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How often should I apply Oracle CPU patches?

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonNovember 3,  2015

Question:  Currently I'm on 10.2.0.3 and I'm concerned about frequent patch application.  I have not installed all the cumulative patch updates (CPU) patches because its been a bit like walking in a mine field.

I've even had a tech at Oracle tell me during one of my ill-fated Oracle patch set installations that my mistake was reading and following the readme.txt file.

In more than one instance, The Oracle tech person couldn't install the patch correctly!  How often should I apply Oracle patches?  Are there best practices for Oracle patch application frequency? My gut is telling me that if it isn't broke, don't fix it, but I don't know what the best practices are for applying Oracle patches.
 

Answer: Remember, you DON'T have to apply patches, and sometimes patches can CAUSE unplanned issues.  The best practices are always to conduct a full stress test benchmark in a TEST environment before applying the patches in production.  It also depends on your production policy.  In many shops, patches are only applied to address a specific known problem.

In general there are two approaches to applying Oracle patches:

1 - If it ain't broke - don't fix it.  Don't apply Oracle patches and risk hitting bugs.

2 - Apply all patches and be proactive.  Lots of extra work and you risk a patch causing a problem.

Me, I wait for major releases and re-install at-once, and I only look at patches to fix specific issues.
 


 

 

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