I have worked in organizations where we have used only scripts to monitor databases, or used Oracle Enterprise Manager exclusively, or implemented a combination of these two methods to monitor Oracle databases. I used to prefer scripts (for monitoring, alerting, etc.) over the use of OEM, but as OEM matures I find that I prefer using it over scripting or at least implement a combination of these two. Oracle 10g Grid Control has a nice interface and provides quite a bit of functionality out of the box. You may find, however, that you will still need to write scripts (Perl, shell scripting, SQL scripts, etc.) to monitor very specific or custom functions in your database.
One bit of advice that will make monitoring easier no matter which method you choose is to set up your database servers exactly the same way. Standardize your OS installation, as well as your Oracle software installation and database creation. Each database server should look identical, if possible. There are special circumstances where you may have to deviate from your standard but I would suggest keeping these exceptions to a minimum.
Dig Deeper on Oracle database installation, upgrades and patches
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