Feb 5, 2015

HFM on a Linux "Exa-VM" (Virtual Exalogic image)

With the new version of HFM that Oracle released this week, we now have support for HFM on Linux servers. Now the support for Linux is available only on an Exalytics server so if you were planning on test driving HFM on Linux (say in a VM) you're out of luck, right? eeerrrr! wrong. You actually have a couple of options:

Option 1: you can actually take a commodity Linux installation (Oracle or RedHat) and follow my colleague's blog for basically "making it work" with OOB Linux.

An OOB Linux installation may not have all the correct packages installed, so you will be presented with a screen like the one below explaining the missing packages. Once you install these you're ready to install EPM Linux.

Now, follow Henri's blog here --> HFM Running On Commodity Linux and hopefully after you're done you will have a Linux VM with HFM running.

Option 2: With this option, you will actually be installing EPM in a virtual machine in VirtualBox using Oracle's Exalogic image. I was made aware of the ability to do this by other Infratects colleague (thanks Giacomo).  The blog to simulate Exalogic in a virtualbox VM is here Now, you don't have to actually follow the entire blog post to have a full Exalogic node(s) running, all you really need is to download and install the VM with the Oracle Exalogic image (step 4) and then install EPM on that.  This image is a specially "cooked" version of Oracle Linux version 5.9 (I used EL_x4-2_baseimage_linux_2.

The first thing I noticed, is that Hyperion doesn't complain about any missing RPM's etc.

You can choose to install whichever products you need:

It all installs very smoothly with no issues (remember the Common Components issue on Linux on

Once you're done installing EPM, go ahead and start it up and add an HFM application. It will work right away, now you have a Linux VM running HFM.

Now you can use the VM for demos, testing, development or just for bragging rights! :)



Feb 3, 2015

A brief glance at HFM from a techie perpsective

Now that is out, here's a brief look at some of the HFM features that have made it so far (from a techie perspective)

HFM Registry settings

In the past, in order to tune HFM applications or servers, you had to open up the Windows registry (regedit) and you had to follow the HFM tuning guide to add settings that would help you make your apps faster. Now that has been released, they have moved this functionality to the front-end making it possible for administrators to tweak these settings.

To access, you can go to "Consolidation Administration" and select the settings task

Then you will see the entire gamut of options that you can set

One setting that I found interesting is the "NumConsolidationThreads" option which sets the maximum number of consolidation threads per consolidation. This setting used to be capped at 8 threads, now it seems the cap has been increased to 24. Tread on this setting lightly though as you think you would automatically set this value to 24, but this can decrease performance if you have a low number of CPU cores.

Also, I did not see the "NumVBScriptEngines" parameter which was included in previous versions. This parameter would set the number of VBScript engines (as the name alludes to) in order to improve consolidation performance as there would be more engines to parse/execute rules as consolidations run. I'm assuming this setting is not required as the new HFM server service is Java based. Having said that, I still found the rules could be created using VBScript syntax.

HFM Processes

If you have administered HFM up to now, you must be aware of the HsvDataSource, HsxServer, CASSecurity, etc processes that are related to an HFM application. Well, you can say goodbye to those. When starting the new HFM Java Service, it seems to only start one process launched by the HsJavaService2 executable.

Linux/Unix/Exalytics Support

In the currently available binaries for download (on OTN), I could not see a Linux version of the HFM application download file, so as of now, I still cannot install HFM on a Linux box :(

From the OTN Site:

Extended Analytics

Another nice feature is the ability to configure a data source for extracting data (Extended Analytics) in the "Consolidation Administration" screens. This used to be a pain in System 9 and 11.1.x versions. It got easier in 11.1.2.x but now it's exactly where it's supposed to be.

The data source can then be used to extract data out of your HFM application

That's all for now, will keep digging and reporting back what new and exciting things I find on