Tuesday, January 31, 2012

EPM System Standard Deployment Guide

EPM System Standard Deployment Guide is a recently published Oracle document that describes the Standard Deployment Topology for the EPM products. To put it simply the guide shows you an Oracle-approved and tested way to install the main EPM modules (HFM, Planning, Essbase) in a multi-server environment and also how to scale out (or to cluster) different parts of the system when needed. The standard environment is based on EPM installed on Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system and Oracle 11g database but the installation and configuration process can be adjusted to suit any supported operating system.

Oracle EPM Standard Deployment Topology

As you can see from the diagram the standard topology suggests separate servers for following roles:
  • Foundation: Foundation Services, Calculation Manager, Financial Reporting, EPM Architect, Essbase Administration Services, Provider Services, Oracle HTTP Server (OHS)
  • HFM Web: HFM IIS web app and HFM Web Service (only required for Financial Close Management)
  • HFM Application Server
  • Planning
  • Essbase Server
The idea behind this distribution of modules is to make it easier to scale out each role by adding another server next to it and installing and configuring only the required EPM parts.

The guide starts off by describing the requirements for hardware, database, operating system settings, network and optionally the load balancer. Even if you are experienced in EPM infrastructure you'll probably find a few good reminders or tips in this section (like the command line to install all required IIS components required by HFM). Downloading the software packages and extracting them are also clearly documented to avoid confusion (unzipping to a single folder, ovewriting existing files etc). Rest of the document consists of step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring each server role complete with screenshots. Also included are brief notes about the tasks needed in case you want to scale out any component - for example add a server to an HFM cluster. Note that active-passive failover for Essbase is still considered an advanced topic and is not included in the scope of the Standard Deployment Guide.

All in all, I think that the guide is a good effort in removing the veil of mystery surrounding the Oracle EPM installation and configuration process. Personally the only gripe I can think of right now is the placement of Financial Reporting Server on CLIENTHOST which might be confusing to someone as FR Print is considered a server component after all. But besides this - rather small - complaint I recommend the document to anyone interested in learning more about the EPM deployment process.


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