Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yellow whiteboard markers & Oracle CPU

What's with the yellow whiteboard markers? You can hardly see them on the whiteboard and who ever came up with that colour schema should be taken out back and shot!

Most of the time, all the darker colours (black, blue, red, green, orange, purple) are used first leaving Mr. Yellow all by himself and full.

On a different topic, I see that Pete Finnigan has spent about 6 blog entries talking about Oracle's Chief Security Officer, Mary-Ann Davidson, interview in the press about the "patch mentality" and the follow-up responses from various folks to her comments. I think she's right. Look at the current Oracle CPU process being released quarterly. It's almost unworkable as you would probably spend the first couple of weeks going through the CPU notes and then another two weeks to work out the patch process (i.e. ensuring that there were no errors in the documented steps), another two-three weeks testing out the patches and then another four-six weeks applying the patches to all of your databases and then the whole cycle starts all over again. I can't see an normal organization doing that where every three months, you go through and apply patches to your environments trying to keep ahead of the hackers who probably already have zero day exploits (considering that we also have security researchers selling zero day exploits information).

Right now, we are trying to streamline our patch process so that we minimize the work and effort required while at the same time, ensuring that we are on current with patching.

2 comments:

Tim... said...

Typically, we get CPUs for Tru64 a month after most platforms. I have to apply them to development as soon as possible, then wait a few days before appling to test. We typically run for about 1+ week before applying them production. When you consider the delay in the release and the time to progress to production, by the time the CPU is applied, it's time for the next one to be released.

Cheers

Tim...

Peter K said...

Given your delay in getting CPUs for Tru64, hopefully the advantage is that other folks would have applied the CPU first and posted their experiences and the problems encountered so that you know beforehand how to deal with those when it comes time to apply the CPUs.

We have almost 15 database servers running multiple database versions in different Oracle homes so you can see how much time would be needed just to apply the CPUs plus the added complexity of third party software (COTS) which might break or worse still not supported by the vendor.