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NetVault Plug-in for Oracle 12.3 - User Guide

Introducing Quest® NetVault® Backup Plug-in  for Oracle Defining a backup strategy Installing and removing the plug-in Configuring the plug-in Backing up data Using the Oracle Flashback Database Restoring data
Restoring and recovering data: an overview Performing User Managed restores Using advanced User Managed restore procedures Performing RMAN restores Using RMAN types of recovery in a non-RAC environment Using advanced procedures with RMAN restores
Maintaining the Recovery Catalog Using the RMAN CLI Using the plug-in with Oracle RAC Using the plug-in in a failover cluster environment Using the plug-in with Oracle Data Guard Using the plug-in with Oracle Container Databases (CDBs) and Pluggable Databases (PDBs) Troubleshooting

Reviewing the available backup methods

Plug‑in for Oracle offers two backup methods: User Managed and RMAN. The plug-in supports implementing a pure User Managed or a pure RMAN-based backup strategy; that is, your backup strategy should include either User Managed backups or RMAN backups, not a combination of the two.

User Managed backup method

Oracle continues to support traditional User Managed backup and recovery. With this method, the files that make up the database are backed up and restored using a combination of host operating system (OS) commands and SQL*Plus backup- and recovery-related capabilities.

While the plug-in’s User Managed backups offer the simplest form of backups with complete point-and-click functionality for Full Backups, recovering the Oracle database involves more human interaction and DBA expertise. User Managed restores begin with point-and-click restoration of the various datafiles from the backup media to the original or new destination. Restoration of the datafiles is followed by the recovery of the entire database or parts of it. With User Managed recovery, you must determine what needs to be recovered and manually perform the recovery outside the plug-in by running a series of SQL*Plus commands.

The User Managed backup method offers the simplest backup strategy at the expense of longer and more complex restores, making it more suitable for less mission-critical databases.

The backup-and-restore strategies available with the User Managed method are discussed in the Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Advanced User’s Guide and the Oracle Database Backup and Recovery User’s Guide for 11g.

While User Managed backups are available for all supported Oracle versions, they are not supported in environments where Oracle’s ASM or FRA is deployed.

Recovery Manager (RMAN) backup method

Oracle provides RMAN, which automatically integrates with sessions running on the Oracle Database Server to perform a range of backup and recovery activities. RMAN also reduces the administration work associated with your backup strategy by maintaining an extensive record of metadata about backups, archive logs, and its own activities, known as the RMAN repository. In restore operations, RMAN uses this information to eliminate the need for you to identify backup files for use in restores.

RMAN backups provide maximum reliability and flexibility when defining a backup strategy. The plug-in supports a range of backup types and options available with Oracle’s RMAN tool together with the ability to handle a number of recovery scenarios with less reliance on human interaction and DBA expertise. You select what to restore, the latest backup, and, if appropriate, the time, SCN, or log sequence number for PIT Recovery, and the plug-in automatically performs the recovery without further interaction.

RMAN is Oracle’s preferred solution for backup and recovery, and is the best choice for mission-critical databases. It provides maximum flexibility during the recovery process, allowing you to recover the database up to the point of failure no matter what caused the failure, whether it is a disaster, media failure, user error, or database corruption.

For a feature comparison between User Managed and RMAN backups, see Feature Comparison of Backup Methods in the Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Basics guide. The same guide also discusses the backup and restore strategies available with the RMAN method.

RMAN backups are available for all supported Oracle versions but are the only supported backup method for multi-instance RAC databases and Data Guard environments. In addition, Flashback Database is only available for the plug-in’s RMAN-based backups.

The following figure illustrates the RMAN-based backup process:

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Plug‑in for Oracle converts the job definition into the corresponding RMAN backup commands.

The following figure illustrates the RMAN-based restore and recovery process:

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Plug‑in for Oracle converts the job definition into corresponding RMAN restore and recovery commands.

Reviewing the supported Oracle file types

Plug‑in for Oracle lets you back up the following types of Oracle database files, which are critical to the successful operation of the Oracle Instance:

Datafiles: A Datafile is a physical file on disk that was created by the Oracle database and contain data structures such as tables and indexes. A datafile can belong to only one database, and is located either in an OS file system or in an ASM disk group.
Control File: Control Files are binary files that record the physical structure of the database. The file includes: the database name, names and locations of associated datafiles and online redo log files, timestamps for database creation, current log sequence number, and checkpoint information. Protecting the Control File is critical to many recovery scenarios.
Parameter File: The client-side initialization parameter file (PFILE) or the server-side initialization parameter file (SPFILE) for the Oracle database.
Archived Redo Logs: The Oracle database copies full online redo log groups to one or more archive locations on disk, where they are collectively called the archived redo log. Individual files are called archived redo log files. After a redo log file is archived, it can be backed up to other locations on disk or on tape, for long-term storage and use in future recovery operations. Without archived redo logs, your database backup and recovery options are severely limited. Your database must be taken offline before it can be backed up. If you must restore your database from backup, the database contents are only available as of the time of the backup. Reconstructing the state of the database to a specific point is not possible without archive logs.
External Configuration Files: The Oracle database depends on other files for operation such as network configuration files, “tnsnames.ora” and “listener.ora,” and password files. These files need to be protected for corruption or disaster recovery purposes.

It is critical that your backup strategy include all these file types to ensure recoverability from any type of failure, including media failure, data corruption, or a disaster.

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