Blog, Data Protection
Oracle Database is very popular when it comes to a business database server. In fact, it is being said to have topped the database popularity charts for past few years in a row. Millions of companies store their critical data- ERP, CRM, financial databases- in Oracle Database servers and systems. Given the importance of these systems, there are also some opinions and myths about protecting Oracle Databases and here are the top five of them:
1. RMAN is the only way to backup Oracle DB
Oracle Database "purists" insist that only the vendor's tool can properly and reliably back up the database. While RMAN which is Recovery Manager is a reliable and proven option, but it is not the only way.
Backup software vendors, including Acronis, have worked for years to ensure that the database can be protected but the centralized company-wide backup solutions. In addition to that Oracle Database supports various operating system frameworks, like Microsoft VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service), while ensuring that system-wide disk snapshots contain consistent state of the database.
For example, in Windows, the Microsoft VSS sends a signal of a freeze to the database engine (version 10g and above), it then saves all the pending transactions and reports that the data is frozen. Backup software like the Acronis Backup Advanced integrates with VSS, takes disk snapshot in less than a second and in no time thaws the database via the same framework. There is no connection breaking or denial of service, and the process is transparent to users and applications.
2. RMAN is the wrong way to backup Oracle DB
The opposite camp of backup administrators insists that RMAN is a limited tool, and should not be used in production at all. They argue that mostly the backup tools provided by vendors are limited, complicated and slow- based on their assertion on the example of built-in backups in Windows, Linux, and other popular applications.
However, RMAN is sometimes the only proper way to backup a database. If you use raw partitions or ASM, only the latest updates of RMAN will ensure that your database is backed up properly. Even if your backup software claims to be supporting raw partitions or ASM out of the box, one small update of database engine can trigger optimizations which can easily break third-party backup software.
3.The backup of Database data is enough
There is a very common misconception which originates from the fact that the data in a database may be 1,000 times much more valuable than the server itself. You can install a new operating system and a database engine, but lost data once lost cannot be recovered without backup.
However, the biggest mistake which stands here is the failure to consider the time associated with recovery and the cost of downtime. The time spent for reinstalling and reconfiguring the system will cost your business a lot of money- $8,851 per minute on an average says the Emerson Network Power study.
You ought to back up your database data, and you have to back up your database server software as well- including the server's operating system and configuration- best done with the help of Acronis Backup Advanced - disk-imaging backup solution. This will allow you to restore the entire server quickly within a fraction of time when the manual reinstallation takes.
4. Restoring a single table/partitions/items are easy and safe
Many backup solution vendors are touting the ability of granular recovery as an easy and safe feature. However, there is a particular reason why there is an "R" in the "RDBMS" acronym for your Oracle DB. It stands for the "Relational."
For example, let's say that your ERP database has the CUSTOMER table with the customer data and another ORDER table with order data. If you restore a week-old CUSTOMER table as well but keep the ORDER table as-is, you will have the orders referring to the customers missing from the client's table, creating a whole lot of confusion die to table inconsistency. Restoring a single table can also cause issues with indices, views and other mechanisms in the database.
Unless you are sure what you have been doing, dedicate some time and restore the entire database whenever you get the time.
5. An Oracle DB server can be only restored to the same hardware
A few years ago I was trained DBAs telling me that I cannot back up an Oracle Database first on an HP server and restore it to an IBM server.
I completed it successfully with Acronis Backup Advanced- backing up the entire server with the help of Microsoft VSS and restoring it to any dissimilar hardware with the aid of Acronis Universal Restore. After various tests, the DBAs were conceded that it works perfectly.
Interesting enough, this myth is linked to the incorrect belief that the Oracle Database does not run on virtual machines. In fact, Oracle Database engine works correctly on VMs, but with one caveat as described in Oracle Support policy, it states that "Oracle does not have any of its products certified on VMware virtualized environments."
In short, if there is an issue, all you need it to address the VMware support. They shall resolve all your problems.