I was browsing My Oracle Support today, and came across note Note 1415713.1 which talks about updates to third-party monitoring agent support. According to the note and associated FAQ, as of February 15, 2012, all third-party monitoring agents are supported on the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). This means that the previously-published list of supported third-party agents on OTN no longer applies.
Naturally there are disclaimers: ODA updates can involve changes to the operating system, including kernel and shared libraries, and Oracle won’t guarantee these changes won’t break third-party agents. Agents are defined as programs that “manage, monitor, backup, replicate, authenticate, or otherwise act on the database, the server, or the environment”, but cannot “store or manipulate end-user data”, meaning that ETL and similar tools are still not permitted to run on the appliance. According to the FAQ, this type of support is planned for 2013. I would imagine that Oracle Support would take a dim view of a malfunctioning agent that, for example, breaks something with the grid infrastructure.
The biggest benefit to the policy change will be for people who use in-house or open-source monitoring tools like Nagios or newer replacements.
The second part of the announcement teases us that, later on this year (Q3CY2012) when an ODA build of Oracle 22.214.171.124 comes out, we’ll finally be able to run multiple ORACLE_HOMEs on ODA installs. This is important for consolidation deployments, where different applications may need to get database patches on different schedules.