My Best Advice on Patching Oracle Grid Infrastructure

I started this blog post series to learn about patching Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c (GI). After spending quite some time patching GI, I got a pretty good feeling about the pros and cons. Here’s my advice on patching Oracle Grid Infrastructure.

Daniel’s Top Tips

  1. Always use the latest version of OPatch. Even if the patch you install does not require it, it is always a good idea to get the latest version of OPatch.

  2. Use out-of-place patching. Out-of-place patching allows you to prepare in advance and keep node downtime minimal. In addition, it makes fallback so much easier. Using the SwitchGridHome method, you can install multiple patches in one operation.

  3. Apply the latest Release Update or the second-latest Release Update (N-1 approach). Apply the latest Monthly Recommended Patches (MRP) on top.

  4. Use Application Continuity. It is such a cool feature. You can completely hide node outages from your end users. No more late-night patching. Patch your systems when it suits you.

  5. Patch GI and database in separate maintenance operations. My personal preference is to keep things separate. First, you patch GI. When you know it works fine, you proceed with the database, for instance, the week after.

  6. Keep GI and database patch level in sync. This means that you must patch GI and your Oracle Database at the same cadence. Ideally, that cadence is quarterly. If you follow advice no. 5, your patch levels will be out of sync for a week or so, but that’s perfectly fine as long as you patch GI first.

  7. Complete a rolling patch installation as quick as possible. Regardless of whether you install patches to GI or the database, you should complete the rolling patch operation as quick as possible. I have heard of customers that patch one node a day. In an 8-node RAC it will take more than a week to complete the patch operation. When in a rolling state certain things are disabled in GI. I strongly recommend that you complete the patch on all nodes as soon as possible.

Special Guest Star – Anil Nair

I had a chat with Mr. RAC himself, Anil Nair. Anil is Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle and responsible for RAC.

Anil’s top tips for patching Oracle Grid Infrastructure

  1. Use out-of-place patching
  2. Use Cluster Verification Utility (CVU) before and after patching
  3. Understand and set drain timeout
  4. Use Oracle Fleet Patching and Provisioning

Happy Patching


I made it really far, and I learned a lot while writing this blog post series. I received good feedback on Twitter and LinkedIn, plus a lot of comments on my blog. Thank you so much. This feedback is really helpful, and I can use it to make the content so much better.

Also, a big thank-you to my colleagues that answered all my questions and helped me on my learning experience.


Other Blog Posts in This Series

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