PSU simplify Oracle patching
What are Oracle Patches?
Oracle patching is not always straight forward. Patch sets, patch bundles, one-off and interim patches, critical patch updates,… so many product version numbers. What should I install on my Oracle systems and how often?
I think that some people simply install the base Oracle database version (let‘s say 10.2.0.1 ) and do not bother to ever install any patches. They are happy running it unpatched for ages while others try hard to understand and follow Oracle recommendations on patching.
Just a month ago I installed a standard “Generic Recommended Patch Bundle #4” on top of Oracle Patch Set 3. But now DBA life has changed a bit due to the recently announced Oracle Patch Set Updates (PSUs). This medicine should help a bit to relieve you from patching complexity.
What Are Patch Set Updates?
PSUs are cumulative patches containing recommended bug fixes that are released on a quarterly schedule, the same way as the Critical Patch Updates (CPUs). The goal is to deliver the most critical fixes in a single well tested package on a predictable schedule. They replace several other bundle patches and establish a new baseline version number for easier tracking. Interesting is that CPU fixes are included in the Patch Set Update so you can choose to install either the Patch Set Update or just the Critical Patch Update.
Let’s test it
From what I had read, it seemed it should be ready for testing. That’s exactly what I did this week on the new fresh Oracle installation on Linux. The install procedure went smoothly but a few things were strange:
– after the install I could not identify the new base line version number from the DB side.
As Oracle states first PSU will be 10.2.0.4.1 and I still see 10.2.0.4.0 in the DB views.
Oracle inventory shows the PSU as Interim patch though.
– Oracle Configuration Manager (OCM) can not recognize the patch still advising me to apply CPU-July which should be a part of the installed PSU.
I will address these issues to Oracle shortly…
Below is Oracle Inventory report
Installed Top-level Products (2):
Oracle Database 10g 10.2.0.1.0
Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Patch Set 3 10.2.0.4.0
There are 2 products installed in this Oracle Home.
Interim patches (1) :
Patch 8576156 : applied on Thu Aug 13 12:18:08 CEST 2009
Unique Patch ID: 11423320
Created on 15 Jun 2009, 06:26:41 hrs PST8PDT
7257770, 7363767, 6941717, 6418420, 8267348, 7835247,