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Lesson 1

Introduction to Complete Recovery with Archiving

Complete Oracle recovery, also known as complete media recovery, is applied to a database running in ARCHIVELOG mode.
Complete recovery with archiving allows you to recover your database up to the time just prior to the occurrence of media failure. It is a more complicated procedure than recovering a NOARCHIVELOG database because you must perform recovery by applying the archived and redo logs after the damaged datafiles are restored. This module investigates different methods of performing complete media recovery on an ARCHIVELOG database.
After completing this module, you will be able to:
  1. Describe the implications of instance failure with an ARCHIVELOG database
  2. Describe the different methods of recovery
  3. Describe a complete recovery operation
  4. Recover a closed database
  5. Recover an open database, initially open
  6. Recover an open database, initially closed
The next lesson explains the implications of instance failure with ARCHIVELOG databases.


The Archiver Process

The archiver (ARCn) is an optional background process and is in charge of archiving the filled online redo log files, before they can be overwritten by new data. The archiver background process is used only if you are running your database in archivelog mode.
  • Data files
  • Redo logs (archived and online)
  • Control files
  • Undo records
  • In a basic database recovery situation, you would need to first restore data files by using backups (from a past period, of course). Once the restoration of the data files is completed, you issue the recover command, which results in the database rolling forward all committed data and thus bringing the database up-to-date. The database also rolls back any uncommitted data that is recorded in the undo segments that are part of the undo tablespace. The database server automatically performs the rollback of uncommitted data by using undo records in the undo tablespace to undo all uncommitted changes that were applied to the data files from the redo logs during the recovery process. This rolling-back of uncommitted data takes place by using the information about all the changes made since the last database startup. Oracle records all changes made to the database in files called the online redo log files. Since Oracle uses a round-robin method of writing the online redo log members, it is critical that you save the filled online redo logs before they are written. The process of saving the filled redo log files is called archiving, and the saved redo log files are termed archived redo log files. A media recovery process uses both the archived redo log files and the online redo log files. The control file is essential for the Oracle instance to function, because it contains critical information concerning tablespace and data file records, checkpoints, redo log threads in the current online redo log, log sequence numbers, and so on. RMAN lets you back up all the files you need for a database recovery, including
    1. data files,
    2. control files,
    3. the spfile, and
    4. archived redo logs.
    RMAN also lets you make image copies of both data files, the spfile and control files, in addition to the standard RMAN-formatted backup pieces. You should never back up online redo log files; instead, always duplex these files to protect against the loss of an online redo log.