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Server Managed Backup

Question: Are server managed backups and recovery features available in Oracle 11g?
Oracle Database 11g comes with an array of server-managed backup and recovery features, presenting an effective suite of tools to ensure data availability and business continuity. By harnessing these features, Database Administrators (DBAs) can manage, automate, and optimize the backup and recovery process. Here are some key server-managed backup and recovery features available in Oracle 11g:
  1. Recovery Manager (RMAN): RMAN is Oracle's primary tool for backup and recovery tasks. It simplifies the process of creating backups, restoring data, and recovering from failures. RMAN works with server-managed (automatic) storage management systems, and it integrates well with Oracle Secure Backup, Oracle's media management software for tape backup.
  2. Data Recovery Advisor: Introduced in Oracle 11g, the Data Recovery Advisor is a robust tool that helps DBAs diagnose data failures, evaluate the impact, and recommend recovery options. It can automatically repair problems when feasible and reduce the time required to resolve critical failures.
  3. Oracle Secure Backup: Oracle Secure Backup provides reliable and secure data protection through file system backup to tape. It offers centralized, policy-based management for data center backups and integrates with RMAN to provide Oracle database backups to tape, enhancing storage efficiency.
  4. Flashback Technologies: Oracle's Flashback Technologies offer powerful tools to view past states of data, rewind data back in time, or recover from human errors. This set of features includes Flashback Query, Flashback Version Query, Flashback Transaction, Flashback Transaction Query, Flashback Drop, and Flashback Database.
  5. Automatic Storage Management (ASM): Oracle ASM provides a simple storage management layer that makes it easier to manage database files. It simplifies database administration by providing automated storage capabilities, offering the benefits of less downtime and improved performance.
  6. Oracle Active Data Guard: Although it's an optional add-on feature, Oracle Active Data Guard enhances the basic Data Guard functionality in Oracle 11g. It provides a physical standby database that is open for read-only operations, and can be simultaneously updated as changes occur on the primary database.
  7. Block Change Tracking for Fast Incremental Backups: This feature of Oracle 11g improves incremental backup performance by recording the changed blocks in a tracking file, which RMAN uses to identify the specific blocks that must be backed up. This results in faster incremental backups.

These features underline Oracle's commitment to data protection and business continuity. However, it's important to note that effective backup and recovery strategies also depend on the DBAs understanding their data, system configurations, performance requirements, and business continuity plans. Therefore, DBAs should tailor these features to the specific needs of their organization, always adhering to best practices for Oracle Database backup and recovery.

Oracle Server-managed Benefits

Question: What are the benefits of the server-managed backup and recovery features?
Benefits of the server-managed backup and recovery feature are robust, as the following list illustrates:
  1. Improves database administrator productivity by handling the database backup and recovery operations
  2. Simplifies the backup and recovery process
  3. Allows backing up of the entire database, or a subset of the database, in one operation
  4. Minimizes the possibility of operator error and detects database corruption
  5. Minimizes disk space needed for backup creation by supporting incremental backups
  6. Minimizes the time needed to backup and restore operations by automatically performing automatic backups and restores
  7. Reduces the performance impact of backups on the online system by limiting the number of redo entries generated
  8. Allows backups whether the database is open or closed
  9. Provides greater flexibility in recovery operations by allowing restore and recovery of a datafile using a mixture ofincremental backups and application of archived redo logs
  10. Optionally, can perform full block checking when performing a backup and can add checksums to a backup
  11. Supports the Oracle Parallel Server
  12. Supports sequential input/output (I/O) devices for output during backup and for input during restore operations; also supports tape backups in conjunction with vendor-provided tape management systems
  13. Can back up disk archived logs to tape
  14. Can restore tape-archived logs back to disk