One of the most frequent questions I get goes something like this: 'I've been tasked with managing this multi-environment, 24 server Oracle Fusion EPM system. How many hours should I dedicate to that each week, because I have lots of other applications and products to support. Is 4 enough?' It takes all my poise to hold back a hearty guffaw at that point.
Let me be blunt, maintaining an enterprise class Oracle Fusion EPM environment, is a full time job. Sure, there are some companies out there still on Hyperion Enterprise, and there are some places that have 5 HFM users...but they are a rarity. For the true 'power consumers' of Oracle Fusion EPM, the facts of the matter are simple: be prepared to devote a lot of time and manpower from the IT world.
From a resourcing perspective, it can be as simple as one person and a back-up for most application server tasks. However, in very large deployments, it may require a team approach. It varies widely from company to company and can depend a lot on the sorts of segregation within a companies IT structure. But no matter the scale of the effort, it probably won't be 4 hours a week.
This catches some companies by surprise, as they tend to think of Hyperion as a simple 'software package'. This lack of true understanding or respect for the complexities is usually shown by IT managers referring to those finance folks 'using Hyperion;' that sort of statement makes it sounds like they are closing the companies books on Notepad. If only it were that simple...as has been said here before, this is a software 'suite' and the fact that it impacts every layer of the OSI model, and will have server components in every niche of a data center (DB, Application/Java, HTTP Web, and Client) should be a good clue to the scope and scale of the undertaking.
With this in mind, I took the time to throw together a bullet list of items that are 'typical' of day to day infrastructure tasks. The list below is an example of things your IT administrator of Oracle Fusion should be prepared to do, track, and/or manage:
- Monitor system performance with ‘Performance Monitor’ or some similar tool
- Monitor Hyperion System Logs for errors and outage conditions
- Manage Hyperion Services for uptime
- Manage complete system backups including the necessary MAXL scripting for Essbase backups (archive mode, etc.)
- Manage or assist with management of all system RDBMS backups
- Troubleshoot issues with both client and server systems
- SmartView Client connections, FR Studio connections, HFM Client support
- Essbase cube stop/start, HFM application start/stop, JVM monitoring and troubleshooting, IIS/Apache/OHS support and maintenance
- Migration of objects between environments (Dev, Test, Production) using LCM, or manually for earlier versions
- Manage the technical documentation of all fixes, versioning, and issues for the suite
- Manage all technical tickets both with the internal ticketing system, and externally to Oracle or other vendors
- Be prepared to apply patches to the environment including:
- System level OS patches
- Patches for third-party products (J2EE servers, PDF Print software, Microsoft Office, etc.)
- Patches to the product suite which may include full product reinstallations
- If required by IT policy, the management of users/groups within Shared Services and their proper role assignment may be a responsibility
- Understand changes in application base/scope to ensure the architecture does not need to grow
- Monitor all system usage metrics so that additional hardware is expanded in advance of need: RAM, Disk, Processor, etc.
As you can see, the above list is not a small one. It's a varied set of responsibilities that a person can't truly manage proactively if they are tasked with similar requirements for two or three other systems. Hopefully companies can use a list like this to prepare for the proper implementation of their own Oracle Fusion EPM system. As always, I welcome any comments or questions.