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Siebel CRM Applications on Ravello

Siebel CRM Overview

Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM), the world’s most complete CRM solution, helps organizations achieve maximum top- and bottom-line growth and deliver great customer experiences across all channels, touchpoints, and devices.

Siebel CRM delivers transactional, analytical, and engagement features to manage all customer-facing operations. With solutions tailored to more than 20 industries, Siebel CRM delivers comprehensive on-premise and on-demand CRM solutions that are tailored to industry requirements and offer role-based customer intelligence and prebuilt integrations.

Siebel CRM core components

Siebel CRM deployment consists of some core components, which are given below with the function they provide

ComponentFunction
Siebel Gateway Name ServerStores Siebel Enterprise Server and Siebel Server configuration and status information.
Siebel ServerApplication server software that provides both user services and batch mode services to Siebel clients or other components.
Siebel Web Server ExtensionThe SWSE identifies requests for Siebel data and forwards them to the Siebel Servers. It receives data from Siebel Servers and helps format it into Web pages for Siebel clients.
Siebel Web ServerSoftware installed on a third-party Web server computer, where the virtual directories for Siebel applications are created.
Siebel Web ClientThe Siebel Web Client runs in a standard browser on the end user’s client computer
Siebel DatabaseStores database records

The following diagram illustrates the relationship between the elements of the Siebel CRM deployment

Simplified Siebel CRM architecture
Fig. 1: Simplified Siebel CRM architecture

Why Siebel CRM on Ravello?

Enterprises running Siebel CRM application in their data-center, typically need many copies of their environment for various purposes. Typically for every 1 production instance of the Siebel environment in their datacenter, enterprises have 5-8 copies of this environment for pre-production use-cases such as development, testing, staging and running User Acceptance Tests. However, most of the pre-production environments are not needed 24×7, but only for a few hours. For such ephemeral needs, it doesn’t make economic sense to invest in a data-center based environment. 
 
Ravello provides a great platform for such use-cases that need ephemeral environments by offering data-center-like capabilities on public cloud (ability to run VMware VMs with Layer 2 networking). This helps enterprises reduce their infrastructure costs for such ephemeral workloads.

As an example, an enterprise running one production instance and 5 pre-production environments of such a Siebel deployment on-prem can benefit from 58% savings by running compared to running on-prem.1

Siebel CRM application on Ravello

A common scenario to deploy Siebel CRM on VMware ESXi on-prem in a multi-node setup is with 7 nodes housing Siebel components – Siebel database, Siebel Gateway Name Server, Siebel Application Server, Siebel Web Server, Siebel Web Developer Client, Siebel File System and Siebel Web Client) – one on each of the VMs. The deployment diagram for the implementation:

Deployment diagram
Fig. 2: Deployment diagram

In this on-prem deployment, we had Oracle Linux 7.3 running on ESXi VMs with the following topology. Each of the VMs was configured with 4vCPU and 8GB RAM with two different network subnets configured:

  • 10.0.0.0/24 – public network
  • 10.1.0.0/24 – application network
  1. IMPORT: To build the Siebel CRM application with Ravello, we first import the 7 VMs that are setup in our on-prem ESX environment into Ravello’s VM library using the Import Tool.
  2. BUILD: Once imported, we can create a new application by dragging the VMs onto the canvas.
    Building the application with the imported VMs
    Fig. 3: Building the application with the imported VMs
  3. The system resources (vCPUs, memory) allocated to each of the VMs was automatically preserved when imported into the Ravello VM library.

    On the network tab, Ravello automatically re-creates the network as it was setup in the data-center based on the meta-data associated and information parsed from the VM disk images.

    Network view of the application
    Fig. 4: Network view of the application
    We will now make sure all the settings in each VM are as per our expectation. Let us take a look at ‘Gateway’ VM in the Ravello UI.
  4. Let us start with the ‘General’ tab. Make sure that the hostname field is populated and it matches to the hostname in the VM.
    General tab for db server
    Fig. 5: General tab for db server
  5. Under the ‘Disks’ tab, Controller we select is the ‘PVSCSI’ para-virtualized controller for better performance.
    Disks tab for Gateway server
    Fig. 6: Disks tab for Gateway server
  6. Under the ‘NICs’ section, we select the ‘VMXnet3’ para-virtualized device for each of the NICs, for better performance. As pointed out earlier, we have used a separate subnet to handle application traffic for our Siebel app. We verify that all the NICs are present and configured correctly for each of the nodes with the right IP configuration.
    Public interface for Gateway server
    Fig. 7: Public interface for Gateway server
    Private interface for Gateway server
    Fig. 8: Private interface for Gateway server

    We have enabled ‘ssh’ service for the Gateway server so that we can access it from the internet, externally. Make sure the ‘External’ checkbox is checked to allow this.

    External services
    Fig. 9: External services
    Next, we ‘Edit and Verify’ all the VMs on the application in a similar fashion. Once this is done, the application is ready to be published.
  7. DEPLOY: Publish the application to bring up the VMs in the public cloud either using ‘Cost-optimized’ or ‘Performance-optimized’ selection.

Starting up the Siebel CRM Application

The Siebel application requires the following sequence in starting the different components of application servers to access the application

database server -> gateway server -> application server -> web server

Ravello provides this functionality to start your application in a sequence by providing the information in the “VMs start order” in the settings tab.

Follow the steps to set up the sequence for Siebel application startup.

  1. Select the Siebel application and click on “Settings” then click on “+ Add Stage” in the “VMs Start Order” section.
    VMs Start Order
    Fig. 10: VMs Start Order
  2. Provide the stage name and time to schedule the start up for next stage
    Create New Stage
    Fig. 11: Create New Stage
  3. Click on the “VMs List” and select the VMs to be added to the stage
    Add the VMs to the created stage
    Fig. 12: Add the VMs to the created stage
  4. Build all the stages to get the complete setup as follows:

    Stage 1: Storage:
    VMs: “Siebel_DB” and “Siebel_filesys”
    Stage 2: Logic_GW:
    VMs: “Siebel_Gateway”
    Stage 3: Logic_App:
    VMs: “Siebel_AppServer” and “Siebel_WebServer”
    Stage 4: Application:
    VMs: “Siebel_Tools” and “Siebel_WebClient”

    Complete stage setup
    Fig. 13: Complete stage setup

Verifying the Siebel CRM application running on Ravello

  1. Start the Siebel application from the Ravello UI to boot the VMs in the order specified
    Start the Siebel CRM Application
    Fig. 14: Start the Siebel CRM Application
  2. Confirming that Siebel database and listener service is up and running on the Siebel_DB VM
    Database and listener status
    Fig. 15: Database and listener status
  3. Check connectivity from the Siebel server using ‘srvrmgr’ utility
    Siebel server verification
    Fig. 16: Siebel server verification
  4. Test connectivity to the Siebel Web Server from your browser. The IP address for the Web Server should be shown in Summary tab for the VM
    Public IP of Siebel WebServer
    Fig 17: Public IP of Siebel WebServer
    Application login
    Fig. 18: Application login
    For this Siebel CRM deployment, we enabled the Call Center component, for which is connectivity is shown above using the public IP assigned to the VM.

  5. Siebel Tools can be verified by connecting to the Tools VM either through RDP or Console access.
    Siebel Tools verification
    Fig 19. Siebel Tools verification

Free Trial

To try out your custom Siebel CRM application environment on public cloud, please open a free Ravello trial here.

About Ravello Systems

Ravello is the industry’s leading nested virtualization and software-defined networking SaaS. It enables enterprises to create cloud-based development, test, UAT, integration and staging environments by automatically cloning their VMware-based applications in AWS. Ravello is built by the same team that developed the KVM hypervisor in Linux.

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Siebel CRM Applications on Ravello