BuIldIng the FoundatIon: essBase InFrastruCture
John Booth
1.1 Introduction 2
1.1.1 Who Should Read is Chapter? 2
1.1.2 What Will Not Be Covered 2
1.1.3 What Will Be Covered 3
1.2 Infrastructure Skill Sets 3
1.2.1 Typical Infrastructure Organization 3
1.3 Foundational Hardware and Soware Tips and Tricks 4
1.3.1 Hardware Tips and Tricks 4
1.3.2 Soware Tips and Tricks 4
1.3.3 Deployment Considerations 4
1.3.4 Number of Environments 5
1.3.5 Which Essbase Release? 7
1.3.6 When an Upgrade Is Not an Upgrade 7
1.3.7 Core Essbase Processes 7
1.4 Essbase Architecture and Sizing 8
1.4.1 A Few essbase.cfg File Settings 8
1.4.2 Sizing 10
1.4.3 Essbase and CPU Cores 12
1.4.4 Web/Java Server CPUs 12
1.4.5 Memory 12
1.4.6 Storage 13
1.4.7 Installation Planning and Preparation 14
1.4.8 Procure and Install Hardware per Sizing 14
1.4.9 Firewalls and Load Balancers 14
1.4.10 Sizing Guidelines 14
1.5 An Apple a Day 16
1.5.1 Evolving Location of Logs 17
1.6 When It All Goes Wrong 18
1.6.1 Troubleshooting Tools and Tuning Documents 18
1.7 Additional Deployment Considerations 18
1.7.1 Supported Soware 18
2 •  Developing Essbase Applications: Advanced Techniques for Finance and IT Professionals
Essbase is a dynamic product that has evolved and expanded continuously since its
initial release by Arbor Soware in 1992. Oracle’s ownership, starting in 2007, has
accelerated its development and growth. One side eect of this evolution is that the
deployment of Essbase has gradually become more complex. In Essbase’s infancy,
anance user could install Essbase from a few oppy disks in a matter of minutes onto
a server under his desk. Today an Essbase installation can take half a day to a week.
What has changed? A whole lot of speed, scalability, and, most especially, functionality
have been added to the core Essbase goodness and that has meant relational databases,
Java application servers, and Web server complexity. Essbase now lives in corporate
datacenters with 24/7 uptimes for a global user community. No longer a departmental
point solution, Essbase is now an enterprise level tool with a concomitant enterprise
level of infrastructure requirements.
A recent major change is a hardware appliance featuring Essbase called Exalytics,
which Oracle announced at OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco. e product is so new
there is little hands-on experience. Exalytics is an integrated soware and hardware
platform featuring in-memory Business Intelligence Foundation Suite (of which Essbase
is one component). e product brief reads like a piece of dream hardware for any
infrastructure geek. A side benet is that an appliance like this is as close to “plug it in
andgo” as you can get. It is built such that it can deal with extremely rich data sets and/
or thousands of users. Due to the anticipated price, only large corporations have deep
enough pockets to purchase the equipment. As time goes on, perhaps they will turn this
into a scalable (lowering entry cost) solution rather than the one size ts all appliance
it is today.
1.1.1 Who Should Read is Chapter?
is chapter is aimed at anyone who cares what goes on “under the hood.” is chapter
gives a broad overview of then infrastructure secrets I’ve learned over the span of two
1.1.2 What Will Not Be Covered
is chapter is not intended to be a replacement for Oracle installation guides and
product information. In my 20 years of experience with the information technology
industry, I believe Oracle as a vendor has some of the most robust documentation of any
soware vendor and I encourage you to read these documents very closely.
Additionally, these specic topics are outside of the scope of this chapter:
•  IBM’s AS/400 and OS/390 Essbase (which are now obsolete)
•  Exalytics (very new and minimal need for infrastructure expertise)
1.7.2 Antivirus 20
1.7.3 Hyperthreading 20
1.7.4 Virtual versus Physical 20
1.7.5 Ensure File Systems Are Fully Formatted 20
1.7.6 Named User versus Processor Licensing 20
1.8 Conclusion 22
1.8.1 Parting Shots 22

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