CPUJAN2009 Patch Installation and Q/A

We are doing the Solaris 10.2.0.4 7592346 patch with RHEL to follow.
README leaves issues with Best Practices:

 

1.  At what point should an Instance that is monitored with Grid Control
be put in GC blackout ? Is this critical ?

-- Shutdown, blackout, backup, startup-and-apply-CPU procedures,
post-apply work, backup, shutdown, end-blackout, startup ?

-- Guessing that an SA with some Oracle experience could be performing
the patch work, can you recommend URLs that presents examples of CPU
installations ? 

 

2. What do you like for an intuitive directory - OFA-happy - for storing
the patch and its unzip ? 

-- $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/patch is an obvious choice.
$ORACLE_BASE/admin/patch is used, too. Preferences ???

 

3. Finally, testing after a CPU cycle. We had a suite of RAT (Real
Application Test) runs, back a bit. Is there anything recommended for a
Best Practices suite, today, suitable for post-install testing ?  

TIA

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