Upgrades and patches are a primary cause of planned downtime for Oracle databases and the applications that rely on them. Therefore, you need to have a strategy and process for your Oracle database upgrades that minimizes business disruption but does not postpone these essential tasks.

Waiting to perform upgrades is likely to increase costs and downtime. Failure to apply patches in a timely manner not only can take longer and make things more complicated when you finally do it, but also can leave your databases open to instability and security risks.

Keeping your Oracle environment up-to-date with minimal impact on the business depends on timely periodic maintenance that includes incremental updates and critical patch upgrades. The cadence of these activities should be tailored to your specific business needs.

But with more and more data to manage and skilled Oracle DBAs in short supply, many organizations are hard-pressed to keep up with these kinds of day-to-day database maintenance tasks. It can likewise be a challenge for DBAs to keep their knowledge up-to-date so they’re aware of best practices and “gotchas” associated with patches and upgrades.

If your team struggles to keep up with patches and upgrades, or the business is experiencing excessive planned downtime, you should consider outsourcing these “non-core” processes. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Lower database administration costs
    Hiring the expertise you need, when you need it, often costs less than hiring, paying and training full-time Oracle DBAs.
  2. Improved business agility
    Offloading “non-core” processes like database patching and upgrades can help supplement the efforts of in-house Oracle DBAs, enabling them to focus on data modeling, database design and other strategic objectives that drive innovation and get new applications to market.
  3. Reduced planned downtime and improved SLAs
    Outsourcing Oracle DB patching and upgrades to experts who do them every day of the week will result in more process automation, more proactive problem-solving, and more best practices to ensure quality and minimize downtime. That means improved SLAs around uptime, performance and reliability. It can also mean reduced negative impact on business revenue and customer satisfaction.

Oracle patching and upgrades can be performed onsite or remotely with equal speed and efficiency. Activities can take place at off-peak times, in sync with other planned downtime activities, or whenever it best suits your operations.

In addition, outsourced Oracle DBA experts will have solid experience with “tips and tricks” like using Oracle Data Guard and Oracle GoldenGate to minimize downtime and optimize results. Expertise like this can be critical for organizations that need to upgrade mission-critical database environments that are currently running older Oracle versions.

If you have a one-time, periodic or ongoing need for additional support to patch and/or upgrade your Oracle environment, contact Buda Consulting for a free consultation to discuss your options.