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Question about Oracle CPU patches

Posted on 2014-07-27
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Last Modified: 2014-08-12
I am applying the Oracle CPU quarterly July Patches.( Oracle 11g rel 2 11.2.0.3)
I am having more than 30 databases on one server and I am the only dba here. I like to upgrade the home and half of the databases only. (Like 15 out of 30 on Sunday and the rest 15 databases after 3-4 days)
My question is I like to Patch the Oracle Home (using Opatch ) and I like to keep all the databases up and running.
Can I patch the home keeping all the databases up and running and then shutdown and start the individual oracle instance as per my own convenience like 15 now and the rest later?
The readme says stop the listener but it does not say to stop all the databases as well. I am planning to upgrade the home on Sunday and upgrade at least half of the databases at the same time and the rest half of the databases on Wednesday or Thursday ( After 3-4 days)
My question is that the non patched  databases will give any error or it will keep running until I stop and start with the below command to upgrade the instances?
Earlier I used to stop everything (All the databases  including listeners ) and apply it. This time I am thinking to apply this approach. Is this a right approach or I may not able to apply it without shutting down all the instances??

Steps:-  
Apply Patch using Opatch
then catpatch individual databases
SQL> STARTUP
SQL> @catbundle.sql cpu apply

Suggestions please
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Question by:Oranew
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by:praveencpk
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if you have a single oracle home then is not possible to do partially now and rest afterwards has your un-upgraded database will fail to communicate.

>>The readme says stop the listener but it does not say to stop all the databases as well.<<
stop listener itself will stop the new communication to the database and for applying the patch on the database you need to start the database in upgrade mode.
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by:johnsone
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What we do is create a new ORACLE_HOME with the upgraded and patched software.  Then when it is time to switch a database, all we have to do is reset the ORACLE_HOME and run the upgrade scripts in that one database.

Typically the software is installed and ready days (if not weeks) in advance.

Once all databases are migrated to the new software, we remove the old one.  The databases that aren't upgrade only have a momentary outage while the old listener is shut down and the new one is started.  It doesn't require a shutdown on the old databases, they just wouldn't accept new connections for a few seconds.  Existing connections wouldn't be affected.
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by:Oranew
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Thanks both of you !
Now I created a second Oracle Home by tar and untar.
The existing home is /u01/app/oracle/11.2.0
I create a new home (using tar and Untar) which is exactly the same as below:-
/u01/app/oracle/11.2.3

All my instances are using 11.2.0 HOME.
Earlier; like a year ago. When I was upgrading to 11.2.0.3 It gave me error and I need to shutdown all the instances including the listeners and then only I can able to upgrade it.
I am worried if the same problem will come if I use the new home?
My plan is to shutdown one instance and restart using the new home(11.2.0.3) and test. As the listeners are also different for each database so I will only be shutting down ONE listener for this particular database and If it worked I will do the same steps for the rest of the databases ..in the similar fashion.
Please let me know if  this is what you guys are advising to do?
Your comments will be highly appreciated.
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by:praveencpk
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yes that's right go for one by one , also i think you need to re create the listener with new oracle home.
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johnsone earned 500 total points
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tar and untar may not work.  The software will run, but since it wasn't installed, it doesn't have an inventory directory.  Also, the path names are different, so relinking will most likely fail (the install path is saved in the scripts, it doesn't rely on ORACLE_HOME).

The safest way is to actually do an install into the new directory and then apply all the patches.
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