OBIEE 11G Scaleout, Clustering and High Availability

if you’re interested in the infrastructure behind OBIEE one of the highlights of the product demonstration that took place at the London launch was around scaleout and clustering. If you’re worked with the 10g release of OBIEE and tried to set up a cluster, you’ll know it’s a fairly involved task and one that requires a lot of manual setup (Borkur’s postings on 10g BI Server clustering, and 10g Presentation Server clustering, give a good overview of how this worked). Paul Rodwick’s presentation showed that in 11g, setting up OBIEE for high availability and clustering is a much more straightforward process, partly through improvements in manageability and partly through the move to WebLogic Server.
If you saw our previous posting on OBIEE 11g architecture, you’ll have seen how this initial release of OBIEE 11g is centred on WebLogic Server as the underlying application server architecture. Oracle Enterprise Manager is used to manage the OBIEE infrastructure, with a basic installation of OBIEE 11g consisting of a WebLogic domain made up of an admin server plus a managed server containing the OBIEE components. The OBIEE components consist of Java Components (the J2EE elements of OBIEE, such as BI Publisher, BI Office and so on) plus the System Components (BI Server, BI Presentation Server etc) which are managed by Enterprise Manager and brought up and down using OPMN. If you looked at the BI domain in WebLogic Server admin console, you’d see the admin server accompanied by the managed server, looking like this:
If you want to scale out this infrastructure, you would typically run the OBIEE 11g installer on a second server, and instead of choosing to do a new install, you’d choose to instead scale out the existing BI domain.
The installer will then create a new managed server on this server, and connect it to the existing domain on your original server. Then, when you start up the domain and access the WebLogic Server admin console, you can start up both the original managed server, and this one remotely, to give you two managed servers within the domain.
At this point, you’ve got an additional managed server, but you’ve not yet brought any additional system components into the cluster. You do this from Enterprise Manager, where you can now add additional BI Servers, Presentation Servers, Java Hosts, Cluster Controllers or Schedulers to the cluster, by selecting them from the Capacity Management > Scalability screen, where you’ll now see a new entry for your managed server.
As per previous releases, you’ll also need to specify a shared location for your RPD, and for the web catalog. You do this again from Enterprise Manager, this time selecting the Deployment > Repository screen and typing in the details of the shared locations.
All of this is made a lot easier as clustering is enabled by default with OBIEE 11g, which means that it’s relatively simple to add a new node to it. Under the covers, clustering is actually more or less the same in 11g as in 10g with the same active-active and active-passive arrangements, it’s just a lot simpler to set up and manage, something that’s also the case for thing such as SSO and SSL.

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