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RMAN

World Backup Day- Backing up an Oracle Database using RMAN to Azure Blob Storage

A DBA is only as good as their last backup…or more so, their last recovery.

To celebrate #WorldBackupDay on Twitter, I’m blogging on how to backup an Oracle database directly to Azure Blob storage.  Yes, you could backup on a managed disk directly connected to the VM, then copy it off, but Azure Blob Storage is inexpensive and provides considerable speed and opportunity to create an NSF mount to use the backups with other Oracle hosts for cloning, recovery, etc.

Configure Blob Storage in the Azure Portal

In this example, we have an Oracle database running on an Azure IaaS VM and need to backup the database with RMAN.  No RMAN repository catalog will be used, but yes, you can use one-  no problem.

If you don’t already have a database and want to play along, you can perform the following blog post to create one.

Oracle RMAN Backup Optimization ON and backup archivelog command.

TL;DR: BACKUP OPTIMIZATION ON acts as a NOT BACKED UP 1 TIMES for the BACKUP ARCHIVELOG ALL command.

I always mention “not backed up n times” in my “backup archive log” commands because I think it makes sense to precise exactly how many copies of archived log we want to have available to restore from each backup device

I often configure “backup optimization on” when thinking about the tablespaces I put read-only so that they are not backed up each time(given that there is no suppression of old backups that are unknown to RMAN).

But I’ve never realized that BACKUP OPTIMIZATION and NOT BACKED UP actually both work on datafiles, archivelogs, and backupsets. And then the following is redundant:

Duplicating a Database on ODA

Introduction

Every so often, we get a request to duplicate a database for one of our customers using an Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). The process for doing that is relatively straightforward, but there are a couple of nuances along the way so I thought I’d write it up as a blog post in case it’s of use to others. Obviously, I have obfuscated any customer-specific information to protect their identity.

Configuration

The first nuance is to understand what database is being used as the source for the clone. Generally, a request for cloning will be something like this:

“We are creating a new environment which needs a new database to be set up. Please copy P1_SRV_T and restore as P1_SRV_F”.

Duplicating a Database on ODA

Introduction

Every so often, we get a request to duplicate a database for one of our customers using an Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). The process for doing that is relatively straightforward, but there are a couple of nuances along the way so I thought I’d write it up as a blog post in case it’s of use to others. Obviously, I have obfuscated any customer-specific information to protect their identity.

Configuration

The first nuance is to understand what database is being used as the source for the clone. Generally, a request for cloning will be something like this:

“We are creating a new environment which needs a new database to be set up. Please copy P1_SRV_T and restore as P1_SRV_F”.

12cR2 RMAN> REPAIR

Do you know the RMAN Recovery advisor? It detects the problems, and then you:

RMAN> list failure;
RMAN> advise failure;
RMAN> repair failure;

You need to have a failure detected. You can run Health Check if it was not detected automatically (see https://blog.dbi-services.com/oracle-12c-rman-list-failure-does-not-show-any-failure-even-if-there-is-one/). In 12.2 you can run the repair directly, by specifying what you want to repair.

How to do PDB PITR in #Oracle 12c

A logical error happened in one Pluggable Database. A PDB Point-In-Time-Recovery rewinds it while the others remain available and stay as they are.

Logical error in PDB2

Logical error in PDB2

How to use DURATION with RMAN backups in #Oracle

The DURATION clause enables you to reduce the performance impact of RMAN backups respectively it sets a certain time limit for the backup.

Let’s suppose your RMAN backup takes one hour now and you take it online while end users work with the database. This reduces the performance impact of the online backup by half approximately:

RMAN> backup duration 02:00 minimize load database;

The first two digits are hours, the second two digits are minutes. Above command tells RMAN to spend 02 hours and 00 minutes with the backup that takes normally one hour. That way, RMAN gets throttled down, causing roughly half the load on the system than otherwise.

RMAN old feature: Restore datafile without backup

Say I have created a new tablespace recently and did not yet take a backup of the datafile. Now I lose that datafile. Dilemma? No, because I can do an ALTER DATABASE CREATE DATAFILE. Sounds complex? Well even if I wouldn’t be aware of that possibility, a simple RMAN restore will work – as if there were a backup:

Transport Tablespace using RMAN Backupsets in #Oracle 12c

Using backupsets for Transportable Tablespaces reduces the volume of data you need to ship to the destination database. See how that works:

RMAN TTS on the source database

RMAN TTS on the source database

The tablespace is made READ ONLY before the new BACKUP FOR TRANSPORT command is done. At this point, you can also convert the platform and the endian format if required. Then on the destination site:

Table Recovery in #Oracle 12c

You can now restore single tables from backup! It is a simple command although it leads to much effort by RMAN. See it as an enhancement over a ‘normal’ Point In Time Recovery:

Point In Time Recovery

Point In Time Recovery

After a full restore from a sufficiently old backup, archived logs are being applied in direction of the presence until before the logical error. Then a new incarnation comes up (with RESETLOGS) and the whole database is as it was at that time. But what if it is only a dropped table that needs to be recovered? Enter the 12c New Feature: