Oracle Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) are important security patches released monthly by Oracle to fix critical vulnerabilities in their products. However, applying patches also comes with some risks if not done carefully. Here are 5 key things every Oracle administrator should consider before applying Oracle Critical Patch.
Test the patches first
It is very important to test any patches from Oracle in a non-production or test environment before applying them to live production systems. Thoroughly testing patches allows us to identify any potential problems the patches may cause within the specific environment. When testing patches, one needs to ensure all applications continue working as expected and check for any errors, impacts to performance, or unexpected behavior after installing the patches. The testing process helps find issues so they can be resolved prior to deploying patches to live production servers where real customers and business operations rely on the systems. Only after thoroughly testing patches in a separate test environment and fixing any issues found, should one consider rolling out the patches to critical production systems.
Check patch requirements and dependencies
Oracle patches often have requirements and dependencies that need to be met. Check the Oracle documentation for the exact products, versions, operating systems, language packs, etc. that a patch is applicable to. Also, check if there are any other patches that need to be applied as prerequisites. Applying a patch without meeting its requirements can cause instability.
Plan adequate time for deployment
Deploying Oracle patches to production requires proper planning. Allow sufficient time for testing, deployment, and rollback in case of any issues. Have a maintenance window planned where there is the least disruption to the business. Inform relevant stakeholders about the planned patch deployment and its timelines. Unplanned or rushed deployments increase the chances of problems.
Back up the environment
It is critical to back up databases, file systems, and any other components before deploying Oracle patches. This helps to quickly recover from any patch-related issues. Take database backups, file system snapshots, etc., and verify they are complete and usable. Having recent backups provides peace of mind and reduces downtime in case of problems.
Even after successful deployment, continue monitoring the systems for a few days. Keep an eye out for any errors, performance regressions, or unexpected behavior in applications. Have support contacts and escalation procedures in place in case of any post-deployment issues. Early identification and resolution of problems are important to minimize the impact on operations and users.
Following the steps mentioned here like testing patches, checking requirements, proper planning, backing up systems, and monitoring post-deployment can help deploy critical patches smoothly and securely. However, if businesses are tired of spending hours identifying test impacts for each Oracle update, Opkey is here to save the day. It is an intelligent test automation platform that works seamlessly with the Oracle environment. Opkey analyzes updates in a flash and outlines the precise Cloud testing that needs to run. Businesses can be relieved of manual test scoping and redundant tester work. With Opkey, deploying Oracle patches is hassle-free. Critical fixes are implemented super-fast while bugs stay away. The business keeps working along without disruptions. Upgrade cycles are drastically accelerated yet quality remains top-notch. It’s time to try Opkey and see the change!
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