 2021 – Additional third party software support • Windows 8 • IE11 • Office 2013 – Platform independence, including Exalytics – New modules desired, such as SDM – Substantial application enhancements desired To Upgrade, or Not to Upgrade: That is the Question
  33. 33. www.finitsolutions.com - 33 - • Reasons you may not want to upgrade: – Loss of older third party software support • Windows XP ( • Office 2003 ( – User interface changes – Insufficient resources to: • Re-shell HFM application • Convert FDM scripts to FDMEE • Reconcile data • Train users – Deprecated utilities disrupt current process To Upgrade, or Not to Upgrade: That is the Question
  34. 34. www.finitsolutions.com - 34 - • Once your organization has decided to move forward with an upgrade, how you go about doing it needs to be determined • Two methods: In place (existing servers) vs. out of place (new servers) – In place upgrade is also known as a “maintenance release” – Oracle promotes maintenance releases as the preferred and tested method to upgrade EPM systems – Because of this, over time Oracle has been reducing the supported paths and options available during the upgrade process… Upgrading EPM
  35. 35. www.finitsolutions.com - 35 - • Older versions of the EPM Configurator utility had options to upgrade databases • Version • Version • Version Upgrading EPM
  36. 36. www.finitsolutions.com - 36 - • How do you get a system to version – 11.1.2.x • Apply maintenance release – • Upgrade to release • Apply maintenance release – to • Apply maintenance release • Upgrade to release • Apply maintenance release • Not everyone agrees with this approach Upgrading EPM
  37. 37. www.finitsolutions.com - 37 - • In place upgrades do not allow you to make other system-wide changes: – No server operating system updates • On July 14th, 2015 Windows 2003 will have all support end – this includes mainstream and extended support – I.T. departments are forced to move forward with a new platform or face security risks • On January 13th, 2015 Windows 2008 saw mainstream support expire – Only security updates until January 14th, 2020 • Version enabled Windows 2012 support so upgrading the OS and EPM together makes sense Upgrading EPM
  38. 38. www.finitsolutions.com - 38 - • When you perform an in place upgrade, you lose the ability to upgrade hardware – Performance issues are generally not solved by upgrading your software – This is not as important with virtualized configurations • You will not be able to restructure your environment – Unable to solve performance issues – Looking to add a new product (FCM, Planning, etc.) Upgrading EPM
  39. 39. www.finitsolutions.com - 39 - • Oracle is not good at cleaning up after itself – Old applications and data are left behind • Upgrading to will leave FDM classic intact! • Shared Services database often has incorrect data remaining that can cause issues down the road • Running an in place upgrade on production means bringing down the environment for an extended period of time – Risky – No opportunity to do proper UAT and data reconciliation • Version had consolidation engine rebuilt to support Linux – you will want to tie out your data Upgrading EPM
  40. 40. www.finitsolutions.com - 40 - • For all of these reasons, we almost always see out of place upgrades • Prior to version the process was: – Step 1: Build new system – Step 2: Migrate applications and data • HFM Copy App utility • Database backup and restore – Step 3: Upgrade the databases to the latest version • HFM and FDM schema update utilities Upgrading EPM
  41. 41. www.finitsolutions.com - 41 - • With version the *ONLY* truly supported method is the maintenance release – CopyApp and Schema Update are removed • What does this mean? – Out of place upgrades will require a manual re-shell of applications – In place upgrades will be the only option for those who want to copy entire applications as-is – There are pros and cons for both an in place and out of place upgrade of HFM Upgrading EPM
  42. 42. www.finitsolutions.com - 42 - • Updates application using maintenance release – All application elements copied over • Including data, calculation status, Process Control history, original timestamps for documents and journals • Data reconciliation effort *should be* less time- consuming than re-shell option • Requires a “double install” • In order to not see remnants of previous versions, the environment used for the upgrade will need to be copied to a fresh environment – Environment where upgrade occurred would be a “throw away” Upgrade In-Place
  43. 43. www.finitsolutions.com - 43 - • Provides opportunity to perform application enhancements – General application ‘clean up’ – Use of additional or new functionality • Does not retain audit trail • Process Management will be at Not Started • Consolidations will be required – After reloading data, rules and other artifacts Application Re-shell
  44. 44. www.finitsolutions.com - 44 - HFM Re-shell Requirements HFM Upgrade Maintenance Metadata Security Rules Artifact Migration Data & Data Recon FDM Reports Smart View Models • Metadata • Security • Rules • Artifacts – Data Forms, Grids, IC Reports • Data extract / re-load • Consolidations • Data Reconciliation • Import of Reports • Smart View model updates
  45. 45. www.finitsolutions.com - 45 - Noteworthy Finit Solutions EPM Webinars – Introduction to Oracle Hyperion Planning - New Features in – Hyperion Financial Management - Deep Dive into – Introduction to FDMEE - New Features in Getting the Most out of EPM
  46. 46. www.finitsolutions.com - 46 - Questions? Email us for a copy of the slides or link to the recording. Thank you for attending! - > Frank Zidar (fzidar@finitsolutions.com) - > Dawn Mathews (dmathews@finitsolutions.com) - > Insights@finitsolutions.com - > General Questions  Greg Barrett (gbarrett@finitsolutions.com)  Joe Mizerk (jmizerk@finitsolutions.com)