Applying O/S Patches to Apps Environments
By mzshaw on Sep 26, 2006
Operating system (O/S) vendors often recommend applying latest patches or a specific patch to fix a specific issue you are facing, so you may wonder if these O/S patches could possibly have a negative impact on your E-Business Suite environment.
Unfortunately, it is not unknown for an O/S patch to have an impact on Oracle software. For example, see:
- Shutdown Hangs Orphaning Dbw0 Lgwr Processes After Applying O/S Patch 117350-30" (Metalink Note 344633.1)
E-Business Suite Certified with Top Level O/S Versions
In general, Apps 11i performs certifications with only the top level operating system version (Solaris 9 or AIX 5.3 for example). Specific operating system requirements such as kernel settings or O/S patch requirements are documented in:
- The platform specific release notes
- Metalink notes relating to eBiz itself or the technology components
Test Thoroughly Prior to Production Rollouts
As with any patching activity, Oracle recommends that you perform sufficient testing in a representative TEST system prior to implementing in PRODUCTION, to ensure there are no issues introduced by any such changes.
Minimizing O/S Patching RisksSo, what proactive steps can you take to minimize the risk? Before applying an O/S patch:
- Search Metalink for any known issues.
- If you have any specific concerns, pose the question in the Oracle Forums to see if your peers have any experiences they can share.
- Search your O/S vendor's knowledge base and forums for any reported issues.
It is also prudent to have a tested emergency rollout strategy
in place to allow you to recover if an issue is only found once
implemented in the PRODUCTION environment.
Getting Help with O/S Patch Problems
If you are unfortunate enough to experience problems after applying an O/S patch (hopefully in your TEST environment), raise a Service Request with the appropriate Oracle Support team to get help with identifying the root cause of your issue. Oracle Support will likely expect you to work primarily with your O/S vendor in the initial stages of such an investigation, so you should certainly be engaging your O/S vendor support team as part of the problem resolution process
In conclusion, any change introduces risks as well as the benefits. Planning, research, a healthy dose of paranoia -- and as much testing as possible -- will allow you to minimize and mitigate the risks involved with applying O/S patches, giving the best chance of a successful implementation.