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Introducing the Quarterly Database Patch for Exadata

Hot on the heels of coming out for Exadata, there’s yet another Exadata patch schedule out: the Quarterly Database Patch for Exadata (QDPE). They’re designed to being some of the predictability of Oracle’s quarterly critical patch updates (CPU) to the Exadata world. Behind the new naming, it looks like these are ordinary Exadata bundle patches, and even have BP numbers, but will have the predictable quarterly release schedule, synchronized with the CPU schedule (quarterly Tuesday nearest to 17th of the month it appears). Ordinary bundle patches aren’t going away quite yet though: there’s still a need to get patches out more frequently, and will still come out monthly or bimonthly on top of the quarterly patches. Oracle’s patching recommendations have changed too: QDPE patches are recommended, but other bundle patches are recommended only if experiencing issues resolved by them. From My Oracle Support note 888828.1, the following patches for Oracle are planned:

Patch Timeline BP1 Already issued: January 3, 2012 QDPE (BP2) January 2012 BP3 February 2012

So for those of you looking at upgrades, keep in mind that the first QDPE is scheduled to come out before the end of the month!

QDPE patches have only been announced for; previous versions are staying with the regular bundle patch treatment, at least for now.

I think having a single, predictable patch window for Oracle products simplifies patch planning; I’m just hoping that this artificial deadline for patch releases doesn’t force changes to go out before they’re ready, or conversely, important changes to miss the patch window entirely.

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