Oracle has announced a new patching strategy for Exadata, starting with databases running 126.96.36.199. Oracle will be moving away from the monthly bundle patch philosophy, which was panned by many administrators as coming too often to keep up with, given the tight schedules held around most Exadata systems. Instead, Oracle will be releasing a Quarterly Database Patch for Exadata, or QDPE. The QDPE will most likely be released in conjunction with the standard critical patch updates (CPUs). Oracle will still release interim bundle patches, but recommends for customers to only install the QDPEs unless they have a specific need to install a bundle patch. Note that so far, the QDPEs are only being released for 188.8.131.52 - Linux x86_64, SPARC Solaris (supercluster), and Solaris x86_64.
In addition to the QDPE release, Oracle has announced a "full stack QDPE" - the Quarterly Full Stack Download Patch, or QFSDP. This "full stack" patch includes all of the latest software that can be found in MOS note #888828.1. The January 2012 QFSDP includes:
- Infrastructure Software
- Exadata Storage Server version 184.108.40.206.2
- Exadata Infiniband Switch version 1.3.3-2
- Exadata PDU firmware version 1.04
- 220.127.116.11 January 2012 QDPE
- Opatch 18.104.22.168.9
- Systems Management
- Patches for 11g OEM agents
- Management plugins for 11g OEM
- Patches for 11g OEM management server
No word on when Oracle will start including patches for the new OEM 12c. Keep in mind that these are just a collection of patches, they all still need to be installed as if they were downloaded separately. Oracle does not yet have a mechanism in place to apply the QDPE, storage server patches, Infiniband switch patches, etc in one swoop.
The current QDPE patch is January 2012 (patch #13513783), and the current DFSDP is January 2012 (patch #13551280).