Oracle Utilities is a widely used suite of software products for the Energy&Utility industry that includes Meter Data Management, Customer Care, Billing, Asset Management, Network Management, Self-Service, Workforce Management, and others. All the software product of the suite are J2EE applications running on top the Oracle technology stack as Database, SOA Suite, Weblogic, and others.
The Performances Concern
The hardware sizing and the performance of any Oracle Utilities implementation is a constant concern for customers and implementers along the overall project lifecycle. The main reasons are:
- Oracle Utilities products are J2EE application that is well known is not a champion of speed and resource utilization.
- High quantity of Oracle’s technologies is necessary to run Oracle Utilities products.
- For a project, Oracle provides only preliminary hardware sizing and doesn’t assure specific performances.
- End Customers often doesn’t have and doesn’t provide measurable requirements, loads, KPI and KPO on the expected system performances.
The most common approach we assist in solving this issue is buying costly, sophisticated, non-standard and oversized hardware, with the following negative effects:
- The uncertainty if the hardware is enough for the production loads it remains along with all the project implementation phases.
- Sophisticated and non-standard hardware requires specifics skills and capabilities to manage it. End customers need to train their operational staff or buy costly consultancies.
- Sophisticated and non-standard hardware is subject to end-of-life and end-of-support as any other hardware (perhaps less), but since its high cost, the return of the investment is much less than other standard hardware.
Measure/Test Performances Before Buying Hardware
A way to solve all these issues, concern and risks exist and is measuring/testing the system implementation before buying the production hardware and taking advantage of clustering capabilities of J2EE applications as Oracle Utilites products.
- A cluster of standard servers is less expensive, more scalable and assure a better high availability of a single server. Moreover, in case of upgrades, standard servers can be more easily reused.
- Measure/Test the performance of a system before the user acceptance tests and go-live allows:
- Define and provide measurable requirements, loads, KPI and KPO on the expected system performances.
- Define the exact hardware sizing against the defined system performances.
- Acquire the minimum necessary hardware to run the system.
In general, measuring/testing performances is a challenging activity since it requires specific industry and technical skills, methodologies, tools and time.
To make the performance measuring/testing of Oracle Utilities implementation more easy, effective and fast, we developed a specific and comprehensive set of pre-configured test for Micro Focus Load Runner. The tests can be easily be imported as LoadRunner Runtime Settings and executed by personnel shouldn’t have an in-depth knowledge of the Oracle and Oracle Utilities technologies.
Micro Focus LoadRunner for Oracle Utilities is available on-premise or on Amazon AWS cloud.
Below some Micro Focus Load Runner for Oracle Utilities in action, loading an Oracle Utilities implementation with pre-configured test cases and measuring/testing the performance. Dashboards, graphs and detailed reports allow understanding the behaviour of the system simulating a production load and, eventually, fine-tune the hardware configuration of the different components (application, Weblogic, DB, SOA, and others) or add/reduce hardware.
Besides, we developed also a specific and comprehensive performance monitoring tool to visualize and measure the overall Oracle Utilities components interacting all together.