To help you plan ahead the Oracle database upgrades and patching, below is an Oracle Database Releases roadmap, showing their lifetime support stages (Premier + Extended) for the latest releases.
Oracle Support Notes
- Ensure to maintain Oracle releases that are under Oracle Premium Support (black bars on the chart) or Extended Support (red bars on the chart)
- Extended Support is typically for three years following the expiration of Premier Support and only for the Terminal Patch Set release
- After end of Premium + Extended Support no new patches are released by Oracle + lower SLAs apply for the corresponding database release
- To receive Extended Support, you must:
- Continue to pay the support fee for Premier Support
- Purchase Extended Support on top of Premier Support fee (unless the fee is waived (usually for the 1st year)
- Most ULA/PULA contracts include Extended Support fee
- Enable Extended Support for your Support Identifier (SI) on MOS
The new database patching for Oracle 12cR2 (12.2) and above using new RUs and RURs patches replaces the old patching concept. Means, the legacy terms and patches Patchset, Patchset Update (PSU), Database Bundle Patch, Critical Patch Update (CPU) will no longer be meaningful for 12.2 database software. The new patches will be applied in the same way using opatch utility with ability using RAC Rolling or Data Guard/GG switchover techniques.
The major points about the new patching concept are below:
New quarterly Release Update (RUs)
– More aggressive patching for test / dev and early production roll-outs -> more testing required
– Released quarterly (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct)
– Proactive, highly tested bundles of critical fixes
– Include all security fixes for the same quarterly cycle
– Enable customers to avoid known issues.
– Might contain small, important new features
– Query optimizer fixes that can change execution plans might be included but must be enabled manually by the customer after patching.
– Separate Database RU, Grid Infrastructure RU, and OJVM RU available
New quarterly Release Update Revisions (RURs)
– A bit similar to former PSUs
– Less aggressive pathing for stable production environments -> less testing required
– Released quarterly (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct) Read more »
To minimize downtime during patching of NON-RAC databases Out of Place Patching can be used. You can apply this approach to any Oracle patch starting from Oracle database 11g (188.8.131.52.0+) using OPatch utility. In this case time spent installing the software can be saved from the total database downtime required. However, some downtime is required for switching database services to the new Oracle database home and applying a post-upgrade script. A basic overview of the steps is below:
– Clone the existing database home online
– Apply required patch to the cloned database home using OPatch
– Switch the database services to the cloned database home
– Complete the post installation tasks for the patch applied
– Oracle database 11g and 12c documentation describe DB_HOME cloning only in OFFLINE mode (when DB is down)
– However, there should be no requirement to shutdown any databases, listeners, agents etc. that are running from the source home while cloning the Oracle Home directory because any processes that load the static binaries or libraries into memory should not hold a write lock.
– Oracle Out of Place patching is supported by SAP
– Out of Place patching is a recommended patching method that is used in out of the box deployment procedure of Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) Cloud Control 12c+ version
Below we will use a combination of Oracle documentation, a few MOS Notes and a little bit of experience to manually conduct Out of Place patching of Oracle database 12c
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I’m often asked questions on Oracle database or client software installation in Silent Mode with using response file. I used to do it in the past but not anymore. The silent software installation with Oracle response file is still available but I found another handy option in Oracle 11g/12c of doing the same. The same silent installation can be done directly from the command prompt without using an Oracle response file but it requires a minimum set of variables (from the response file) as arguments to the Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) (i.e “runInstaller or setup.exe”).
I give a few tested examples below to install Oracle software in Silent mode without a response file:
Oracle Database 11.2 on Linux silent installation (Enterprise Edition Software Only)
./runInstaller -silent -debug -force \ Read more »
Installation of Oracle 11gR2 64-bit client on Windows 7 is even trickier compared to Oracle 32-bit client installation. In fact after some series of installations, I do recommend installing Oracle client 32-bit on Windows 7 64-bit version, unless you have solid technical restrictions of that. This will avoid various installation issues as well as some client software incompatibility issues. I give however below a short installation plan for Oracle 11gR2 64-bit client with possible issues you can encounter during and after it. Read also my other article for some more tips on that: Oracle 11gR2 client installation on Windows 7 troubleshooting.
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