Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Backup & Recovery 8

Oracle9i
Backup and Recovery Concepts
Release 2 (9.2)
March 2002
Part No. A96519-01
Oracle9i Backup and Recovery Concepts, Release 2 (9.2)
Part No. A96519-01
Copyright © 2001, 2002 Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.
Primary Author: Lance Ashdown
Graphic Designer: Valarie Moore
Contributors: Beldalker Anand, Tammy Bednar, Don Beusee,Wei Hu, Donna Keesling, Bill Lee, Lenore
Luscher, Ron Obermarck, Muthu Olagappan, Francisco Sanchez, Vinay Srihari, SteveWertheimer
The Programs (which include both the software and documentation) contain proprietary information of
Oracle Corporation; they are provided under a license agreement containing restrictions on use and
disclosure and are also protected by copyright, patent and other intellectual and industrial property
laws. Reverse engineering, disassembly or decompilation of the Programs, except to the extent required
to obtain interoperability with other independently created software or as specified by law, is prohibited.
The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice. If you find any problems
in the documentation, please report them to us in writing. Oracle Corporation does not warrant that this
document is error-free. Except as may be expressly permitted in your license agreement for these
Programs, no part of these Programs may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of Oracle Corporation.
If the Programs are delivered to the U.S. Government or anyone licensing or using the programs on
behalf of the U.S. Government, the following notice is applicable:
Restricted Rights Notice Programs delivered subject to the DOD FAR Supplement are "commercial
computer software" and use, duplication, and disclosure of the Programs, including documentation,
shall be subject to the licensing restrictions set forth in the applicable Oracle license agreement.
Otherwise, Programs delivered subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulations are "restricted computer
software" and use, duplication, and disclosure of the Programs shall be subject to the restrictions in FAR
52.227-19, Commercial Computer Software - Restricted Rights (June, 1987). Oracle Corporation, 500
Oracle Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065.
The Programs are not intended for use in any nuclear, aviation, mass transit, medical, or other inherently
dangerous applications. It shall be the licensee's responsibility to take all appropriate fail-safe, backup,
redundancy, and other measures to ensure the safe use of such applications if the Programs are used for
such purposes, and Oracle Corporation disclaims liability for any damages caused by such use of the
Programs.
Oracle is a registered trademark, and Oracle Store, Oracle7, Oracle8, Oracle8i, Oracle9i, PL/SQL, and
SQL*Plus are trademarks or registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation. Other names may be
trademarks of their respective owners.
iii
Contents
Send Us Your Comments .................................................................................................................. vii
Preface........................................................................................................................................................... ix
1 Backup and Recovery Overview
Backup and Recovery: Basic Concepts ........................................................................................... 1-2
Oracle Backups: Basic Concepts ................................................................................................. 1-2
Oracle Recovery: Basic Concepts ............................................................................................... 1-2
Errors and Failures Requiring Recovery ........................................................................................ 1-4
Media Failure ............................................................................................................................... 1-4
User Error ..................................................................................................................................... 1-6
Database Instance Failure............................................................................................................ 1-7
Statement Failure .......................................................................................................................... 1-8
Process Failure .............................................................................................................................. 1-8
Network Failure........................................................................................................................... 1-9
Data Structures Used for Database Recovery................................................................................ 1-9
Redo Logs ..................................................................................................................................... 1-9
Rollback and Undo Segments................................................................................................... 1-10
Control Files ............................................................................................................................... 1-11
Database ArchivingModes............................................................................................................. 1-11
NOARCHIVELOG Mode .......................................................................................................... 1-11
ARCHIVELOG Mode ................................................................................................................ 1-12
Oracle’s Backup and Recovery Solutions..................................................................................... 1-15
System Requirements for Backup and Recovery Methods .................................................. 1-16
Feature Comparison of Backup Methods ............................................................................... 1-16
iv
2 Backup Principles
Physical and Logical Backups .......................................................................................................... 2-2
Physical Backups.......................................................................................................................... 2-2
Logical Backups ............................................................................................................................ 2-2
Whole Database and Partial Database Backups ........................................................................... 2-3
Whole Database Backups............................................................................................................. 2-3
Tablespace Backups...................................................................................................................... 2-4
Datafile Backups ........................................................................................................................... 2-6
Control File Backups .................................................................................................................... 2-6
Archived Redo Log Backups....................................................................................................... 2-7
Consistent and Inconsistent Backups ............................................................................................. 2-8
Consistent Backup ........................................................................................................................ 2-8
Inconsistent Backup...................................................................................................................... 2-9
Online and Offline Backups........................................................................................................... 2-11
Backups of Online Tablespaces and Datafiles ........................................................................ 2-11
Backups of Offline Tablespaces and Datafiles........................................................................ 2-12
RMAN and User-Managed Backups............................................................................................. 2-12
RMAN Backups .......................................................................................................................... 2-12
User-Managed Backups ............................................................................................................. 2-13
3 Recovery Principles
Types of Oracle Recovery .................................................................................................................. 3-2
Instance and Crash Recovery...................................................................................................... 3-2
Media Recovery ............................................................................................................................ 3-3
Redo Application During Recovery................................................................................................ 3-4
About Redo Application.............................................................................................................. 3-5
Cache Recovery............................................................................................................................ 3-5
Transaction Recovery................................................................................................................... 3-6
Complete and Incomplete Media Recovery .................................................................................. 3-7
Complete Recovery ...................................................................................................................... 3-7
Incomplete Recovery.................................................................................................................... 3-8
RMAN and User-Managed Restore and Recovery....................................................................... 3-9
RMAN Restore and Recovery..................................................................................................... 3-9
User-Managed Restore and Recovery ..................................................................................... 3-10
v
4 Backup and Recovery Strategies
Backup Strategies............................................................................................................................... 4-2
Obeying the Golden Rule of Backup and Recovery ................................................................ 4-2
Choosing the Database Archiving Mode .................................................................................. 4-4
Multiplexing Control Files, Online Redo Logs, and Archived Redo Logs .......................... 4-6
Performing Backups Frequently and Regularly ...................................................................... 4-6
Performing Backups Before and After You Make Structural Changes ................................ 4-7
Backing Up Often-Used Tablespaces......................................................................................... 4-7
Performing Backups After Unrecoverable Operations ........................................................... 4-8
PerformingWhole Database Backups After Opening with the RESETLOGS Option ....... 4-8
Archiving Older Backups ............................................................................................................ 4-9
Knowing the Constraints for Distributed Database Backups ................................................ 4-9
Exporting Data for Added Protection and Flexibility........................................................... 4-10
Avoiding the Backup of Online Redo Logs ............................................................................ 4-10
Keeping Records of the Hardware and Software Configuration of the Server................. 4-12
Restore and Recovery Strategies.................................................................................................... 4-13
Testing Backup and Recovery Strategies ................................................................................ 4-13
Validating Backups and Restores Using RMAN ................................................................... 4-14
Planning a Response to Media Failures .................................................................................. 4-14
Planning a Response to Datafile Block Corruption ............................................................... 4-17
Planning the Response to Non-Media Failures...................................................................... 4-17
Glossary
Index
vi
vii
Send Us Your Comments
Oracle9i Backup and Recovery Concepts, Release 2 (9.2)
Part No. A96519-01
Oracle Corporation welcomes your comments and suggestions on the quality and usefulness of this
document. Your input is an important part of the information used for revision.
 Did you find any errors?
 Is the information clearly presented?
 Do you need more information? If so, where?
 Are the examples correct? Do you need more examples?
 What features did you like most?
If you find any errors or have any other suggestions for improvement, please indicate the document
title and part number, and the chapter, section, and page number (if available). You can send comments
to us in the followingways:
 Electronic mail: infodev_us@oracle.com
 FAX: (650) 506-7227 Attn: Server Technologies Documentation Manager
 Postal service:
Oracle Corporation
Server Technologies Documentation
500 Oracle Parkway, Mailstop 4op11
Redwood Shores, CA 94065
USA
If you would like a reply, please give your name, address, telephone number, and (optionally) electronic
mail address.
If you have problems with the software, please contact your local Oracle Support Services.
viii
ix
Preface
This guide gives a basic conceptual overview of Oracle backup and recovery.
This preface contains these topics:
 Audience
 Organization
 Related Documentation
 Conventions
 Documentation Accessibility
x
Audience
This manual is intended for database administrators who perform backup and
recovery of an Oracle database server.
To use this document, you need to know the following:
 Relational database concepts and basic database administration as described in
Oracle9i Database Concepts and Oracle9i Database Administrator’s Guide
 The operating system environment under which you are running Oracle
Organization
This document contains:
Chapter 1, "Backup and Recovery Overview"
This chapter gives a brief overview of Oracle backup and recovery.
Chapter 2, "Backup Principles"
This chapter describes the basic principles of RMAN and operating system backups.
Chapter 3, "Recovery Principles"
This chapter describes the basic principles of crash, instance, and media recovery.
Chapter 4, "Backup and Recovery Strategies"
This chapter gives general recommendations for a backup and recovery strategy.
"Glossary"
This chapter gives definitions for common backup and recovery terms.
Related Documentation
For more information, see these Oracle resources:
 Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide
 Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery Guide
 Oracle9i Database Utilities
 http://otn.oracle.com/deploy/availability
xi
In North America, printed documentation is available for sale in the Oracle Store at
http://oraclestore.oracle.com/
Customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) can purchase
documentation from
http://www.oraclebookshop.com/
Other customers can contact their Oracle representative to purchase printed
documentation.
To download free release notes, installation documentation, white papers, or other
collateral, please visit the Oracle Technology Network (OTN). You must register
online before using OTN; registration is free and can be done at
http://otn.oracle.com/admin/account/membership.html
If you already have a username and password for OTN, then you can go directly to
the documentation section of the OTN Web site at
http://otn.oracle.com/docs/index.htm
To access the database documentation search engine directly, please visit
http://tahiti.oracle.com
Conventions
This section describes the conventions used in the text and code examples of the
this documentation set. It describes:
 Conventions in Text
 Conventions in Code Examples
Conventions in Text
We use various conventions in text to help you more quickly identify special terms.
The following table describes those conventions and provides examples of their use.
xii
Conventions in Code Examples
Code examples illustrate SQL, PL/SQL, SQL*Plus, or other command-line
statements. They are displayed in a monospace (fixed-width) font and separated
from normal text as shown in this example:
SELECT username FROM dba_users WHERE username = ’MIGRATE’;
The following table describes typographic conventions used in code examples and
provides examples of their use.
Convention Meaning Example
Bold Bold typeface indicates terms that are
defined in the text or terms that appear in
a glossary, or both.
The C datatypes such as ub4, sword, or
OCINumber are valid.
When you specify this clause, you create an
index-organized table.
Italics Italic typeface indicates book titles,
emphasis, syntax clauses, or placeholders.
Oracle9i Database Concepts
You can specify the parallel_clause.
Run Uold_release.SQL where old_release
refers to the release you installed prior to
upgrading.
UPPERCASE
monospace
(fixed-width font)
Uppercase monospace typeface indicates
elements supplied by the system. Such
elements include parameters, privileges,
datatypes, RMAN keywords, SQL
keywords, SQL*Plus or utility commands,
packages and methods, as well as
system-supplied column names, database
objects and structures, user names, and
roles.
You can specify this clause only for a NUMBER
column.
You can back up the database using the BACKUP
command.
Query the TABLE_NAME column in the USER_
TABLES data dictionary view.
Specify the ROLLBACK_SEGMENTS parameter.
Use the DBMS_STATS.GENERATE_STATS
procedure.
lowercase
monospace
(fixed-width font)
Lowercase monospace typeface indicates
executables and sample user-supplied
elements. Such elements include
computer and database names, net
service names, and connect identifiers, as
well as user-supplied database objects
and structures, column names, packages
and classes, user names and roles,
program units, and parameter values.
Enter sqlplus to open SQL*Plus.
The department_id, department_name,
and location_id columns are in the
hr.departments table.
Set the QUERY_REWRITE_ENABLED
initialization parameter to true.
Connect as oe user.
xiii
Convention Meaning Example
[ ] Brackets enclose one or more optional
items. Do not enter the brackets.
DECIMAL (digits [ , precision ])
{ } Braces enclose two or more items, one of
which is required. Do not enter the
braces.
{ENABLE | DISABLE}
| A vertical bar represents a choice of two
or more options within brackets or braces.
Enter one of the options. Do not enter the
vertical bar.
{ENABLE | DISABLE}
[COMPRESS | NOCOMPRESS]
... Horizontal ellipsis points indicate either:
 That we have omitted parts of the
code that are not directly related to
the example
 That you can repeat a portion of the
code
CREATE TABLE ... AS subquery;
SELECT col1, col2, ... , coln FROM
employees;
.
.
.
Vertical ellipsis points indicate that we
have omitted several lines of code not
directly related to the example.
SQL> SELECT NAME FROM V$DATAFILE;
NAME
------------------------------------
/fsl/dbs/tbs_01.dbf
/fs1/dbs/tbs_02.dbf
.
.
.
/fsl/dbs/tbs_09.dbf
9 rows selected.
Other notation You must enter symbols other than
brackets, braces, vertical bars, and ellipsis
points as it is shown.
acctbal NUMBER(11,2);
acct CONSTANT NUMBER(4) := 3;
Italics Italicized text indicates variables for
which you must supply particular values.
CONNECT SYSTEM/system_password
UPPERCASE Uppercase typeface indicates elements
supplied by the system. We show these
terms in uppercase in order to distinguish
them from terms you define. Unless terms
appear in brackets, enter them in the
order and with the spelling shown.
However, because these terms are not
case sensitive, you can enter them in
lowercase.
SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM
employees;
SELECT * FROM USER_TABLES;
DROP TABLE hr.employees;
xiv
Documentation Accessibility
Our goal is to make Oracle products, services, and supporting documentation
accessible, with good usability, to the disabled community. To that end, our
documentation includes features that make information available to users of
assistive technology. This documentation is available in HTML format, and contains
markup to facilitate access by the disabled community. Standards will continue to
evolve over time, and Oracle Corporation is actively engaged with other
market-leading technology vendors to address technical obstacles so that our
documentation can be accessible to all of our customers. For additional information,
visit the Oracle Accessibility Program Web site at
http://www.oracle.com/accessibility/
Accessibility of Code Examples in Documentation JAWS, a Windows screen
reader, may not always correctly read the code examples in this document. The
conventions for writing code require that closing braces should appear on an
otherwise empty line; however, JAWS may not always read a line of text that
consists solely of a bracket or brace.
Accessibility of Links to External Web Sites in Documentation This
documentation may contain links to Web sites of other companies or organizations
that Oracle Corporation does not own or control. Oracle Corporation neither
evaluates nor makes any representations regarding the accessibility of these Web
sites.
lowercase Lowercase typeface indicates
programmatic elements that you supply.
For example, lowercase indicates names
of tables, columns, or files.
SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM
employees;
sqlplus hr/hr
Convention Meaning Example
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-1
1
Backup and Recovery Overview
This chapter introduces concepts that are fundamental to backup and recovery. It is
intended as a general overview. Subsequent chapters explore backup and recovery
concepts in greater detail.
This chapter includes the following topics:
 Backup and Recovery: Basic Concepts
 Errors and Failures Requiring Recovery
 Data Structures Used for Database Recovery
 Database Archiving Modes
 Oracle’s Backup and Recovery Solutions
Backup and Recovery: Basic Concepts
1-2 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Backup and Recovery: Basic Concepts
In general, backup and recovery refers to the various strategies and procedures
involved in protecting your database against data loss and reconstructing the data
should that loss occur. The reconstructing of data is achieved through media
recovery, which refers to the various operations involved in restoring, rolling
forward, and rolling back a backup of database files.
This section contains these topics:
 Oracle Backups: Basic Concepts
 Oracle Recovery: Basic Concepts
Oracle Backups: Basic Concepts
A backup is a copy of data. This copy can include important parts of the database
such as the control file and datafiles. A backup is a safeguard against unexpected
data loss and application errors. If you lose the original data, then you can
reconstruct it by using a backup.
Backups are divided into physical backups and logical backups. Physical backups,
which are the primary concern in a backup and recovery strategy, are copies of
physical database files. You can make physical backups with either the Recovery
Manager (RMAN) utility or operating system utilities. In contrast, logical backups
contain logical data (for example, tables and stored procedures) extracted with the
Oracle Export utility and stored in a binary file. You can use logical backups to
supplement physical backups.
Oracle Recovery: Basic Concepts
To restore a physical backup of a datafile or control file is to reconstruct it and make
it available to the Oracle database server. To recover a restored datafile is to update
it by applying archived redo logs and online redo logs, that is, records of changes
made to the database after the backup was taken. If you use RMAN, then you can
also recover restored datafiles with incremental backups, which are backups of a
datafile that contain only blocks that changed after a previous incremental backup.
After the necessary files are restored, media recovery must be initiated by the user.
Media recovery can use both archived redo logs and online redo logs to recover the
datafiles. If you use SQL*Plus, then you can run the RECOVER command to perform
recovery. If you use RMAN, then you run the RMAN RECOVER command to
perform recovery.
Backup and Recovery: Basic Concepts
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-3
Figure 1–1 illustrates the basic principle of backing up, restoring, and performing
media recovery on a database.
Figure 1–1 Restoring and Recovering a Database
Unlike media recovery, Oracle performs crash recovery and instance recovery
automatically after an instance failure. Crash and instance recovery recover a
database to its transaction-consistent state just before instance failure. By definition,
crash recovery is the recovery of a database in a single-instance configuration or an
Oracle Real Application Clusters configuration in which all instances have crashed.
In contrast, instance recovery is the recovery of one failed instance by a live
instance in an Oracle Real Application Clusters configuration.
Recover (redo changes)
Restored
database
Recovered
database
Media
failure
Backup
database
100 200 300
SCN
400 500
Archived
redo logs
Errors and Failures Requiring Recovery
1-4 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Crash and instance recovery involve two distinct operations: rolling forward the
current, online datafiles by applying both committed and uncommitted transactions
contained in online redo records, and then rolling back changes made in
uncommitted transactions to their original state. Because crash and instance
recovery are automatic, this manual will not discuss these operations.
Errors and Failures Requiring Recovery
Several problems can halt the normal operation of an Oracle database or affect
database I/O operations. The following sections describe the most common types of
problems. For some of these problems, crash and instance recovery occur
automatically and require no action on the part of the database administrator. For
other problems, administrator-initiated media recovery is required.
This section contains these topics:
 Media Failure
 User Error
 Database Instance Failure
 Statement Failure
 Process Failure
 Network Failure
Media Failure
An error can occur when trying to write or read an file on disk that is required to
operate an Oracle database. This occurrence is called media failure because there is
a physical problem reading or writing to files on the storage medium.
See Also:
 Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide
 Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery Guide to learn how
to make operating system backups and perform recovery using
SQL*Plus.
 Oracle9i Database Performance Tuning Guide and Reference to learn
about tuning crash and instance recovery
Errors and Failures Requiring Recovery
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-5
A common example of media failure is a disk head crash that causes the loss of all
database files on a disk drive. All files associated with a database are vulnerable to a
disk crash, including datafiles, control files, online redo logs, and archived logs.
The appropriate recovery from a media failure depends on the files affected. Media
failure is the primary concern of a backup and recovery strategy, because it typically
requires restoring some or all database files and the application of redo during
recovery.
How Media Failures Affect Database Operation
Media failures can affect one or all types of files necessary for the operation of an
Oracle database, including datafiles, online redo log files, and control files. Also,
media failures can affect archived redo logs stored on disk.
Database operation after a media failure of online redo log files or control files
depends on whether the online redo log or control file is protected by multiplexing,
as recommended. When an online redo log or control file is multiplexed, multiple
copies of the file are maintained on the system. Typically, multiplexed files are
stored on separate disks.
If a media failure damages a single disk, and if you have a multiplexed online redo
log, then the database can usually continue to operate without significant
interruption. Damage to a nonmultiplexed online redo log causes database
operation to halt and may cause permanent loss of data. Damage to any control file,
whether it is multiplexed or not, halts database operation once Oracle attempts to
read or write to the damaged control file, which happens frequently, for example at
every checkpoint and log switch.
Media failures that affect datafiles can be divided into two categories: read errors
and write errors. In a read error, Oracle discovers it cannot read a datafile and an
operating system error is returned to the application, along with an Oracle error
indicating that the file cannot be found, cannot be opened, or cannot be read.
Oracle continues to run, but the error is returned each time an unsuccessful read
occurs. At the next checkpoint, a write error will occur when Oracle attempts to
write the file header as part of the standard checkpoint process.
See Also:
 Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide for a discussion of
backup and recovery methods using RMAN
 Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery Guide for a
discussion of backup and recovery methods using operating
system utilities
Errors and Failures Requiring Recovery
1-6 Backup and Recovery Concepts
If Oracle discovers that it cannot write to a datafile, and if Oracle is in ARCHIVELOG
mode, then Oracle returns an error in the database writer trace file and takes the
datafile offline automatically. Only the datafile that cannot be written to is taken
offline; the tablespace containing that file remains online.
If the datafile that cannot be written to is in the SYSTEM tablespace, then the file is
not taken offline. Instead, an error is returned and Oracle shuts down the instance.
The reason for this exception is that all files in the SYSTEM tablespace must be
online in order for Oracle to operate properly. For the same reason, the undo
tablespaces (if in automatic undo management mode) or the datafiles of a
tablespace containing active rollback segments (if in manual undo management
mode) must remain online.
If Oracle cannot write to a datafile, and Oracle is not archiving the filled online redo
log files, then the database writer background process fails and the current instance
fails. If the problem is temporary (for example, the disk controller was powered off),
then crash or instance recovery usually can be performed using the online redo log
files, in which case the instance can be restarted. However, if a datafile is
permanently damaged and archiving is not used, then you must restore the entire
database using the most recent consistent backup.
Recovery of Read-Only Tablespaces
Recovery is not needed on any read-only tablespace during crash or instance
recovery. During startup, recovery verifies that each online read-only datafile does
not need media recovery. That is, the file was not restored from a backup taken
before it was made read-only. If you restore a read-only tablespace from a backup
taken before the tablespace was made read-only, then you cannot access the
tablespace until you complete media recovery.
User Error
As an administrator, you can do little to prevent user errors such as accidentally
dropping a table. Often, user error can be reduced by increased training on database
and application principles. You can also avoid user errors by administering
privileges correctly so that users are able to do less potential damage. Furthermore,
by planning an effective recovery scheme ahead of time, you can ease the work
necessary to recover from user errors.
Typically, a user error such as a dropped table requires either re-entering the lost
changes manually (if a record of them exists), importing the dropped object (if an
export file exists), or performing incomplete recovery either of an individual
Errors and Failures Requiring Recovery
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-7
tablespaces (called tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR)) or of the entire
database.
Database Instance Failure
Database instance failure occurs when a problem prevents an Oracle database
instance from continuing to run. An instance failure can result from a hardware
problem, such as a power outage, or a software problem, such as an operating
system crash. Instance failure also results when you issue a SHUTDOWN ABORT or
STARTUP FORCE statement.
Mechanics of Instance and Crash Recovery
When one or more instances fail, Oracle automatically recovers the lost changes
associated with the instance or instances. Crash or instance recovery consists of the
following steps:
1. Rolling forward to recover data that has not been recorded in the datafiles, yet
has been recorded in the online redo log, including changes to undo blocks.
This phase is called cache recovery.
2. Opening the database. Instead of waiting for all transactions to be rolled back
before making the database available, Oracle allows the database to be opened
as soon as cache recovery is complete. Any data that is not locked by
unrecovered transactions is immediately available.
3. Marking all transactions systemwide that were active at the time of failure as
DEAD and marking the rollback or undo segments containing these transactions
as PARTLY AVAILABLE.
4. Rolling back dead transactions as part of SMON recovery. This phase is called
transaction recovery.
5. Resolving any pending distributed transactions undergoing a two-phase
commit at the time of the instance failure.
6. As new transactions encounter rows locked by dead transactions, they can
automatically roll back the dead transaction to release the locks. If you are using
Fast-Start Recovery, then only the data block is immediately rolled back, as
opposed to the entire transaction.
Errors and Failures Requiring Recovery
1-8 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Statement Failure
Statement failure occurs when there is a logical failure in the handling of a
statement in an Oracle program. For example, assume that all extents of a table (in
other words, the number of extents specified in the MAXEXTENTS parameter of the
CREATE TABLE statement) are allocated, and are completely filled with data. A
valid INSERT statement cannot insert a row because no space is available.
Therefore, the statement fails.
If a statement failure occurs, then the Oracle software or operating system returns
an error. A statement failure usually requires no recovery steps: Oracle
automatically corrects for statement failure by rolling back any effects of the
statement and returning control to the application. The user can simply execute the
statement again after the problem indicated by the error message is corrected. For
example, if insufficient extents are allocated, then the DBA needs to allocate more
extents so that the user’s statement can execute.
Process Failure
A process failure is a failure in a user, server, or background process of a database
instance such as an abnormal disconnect or process termination. When a process
failure occurs, the failed subordinate process cannot continue work, although the
other processes of the database instance can continue.
The Oracle background process PMON detects aborted Oracle processes. If the
aborted process is a user or server process, then PMON resolves the failure by
rolling back the current transaction of the aborted process and releasing any
resources that this process was using. Recovery of the failed user or server process
is automatic. If the aborted process is a background process, then the instance
usually cannot continue to function correctly. Therefore, you must shut down and
restart the instance.
See Also:
 Oracle9i Real Application Clusters Administration for a discussion
of instance recovery
 Oracle9i Database Performance Tuning Guide and Reference for a
discussion of Fast-Start Recovery and instance recovery tuning
Data Structures Used for Database Recovery
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-9
Network Failure
When your system uses networks such as local area networks and phone lines to
connect client workstations to database servers, or to connect several database
servers to form a distributed database system, network failures such as aborted
phone connections or network communication software failures can interrupt the
normal operation of a database system. For example:
 A network failure can interrupt normal execution of a client application and
cause a process failure to occur. In this case, the Oracle background process
PMON detects and resolves the aborted server process for the disconnected user
process, as described in the previous section.
 A network failure can interrupt the two-phase commit of a distributed
transaction. After the network problem is corrected, the Oracle background
process RECO of each involved database automatically resolves any distributed
transactions not yet resolved at all nodes of the distributed database system.
Data Structures Used for Database Recovery
Several structures of an Oracle database safeguard data against possible failures.
This section introduces each of these structures and its role in database recovery.
This section contains these topics:
 Redo Logs
 Rollback and Undo Segments
 Control Files
Redo Logs
The online redo log, present for everyOracle database, records all changesmade in
an Oracle database. The online redo log of a database consists of at least two redo
log files that are separate from the datafiles (which actually store a database’s data).
As part of recovery from an instance or media failure, Oracle applies the
appropriate changes in the database’s redo log to the datafiles, which update
database data to the instant that the failure occurred.
Online Redo Log Groups and Members
Every database must have at least two online redo log groups. Each redo log group
contains at least one online redo log member, which is a physical file containing
the redo records. If you configure a group to contain multiple members, then you
Data Structures Used for Database Recovery
1-10 Backup and Recovery Concepts
are multiplexing the online redo logs. The multiplexed members of the group
contain identical redo data but use different filenames.
Oracle uses and reuses these files in a circular fashion to record database changes.
The log file that Oracle is currently writing to is called the current online redo log.
The background process LGWR records all changes made through the associated
instance to the current online redo log files. Each redo record contains both the old
and the new values. Oracle also records the old value to an undo block located
either in a rollback segment (if running in manual undo management mode) or in a
dedicated undo tablespace (if running in automatic undo management mode).
Archived Redo Logs
Optionally, you can configure an Oracle database to archive copies of the online
redo logs after they fill. This type of log is called an archived redo log. An archived
log is uniquely identified by its redo thread number and log sequence number. By
archiving filled online redo log files, older redo log data is preserved for operations
such as media recovery, while the preallocated online redo log files continue to be
reused to store the most current database changes.
Datafiles that were restored from backup, or were not closed by a clean shutdown,
may not be completely up to date. During recovery, datafiles must be updated by
applying the changes in the archived and online redo logs.
Rollback and Undo Segments
You can operate the database in either of two mutually exclusive modes: manual
undo management mode, or automatic undo management mode. In the first case,
you must create and manage rollback segments. In the case of automatic undo
management, you create an undo tablespace that contains system-managed undo
segments. Rollback and undo segments are used for a number of functions in the
operation of an Oracle database. In general, these segments store the "before image"
of data that has been changed by uncommitted transactions.
Among other things, the information in a rollback or undo segment is used during
database recovery to undo any uncommitted changes applied from the redo log to
the datafiles. Therefore, if database recovery is necessary, then the data is in a
consistent state after the rollback segments are used to remove all uncommitted
data from the datafiles.
Database Archiving Modes
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-11
Control Files
The control files of a database store the status of the physical structure of the
database. The control file is absolutely crucial to database operation. It contains (but
is not limited to) the following types of information:
 Database information (RESETLOGS SCN and time stamp)
 Archive log history
 Tablespace and datafile records (filenames, datafile checkpoints,
read/write status, offline ranges)
 Redo threads (current online redo log)
 Log records (sequence numbers, SCN range in each log)
 RMAN backup and copy records
 Block corruption information
Status information in the control file such as the database checkpoints, current
online redo log file, and the datafile header checkpoints for the datafiles guides
Oracle during crash, instance, or media recovery.
Database Archiving Modes
A database can operate in two distinct modes: NOARCHIVELOG mode (media
recovery disabled) or ARCHIVELOG mode (media recovery enabled). The
database mode has a profound impact on your backup and recovery strategy.
This section contains these topics:
 NOARCHIVELOG Mode
 ARCHIVELOG Mode
NOARCHIVELOG Mode
If a database is used in NOARCHIVELOG mode, then the archiving of the online redo
log is disabled. Information in the control file indicates that archiving is not
required for filled groups. Therefore, as soon as a filled group becomes inactive, the
group is available for reuse by the LGWR process.
NOARCHIVELOG mode protects a database only from instance failure, not from
media failure. Only the most recent changes made to the database, stored in the
groups of the online redo log, are available for crash or instance recovery. These
Database Archiving Modes
1-12 Backup and Recovery Concepts
changes are sufficient for crash or instance recovery because Oracle will not
overwrite an online log that may be needed until its changes have been recorded in
the datafiles. However, it will not be possible to perform media recovery by
applying archived redo logs.
ARCHIVELOG Mode
If an Oracle database operates in ARCHIVELOG mode, then the archiving of the
online redo log is enabled. Information in a database control file indicates that a
group of filled online redo log files cannot be reused by LGWR until the group has
been archived.
Figure 1–2 illustrates how the database’s online redo log files are used in
ARCHIVELOG mode and how the archived redo log is generated by the process
archiving the filled groups (for example, ARC0 in this illustration).
ARCHIVELOG mode permits complete recovery from disk failure as well as instance
failure, because all changes made to the database are permanently saved in an
archived redo log.
Database Archiving Modes
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-13
Figure 1–2 Online Redo Log File Use in ARCHIVELOG Mode
Automatic Archiving and the Archiver Background Processes
You can configure an instance to have an additional background process, the
archiver (ARCn), which automatically archives each group of online redo log files
after it becomes an inactive redo log. Automatic archiving frees you from having to
keep track of, and archive, filled groups manually. For this convenience alone,
automatic archiving is the choice of most database systems that run in ARCHIVELOG
mode. For heavy workloads, such as bulk loading of data, multiple archiver
processes can be configured by setting the initialization parameter LOG_ARCHIVE_
MAX_PROCESSES.
If you request automatic archiving at instance startup by setting the LOG_
ARCHIVE_START initialization parameter, then Oracle starts the number of
LGWR
ARC0 ARC0 ARC0
LGWR LGWR
0001
0002
0001
0002
TIME
LGWR
Archived
Redo Log
Files
Online
Redo Log
Files
Log
0004
Log
0003
Log
0002
0001 0002
0001
0003
0002
0001
Log
0001
Database Archiving Modes
1-14 Backup and Recovery Concepts
ARCn processes specified by LOG_ARCHIVE_MAX_PROCESSES during instance
startup. Otherwise, the ARCn processes are not started when the instance starts up.
You can interactively start or stop automatic archiving at any time. If automatic
archiving was not specified to start at instance startup, and if you subsequently start
automatic archiving, then Oracle creates the ARCn background processes. ARCn
then remains for the duration of the instance, even if automatic archiving is
temporarily turned off and on again, although the number of ARCn processes can
be changed dynamically by setting LOG_ARCHIVE_MAX_PROCESSES with the
ALTER SYSTEM statement.
The archiver always archives groups in order, beginningwith the lowest log
sequence number. The archiver automatically archives filled groups as they
become inactive. A record of every automatic archival is written in the ARCn trace
file by the archiver process. Each entry shows the time the archive started and
stopped.
If the archiver encounters an error when attempting to archive a log group (for
example, due to an invalid or filled destination), then it continues trying to archive
the group.An error is alsowritten in theARCn trace file and the alert-SID.log.
If the problem is not resolved, then eventually all online redo log groups become
full, yet not archived, and the system stalls because no group is available to LGWR.
Therefore, if problems are detected, then you should either resolve the problem so
that the archiver can continue archiving (such as by changing the archive
destination) or manually archive groups until the problem is resolved.
Manual Archiving
If a database runs in ARCHIVELOG mode, then you can manually archive the filled
groups of inactive online redo log files, as necessary, whether or not automatic
archiving is enabled or disabled. If automatic archiving is disabled, then you must
manually archive filled groups.
For most database systems, automatic archiving is best because you do not have to
watch for a group to become inactive and available for archiving. Furthermore, if
automatic archiving is disabled and manual archiving is not performed fast enough,
then database operation can be suspended temporarily whenever the log writer is
forced to wait for an inactive group to become available for reuse.
The manual archiving option is provided so that you can:
 Archive a group when automatic archiving has been stopped because of a
problem (for example, the offline storage device specified as the archived redo
log destination has experienced a failure or become full)
Oracle’s Backup and Recovery Solutions
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-15
 Archive a group in a non-standard fashion (for example, archive one group to
one offline storage device, the next group to a different offline storage device,
and so on)
 Rearchive a group if the original archived version is lost or damaged
When a group is archived manually, the user process issuing the statement to
archive a group actually performs the process of archiving the group. Even if the
archiver background process is present for the associated instance, it is the user
process that archives the group of online redo log files.
Oracle’s Backup and Recovery Solutions
You have two methods for performing Oracle backup and recovery: Recovery
Manager (RMAN) and user-managed backup and recovery. RMAN is a utility
automatically installed with the database that can back up any Oracle8 or later
database. RMAN uses server sessions on the database to perform the work of
backup and recovery. RMAN has its own syntax and is accessible either through a
command-line interface or though the Oracle Enterprise Manager GUI. RMAN
comes with an API that allows it to function with a third-party media manager.
One of the principal advantages of RMAN is that it obtains and stores metadata
about its operations in the control file of the production database. You can also set
up an independent recovery catalog,which is a schema that contains metadata
imported from the control file, in a separate recovery catalog database. RMAN
performs the necessary record keeping of backups, archived logs, and so forth using
the metadata, so restore and recovery is greatly simplified.
An alternative method of performing recovery is to use operating system
commands for backups and SQL*Plus for recovery. This method, also called
user-managed backup and recovery, is fully supported by Oracle Corporation,
although use of RMAN is highly recommended because it is more robust and
greatly simplifies administration.
Whether you use RMAN or user-managed methods, you can supplement your
physical backups with logical backups of schema objects made using the Export
utility. The utility writes data from an Oracle database to binary operating system
files. You can later use Import to restore this data into a database.
Oracle’s Backup and Recovery Solutions
1-16 Backup and Recovery Concepts
System Requirements for Backup and Recovery Methods
When choosing a backup and recovery solution, find one that is appropriate for the
database environment. For example, if you manage only Oracle databases of release
8.0 or higher, then RMAN is an appropriate choice. If you manage some Oracle7
and some post-Oracle7 releases, then you must use a non-RMAN method of
backing up the Oracle7 databases.
Table 1–1 describes the version and system requirements for the Oracle backup and
recovery methods.
Feature Comparison of Backup Methods
Besides being limited by system requirements, the backup and recovery solution
you choose should be driven by the features that you want. Table 1–2 compares the
features of the different backup methods.
See Also:
 Oracle9i RecoveryManager User’s Guide for complete information
on using RMAN for backup and recovery
 Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery Guide to learn how
to make backups with operating system utilities and perform
recovery with SQL*Plus
Table 1–1 Requirements for Different Backup Methods
Backup Method Type Version Available Requirements
Recovery Manager
(RMAN)
Physical Oracle version 8.0
and higher
Third-party media manager
(only if backing up to tape)
Operating System Physical All versions Operating system backup
utility (for example, UNIX
cp)
Export Logical All versions N/A
Oracle’s Backup and Recovery Solutions
Backup and Recovery Overview 1-17
Table 1–2 Feature Comparison of Backup Methods
Feature Recovery Manager Operating System Export
Closed database backups Supported. Requires
instance to be mounted.
Supported. Not supported.
Open database backups Do not use BEGIN/END
BACKUP statements.
Use BEGIN/END BACKUP
statements.
Requires rollback or undo
segments to generate
consistent backups.
Incremental backups Supported. Not supported. Not supported.
Corrupt block detection Supported. Identifies
corrupt blocks and writes
to V$DATABASE_
CORRUPTION.
Not supported. Supported. Identifies
corrupt blocks in the
export log.
Automatic backup Supported. Establishes the
name and locations of all
files to be backed up
(whole database,
tablespace, datafile or
control file backup).
Not supported. Files to be
backed up must be
specified manually.
Supported. Performs
either full, user, or table
backups.
Backup catalogs Supported. Backups are
recorded in the recovery
catalog and in the control
file, or exclusively in the
target control file.
Not supported. Not supported.
Backups to media
manager
Supported. Interfaces with
a mediamanager. RMAN
also supports proxy copy,
a feature that allows the
media manager to manage
the transfer of data.
Supported. Backup to tape
is manual or controlled by
a mediamanager.
Supported.
Backs up initialization
parameter files and
password files
Not supported. Supported. Not supported.
Operating system
independent language
Supported (uses PL/SQL
interface).
Not supported. Supported.
Oracle’s Backup and Recovery Solutions
1-18 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Backup Principles 2-1
2
Backup Principles
This chapter introduces database concepts that are fundamental to backing up a
database.
This chapter includes the following topics:
 Physical and Logical Backups
 Whole Database and Partial Database Backups
 Consistent and Inconsistent Backups
 Online and Offline Backups
 RMANand User-Managed Backups
Physical and Logical Backups
2-2 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Physical and Logical Backups
Backups of Oracle data are either physical or logical.
This section contains these topics:
 Physical Backups
 Logical Backups
Physical Backups
In contrast to logical backups, physical backups are backups of physical database
files: datafiles and control files. If you run the database in ARCHIVELOG mode, then
the database also generates archived redo logs. You can back up the datafiles,
control files, and archived redo logs. Backups of online redo logs are not supported,
as explained in "Avoiding the Backup of Online Redo Logs" on page 4-10.
Physical backups are divided into two categories: image copies and backups in a
proprietary format. An image copy is an exact duplicate of a datafile, control file, or
archived log. You can create image copies of physical files with operating system
utilities or the RMAN COPY command, and you can restore them as-is without
performing additional processing by using either operating system utilities or the
RMAN RESTORE command.
The RMAN BACKUP command generates a backup set, which is a logical object
containing one or more backup pieces. Each backup piece is a physical file in a
proprietary, binary format. You must use RMAN to restore a backup set.
Logical Backups
In contrast to physical backups, logical backups are exports of schema objects into a
binary file. Import and Export are utilities used to move Oracle data in and out of
Oracle schema. Export writes data from an Oracle database to binary operating
system files. These export files store information about schema objects, for example,
tables and stored procedures. Import is a utility that reads export files and restores
the corresponding data into an existing database.
Note: Unlike operating system copies, the RMAN COPY command
validates the blocks in the file and records the copy in the
repository.
Whole Database and Partial Database Backups
Backup Principles 2-3
Although Import and Export are designed for moving Oracle data, you can also use
them as a supplemental method of protecting data in an Oracle database. You
should not use Import and Export as the sole method of backing up your data.
Whole Database and Partial Database Backups
This section includes these topics:
 Whole Database Backups
 Tablespace Backups
 Datafile Backups
 Control File Backups
Whole Database Backups
A whole database backup includes backups of the current control file along with
all datafiles.Whole database backups are the most common type of backup.
Whole database backups do not require you to operate the database in a specific
archiving mode. Before performing whole database backups, however, be aware of
the implications of backing up in ARCHIVELOG and NOARCHIVELOG modes (refer to
"Database Archiving Modes" on page 1-11).
Figure 2–1 illustrates the valid configuration options given the type of backup that
is performed.
See Also: Oracle9i Database Utilities to learn more about logical
backups
See Also: Oracle9i Database Utilities for information about logical
backups
Whole Database and Partial Database Backups
2-4 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Figure 2–1 Whole Database Backup Options
A whole database backup is either a consistent backup or an inconsistent backup.
Whether or not a backup is consistent determines whether you need to apply redo
logs after restoring the backup.
You can make backups of the entire database with the following methods:
 An operating system utility that makes a separate copy of each individual
datafile in the database as well as the current control file
 The RMAN BACKUP DATABASE command
 The RMAN COPY DATAFILE command run against each datafile in the
database, and the COPY CURRENT CONTROLFILE command run against the
control file
Tablespace Backups
A tablespace backup is a backup of the datafiles that constitute the tablespace. For
example, if tablespace users contains datafiles 2, 3, and 4, then a backup of
tablespace users backs up these three datafiles.
Tablespace backups, whether online or offline, are valid only if the database is
operating in ARCHIVELOG mode. The reason is that redo is required to make the
restored tablespace consistent with the other tablespaces in the database.
Whole database backups
open, inconsistent closed open, inconsistent closed
(not valid)
ARCHIVELOG NOARCHIVELOG
inconsistent
(not valid)
consistent inconsistent consistent
Whole Database and Partial Database Backups
Backup Principles 2-5
The only time a tablespace backup is valid for a database in NOARCHIVELOG mode
is when the tablespace is currently read-only or offline-normal. These cases are
exceptions because no redo is required to recover them.
For example, take the scenario depicted in Figure 2–2:
1. You take a tablespace offline normal at some time during day t.
2. You make a backup of the tablespace at day t + 5.
3. You restore the tablespace at day t + 10 with the backup made at day t + 5.
4. You make the tablespace read/write at day t + 15.
Figure 2–2 Tablespace Backups in NOARCHIVELOG Mode
Because there were no changes to the offline tablespace between t + 5 and t + 10, no
media recovery is needed. If you make the tablespace read/write at t + 15 and then
subsequently attempt to restore the t + 5 backup, however, Oracle requires media
recovery for the changes after t + 15. Hence, you can only open the database if all
necessary redo is located in the online redo logs.
t 5 10 15
offline-normal offline-normal offline-normal read-write
TBS_2
offline-normal
Backup
Restore
Whole Database and Partial Database Backups
2-6 Backup and Recovery Concepts
You can make backups of an individual tablespace with the following methods:
 An operating system utility that makes a separate copy of each datafile in the
tablespace
 The RMAN BACKUP TABLESPACE command
 The RMAN COPY DATAFILE command run against each datafile in the
tablespace
Datafile Backups
A datafile backup is a backup of a single datafile. Datafile backups, which are not as
common as tablespace backups, are valid in ARCHIVELOG databases. The only time
a datafile backup is valid for a database in NOARCHIVELOG mode is if:
 Every datafile in a tablespace is backed up. You cannot restore the database
unless all datafiles are backed up.
 The datafiles are read-only or offline-normal.
You can make backups of an individual datafile using these methods:
 An operating system utility
 The RMAN BACKUP DATAFILE command
 The RMAN COPY DATAFILE command, which produces a datafile copy
Control File Backups
Backing up the control file is a crucial aspect of backup and recovery. Without an
accessible control file, you cannot mount or open the database.
If you use RMAN as your backup and recovery solution, and if you run the
CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP command, then RMAN automatically
backs up the control file whenever you run backup and copy jobs. This backup is
called a control file autobackup. Because the autobackup uses a default filename,
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
make RMAN backups and copies, and Oracle9i Recovery Manager
Reference for BACKUP and COPY syntax
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
make RMAN backups and copies, and Oracle9i Recovery Manager
Reference for BACKUP and COPY syntax
Whole Database and Partial Database Backups
Backup Principles 2-7
RMAN can restore this backup even if the RMAN repository is unavailable. Hence,
this feature is extremely useful in a disaster recovery scenario.
You can make manual backups of the control file by using the following methods:
 The RMAN BACKUP CURRENT CONTROLFILE creates an RMAN-specific
backup of the control file, and the COPY CURRENT CONTROLFILE command
creates an image copy of the control file.
 The SQL statement ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROLFILE makes a binary
backup of the control file.
 The SQL statement ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROLFILE TO TRACE
exports the control file contents to a SQL script file. You can use the script to
create a new control file. Trace file backups have one major disadvantage: they
contain no records of archived redo logs, offline ranges for datafiles, and
RMAN backups and copies. For this reason, binary backups are preferable.
Archived Redo Log Backups
Archived redo logs are essential for recovering an inconsistent backup. The only
way to recover an inconsistent backup without archived logs is to use RMAN
incremental backups. To be able to recover a backup through the most recent log,
every log generated between these two points must be available. In other words,
you cannot recover from log 100 to log 200 if log 173 is missing. If log 173 is missing,
then you must halt recovery at log 172 and open the database with the RESETLOGS
option.
Because archived redo logs are essential to recovery, you should back them up
regularly. If you use a media manager, then back them up regularly to tape.
You can make backups of archived logs by using the following methods:
 An operating system utility
 The RMAN BACKUP ARCHIVELOG command
 The RMAN BACKUP ... PLUS ARCHIVELOG command
 The RMAN COPY ARCHIVELOG command
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
make RMAN backups and copies, and Oracle9i User-Managed
Backup and Recovery Guide to learn how to make user-managed
control file backups
Consistent and Inconsistent Backups
2-8 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Consistent and Inconsistent Backups
You can use RMAN or operating system commands to make an inconsistent
backup or a consistent backup.
Inconsistent Backup: An inconsistent backup is a backup of one or more database
files that you make while the database is open or after the database has shut down
abnormally.
Consistent Backup: A consistent backup is a backup of one or more database files
that you make after the database has been closed with a clean SHUTDOWN command.
Unlike an inconsistent backup, a consistent, whole database backup does not
require recovery after it is restored.
Whether you make consistent or inconsistent backups depends on a number of
factors. If your database must be open and available all the time, then inconsistent
backups are your only option. If there are recurring periods of minimal use, then
you may decide to take regular consistent backups of the whole database and
supplement them with online backups of often-used tablespaces.
Consistent Backup
A consistent backup of a database or part of a database is a backup in which all
read/write datafiles and control files are checkpointed with respect to the same
system change number (SCN). Oracle determines whether a restored backup is
consistent by checking the datafile headers against the datafile header information
contained in the control file.
The only way to make a consistent whole database backup is to shut down the
database with the NORMAL, IMMEDIATE, or TRANSACTIONAL options and make the
backup while the database is closed. If a database is not shut down cleanly, for
example, an instance fails or you issue a SHUTDOWN ABORT statement, then the
database's datafiles are always inconsistent—unless the database is a read-only
database. Instance recovery will be required at open time.
Oracle makes the control files and datafiles consistent to the same SCN during a
database checkpoint. The only tablespaces in a consistent backup that are allowed
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
back up archived logs, and Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and
Recovery Guide to learn how to make user-managed archived log
backups
Consistent and Inconsistent Backups
Backup Principles 2-9
to have older SCNs are read-only and offline normal tablespaces, which are still
consistent with the other datafiles in the backup because no changes have been
made to them.
The important point is that you can open the database after restoring a consistent
whole database backup without applying redo because the data is already consistent:
no action is required to make the data in the restored datafiles correct. Hence, you
can restore a year-old consistent backup of your database without performing
media recovery and without Oracle performing instance recovery.
A consistent whole database backup is the only valid backup option for databases
operating in NOARCHIVELOG mode, because otherwise redo will need to be applied
to create consistency. In NOARCHIVELOG mode, Oracle does not archive the redo
logs, and so the required redo logs may not exist on disk.
Inconsistent Backup
An inconsistent backup is a backup in which all read/write datafiles and control
files have not been checkpointed with respect to the same SCN. For example, one
read/write datafile header may contain an SCN of 100 while other read/write
datafile headers contain an SCN of 95 or 90. Oracle cannot open the database until
all of these header SCNs are consistent, that is, until all changes recorded in the
online redo logs have been applied to the datafiles on disk.
If the database must be up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, then you
have no choice but to perform inconsistent backups of a whole database. For
example, a backup of an offline tablespace in an open database is inconsistent with
other tablespaces because portions of the database are being modified and written
to disk while the backup of the tablespace is progressing. The datafile headers for
the online and offline datafiles may contain inconsistent SCNs. You must run your
database in ARCHIVELOG mode to make online backups of online datafiles.
If you run the database in ARCHIVELOG mode, then you can construct a whole
database backup using backups of online datafiles taken at different times. For
example, if your database contains seven tablespaces, and if you back up the control
file as well as a different tablespace each night, then in a week you will back up all
tablespaces in the database as well as the control file. You can consider this
staggered backup as a whole database backup.
Inconsistent Closed Backups
You have the option of making inconsistent closed backups if a database is backed
up after a system crash or SHUTDOWN ABORT. This type of backup is valid if the
Consistent and Inconsistent Backups
2-10 Backup and Recovery Concepts
database is running in ARCHIVELOG mode, because both online and archived redo
logs are available to make the backup consistent.
If you run the database in NOARCHIVELOGmode, then only back it upwhen you
have closed it cleanly with the IMMEDIATE, NORMAL, or TRANSACTIONAL options.
Inconsistent whole database backups of databases running in NOARCHIVELOG
mode are usable only if the redo logs containing the changes made prior to the
backup are available when you restore it—an unlikely occurrence.
The reason that NOARCHIVELOG inconsistent backups are not recommended is that
the datafile headers of the backed up files contain different SCNs (a normal
shutdown guarantees the consistency of these SCNs), and because the database is in
NOARCHIVELOGmode, no archived redo logs are available to apply the lost
changes. For this reason, RMAN does not allow you to back up a database that has
been running in NOARCHIVELOG mode and shut down abnormally because the
backup is not usable for recovery.
The basic guideline is: if you run your database in NOARCHIVELOG mode, always have a
backup that is usable without performing any recovery. This aim is defeated if you need
to apply redo from logs to recover a backup.
Archiving Unarchived Redo Log Files
After an online backup or inconsistent closed backup, always ensure that you have
the redo necessary to recover the backup by archiving the unarchived redo logs.
When the database is open, run the following SQL statement to force Oracle to
switch out of the current log and archive it as well as all other unarchived logs:
ALTER SYSTEM ARCHIVE LOG CURRENT;
When the database is mounted, open, or closed, you can run the following SQL
statement to force Oracle to archive all noncurrent redo logs:
ALTER SYSTEM ARCHIVE LOG ALL;
When the database is mounted, open, or closed, you can run the following SQL
statement to archive a specific group, where integer is the number of the group:
ALTER SYSTEM ARCHIVE LOG GROUP integer;
Caution: Oracle strongly recommends that you do not make
inconsistent, closed database backups in NOARCHIVELOG mode.
Online and Offline Backups
Backup Principles 2-11
Backing Up the Archived Logs and the Control File
After open or inconsistent closed backups, Oracle recommends backing up all
archived logs produced during the backup, and then backing up the control file
after the backup completes. If you do not have all archived redo logs produced
during the backup, then you cannot recover the backup because you do not have all
the redo records necessary to make it consistent. Having a control file backup
generated after the completion of the database backup is helpful when using
RMAN because the control file contains a record of the backup.
Online and Offline Backups
This section contains these topics:
 Backups of Online Tablespaces and Datafiles
 Backups of Offline Tablespaces and Datafiles
Backups of Online Tablespaces and Datafiles
You can back up all or specified datafiles of an online tablespace while the database
is open, but only when the database runs in ARCHIVELOG mode. In this case, Oracle
can write changes to the online datafiles while the backup is occurring. A backup of
online datafiles is called an online backup.
One danger in making online backups is the possibility of inconsistent data within a
block. For example, assume that either RMAN or an operating system utility reads
the entire block while database writer is in the middle of updating the block. In this
case, RMAN or the copy utility may read the old data in the top half of the block
and the new data in the bottom top half of the block. In this case, the block is a
fractured block, meaning that the data contained in this block is not consistent.
During an RMAN backup, an Oracle server session reads the datafiles, not an
operating system utility. The server session reads whole Oracle blocks and
determines whether the block is fractured by comparing the header and footer of
each block. If the session detects a fractured block, then it rereads the block until it
gets a consistent picture of the data.
When you back up an individual datafile or online tablespace with an operating
system utility (rather than with RMAN), you must use a different method to handle
fractured blocks. You must first place the online tablespace in backup mode with
the ALTER TABLESPACE BEGIN BACKUP statement. As a result, Oracle stops
recording checkpoints to the tablespace’s datafiles. You must put a tablespace in
backup mode to make user-managed backups of datafiles in an online, read/write
RMAN and User-Managed Backups
2-12 Backup and Recovery Concepts
tablespace. After an online backup is completed, Oracle advances the file header to
the current database checkpoint, but only after you run the ALTER TABLESPACE
... END BACKUP or ALTER DATABASE END BACKUP statement to take the
tablespace out of backup mode.
When you restore a datafile from an operating system backup, the datafile header
has a record of the most recent datafile checkpoint that occurred before the online
tablespace backup, not any that occurred during it. As a result, Oracle asks for the
appropriate set of redo log files to apply should recovery be needed.
Backups of Offline Tablespaces and Datafiles
An offline backup is performed while the tablespace or datafile is offline. You can
take tablespaces offline with the ALTER TABLESPACE OFFLINE statement by using
any of three different options: NORMAL, TEMPORARY, or IMMEDIATE. Taking an
offline backup with the NORMAL option ensures that after the backup is complete,
you do not have to perform recovery to bring the tablespace or datafile back online.
In this way, you can perform necessary backups on datafiles and tablespaces
without ever having to shut down the database or perform recovery.
RMAN and User-Managed Backups
This section contains these topics:
 RMAN Backups
 User-Managed Backups
RMAN Backups
RMAN backups are stored in a different format from user-managed backups. You
generate an RMAN backup by running the BACKUP command from within the
RMAN interface, as in the following example:
RMAN> BACKUP DATABASE;
The BACKUP command generates either a backup set or a proxy copy and writes it
to the operating system or a third-party media manager (if used). A backup set is a
logical construction composed of one or more backup pieces. A backup piece is a
file in a proprietary format composed of the blocks from one or more input
datafiles, control files, or archived redo logs.
The format of a backup piece is "proprietary" in the sense that only RMAN can
generate backup sets, and only RMAN can restore them. A proxy copy is a special
RMAN and User-Managed Backups
Backup Principles 2-13
type of RMAN backup whose data transfer is managed by a third-party media
vendor.
In contrast to the BACKUP command, the RMAN COPY command generates a
datafile, control file, or archived log image copy that can be restored by an
operating system utility. An image copy is an exact duplicate of the input file. For
example, this command copies datafile 1 to df1.copy on the operating system:
RMAN> COPY DATAFILE 1 TO ’df1.copy’;
The COPY command only copies to disk. However, you can use the BACKUP
command to back up image copies to tape.
Whenever you use RMAN to make a backup or copy, it records the action in the
target database control file. If you use a recovery catalog, then RMAN pulls the
metadata from the control file into the catalog. When you want to restore the
backups or copies, run the RESTORE command. RMAN queries the metadata and
then chooses among the available backups and copies and restores them.
User-Managed Backups
You must use operating system utilities to make user-managed backups. The
available commands are operating system specific. For example, on a UNIX system
you can back up a datafile using dd as follows:
% dd if=/oracle/dbs/df1.f of=/backup/df1.bak bs=1024k
OnWindows NT, you can back up a datafile by pressing CTRL+C and then CTRL+V,
by dragging and dropping, or by running a COPY command at the Command
Prompt as in the following example:
C:\> COPY df1.dbf F:\BACKUP\df1.dbf
One major difference between user-managed backups and RMAN backups is that in
the former there is no automatic metadata record of the backup. In other words, you
must manually keep records of what you back up and where you back it up.
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
make RMAN backups, and Oracle9i Recovery Manager Reference for
BACKUP syntax
See Also: Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery Guide to
learn how to make backups using operating system utilities
RMAN and User-Managed Backups
2-14 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Recovery Principles 3-1
3
Recovery Principles
This chapter introduces the structures that are used during database recovery. The
topics in this chapter include:
 Types of Oracle Recovery
 Redo Application During Recovery
 Complete and Incomplete Media Recovery
 RMAN and User-Managed Restore and Recovery
See Also:
 Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide for information about
RMAN restore and recovery
 Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery Guide to learn how
to perform user-managed restore and recovery
Types of Oracle Recovery
3-2 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Types of Oracle Recovery
This section contains these topics:
 Instance and Crash Recovery
 Media Recovery
Instance and Crash Recovery
Crash recovery is used to recover from a failure either when a single-instance
database crashes or all instances of an Oracle Real Application Clusters database
crashes. Instance recovery refers to the case where a surviving instance recovers a
failed instance in an Oracle Real Application Clusters database.
The goal of crash and instance recovery is to restore the data block changes located
in the cache of the dead instance and to close the redo thread that was left open.
Instance and crash recovery use only online redo log files and current online
datafiles. Oracle recovers the redo threads of the dead instances together.
Crash and instance recovery have the following shared characteristics:
 Redo the changes using the current online datafiles (as left on disk after the
crash or SHUTDOWN ABORT)
 Use only the online redo logs and never require the use of the archived logs
 Have a recovery time governed by the number of dead instances, amount of
redo generated in each dead redo thread since the last checkpoint, and by
user-configurable factors such as the number and size of redo log files,
checkpoint frequency, and the parallel recovery setting
Oracle performs this recovery automatically on two occasions:
 At the first database open after the crash of a single-instance database or all
instances of an Oracle Real Applications Cluster database (crash recovery).
 When some but not all instances of an Oracle Real Application Clusters
configuration fail (instance recovery). The recovery is performed automatically
by a surviving instance in the configuration.
The important point is that in both crash and instance recovery Oracle applies the
redo automatically: no user intervention is required to supply redo logs. However,
you can set parameters in the database server that can tune the duration of instance
and crash recovery performance. Also, you can tune the rolling forward and rolling
back phases of instance recovery separately. Finally, you can tune checkpointing so
that recovery time is optimized.
Types of Oracle Recovery
Recovery Principles 3-3
Media Recovery
Media recovery is divided into the following types:
 Datafile media recovery
 Block media recovery
Typically, the term "media recovery" refers to recovery of datafiles. Block media
recovery is a more specialized operation that you can only perform with RMAN.
Datafile Media Recovery
Datafile media recovery is used to recover from a lost or damaged current datafile
or control file. It is also used to recover changes that were lost when a tablespace
went offline without the OFFLINE NORMAL option. Datafile media recovery and
instance recovery have in common the requirement to repair database integrity.
However, these types of recovery differ with respect to their additional features.
Media recovery has the following characteristics:
 Applies needed changes using restored backups of damaged datafiles.
 Can use archived logs as well as the online logs.
 Requires explicit invocation by a user.
 Does not detect media failure (that is, the need to restore a backup)
automatically. After a backup has been restored, however, detection of the need
to recover it through media recovery is automatic.
 Has a recovery time governed solely by user policy (for example, frequency of
backups, parallel recovery parameters) rather than by Oracle internal
mechanisms.
The database cannot be opened if any of the online datafiles needs media recovery,
nor can a datafile that needs media recovery be brought online until media recovery
has been executed. The following scenarios necessitate media recovery:
 You restore a backup of a datafile.
 You restore a backup control file (even if all datafiles are current).
 A datafile is taken offline (either by you or automatically by Oracle) without the
OFFLINE NORMAL option.
See Also: Oracle9i Database Performance Tuning Guide and Reference
for a discussion of instance recovery mechanics as well as
instructions for tuning instance and crash recovery
Redo Application During Recovery
3-4 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Unless the database is not open by any instance, datafile media recovery can only
operate on offline datafiles. You can initiate datafile media recovery before opening
a database even when crash recovery would have sufficed. If so, crash recovery still
runs automatically at database open.
Note that when a file requires media recovery, you must perform media recovery
even if all necessary changes are contained in the online logs. In other words, you
must still run recovery even though the archived logs are not needed. Media
recovery may find nothing to do — and signal the "no recovery required" error — if
invoked for files that do not need recovery.
Block Media Recovery
Block media recovery is a technique for restoring and recovering individual data
blocks while all database files remain online and available. If corruption is limited
to only a few blocks among a subset of database files, then block media recovery
may be preferable to datafile recovery.
The interface to block media recovery is provided by RMAN. If you do not already
use RMAN as your principal backup and recovery solution, then you can still
perform block media recovery by cataloging into the RMAN repository the
necessary user-managed datafile and archived redo log backups.
Redo Application During Recovery
Media recovery proceeds through the application of redo data to the datafiles.
Whenever a change is made to a datafile, the change is first recorded in the online
redo logs. Media recovery selectively applies the changes recorded in the online and
archived redo logs to the restored datafile to roll it forward.
This section contains these topics:
 About Redo Application
 Cache Recovery
 Transaction Recovery
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
catalog user-managed datafile and archived log backups and to
perform block media recovery
Redo Application During Recovery
Recovery Principles 3-5
About Redo Application
Database buffers in the buffer cache in the SGA are written to disk only when
necessary, using a least-recently-used (LRU) algorithm. Because of the way that the
database writer process uses this algorithm to write database buffers to datafiles,
datafiles may contain some data blocks modified by uncommitted transactions and
some data blocks missing changes from committed transactions.
Two potential problems can result if an instance failure occurs:
 Data blocks modified by a transaction might not be written to the datafiles at
commit time and may only appear in the redo log. Therefore, the redo log
contains changes that must be reapplied to the database during recovery.
 After the roll forward phase, the datafiles may contain changes that had not
been committed at the time of the failure. These uncommitted changes must be
rolled back to ensure transactional consistency. These changes were either saved
to the datafiles before the failure, or introduced during the roll forward phase.
To solve this dilemma, two separate steps are generally used by Oracle for a
successful recovery of a system failure: rolling forward with the redo log (cache
recovery) and rolling back with the rollback or undo segments (transaction
recovery).
Cache Recovery
The online redo log is a set of operating system files that record all changes made to
any database buffer, including data, index, and rollback segments, whether the
changes are committed or uncommitted. All changes to Oracle blocks are recorded in
the online log.
The first step of recovery from an instance or disk failure is called cache recovery or
rolling forward, and involves reapplying all of the changes recorded in the redo log
to the datafiles. Because rollback data is also recorded in the redo log, rolling
forward also regenerates the corresponding rollback segments
Rolling forward proceeds through as many redo log files as necessary to bring the
database forward in time. Rolling forward usually includes online redo log files
(instance recovery or media recovery) and may include archived redo log files
(media recovery only).
After rolling forward, the data blocks contain all committed changes. They may also
contain uncommitted changes that were either saved to the datafiles before the
failure, or were recorded in the redo log and introduced during cache recovery.
Redo Application During Recovery
3-6 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Transaction Recovery
You can run Oracle in either manual undo management mode or automatic undo
management mode. In manual mode, you must create and manage rollback
segments to record the before-image of changes to the database. In automatic undo
management mode, you create one or more undo tablespaces. These undo
tablespaces contain undo segments similar to traditional rollback segments. The
main difference is that Oracle manages the undo for you.
Undo blocks (whether in rollback segments or automatic undo tablespaces) record
database actions that should be undone during certain database operations. In
database recovery, the undo blocks roll back the effects of uncommitted transactions
previously applied by the rolling forward phase.
After the roll forward, any changes that were not committed must be undone.
Oracle applies undo blocks to roll back uncommitted changes in data blocks that
were either written before the crash or introduced by redo application during cache
recovery. This process is called rolling back or transaction recovery.
Figure 3–1 illustrates rolling forward and rolling back, the two steps necessary to
recover from any type of system failure.
Figure 3–1 Basic Recovery Steps: Rolling Forward and Rolling Back
Oracle can roll back multiple transactions simultaneously as needed. All
transactions systemwide that were active at the time of failure are marked as dead.
Database with
committed and
uncommitted
transactions
Redo Logs
applied
Undo blocks
applied
Backup of
Database
that needs
recovery
Database with
just committed
transactions
Committed
Uncommitted
Database
Redo
Log
Redo
Log
Database Database
Complete and Incomplete Media Recovery
Recovery Principles 3-7
Instead of waiting for SMON to roll back dead transactions, new transactions can
recover blocking transactions themselves to get the row locks they need.
Complete and Incomplete Media Recovery
Media recovery updates a backup to either to the current or to a specified
noncurrent time. When performing media recovery, you can recover the whole
database, a tablespace, or a datafile. In any case, you always use a restored backup
to perform the recovery.
This section contains the follow topics:
 Complete Recovery
 Incomplete Recovery
Complete Recovery
Complete recovery involves using redo data or incremental backups combined with
a backup of a database, tablespace, or datafile to update it to the most current point
in time. It is called complete because Oracle applies all of the redo changes contained
in the archived and online logs to the backup. Typically, you perform complete
media recovery after a media failure damages datafiles or the control file.
You can perform complete recovery on a database, tablespace, or datafile. If you are
performing complete recovery on the whole database, then whether you are using
RMAN or SQL*Plus you must:
 Mount the database
 Ensure that all datafiles you want to recover are online
 Restore a backup of the whole database or the files you want to recover
 Apply online or archived redo logs, or a combination of the two
If you are performing complete recovery on a tablespace or datafile, then you must:
 Take the tablespace or datafile to be recovered offline if the database is open
 Restore a backup of the datafiles you want to recover
 Apply online or archived redo logs, or a combination of the two
Complete and Incomplete Media Recovery
3-8 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Incomplete Recovery
Incomplete recovery uses a backup to produce a noncurrent version of the database.
In other words, you do not apply all of the redo records generated after the most
recent backup. You usually perform incomplete recovery of the whole database in
the following situations:
 Media failure destroys some or all of the online redo logs.
 A user error causes data loss, for example, a user inadvertently drops a table.
 You cannot perform complete recovery because an archived redo log is missing.
 You lose your current control file and must use a backup control file to open the
database.
To perform incomplete media recovery, you must restore all datafiles from backups
created prior to the time to which you want to recover and then open the database
with the RESETLOGS option when recovery completes. The RESETLOGS operation
creates a new incarnation of the database—in other words, a database with a new
stream of log sequence numbers starting with log sequence 1.
Tablespace Point-in-Time Recovery
The tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR) feature enables you to recover one
or more tablespaces to a point-in-time that is different from the rest of the database.
TSPITR is most useful when you want to:
 Recover from an erroneous drop or truncate table operation
 Recover a table that has become logically corrupted
 Recover from an incorrect batch job or other DML statement that has affected
only a subset of the database
 Recover one independent schema to a point different from the rest of a physical
database (in cases where there are multiple independent schemas in separate
tablespaces of one physical database)
 Recover a tablespace on a very large database (VLDB) rather than restore the
whole database from a backup and perform a complete database roll-forward
See Also: Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery Guide to
learn how to perform user-managed TSPITR, and Oracle9i Recovery
Manager User’s Guide to learn how to perform TSPITR with RMAN.
RMAN and User-Managed Restore and Recovery
Recovery Principles 3-9
Media Recovery Options
Because you are not completely recovering the database to the most current time,
you must tell Oracle when to terminate recovery. You can perform the following
types of media recovery.
RMAN and User-Managed Restore and Recovery
You have a choice between two basic methods for recovering physical files. You can:
 Use the RMAN utility to restore and recover the database
 Restore backups by means of operating system utilities, and then recover by
executing the SQL*Plus RECOVER command
Whichever method you choose, you can recover a database, tablespace, or datafile.
Before performing media recovery, you need to determine which datafiles to
recover. Often you can use the fixed view V$RECOVER_FILE. This view lists all files
that require recovery and explains the error that necessitates recovery.
RMAN Restore and Recovery
The basic RMAN recovery commands are RESTORE and RECOVER. Use RESTORE to
restore datafiles from backup sets or from image copies on disk, either to their
current location or to a new location. You can also restore backup sets containing
archived redo logs. Use the RMAN RECOVER command to perform media recovery
and apply archived logs or incremental backups.
Type of Recovery Function
Time-based recovery Recovers the data up to a specified point in time.
Cancel-based recovery Recovers until you issue the CANCEL statement (not available
when using Recovery Manager).
Change-based recovery Recovers until the specified SCN.
Log sequence recovery Recovers until the specified log sequence number (only
available when using Recovery Manager).
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide for more about
using V$ views in a recovery scenario
RMAN and User-Managed Restore and Recovery
3-10 Backup and Recovery Concepts
RMAN automates the procedure for recovering and restoring your backups and
copies. For example, run the following commands from within RMAN to restore
and recover the database to its current time:
SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE; # shuts down database
STARTUP MOUNT; # starts and mounts database
RESTORE DATABASE; # restores all datafiles
RECOVER DATABASE; # recovers database using all available redo
ALTER DATABASE OPEN; # reopens the database
User-Managed Restore and Recovery
If you do not use RMAN, then you can restore backups with operating system
utilities and then run the SQL*Plus RECOVER command to recover the database.
You should follow these basic steps:
1. After identifying which files are damaged, place the database in the appropriate
state for restore and recovery. For example, if some but not all datafiles are
damaged, then take the affected tablespaces offline while the database is open.
2. Restore the files with an operating system utility. If you do not have a backup, it
is sometimes possible to perform recovery if you have the necessary redo logs
dating from the time when the datafiles were first created and the control file
contains the name of the damaged file.
If you cannot restore a datafile to its original location, then relocate the restored
datafile and change the location in the control file.
3. Restore any necessary archived redo log files.
4. Use the SQL*Plus RECOVER command to recover the datafile backups.
For example, assume that you lose the /oracle/dbs/users1.dbf datafile, which
is contained in the users tablespace, to a media failure. Also, assume that you have
a backup called /dsk2/backup/users1.dbf on a separate disk drive. You
discover that the datafile is missing because a query returns an error saying that the
file is missing.
Your first step is to take the users tablespace offline. For example, you run this
SQL statement:
SQL> ALTER TABLESPACE users OFFLINE IMMEDIATE;
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
restore and recovery using RMAN
RMAN and User-Managed Restore and Recovery
Recovery Principles 3-11
Then, you restore the backup of users1.dbf using an operating system utility. For
example, you run this UNIX command:
% cp /dsk2/backup/users1.dbf /oracle/dbs/users1.dbf
Assuming that you have all necessary archived redo logs, you can recover the
datafile with the following SQL*Plus command:
SQL> RECOVER AUTOMATIC DATAFILE ’/oracle/dbs/users1.dbf’;
Finally, bring the tablespace online as follows:
SQL> ALTER TABLESPACE users ONLINE;
See Also: Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery Guide to
learn how to restore and recover by means of operating system
utilities and SQL*Plus
RMAN and User-Managed Restore and Recovery
3-12 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-1
4
Backup and Recovery Strategies
This chapter offers guidelines and considerations for developing an effective
backup and recovery strategy. It includes the following topics:
 Backup Strategies
 Restore and Recovery Strategies
Backup Strategies
4-2 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Backup Strategies
Before you create an Oracle database, decide how to protect the database against
potential media failures. If you do not develop a backup strategy before creating
your database, then you may not be able to perform recovery if a disk failure
damages the datafiles, online redo log files, or control files.
This section describes general guidelines that can help you decide when to perform
database backups and which parts of a database you should back up. Of course, the
specifics of your strategy depend on the constraints under which you are operating.
This section contains these topics:
 Obeying the Golden Rule of Backup and Recovery
 Choosing the Database Archiving Mode
 Multiplexing Control Files, Online Redo Logs, and Archived Redo Logs
 Performing Backups Frequently and Regularly
 Performing Backups Before and After You Make Structural Changes
 Backing Up Often-Used Tablespaces
 Performing Backups After Unrecoverable Operations
 PerformingWhole Database Backups After Opening with the RESETLOGS
Option
 Archiving Older Backups
 Knowing the Constraints for Distributed Database Backups
 Exporting Data for Added Protection and Flexibility
 Avoiding the Backup of Online Redo Logs
 Keeping Records of the Hardware and Software Configuration of the Server
Obeying the Golden Rule of Backup and Recovery
The set of files needed to recover from the failure of any Oracle database file—a
datafile, control file, or online redo log—is called the redundancy set. The
redundancy set contains:
 The last backup of the control file and all the datafiles
 All archived redo logs generated after the last backup was taken
Backup Strategies
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-3
 A duplicate of the online redo log files generated by Oracle multiplexing,
operating system mirroring, or both
 A duplicate of the current control file generated by Oracle multiplexing,
operating system mirroring, or both
 Configuration files such as the server parameter file, tnsnames.ora, and
listener.ora
The golden rule of backup and recovery is: the set of disks or other media that contain
the redundancy set should be separate from the disks that contain the datafiles, online redo
logs, and control files. This strategy ensures that the failure of a disk that contains a
datafile does not also cause the loss of the backups or redo logs needed to recover
the datafile. Consequently, a minimal production-level database requires at least
two disk drives: one to hold the files in the redundancy set and one to hold the
database files.
Always keep the redundancy set separate from the primary files in every way
possible: on separate volumes, separate file systems, and separate RAID devices.
These systems are reliable, but they can and do fail. Keeping the redundancy set
separate ensures that you can recover from a failure without losing committed
transactions.
You can implement a system that follows the golden rule in several different ways.
Oracle recommends following these guidelines:
 Multiplex the online redo log files and current control file at the Oracle level,
not only at the operating system or hardware level. Multiplexing at the Oracle
level has the advantage that an I/O failure or lost write should only corrupt one
of the copies.
 Use operating system or hardware mirroring for at least the control file, because
Oracle does not provide complete support for control file multiplexing: if one
multiplexed copy of the control file fails, then the Oracle instance shuts down.
 Use operating system or hardware mirroring for the primary datafiles if
possible to avoid having to apply media recovery for simple disk failures.
 Keep at least one copy of the entire redundancy set—including the most recent
backup—on hard disk.
If the redundancy copy is created by splitting a local mirror, then it is not as
good as a backup created through operating system or RMAN commands
because it relies on the mirroring subsystem for both the primary files and
redundancy set copy. The last file backup, such as the last backup to tape, is the
redundancy set copy. Hence, keep archived logs needed to recover this copy.
Backup Strategies
4-4 Backup and Recovery Concepts
 If your database is stored on a RAID device, then place the redundancy set on a
set of devices that is not in the same RAID device.
 If you keep the redundancy set on tapes, then maintain at least two copies of
the data because tapes can fail. Also, if you have more than one copy of the
same data, then consider keeping backups from different points in time. In this
way, if one backup or split mirror was done when the database was corrupted,
then you have an older backup when the database was not corrupted.
Choosing the Database Archiving Mode
Before you create an Oracle database, decide how you plan to protect it against
potential failures. Answer the following questions:
 Is it acceptable to lose any data if a disk failure damages some of the files
that constitute a database?
If not, then run the database in ARCHIVELOG mode, ideally with a multiplexed
online redo log, a multiplexed control file, and multiplexed archive redo logs. If
you can afford to lose all data from your last backup to the point of failure, then
you can operate in NOARCHIVELOG mode and avoid the extra maintenance
chores. You may have alternative ways of re-creating the data.
 Will you need to recover to a noncurrent time?
If you need to perform incomplete recovery to correct an erroneous change to
the database, then run in ARCHIVELOG mode and perform control file backups
whenever making structural changes. Incomplete recovery is easiest when you
have a backup control file reflecting the database structure at the desired time.
 Does the database need to be available at all times?
High-availability databases always operate in ARCHIVELOG mode to take
advantage of online datafile backups.
After you have answered these questions and determined which mode to use,
follow the guidelines for either:
 Backing Up a NOARCHIVELOG Database
 Backing Up an ARCHIVELOG Database
Backup Strategies
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-5
Backing Up a NOARCHIVELOG Database
If you run the database in NOARCHIVELOG mode, Oracle does not archive filled
groups of online redo log files. Therefore, the only protection against a disk failure
is the most recent whole backup of the database. Follow these guidelines:
 Make whole database backups regularly, according to the amount of work that
you can afford to lose. For example, if you can afford to lose the amount of
work accomplished in one week, then make a consistent whole database
backup once every week. If you can afford to lose only a day's work, then make
a consistent whole database backup every day. For large databases with a high
amount of activity, you usually cannot afford to lose work. In this case, you
should operate the database in ARCHIVELOG mode.
 Whenever you alter the physical structure of a database operating in
NOARCHIVELOG mode, immediately take a consistent whole database backup.
A whole database backup fully reflects the new structure of the database.
Backing Up an ARCHIVELOG Database
If you run your database in ARCHIVELOG mode, then the archiver archives groups
of online redo log files. Therefore, the archived redo log coupled with the online
redo log and datafile backups can protect the database from a disk failure,
providing for complete recovery from a disk failure to the instant that the failure
occurred (or, to the desired noncurrent time). Following are common backup
strategies for a database operating in ARCHIVELOG mode:
 Back up the entire database after you create it. This initial whole database
backup is the foundation of your backups because it provides backups of all
datafiles and the control file of the associated database.
 Make backups of tablespaces when the database is open or closed to keep the
database backups up-to-date. So long as you have the necessary archived logs
to recover the backup, you never have to shut down the database to make a
backup.
Note: When you perform this initial whole database backup,
make sure that the database is in ARCHIVELOG mode first.
Otherwise, the backup control files will contain the NOARCHIVELOG
mode setting.
Backup Strategies
4-6 Backup and Recovery Concepts
In particular, back up the datafiles of extensively used tablespaces frequently to
reduce database recovery time. If a more recent datafile backup restores a
damaged datafile, then you need to apply less redo (or incremental backups) to
the restored datafile to roll it forward to the time of the failure.
You can also use a datafile copy taken while the database is open and the
tablespace is online to restore datafiles. You must apply the appropriate redo
log files to these restored datafiles to make the data consistent and bring it
forward to the specified point in time.
 Back up the control file every time you make a structural change to the
database. If you run in ARCHIVELOG mode and the database is open, then use
either RMAN or the SQL statement ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROLFILE.
 Back up archived logs frequently. It is strongly recommended that you keep at
least two copies of archived logs: one on disk and another on off-line storage
(tape, optical disks, and so forth). Keep the logs on disk as long as possible but
back them up as soon as possible.
Multiplexing Control Files, Online Redo Logs, and Archived Redo Logs
Control files, online redo logs, and archived redo logs are crucial files for backup
and recovery operations. The loss of any of these files can cause you to lose data
irrevocably. You should maintain:
 At least two copies of the control file on different disks mounted under different
disk controllers. You should use Oracle to multiplex the copies and your
operating system to mirror each copy.
 Two or more copies of your online redo log on different disks. The online redo
data is crucial for instance, crash, and media recovery.
 Two or more copies of your archived redo log on different disks and, if possible,
different media.
Performing Backups Frequently and Regularly
Frequent backups are essential for any recovery scheme. Base the frequency of
backups on the rate or frequency of database changes such as:
 Addition and deletion of tables
 Insertions and deletions of rows in existing tables
See Also: Oracle9i Database Concepts for a conceptual overview of
all Oracle data structures.
Backup Strategies
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-7
 Updates to data within tables
If users generate a significant amount of DML, then database backup frequency
should be proportionally high. Alternatively, if a database is mainly read-only, and
if updates are issued only infrequently, then you can back up the database less
frequently.
You can use either RMAN or user-managed methods to create backup scripts. If you
set persistent configurations using RMAN’s CONFIGURE command, however, then
you should not typically need to write extensive scripts. You can regularly run
BACKUP DATABASE PLUS ARCHIVELOG.
Performing Backups Before and After You Make Structural Changes
Administrators as well as users make changes to a database. If you make any of the
following structural changes, then perform a backup of the appropriate portion of
your database immediately before and after completing the following changes:
 Create or drop a tablespace.
 Add or rename a datafile in an existing tablespace.
 Add, rename, or drop an online redo log group ormember.
The part of the database that you should back up depends on your archiving mode:
Backing Up Often-Used Tablespaces
Many DBAs find that regular whole database backups are not in themselves
sufficient for a robust backup strategy. If you run in ARCHIVELOG mode, then you
can back up the datafiles of an individual tablespace or even a single datafile. This
option is useful if a portion of a database is used more extensively than others, for
example, the SYSTEM tablespace and automatic undo tablespaces.
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
create, delete, replace, and print stored scripts
Mode Action
ARCHIVELOG Make a control file backup (using RMAN or using the ALTER
DATABASE statement with the BACKUP CONTROLFILE option)
before and after a structural alteration. Of course, you can back
up other parts of the database as well.
NOARCHIVELOG Make a consistent whole database backup immediately before
and after the modification.
Backup Strategies
4-8 Backup and Recovery Concepts
By making more frequent backups of the extensively used datafiles of a database,
you avoid a long recovery time. For example, you may make a whole database
backup once every two weeks. If the database experiences heavy traffic during the
week, then a media failure on Friday can force you to apply a tremendous amount
of redo during recovery. If you had backed up your most frequently accessed
tablespaces three times a week, then you could apply a smaller number of changes
to roll the restored file forward to the time of the failure.
Performing Backups After Unrecoverable Operations
If users are creating tables or indexes using the UNRECOVERABLE option, then make
backups after the objects are created. When tables and indexes are created as
UNRECOVERABLE, Oracle does not log redo data, which means that you cannot
recover these objects from existing backups.
Performing Whole Database Backups After Opening with the RESETLOGS Option
After you open a database with the RESETLOGS option, Oracle Corporation
recommends that you immediately perform a whole database backup. If you do
not, and if a disaster occurs, then it is possible to lose all changes made after
opening the database.
In certain cases, you can restore a backup made prior to a RESETLOGS and recover
the database, but the procedure is complicated and requires you to have a control
file backup from before and after the RESETLOGS operations. A whole database
backup created after a RESETLOGS protects against this situation.
See Also: Oracle9i Database Administrator’s Guide for information
about managing undo tablespaces
Note: If using RMAN, then you can make an incremental backup.
See Also: Oracle9i SQL Reference for information about the
UNRECOVERABLE option of the CREATE TABLE ... AS SELECT
and CREATE INDEX statements.
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
recover using a backup created before a RESETLOGS
Backup Strategies
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-9
Archiving Older Backups
You may need to store older backups for two basic reasons:
 An older backup is necessary for performing incomplete recovery to a time
before your most recent backup
 Your most recent backup is corrupted
If you want to recover to a noncurrent time, then you need a database backup that
completed before the desired time. For example, if you make backups on the 1st and
14th of February, then decide at the end of the month to recover your database to
February 7th, you must use the February 1st (or earlier) backup.
For a database operating in NOARCHIVELOG mode, the backup that you use must be
a consistent whole database backup. Of course, you cannot perform media recovery
using this backup. For a database operating in ARCHIVELOG mode, the whole
database backup:
 Does not need to be consistent because redo is available to recover it
 Should have completed before the intended recovery time
 Should have all archived logs necessary to recover the datafiles to the required
point-in-time
 Should be recovered with a control file that reflects the database's structure at
the point-in-time that ends the recovery
For added protection, keep two or more database backups (with associated archived
redo logs) previous to the current backup. Thus, if your most recent backups are not
usable, then you will not lose all of your data.
Knowing the Constraints for Distributed Database Backups
If the database is a member of a distributed database system, then all databases in
the system should operate in the same archiving mode. Note the consequences and
constraints contained in the following table.
Backup Strategies
4-10 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Exporting Data for Added Protection and Flexibility
Because the Oracle Export utility can selectively export specific objects, consider
exporting portions or all of a database for supplemental protection and flexibility in
a database's backup strategy. This strategy is especially useful for logical backups of
the RMAN recovery catalog, because you can quickly reimport this data into any
database and rebuild the catalog if the recovery catalog database is lost.
Database exports are not a substitute for whole database backups and cannot
provide the same complete recovery advantages that the built-in functionality of
Oracle offers. For example, you cannot apply archived logs to logical backups in
order to update lost changes. An export provides a snapshot of the logical data
(tables, stored procedures, and so forth) in a database when the export was made.
Avoiding the Backup of Online Redo Logs
Although it may seem that you should back up online redo logs along with the
datafiles and control file, this technique is dangerous. You should not back up
online redo logs for the following reasons:
 The best method for protecting the online logs against media failure is by
multiplexing them, that is, having multiple log members in each group, on
different disks and disk controllers.
Mode Constraint Consequence
ARCHIVELOG Closed cleanly Backups at each node can be performed
autonomously, that is, individually and without
time coordination.
NOARCHIVELOG Closed cleanly Consistent whole database backups must be
performed at the same global time to plan for
global distributed database recovery. For example,
if a database in New York is backed up at
midnight EST, the database in San Francisco
should be backed up at 9 PM PST.
See Also: Oracle9i Database Administrator’s Guide to learn how to
manage distributed database systems
See Also: Oracle9i Database Utilities for an account of the Export
utility
Backup Strategies
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-11
 If your database is in ARCHIVELOG mode, then the archiver is already archiving
the filled redo logs.
 If your database is in NOARCHIVELOG mode, then the only type of backups that
you should perform are closed, consistent, whole database backups. The files in
this type of backup are all consistent and do not need recovery, so the online
logs are not needed.
 You may accidentally restore backups of online redo logs while not intending
to, thereby corrupting the database.
A number of situations are possible in which restoring the online logs cause
significant problems to the database. The following sections describe scenarios that
illustrate how restoring backed up online logs severely compromises recovery.
Unintentionally Restoring Online Redo Logs: Scenario
When a crisis occurs, it is easy to make a simple mistake.When restoring the whole
database, you can accidentally restore the online redo logs, thus overwriting the
current online logs with the older, useless backups. This action forces you to
perform incomplete recovery instead of the intended complete recovery, thereby
losing the ability to recover valuable data contained in the overwritten redo logs.
Erroneously Creating Multiple Parallel Redo Log Timelines: Scenario
If you face a problem where the best course of action is to restore the database from
a consistent backup and not perform any recovery, then you may think it is safe to
restore the online logs and thereby avoid opening the database with the
RESETLOGS option. The problem is that Oracle eventually generates a log sequence
number that was already generated by the database during the previous timeline.
For example, say that the most recent archived log for database prod1 has a log
sequence number of 100. Assume that you restore a consistent backup of the
database along with backed up online redo logs and then do not open with the
RESETLOGS option. Assume also that the restored online log is at log sequence 50.
Eventually, the database archives a log with the log sequence number of 100—so
you now have two copies of log 100 with completely different contents.
If you then face another disaster and need to restore from this backup and roll
forward, then you may find it difficult to identify which log with sequence number
100 is the correct one. If you had reset the logs, then you would have created a new
incarnation of the database. You could only apply archived logs created by this new
incarnation to this incarnation.
Backup Strategies
4-12 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Keeping Records of the Hardware and Software Configuration of the Server
During the stress of a recovery situation, it is important that you have all necessary
information at your disposal. This is especially true if for some reason you need to
contact Oracle Support because you run into a problem that you do not understand.
You should have the following documentation about the hardware configuration:
 The name of the node that hosts the database
 The make andmodel of the productionmachine
 The version and patch of the operating system
 The disk capacity of the host
 The number of disks and disk controllers
 The disk capacity and free space
 The media management vendor (if you use a third-party media manager)
 The type and number of media management devices
You should also keep the following documentation about the software
configuration:
 The name of the database instance (SID)
 The database identifier (DBID)
 The version and patch release of the Oracle database server
 The version and patch release of the networking software
 The method (RMAN or user-managed) and frequency of database backups
 The method of restore and recovery (RMAN or user-managed)
 The datafile mount points
You should keep this information both in electronic and hardcopy form. For
example, if you save this information in a text file on the network or in an email
message, then if the entire system goes down, you may not have this data available.
Note: RMAN does not permit you to back up online redo logs.
Restore and Recovery Strategies
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-13
Restore and Recovery Strategies
Oracle provides a variety of procedures and tools to assist you with recovery. To
develop an effective recovery strategy, do the following:
 Testing Backup and Recovery Strategies
 Validating Backups and Restores Using RMAN
 Planning a Response to Media Failures
 Planning a Response to Datafile Block Corruption
 Planning the Response to Non-Media Failures
Testing Backup and Recovery Strategies
Practice backup and recovery techniques in a test environment before and after you
move to a production system. In this way, you can measure the thoroughness of
your strategies and minimize problems before they occur in a real situation.
Performing test recoveries regularly ensures that your archiving, backup, and
recovery procedures work. It also helps you stay familiar with recovery procedures,
so that you are less likely to make a mistake in a crisis.
If you use RMAN, then run the DUPLICATE command to create a test database
using backups of your production database. If you perform user-managed backup
and recovery, then you can either create a new database, a standby database, or a
copy of an existing database by using a combination of operating system and
SQL*Plus commands.
When testing your backup and recovery strategy, ask yourself these questions:
 If a disk failed and destroyed some of the database files, could I perform a full
recovery of the files on this disk? Test separately for loss of datafiles, control
files, and online redo logs.
 If a user accidentally dropped a table, how could I recover from it? Test
scenarios involving incomplete recovery of the whole database, tablespace
point-in-time recovery, and using the Import utility.
 What if the alert_SID.log revealed that one or more tables contained
corrupt blocks? Test block recovery using the RMAN BLOCKRECOVER
command. Also, troubleshoot recovery with the SQL*Plus RECOVER ... TEST
command.
Restore and Recovery Strategies
4-14 Backup and Recovery Concepts
 If the entire data center was destroyed by a fire, could you perform disaster
recovery? Assume that all you have is an archived tape containing backups.
How would you recover the database?
Validating Backups and Restores Using RMAN
If you use RMAN, then you can use the VALIDATE keyword on the BACKUP and
RESTORE commands. BACKUP VALIDATE tests whether you are able to make a
valid backup of database files. RESTORE VALIDATE tests whether you are able to
restore an RMAN backup. Note that neither of these commands produces any
actual output files.
Planning a Response to Media Failures
Media failure is the biggest threat to your data. A media failure is a physical
problem that occurs when a computer unsuccessfully attempts to read from or write
to a file necessary to operate the database. Common types of media problems
include:
 A disk drive that holds one of the database files experiences a head crash.
 A datafile, online or archived redo log, or control file is accidentally deleted,
overwritten, or corrupted.
The technique you use to recover from media failure of a database file depends
heavily on the type of media failure that occurred. For example, the strategy you
use to recover from a corrupted datafile is different from the strategy for recovering
from the loss of the control file.
The basic steps for media recovery are:
 Determine which files to recover.
 Determine the type of media recovery required: complete or incomplete, open
database or closed database.
 Restore backups or copies of necessary files: datafiles, control files, and the
archived redo logs necessary to recover the datafiles.
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide for RMAN
testing methods, and Oracle9i User-Managed Backup and Recovery
Guide to learn how to troubleshoot SQL*Plus recovery
Restore and Recovery Strategies
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-15
 Apply redo records to recover the datafiles. (When using Recovery Manager,
apply redo records or incremental backups, or both.)
 Reopen the database. If you perform incomplete recovery or restore a backup
control file, then you must open the database with the RESETLOGS option.
When you perform datafile media recovery, you choose either complete recovery or
incomplete recovery. The type of recovery method you use depends on the
situation. Table 4–1 displays typical scenarios and strategies.
Note: If you do not have a backup, then you can still perform
recovery if you have the necessary redo logs and the control file
contains the name of the damaged file. If you cannot restore a file to
its original location, then you must relocate the restored file and
rename the file in the control file.
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
perform media recovery using RMAN
Table 4–1 Typical Media Failures and Recovery Strategies
Lost/Inaccessible Files Archiving Mode Status Strategy
One ormore datafiles NOARCHIVELOG Closed Restore whole database from a consistent database
backup. All changes made after the backup are lost.
Open the database with the RESETLOGS option.
Note: The only time you can open a database without
performing RESETLOGS after restoring a
NOARCHIVELOG backup is when you have not
already overwritten the online log files that were
current at the time of the most recent backup.
One or more datafiles and
an online redo log
NOARCHIVELOG Closed Restore whole database from consistent backup. You
lose all changes made after the last backup. Open the
database with the RESETLOGS option.
One or more datafiles and
all control files
NOARCHIVELOG Closed Restore the whole database and control file from
consistent backup. You lose all changes made after
the last backup. Open the database with the
RESETLOGS option.
Restore and Recovery Strategies
4-16 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Online Redo Log Recovery
The method of recovery from loss of all members in an online log group depends on
a number of factors, such as:
 The state of the database (open, crashed, closed cleanly, and so on)
 Whether the lost group was current
 Whether the lost group has been archived
For example:
 If you lose the current group, and the database is not closed cleanly (either it is
open, or it has crashed), then you will have to restore an old backup and do
point in time recovery, followed by open resetlogs. You will lose all transactions
that were in the lost log.
One ormore (but not all)
datafiles
ARCHIVELOG Open Perform tablespace or datafile recovery while the
database is open. The tablespaces or datafiles are
taken offline, restored from backups, recovered, and
placed online. No changes are lost and the database
remains available during the recovery.
All datafiles ARCHIVELOG Closed Restore the backup datafiles, then mount the control
file and recover the database completely. Assuming
all redo logs are available, you can open the database
as normal (that is, do not perform a RESETLOGS).
One ormore datafiles and
an archived redo log
required for recovery
ARCHIVELOG Open Perform TSPITR on the tablespaces containing the
lost datafiles up to the point of the latest available
archived redo log.
All control files and
possibly one or more
datafiles
ARCHIVELOG Not
open
Restore the lost control files and datafiles from
backups and recover the datafiles. No changes are
lost, but the database is unavailable during recovery.
Open the database with the RESETLOGS option.
All control files and
possibly one or more
datafiles, as well as an
archived or online redo
log required for recovery
ARCHIVELOG Not
open
Restore the necessary files from backups, then
perform incomplete recovery of the database up to
the point of the most recent available log. Youwill
lose all changes contained in the lost log and in all
subsequent logs. Open the database with the
RESETLOGS option.
Table 4–1 Typical Media Failures and Recovery Strategies (Cont.)
Lost/Inaccessible Files Archiving Mode Status Strategy
Restore and Recovery Strategies
Backup and Recovery Strategies 4-17
 If you lose the current group, and the database is closed cleanly, you can open
resetlogs with no transaction loss. You should immediately take a new full
backup.
 If you lose a noncurrent group, you can use the 'alter database clear logfile'
command to re-create all members in the group. No transactions are lost.
 If the group that you lost was archived before it was lost, nothing further is
required. If the group was not archived, you should immediately take a new
full backup.
Planning a Response to Datafile Block Corruption
If selected blocks within a datafile are corrupt, then you may not have to restore and
recover the whole datafile. Instead, you can perform block media recovery. The
Recovery Manager BLOCKRECOVER command can restore and recover specified
data blocks while the database is open and the corrupted datafile is online.
Planning the Response to Non-Media Failures
Although media recovery is your primary concern when developing your recovery
strategy, you should understand the basic types of non-media failures as well as the
causes and solutions for each.
Statement Failure
A statement failure is a logical failure in the handling of a statement in an Oracle
program. The Oracle database server or the operating system usually returns an
error code and a message when a statement failure occurs.
User Error
Users errors are anymistakes that usersmake in adding data to or deleting data
from the database. If you have a logical backup of a table from which data has been
lost, sometimes you can simply import it back into the table.
Depending on the scenario, you may have to perform some type of incomplete
media recovery to correct user errors. You can perform either database point-in-time
recovery (DBPITR) or tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR). The following
table explains the difference between these types of incomplete recovery.
See Also: Oracle9i Recovery Manager User’s Guide to learn how to
perform block media recovery
Restore and Recovery Strategies
4-18 Backup and Recovery Concepts
Instance Failure
Instance failure occurs when an instance abnormally terminates. An instance failure
can occur because:
 A power outage causes the server to crash.
 The server becomes unavailable because of hardware problems.
 The operating system crashes.
 One of the Oracle background processes fails.
 You issue a SHUTDOWN ABORT statement.
Fortunately, Oracle performs instance recovery automatically: all you need to do is
restart the database. Oracle automatically detects that the database was not shut
down cleanly, then applies committed and uncommitted redo records in the redo
log to the datafiles and rolls back uncommitted data. Finally, Oracle synchronizes
the datafiles and control file and opens the database.
Type Description
DBPITR 1. Restore whole database backup.
2. Recover the database to the time just before the error.
3. Open RESETLOGS
TSPITR 1. Create auxiliary instance with RMAN or user-managed methods.
2. Recover the tablespace on the auxiliary to the time just before the error.
3. Import data back into the primary database.
Glossary-1
Glossary
advancing the checkpoint
The action that occurs when the redo log entry marking the checkpoint changes. For
example, the CKPT process may record one record as the checkpoint, then three
seconds later record a later log entry as the checkpoint. This action moves the
checkpoint forward by saving all changes to the datafiles before the SCN reflected
by the new checkpoint. Advancing the checkpoint reduces the amount of data that
potentially requires recovery.
See Also: thread checkpoint, redo record
archived redo log
A copy of one of the filled members of an online redo log group made when the
database is in ARCHIVELOG mode. After the LGWR process fills each online redo
log with redo records, the archiver process copies the log to one or more offline
archive log destinations. This copy is the archived redo log.
ARCHIVELOG mode
The mode of the database in which Oracle copies filled online redo logs to disk.
Specify the mode at database creation or by using the ALTER DATABASE statement.
You can enable automatic archiving either dynamically using the ALTER SYSTEM
statement or by setting the initialization parameter LOG_ARCHIVE_START to TRUE.
Running the database in ARCHIVELOG mode has several advantages over
NOARCHIVELOG mode. You can:
 Back up the database while it is open and being accessed by users.
 Recover the database to any desired point in time.
Glossary-2
To protect the ARCHIVELOG mode database in case of failure, back up the archived
logs.
See Also: archived redo log, NOARCHIVELOG mode
archiving
The operation in which the archiver background process copies filled online redo
logs to offline destinations. An offline copy of an online redo logs is called an
archived redo log. You must run the database in ARCHIVELOG mode to archive
redo logs.
ATL (automated tape library)
A unit that contains one or more tape drives, a robotic arm, and a shelf of tapes. The
ATL, also called a tape silo, is able to load and unload tapes into the tape drive from
the shelf without operator intervention. More sophisticated tape libraries are able to
identify each tape; for example, the robotic arm can use a bar-code reader to scan
each tape's barcode and identify it.
See Also: media manager
automatic channel allocation
The persistent preconfiguration of RMAN channels. You can use the CONFIGURE
command to specify disk and tape channels. Then, you can issue commands such as
BACKUP and RESTORE at the RMAN command prompt without manually
allocating channels. RMAN uses whatever preallocated channels that it needs in
order to execute the commands.
automatic undo management mode
A mode of the database in which undo data is stored in a dedicated undo
tablespace. Unlike in manual undo management mode, the only undo
management that you must perform is the creation of the undo tablespace. All other
undo management is performed automatically.
auxiliary database
(1) A database created from target database backups using the RMAN DUPLICATE
command.
(2) A temporary database that is restored to a new location and then started up with
a new instance name during tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR). A TSPITR
auxiliary database contains the recovery set and auxiliary set.
See Also: TSPITR, recovery set, auxiliary set
Glossary-3
auxiliary set
In TSPITR, the set of files that is not in the recovery set but which must be restored
in the clone database for the TSPITR set to be successful. These auxiliary files
include:
 Backup control file
 SYSTEM tablespace
 Any datafiles containing rollback segments
 Temporary tablespace (optional)
See Also: auxiliary database, recovery set, TSPITR
backup
(1) A copy of data, that is, a database, tablespace, table, datafile, control file, or
archived redo log. You can make a backup by:
 Making a copy of one or more tables with the Export utility
 Using Recovery Manager to back up one or more datafiles, control files, or
archived redo logs
 Making a copy either to disk or to tape using operating system utilities (such as
cp, tar, dd)
(2) An RMAN command that creates a backup set.
See Also: copy, backup set, multiplexing, RMAN
backup, closed
See closed backup
backup, whole database
See whole database backup
backup and recovery
The set of concepts, procedures, and strategies involved in protecting the database
against data loss due to media failure or users errors. In a wider sense, backup and
recovery also involves performing maintenance on backups as well as keeping
records.
backup control file
A backup of the control file. Make the backup by:
Glossary-4
 Using the Recovery Manager BACKUP or COPY command.
 Using the SQL command ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROLFILE TO
'filename'
Typically, you restore backup control files when all copies of the current control file
are damaged; sometimes you restore them before performing certain types of
point-in-time recovery.
See Also: control file
backup mode
The database mode (also called hot backup mode) initiated when you issue the
ALTER TABLESPACE ... BEGIN BACKUP command before taking an online
backup. You take a tablespace out of backup mode when you issue the ALTER
TABLESPACE ... END BACKUP or ALTER DATABASE END BACKUP command.
You must use this command when you make an operating system backup of one or
more datafiles in an online tablespace. Recovery Manager does not require you to
put the database in backup mode. Updates to tablespaces in backup mode create
more than the usual amount of redo because each change causes Oracle to write the
entire block rather than just the changed data to the redo log.
See Also: corrupt block, fractured block, online backup
backup piece
A backup piece is a physical file in an RMAN-specific format that belongs to only
one backup set. A backup set usually contains only one backup piece. The only time
RMAN creates more than one backup piece in a backup set is when you limit the
backup piece size using the MAXPIECESIZE option of the ALLOCATE or
CONFIGURE command.
See Also: backup, backup set, RMAN
backup redundancy
The number of backups of a given file.
See Also: retention policy, obsolete backups and copies
backup retention policy
See retention policy
Glossary-5
backup set
A backup of one or more datafiles, control files, or archived logs produced by the
RMAN BACKUP command. A backup set is a logical grouping of one or more binary
files called backup pieces. Backup sets are in a proprietary format and can only be
restored by RMAN.
See Also: backup piece, compression, multiplexing, RMAN
block media recovery
The recovery of specified blocks within a datafile by using the Recovery Manager
BLOCKRECOVER command. Block media recovery leaves the affected datafiles
online and restores and recovers only the damaged or corrupted blocks.
breaking a mirror
The termination of a disk mirroring procedure so that a mirror image contains a
static copy of the current data. The broken mirror is no longer kept up-do-date. You
can create operating system database backups by placing the tablespaces in the
database in backup mode and then breaking the mirror. After taking the
tablespaces out of backup mode, back up the broken mirror side to tape. After the
backup is complete, you can resilver the mirror.
See Also: resilvering a mirror
buffer cache
The portion of the SGA that holds copies of Oracle data blocks. All user processes
concurrently connected to the instance share access to the buffer cache.
The buffers in the cache are organized in two lists: the dirty list and the least
recently used (LRU) list. The dirty list holds dirty buffers, which contain data that
has been modified but has not yet been written to disk. The least recently used
(LRU) list holds free buffers (unmodified and available), pinned buffers (currently
being accessed), and dirty buffers that have not yet been moved to the dirty list.
See Also: SGA (System Global Area)
cache recovery
There is a delay between when a data block is changed in the buffer cache and
when it is saved to the datafiles on disk. Hence, an Oracle instance may crash before
a data block has been saved. To prevent loss of these changes, Oracle writes the
change to the data block (and the change to the rollback or undo blocks) to the
online redo log before making the change to the block in the cache.
Glossary-6
In cache recovery, Oracle rolls forward to recover data that has not been recorded in
the datafiles. Unlike media recovery, crash recovery never needs to read the
contents of any archived logs: all of the changes needed are in the online redo logs.
See Also: crash recovery, instance recovery, media recovery
cancel-based recovery
A type of incomplete media recovery in which you use the RECOVER command
with the UNTIL CANCEL clause. Recovery proceeds until you issue the CANCEL
command.
See Also: incomplete recovery, media recovery
change-based recovery
A type of incomplete media recovery that recovers up to a specified SCN. You can
also perform cancel-based recovery, which recovers until you issue the CANCEL
command, and time-based recovery, which recovers to a specified time.
See Also: cancel-based recovery, incomplete recovery, media recovery, system
change number (SCN), time-based recovery
channel
A connection between RMAN and the target database. Each allocated channel starts
a new Oracle server session; the session then performs backup, restore, and
recovery operations. The type of channel determines whether the Oracle server
process will attempt to read or write and whether it will work through a third-party
media manager. If the channel is of type:
 DISK, the server process reads backups from or write backups to disk
 sbt, the server process reads backups from or write backups to a third-party
media manager
Channels are always able to read and write datafiles to and from disk, no matter
what their type.
See Also: channel limits, media manager, target database
channel limits
RMAN parameters that allow you to control I/O for backups and copies created by
a channel.
Glossary-7
checkpoint
A data structure that defines an SCN in the redo thread of a database. Checkpoints
are recorded in the control file and each datafile header, and are a crucial element
of recovery.
checksum
A numeric value that is mathematically derived from the contents of an Oracle data
block. The checksum allows Oracle to validate the consistency of the block.
See Also: data block
circular reuse records
Control file records containing non-critical information used by RMAN for backups
and recovery operations. These records are arranged in a logical ring.When all
available record slots are full, Oracle either expands the control file to make room
for a new records or overwrites the oldest record. The CONTROL_FILE_RECORD_
KEEP_TIME initialization parameter controls how long a given record must be kept
before it can be overwritten.
See Also: noncircular reuse records
clean shutdown
A database shut down with the IMMEDIATE, TRANSACTIONAL, or NORMAL options
of the SHUTDOWN statement. A database shut down cleanly does not require
recovery; it is already in a consistent state.
closed backup
A backup of one or more database files taken while the database is closed. Typically,
closed backups are also whole database backups. If you closed the database cleanly,
then all the files in the backup are consistent. If you shut down the database using a
SHUTDOWN ABORT or the instance terminated abnormally, then the backups are
inconsistent.
See Also: clean shutdown, consistent backup
closed database
A database that is not available to users for queries and updates.When the database
is closed you can start the instance and optionally mount the database.
See Also: open database
cluster
Glossary-8
Multiple nodes, each of which is capable of accessing data on a set of shared disks.
In a cold failover cluster, the database instance is active on only one node. If the
instance on the active node crashes, a script can automatically start an instance on
the passive node and recover the database. In an Oracle Real Applications Cluster
configuration, each node has an active instance against the same database and can
perform I/O on a shared disk at the same time.
cold backup
See closed backup
command file
A file containing a sequence of RMAN commands that you can run from the
command line. The contents of the command file should be identical to commands
entered at the command line.
complete recovery
Recovery of one or more datafiles that applies all online and archived redo
generated after the restored backup. Typically, you perform complete media
recovery when media failure damages one or more datafiles or control files. You
fully recover the damaged files using all redo generated since the restored backup
was taken. If you use RMAN, you can also apply incremental backups during
complete recovery.
See Also: incomplete recovery, media recovery
compression
The process of copying only used data blocks into RMAN backup sets. A newly
created datafile contains many never-used blocks. When RMAN creates backup
sets, it only includes blocks that have been used; it follows that RMAN does not
write never-used blocks into backup sets.
consistent backup
A whole database backup that you can open with the RESETLOGS option without
performing media recovery. In other words, you do not need to apply redo to
datafiles in this backup for it to be consistent. All datafiles in a consistent backup
must:
 Have the same checkpoint system change number (SCN) in their headers,
unless they are datafiles in tablespaces that are read-only or offline normal (in
which case they will have a clean SCN that is earlier than the checkpoint SCN)
 Contain no changes past the checkpoint SCN, that is, are not fuzzy
Glossary-9
 Match the datafile checkpoint information stored in the control file
You can only take consistent backups after you have made a clean shutdown of the
database. The database must not be opened until the backup has completed.
See Also: fuzzy file, inconsistent backup
control file
A binary file associated with a database that maintains the physical structure and
time stamps of all files in that database. Oracle updates the control file continuously
during database use and must have it available for writing whenever the database
is mounted or open.
See Also: backup control file, current control file
control file autobackup
The automatic backup of the current control file that RMAN makes in the situations:
 After every BACKUP or COPY command run at the RMAN prompt
 After every BACKUP or COPY command within a RUN block that is not followed
by another BACKUP or COPY command
The control file autobackup has a default filename that allows RMAN to restore it
even if the control file and recovery catalog are lost. You can override the default
filename if desired.
copy
(1) To replicate data. You make copies of Oracle datafiles, control files, and archived
redo logs in two ways:
 Using operating system utilities (for example, the UNIX cp or dd)
 Using the Recovery Manager COPY command
(2) A Recovery Manager command that makes a replica of a database's datafiles,
control file, or archived redo logs. This replica is made by an Oracle server process,
allocated to a Recovery Manager channel, which reads the Oracle file and writes a
replica out to disk. Recovery Manager can copy the files of an open database
without putting the tablespaces into backup mode.
See Also: backup
current datafile
In RMAN, the datafile in the target database pointed to by the control file. You can
make a datafile copy current again by executing a SWITCH command.
Glossary-10
corrupt block
An Oracle block that is not in a recognized Oracle format, or whose contents are not
internally consistent. Typically, corruptions are caused by faulty hardware or
operating system problems. Oracle identifies corrupt blocks as one of two types:
 Logically corrupt. For example, the block was corrupted by an Oracle internal
error but does not appear to be media corrupt.
 Media corrupt, that is, the block format is not correct. The block may have:
– An incorrect checksum
– A wrong data block address
– An impossible block type
You can only repair a media corrupt block by:
 Replacing the block and initiating recovery. Replace the block by restoring the
datafile, or recovering the individual block using the BLOCKRECOVER
command.
 Renewing the block. Renew a block by dropping the table (or other database
object) that contains the corrupt block so that its blocks are reused for another
object
If media corruption is due to faulty hardware, neither solution will work until the
hardware fault is corrected.
See Also: block media recovery, data block, fractured block
corrupt datafile
A datafile that contains one or more corrupt blocks.
See Also: corrupt block
crash recovery
The automatic application of online redo records to a database after either a
single-instance database crashes or all instances of an Oracle Real Applications
Cluster configuration crash. Crash recovery only requires redo from the online logs:
archived redo logs are not required.
In crash recovery, an instance automatically recovers the database before opening it.
In general, the first instance to open the database after a crash or SHUTDOWN ABORT
automatically performs crash recovery.
See Also: recovery, redo record
Glossary-11
crosscheck
A check to determine whether files on disk or in the media management catalog
correspond to the information in the recovery catalog (if used) and the control file.
Because the media manager can mark tapes as expired or unusable, and because
files can be deleted from disk or otherwise become corrupted, the recovery catalog
and control file can contain outdated information about backups and image copies.
Run the CROSSCHECK command to perform a crosscheck. To determine whether
you can restore a file, run VALIDATE BACKUPSET or RESTORE ... VALIDATE.
See Also: validation
cumulative incremental backup
An incremental backup that backs up all the blocks changed since the most recent
backup at level n-1 or lower. For example, in a cumulative level 2 backup, RMAN
determines which level 1 or level 0 backup is most recent and then backs up all
blocks changed since that backup. When recovering with cumulative incremental
backups, only one backup at each level needs to be applied.
See Also: data block, differential incremental backup, multilevel incremental
backups
current control file
The control file on disk; it is the most recently modified control file for the current
incarnation of the database. For a control file to be considered current during
recovery, it must not have been restored from backup.
current online redo log
The online redo log file in which the LGWR background process is currently
logging redo records. Those files to which LGWR is not writing are called inactive.
Every database must contain at least two online redo log files. If you are
multiplexing the online redo logs, LGWR concurrently writes the same redo data to
multiple files. The individual files are called members of an online redo log group.
See Also: redo log, redo log buffer, redo log groups
data block
The smallest unit of data in an Oracle database. Every database has a default block
size, although data blocks in different tablespaces can have different sizes.
See Also: corrupt block, data block address (DBA)
Glossary-12
data block address (DBA)
The location identifier of an Oracle data block. A data block address is constituted
by a datafile number and a data block number. You can specify the DBA of a data
block in the BLOCKRECOVER command.
data block number
The number that identifies a specific data block within a datafile. Blocks in a
datafile are numbered sequentially. You can specify the data block number within
the BLOCKRECOVER command.
database checkpoint
The thread checkpoint that has the lowest SCN. The database checkpoint
guarantees that all changes in all enabled threads prior to the database checkpoint
have been written to disk.
See Also: checkpoint
database identifier
See DBID
database point-in-time recovery (DBPITR)
The recovery of a database to a specified noncurrent time, SCN, or log sequence
number.
See Also: incomplete recovery, tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR)
datafile
A datafile is a physical operating system file on disk that was created by Oracle and
contains data structures such as tables and indexes. A datafile can only belong to
one database.
See Also: inaccessible datafile
datafile copy
A copy of a datafile on disk produced by either:
 The Recovery Manager COPY command
 An operating system utility
See Also: backup, copy
Glossary-13
datafile checkpoint
The checkpoint structure stored in the header of each datafile. All redo in all
threads prior to the datafile checkpoint SCN is guaranteed to have been saved to the
datafile.
datafile header
See file header
datafile media recovery
The application of redo records to a restored datafile in order to roll it forward to a
more current time. Unless you are doing block media recovery, the datafile must be
offline while being recovery.
DBID
An internal, uniquely generated number that differentiates databases. Oracle creates
this number automatically when you create the database.
default file system directory
When using the Oracle Managed Files feature, the default directory specifies where
Oracle creates files when no file specification has been given in the creation
operation. You define the location through the initialization parameter DB_
CREATE_FILE_DEST.
differential incremental backup
A type of incremental backup that backs up all blocks that have changed since the
most recent backup at level n or lower. For example, in a differential level 2 backup
RMAN determines which level 2, level 1, or level 0 backup is most recent and then
backs up all blocks changed since that backup. Differential backups, also called
non-cumulative incremental backups, are the default type of incremental backup.
When recovering using differential incremental backups, one or more backups at
each level must be applied.
See Also: cumulative incremental backup, multilevel incremental backups
dirty buffer
A buffer in the database buffer cache that contains a change that has not yet been
written to the datafiles.
Glossary-14
disk controller
A hardware component that is responsible for controlling one or more disk drives.
The term applies to controllers integrated with the disk drive they control, as well
as to high performance disk array controllers supporting various RAID
configurations.
duplicate database
A database created from target database backups using the RMAN duplicate
command.
See Also: auxiliary database
export
The extraction of logical data (that is, not physical files) from a database using the
Export utility. You can then use the Import utility to import the data into a database.
See Also: full export, logical backups
file header
The first block of an Oracle datafile. The file header contains bookkeeping
information related to the file, including the checkpoint SCN. Oracle requires media
recovery when the checkpoint SCN in the datafile header does not match the file
header information stored in the control file.
See Also: thread checkpoint
file manager
A software package that manipulates file systems.
See Also: file system
file system
A file system is a data structure built inside a contiguous disk address space. One
computer can have multiple file systems, each independent of the others.
The file system allows a hard disk to contain files. Each file on the file system is
distinguished by a unique filename. A file system is commonly built on top of a
logical volume constructed by a logical volume manager (LVM).
fractured block
A type of media corruption that can occur when database writer is writing a block
at the same time an operating system utility is reading the block for backup. The
Glossary-15
block that the operating system reads can be split, that is, the top of the block is
written at one point in time while the bottom of the block is written at another point
in time. If you restore a file containing a fractured block and Oracle reads the block,
then the block is considered a corrupt block.
The potential for fractured blocks necessitates putting tablespaces in backup mode
before user-managed online backups. A database in backup mode writes whole
Oracle data blocks to the redo log, so that if a block is split during the backup, you
can repair it by using redo. Recovery Manager does not experience this problem
because the server process performing the backup or copy reads each block to
determine whether it is split and re-reads the block until it gets a consistent version.
See Also: corrupt datafile
full backup
A non-incremental RMAN backup. Note that "full" does not refer to how much of
the database is backed up, but to the fact that the backup is not incremental.
Consequently, you can make a full backup of one datafile.
The only difference between a full backup and an incremental level 0 backup is that
the full backup will not affect the number of blocks backed up by any subsequent
incremental backup.
full export
An export of the whole database.
full resynchronization
A Recovery Manager operation that updates the recovery catalog with all changed
information in the database's control file. You can initiate a full catalog
resynchronization by issuing the RMAN command RESYNC CATALOG. Recovery
Manager initiates resynchronization operations as needed when executing certain
commands.
fuzzy file
A datafile that contains at least one block with an SCN more recent than the
checkpoint SCN in its header. For example, this situation occurs when Oracle
updates a datafile that is in backup mode. A fuzzy file that is restored always
requires recovery.
See Also: thread checkpoint
Glossary-16
hot backup
See online backup
hot backup mode
See backup mode
image copy
A copy of a single datafile, archived redo log file, or control file that is:
 Usable as-is to perform recovery (unlike a backup set, which is in an
RMAN-specific format)
 Generated using the RMAN COPY command or an operating system command
such as the UNIX cp
inaccessible datafile
A datafile that Oracle is attempting to read, but cannot find. Attempts to access an
inaccessible file result in errors. Typically, a file is inaccessible because the media on
which it is stored is faulty or the file has been moved or deleted.
See Also: media failure
inactive redo log
A redo log file that is not required for crash or instance recovery because the
changes contained in its redo records have already been applied to the database.
The current online redo log is never inactive. If you operate the database in
ARCHIVELOG mode, the archiver process archives inactive redo log files.
See Also: online redo log, redo log, redo log buffer, redo log groups
incarnation
A separate version of a physical database. The incarnation of the database changes
when you open it with the RESETLOGS option. Make a whole database backup of
all files that are not offline-clean or read-only after opening with the RESETLOGS
option. Note that if you run the RMAN command ALTER DATABASE OPEN
RESETLOGS, RMAN automatically resets the database incarnation.
incomplete recovery
The recovery of a database in which you do not apply all of the changes generated
since you created the restored backup.
Glossary-17
Incomplete recovery is usually performed when:
 The online logs are lost due to hardware failure. In this case, you recover the
database until the last archived log generated before the failure.
 A user error necessitates recovery up until just before the error occurred.
The requirement is to recover up until some point in time before an incorrect
action occurred in the database. For example, a user mistakenly deletes payroll
transactions before the transactions are sent to the payroll agency. In this
example, the DBA will need to restore the whole database and then perform
incomplete recovery up until the point just before the user deleted the
transactions.
 An archived redo log required for recovery is missing
An archived redo log which is needed for complete recovery was not backed
up, or the archived redo log contents are corrupt. In this case, you only option is
to recover up to the missing log.
In each case, open the database with the RESETLOGS option after performing media
recovery.
See Also: complete recovery, media recovery, recovery, redo record
inconsistent backup
A backup in which some of the files in the backup contain changes that were made
after the files were checkpointed. This type of backup needs recovery before it can
be made consistent. Inconsistent backups are usually created by taking online
database backups; that is, the database is open while the files are being backed up.
You can also make an inconsistent backup by backing up datafiles while a database
is closed, either:
 Immediately after an Oracle instance crashed (or all instances in an Oracle Real
Application Clusters configuration)
 After shutting down the database using SHUTDOWN ABORT
Note that inconsistent backups are only useful if the database is in ARCHIVELOG
mode.
See Also: consistent backup, online backup, system change number (SCN), whole
database backup
Glossary-18
incremental backup
An RMAN backup in which only modified blocks are backed up. Incremental
backups are classified by level. An incremental level 0 backup performs the same
function as a full backup in that they both back up all blocks that have ever been
used. The difference is that a full backup will not affect blocks backed up by
subsequent incremental backups, whereas an incremental backup will affect blocks
backed up by subsequent incremental backups.
Incremental backups at levels greater than 0 back up only blocks that have changed
since previous incremental backups. Blocks that have not changed are not backed
up. An incremental backup can be either a differential incremental backup or a
cumulative incremental backup.
instance
An SGA (System Global Area), Oracle code, and background processes. Create an
instance by issuing any of the following commands:
An instance is terminated by executing a SHUTDOWN statement.
instance failure
The termination of an Oracle instance due to a hardware failure, application error,
or SHUTDOWN ABORT statement. Strictly speaking, an instance failure occurs
whenever the database is not shut down cleanly (that is, with a SHUTDOWN,
SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE, or SHUTDOWN TRANSACTIONAL statement). Crash or
instance recovery is always required after an instance failure.
instance recovery
In an Oracle Real Applications Cluster configuration, the application of redo data to
an open database by an instance when this instance discovers that another instance
has crashed. A surviving instance automatically uses the redo log to recover the
data in the instance's buffer cache. Oracle undoes any uncommitted transactions
Command Action
STARTUP NOMOUNT The instance starts, but does not mount the control file or open the
database.
STARTUP MOUNT The instance mounts the control file but does not open the
database.
STARTUP The instance starts, mounts the control file, and opens the database.
Glossary-19
that were in progress on the failed instance when it crashed and then clears any
locks held by the crashed instance after recovery is complete.
See Also: recovery, redo record
job
The contents of an RMAN RUN command.
See Also: job commands
job commands
RMAN commands such as BACKUP, COPY, and RECOVER that you can execute at the
RMAN prompt or within the brackets of a RUN command.
LogMiner
A utility that allows log files to be read, analyzed, and interpreted by means of SQL
statements. LogMiner can view any valid online or archived redo log from Oracle8
and higher databases. You can use LogMiner to do the following:
 Track specific sets of changes based on transaction, user, table, time, and so
forth. For example, you can determine who modified a database object and the
before image and after image of the data.
 Pinpoint when an incorrect modification was introduced into the database.
Hence, you can perform logical recovery at the application level rather than
media recovery at the database level.
 Provide supplemental information for tuning and capacity planning. You can
also perform various forms of historical analysis to determine trends and data
access patterns.
 Retrieve critical information for debugging complex applications.
See Also: archived redo log
log sequence number
A number that uniquely identifies a set of redo records in a redo log file. When
Oracle fills one online redo log file and switches to a different one, Oracle
automatically assigns the new file a log sequence number. For example, if you
create a database with two online log files, then the first file is assigned log
sequence number 1.When the first file fills and Oracle switches to the second file, it
assigns log sequence number 2; when it switches back to the first file, it assigns log
sequence number 3, and so forth.
See Also: log switch, redo log
Glossary-20
log sequence recovery
For RMAN, a type of incomplete recovery that recovers up to a specified log
sequence number.
See Also: incomplete recovery
log switch
The point at which LGWR stops writing to the active redo log file and switches to
the next available redo log file. LGWR switches when either the active log file is
filled with redo records or you force a switch manually.
If you run the database in ARCHIVELOG mode, Oracle archives the redo data in
inactive log files into archived redo logs. When a log switch occurs and LGWR
begins overwriting the old redo data, you are protected against data loss because
the archived redo log contains the old data. If you run in NOARCHIVELOG mode,
Oracle overwrites old redo data at a log switch without archiving it. Hence, you
lose all old redo data.
See Also: redo log
logical backups
Backups in which the Export utility uses SQL to read database data and then export
it into a binary file at the operating system level. You can then import the data back
into a database using the Import utility.
Backups taken with the Export utility differ in the following ways from RMAN
backups:
 Database logical objects are exported independently of the files that contain
those objects.
 Logical backups can be imported into a different database, even on a different
platform. RMAN backups are not portable between databases or platforms.
See Also: physical backups
logical volume manager (LVM)
A software program that allows sections of multiple physical disks to be combined
into a single contiguous address space. This space appears as one disk to higher
layers of software.
long-term backup
A backup that you want to exclude from an expiration policy, but want to record in
the recovery catalog. Typically, long-term backups are snapshots of the database
Glossary-21
that you may want to use in the future for report generation. For example, you may
want to survey employee salaries in past years.
managed recovery mode
Amode of a standby database in which the standby waits for archived log files
from a target database and then automatically applies the redo logs once the files
become available. This feature eliminates the need for you to interactively provide
the recovery process with filenames of the archived redo logs.
manual undo management mode
A mode of the database in which undo blocks are stored in user-managed rollback
segments. In automatic undo management mode, undo blocks are stored in a
system-managed, dedicated undo tablespaces.
Mean Time To Recover (MTTR)
The desired time required to perform instance or media recovery on the database.
For example, you may set 10 minutes as the goal for media recovery from a disk
failure. A variety of factors influence MTTR for media recovery, including the speed
of detection, the type of method used to perform media recovery, and the size of the
database.
media failure
A physical problem that arises when Oracle fails in its attempt to write or read a file
that is required to operate the database. A common example is a disk head crash
that causes the loss of all data on a disk drive. Disk failure can affect a variety of
files, including the datafiles, redo log files, and control files. Because the database
instance cannot continue to function properly, it cannot write the data in the buffer
cache of the SGA to the datafiles.
See Also: media recovery
media manager
A utility provided by a third party vendor that is capable of actions such as loading,
labelling and unloading sequential media such as tape drives. Media managers also
allow you to configure media expiration and recycling, and may also have the
ability to control an ATL (automated tape library).
media management interface
An Oracle published API to which media management vendors have written
compatible software libraries. This software integrates with Oracle so that an Oracle
server process is able to issue commands to the media manager to write backup
Glossary-22
files to sequential storage, and read files from sequential storage.When Oracle
issues a request to backup or restore a file, the media manager handles the actions
required to load, label, and unload the correct tape.
The media management interface is also called the media management layer, the
media management library (MML), and the SBT interface.
media recovery
The application of redo or incremental backups to a restored backup datafile or
individual data block to bring it to a specified time. Datafile media recovery always
begins at the lowest SCN recorded in the datafile headers.
When performing media recovery, you can recover:
 The whole database
 A tablespace
 A datafile
 A set of blocks within a datafile
If you use all redo data, you perform complete recovery; if you use only part of the
redo data, you perform incomplete recovery. Typically, you perform media recovery
after a media failure damages some or all of the database files (datafiles, control
files, or online redo logs).
In ARCHIVELOGmode, you have the choice of complete recovery or incomplete
recovery. In NOARCHIVELOG mode, the only option is typically to restore from the
most recent backup without applying redo data.
See Also: block media recovery, recovery, redo record
mirroring
Maintaining identical copies of data on one or more disks. Typically, mirroring is
performed on duplicate hard disks at the operating system level, so that if one of
the disks becomes unavailable, the other disk can continue to service requests
without interruptions. For example, you can mirror a datafile so that Oracle writes
the same information to two different disk drives. The operation of breaking a
mirror splits off the copy and makes a backup, while resilvering a mirror rejoins
the split copy.
When mirroring files, Oracle writes once while the operating system writes to
multiple disks; when multiplexing files, Oracle writes the same data to multiple
files.
Glossary-23
mounted database
An instance that is started and has the control file associated with the database
open. You can mount a database without opening it; typically, you put the database
in this state for maintenance or for restore and recovery operations.
multilevel incremental backups
RMAN-generated incremental backups that allow you to conserve space by
planning which blocks to back up and when. A level 0 incremental backup, which
is the base for subsequent incremental backups, copies all blocks containing data.
When you generate a level n incremental backup in which n is greater than 0, you
back up either:
 All blocks that have changed since the most recent backup at level n or lower.
This is the default type of incremental backup, called a differential incremental
backup.
 All blocks used since the most recent backup at level n-1 or lower. This type of
backup is called a cumulative incremental backup.
You can create a backup strategy in which you generate a backup at a different level
each day, thereby controlling how much data you back up.
multiplexing
 online redo logs
The automated maintenance of more than one identical copy of the online redo
log. To multiplex the online logs, create multiple members in each redo log
group. The degree of multiplexing is directly related to the number of members
in each group.
 control file
The automated maintenance of more than one identical copy of a database's
control file. To multiplex the control file, create multiple entries in the
CONTROL_FILES initialization parameter.
 backup set
The RMAN technique of reading database files simultaneously from the disks
and thenwriting the blocks to the same backup piece. The degree of
multiplexing is smaller of these two parameter settings: FILESPERSET (on
BACKUP command) and MAXOPENFILES (on ALLOCATE CHANNEL or
CONFIGURE CHANNEL).
 archived redo logs
Glossary-24
The Oracle archiver process is able to archive multiple copies of a redo log. You
can multiplex archived redo logs by setting LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_n (where n is
an integer) in the initialization parameter file.
See Also: mirroring
multiple archiver processing
Using multiple archiver processes (ARCn) to archive online redo logs to one or
more locations. Multiple archiver processing prevents the bottleneck that occurs
when LGWR writes to the online redo log faster than a single archive process can
write to the archive destinations. You can enable this feature at startup or at runtime
by setting the initialization parameter LOG_ARCHIVE_MAX_PROCESS = n, where n
is any integer from 1 to 10.
NOARCHIVELOG mode
The mode of the database in which Oracle does not require filled online redo logs to
be archived before they can be overwritten. Specify the mode at database creation or
change it by using the ALTER DATABASE command. Oracle does not recommend
running in NOARCHIVELOG mode because it severely limits the possibilities for
recovery of lost data.
See Also: archived redo log, ARCHIVELOG mode
noncircular reuse records
Control file records containing critical information needed by the Oracle database.
These records do not change often and cannot be overwritten. Some examples of
information in non-circular reuse records include:
 Datafiles
 Online redo logs
 Redo threads
See Also: circular reuse records
normal archiving transmission
The transmittal of archived redo log files to a local disk.
See Also: standby transmission
Glossary-25
obsolete backups and copies
An RMAN backup or image copy is obsolete when it is no longer needed for media
recovery, for example, when multiple more recent backups and copies exist. A
retention policy determines when a backup or copy is obsolete.
offline backup
A backup of a tablespace or datafile made when the tablespace or datafile is offline
and the database open. Run the ALTER TABLESPACE OFFLINE statement to take a
tablespace offline, and the ALTER DATABASE DATAFILE ... OFFLINE statement to
take an individual datafile offline.
offline normal
When a tablespace is taken offline normal, it is taken offline using the ALTER
TABLESPACE ... OFFLINE NORMAL statement. The datafiles in the tablespace are
checkpointed and do not require recovery before being brought online. If a
tablespace is not taken offline normal, then its datafiles must be recovered before
being brought online.
offline-end checkpoint
The SCN that specifies when a datafile was brought online after being offline, or
made read/write after being read-only. This SCN is stored in the control file and is
the last SCN in the offline range. The offline-end checkpoint is important because it
indicates that changes after this SCN are required to recover the datafile.
offline range
The span between the offline-start SCN and offline-end checkpoint fields of the
record for a datafile in the control file. The offline range specifies a period during
which there is guaranteed to be no redo for the datafile, because during this range
the datafile was offline-normal or read-only. Thus, media recovery can skip this log
range when recovering the datafile.
offline-start SCN
The SCN that specifies when a datafile was taken offline cleanly or made read-only.
This SCN is stored in the control file and is the first SCN in the offline range. The
offline-start SCN is important for recovery because it indicates that no changes
made between this SCN and the offline-end checkpoint are required to recover the
datafile.
Glossary-26
offline tablespace
A tablespace that is not available to users when the database is open. You can only
take a tablespace offline while the database is open. If a tablespace is taken offline,
all online datafiles contained in the tablespace are taken offline.
You can take a tablespace offline using the ALTER TABLESPACE OFFLINE statement
with three different options:
 NORMAL
All the files in the tablespace are checkpointed, then taken offline. If any datafile
belonging to the tablespace is not available, the tablespace cannot be taken
offline normal. Datafiles in a tablespace taken offline cleanly do not need to be
recovered before the tablespace is brought back online.
 TEMPORARY
All datafiles in the tablespace that are accessible to Oracle are checkpointed,
then taken offline. Files that were checkpointed by the OFFLINE TEMPORARY
command do not need recovery. Datafiles that were not checkpointed because
they were not accessible at the time of an OFFLINE IMMEDIATE command must
be recovered before the tablespace is brought back online.
 IMMEDIATE
All files in the tablespace are taken offline without any attempt to checkpoint
the files first. All files in the tablespace must be recovered before the tablespace
is brought online.
See Also: offline datafile
offline datafile
A datafile that is not available to users when the database is open. In exceptional
circumstances, Oracle will automatically take a datafile offline if required. This file
will need recovery before it can be brought online.
You can take a datafile offline either:
 As a consequence of an ALTER TABLESPACE OFFLINE operation.
 By issuing the statement ALTER DATABASE DATAFILE ... OFFLINE when the
database is mounted or open.
If you take an individual datafile offline, then you must recover it before bringing it
back online.
See Also: offline tablespace
Glossary-27
online backup
A backup of one or more datafiles taken while a database is open and the datafiles
are online.When you make a user-managed backup while the database is open, you
must put the tablespaces in backup mode by issuing an ALTER TABLESPACE
BEGIN BACKUP command.When you make an RMAN backup while the database is
open, however, you do not need to put the tablespaces in backup mode.
online datafile
A datafile that users can access. The database can be open or mounted when you
issue the command ALTER DATABASE DATAFILE ... ONLINE. If the database is
open, the datafile must be consistent with the rest of the database before you can
bring it online. If the database is mounted, then you can bring the datafile online
without being consistent with the other datafiles, but it will require recovery before
the database is opened.
See Also: online tablespace
online redo log
The online redo log is a set of two or more files that record all changes made to
Oracle datafiles and control files. Whenever a change is made to the database,
Oracle generates a redo record in the redo buffer. The LGWR process flushes the
contents of the redo buffer into the online redo log.
The current online redo log is the one being written to by LGWR. When LGWR
gets to the end of the file, it performs a log switch and begins writing to a new log
file. If you run the database in ARCHIVELOG mode, then the archiver process or
processes copy the redo data into an archived redo log.
See Also: archived redo log
online redo log group
The Oracle online redo log consists of two or more online redo log groups. Each
group contains one or more identical online redo log members. An online redo log
member is a physical file on the operating system containing the redo records.
online redo log member
A physical online redo log file within an online redo log group. Each log group
must have one or more members. Each member of a group is identical.
online tablespace
A tablespace that is available to users while the database is open. You can make a
tablespace available for access by users by issuing the command ALTER
Glossary-28
TABLESPACE ... ONLINE. The database must be open to alter a tablespace online,
and all files in the tablespace must be consistent with the rest of the database before
the tablespace can be made online.
See Also: online datafile
open database
A database that is available to users to query and update. The database is opened
either automatically through a STARTUP statement or explicitly through an ALTER
DATABASE OPEN statement.
operating system backup
See user-managed backups
operating system backup and recovery
See user-managed backup and recovery
Oracle managed file (OMF)
A file that is created automatically by the Oracle database server when it is needed
and automatically deleted when it is no longer needed.
orphaned backups
Backups and copies that are unusable because they belong to incarnations of the
database that are not direct ancestors of the current incarnation.
parallel recovery
A form of recovery in which several processes simultaneously apply changes from
redo log files. Instance and media recovery can be parallelized automatically by
specifying the RECOVERY_PARALLELISM initialization parameter or options to the
SQL/SQL*Plus RECOVER command. Oracle uses one process to read the log files
sequentially and dispatch redo information to several recovery processes, which
apply the changes from the log files to the datafiles.
See Also: serial recovery
parallelization
Allocating multiple channels for Recovery Manager backup and recovery
operations. You can parallelize:
 Backup set creation by allocating multiple channels before issuing a BACKUP
command
Glossary-29
 File copy creation by allocating multiple channels and including multiple files
to be copied within a single COPY command
 Restore operations, with the degree of parallelism depending on the number of
channels allocated as well as the distinct number of backup sets or file copies
that must be read during the restore operation
 Recovery operations when applying incremental backups, with the degree of
parallelism depending on the number of channels allocated and also the distinct
number of backup sets that are available to read from
partial resynchronization
A type of resynchronization in which RMAN transfers information about archived
redo logs, backup sets and datafile copies from the target database control file to the
recovery catalog. Partial resynchronization does not transfer information such as:
 New datafiles
 New or removed tablespaces
 New or removed online log groups and members
password files
A file created by the ORAPWD command. A database must use password files if you
wish to connect using the SYSDBA or SYSOPER roles over a network. For a more
comprehensive explanation, see the Oracle9i Database Administrator’s Guide.
physical backups
Physical database files that have been copied from one place to another. The files
can be datafiles, archived redo logs, or control files. You can make physical backups
using Recovery Manager or with operating system commands such as the UNIX cp.
physical schema
The datafiles, control files, and redo logs in a database at a given time. Issue the
RMAN REPORT SCHEMA command to obtain a list of tablespaces and datafiles.
A full resynchronization of the recovery catalog updates all changed RMAN
metadata in the repository, including physical schema information. If the database
is open, RMAN also gathers information about rollback segments. A partial
resynchronization of the recovery catalog does not update physical schema or
rollback information.
Glossary-30
pluggable tablespace
See transportable tablespace
point of recoverability
The earliest time within a recovery window. A retention policy that specifies a
recovery window mandates that the database must be able to be recovered to the
earliest time in the window. For example, in a recovery window of 7 days, the point
of recoverability is always 7 days before the current time.
See Also: obsolete backups and copies
proxy copy
The functionality that enables a media manager to take over the transfer of data
between the media storage device and disk during RMAN backup and restore
operations.
read errors
Errors that occur when Oracle is unable to read a datafile, control file, or online redo
log. Oracle returns an error to the operating system and to the application, along
with an Oracle error indicating that the file cannot be found, cannot be opened, or
cannot be read. Note that Oracle does not automatically take a datafile offline if it is
unable to read it.
read-only database
A database opened with the ALTER DATABASE OPEN READ ONLY command. As
their name suggests, read-only databases are for queries only and cannot be
modified. Oracle allows a standby database to be run in read-only mode, which
means that it can be queried while still serving as an up-to-date emergency
replacement for the primary database.
read-only tablespace
A tablespace whose status has been changed to prevent it from being updated. You
put in read-only mode by executing the SQL statement ALTER TABLESPACE ...
READ ONLY. Typically, you put a tablespace in read-only mode to reduce the
frequency with which it is backed up. For example, instead of backing up the
tablespace nightly, you reduce the backup frequency to once a month.
Glossary-31
recover
(1) A Recovery Manager command that updates a restored datafile by the
application of incremental backups (if they exist) and then by the application of
archived or online redo logs.
(2) A SQL*Plus command that updates a restored file by the application of archived
or online redo logs.
See Also: recovery
recovery
The application of redo data or incremental backups to database files in order to
reconstruct lost changes. The three types of recovery are instance recovery, crash
recovery, and media recovery. Oracle performs the first two types of recovery
automatically using online redo records; only media recovery requires you to
restore a backup and issue commands. Only Recovery Manager can recover
datafiles by applying incremental backups.
See Also: complete recovery, incomplete recovery
recovery catalog
A set of Oracle tables and views used by Recovery Manager to store information
about Oracle databases. Recovery Manager uses this data to manage the backup,
restore, and recovery of Oracle databases. The recovery catalog is optional. If you
choose not to use a recovery catalog, RMAN uses the target database control file as
the sole repository of metadata.
See Also: recovery catalog database
recovery catalog database
An Oracle database that contains a recovery catalog schema. You should not store
the recovery catalog in the target database.
Recovery Manager (RMAN)
A utility that backs up, restores, and recovers Oracle databases. You can use it with
or without the central information repository called a recovery catalog. If you do
Note: The longer the duration between backups of a tablespace,
the longer you will need to retain the backup media and the larger
the risk of failed backup media (as you will have backed it up fewer
times).
Glossary-32
not use a recovery catalog, RMAN uses the database's control file to store
information necessary for backup and recovery operations. You can use RMAN in
conjunction with amediamanager to back up files to tertiary storage.
See Also: backup piece, backup set, copy, media manager, recovery catalog
Recovery Manager environment
A environment containing the Recovery Manager (RMAN) executable and the
various computers, databases, applications, and APIs with which it interacts.
recovery set
One or more tablespaces that are being recovered to an earlier point in time during
tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR). After TSPITR, all database objects in
the recovery set have been recovered to the same point in time.
See Also: auxiliary set
recovery window
A recovery window is a period of time in a retention policy bounded by the current
time and the earliest point of recoverability. The point of recoverability is the end
time for a hypothetical point-in-time recovery, that is, the point to which you must
be able to recover following a media failure. A retention policy states that you must
have enough backups and archived redo logs to be able to recover to any point
between the current time and the point of recoverability.
For example, if you implement a recovery window of one week, then this window
of time must extend back exactly seven days from the present so that you can
restore a backup and recover it to any point within the last week.
The recovery window always keeps pace with the current time. For example, if the
current day is January 14 and the recovery window is 7 days, then the recovery
window stretches between January 7 and January 14. When the current day is
January 28, then the recovery window stretches between January 21 and January 28.
Any backups or logs not needed for recovery are considered obsolete. If you make
periodic backups, then as the recovery window moves forward in time the older
backups become obsolete.
See Also: obsolete backups and copies, point of recoverability, retention policy
redo log
A redo log can be either an online redo log or an archived redo log. The online
redo log is a set of two or more redo log groups that records all changes made to
Oracle datafiles and control files. An archived redo log is a copy of an online redo
Glossary-33
log that has been copied to an offline destination. If the database is in ARCHIVELOG
mode and automatic archiving is enabled, then the archiver process or processes
copy each online redo log to one or more archive log destinations after it is filled.
See Also: archived redo log, online redo log, redo record
redo log buffer
The memory buffer in the system global area (SGA) in which Oracle logs redo
records. The background process LGWR writes the buffers into the current online
redo log.
See Also: redo record
redo log files
Redo log files are the operating system files that log writer writes its changes. A
redo log member within a redo log group corresponds to one and only one redo log
file. The V$LOGFILE view displays the filenames of redo log files.
redo log groups
Each online redo log member (which corresponds to an online redo log file) belongs
to a group. A group has one or more identical members. A multiplexed redo log is a
redo log inwhich the redo groups have multiple members.
redo record
A group of change vectors describing a single, atomic change to the database.
Oracle constructs redo records for all data block changes and saves them on disk in
the current online redo log. Redo records allow changes to database blocks to be
reconstructed should data loss occur.
See Also: redo log
redo thread
The redo generated by an instance. If the database runs in a single instance
configuration, then the database has only one thread of redo. If you run in an Oracle
Real Application Clusters configuration, then you have multiple redo threads, one
for each instance.
redundancy set
A set of backups enabling you to recover from the failure or loss of any Oracle
database file.
Glossary-34
registration
In RMAN, the execution of a REGISTER DATABASE command in order to record the
existence of a target database in the recovery catalog. A target database is uniquely
identified in the catalog by its DBID. You can register more than one database in the
same catalog, and also register the same database in multiple catalogs.
See Also: DBID
repository
The collection of RMAN metadata about backup and recovery operations on the
target database. Either the control file or the recovery catalog can function as the
RMAN repository.
See Also: control file, recovery catalog
RESETLOGS option
A method for opening a database that results in a new database incarnation, the
resetting of the log sequence number to 1, and the re-formatting or re-creation of the
online redo logs.A database must be openedwith the RESETLOGS keyword after:
 Incomplete recovery
 Recovery using a backup control file
RESETLOGS SCN and time stamp
Together with the RESETLOGS time stamp, the RESETLOGS SCN uniquely identifies
each execution of an ALTER DATABASE OPEN RESETLOGS statement.When the
online logs are reset, Oracle creates a new and unique incarnation of the database.
The RESETLOGS SCN and time stamp are stored in the control file, in each datafile
header, and in each redo log file header. An online or archived redo log cannot be
applied by recovery if its RESETLOGS data does not match the database information
in the control file.
Except for special circumstances (for example, offline normal or read-only
tablespaces), a datafile cannot be recovered or accessed if its RESETLOGS SCN and
time stamp do not match the database information in the control file. This
precaution ensures that changes discarded by RESETLOGS cannot get reapplied to
the database.
Glossary-35
resilvering a mirror
Configuring the operating system or hardware managing the mirror so that you
refresh a broken mirror from the half that is up-to-date and then maintain both
sides of the mirror.
See Also: breaking a mirror, mirroring
restore
The replacement of a lost or damaged file with a backup. You can restore files either
with operating system commands such as UNIX cp or the RMAN RESTORE
command.
See Also: recover
resync
See resynchronization
resynchronization
The operation that updates the recovery catalog with current information from the
target database control file. You can initiate a full resynchronization of the catalog
by issuing a RESYNC CATALOG command. A partial resynchronization transfers
information to the recovery catalog about archived redo logs, backup sets and
datafile copies. RMAN performs resynchronizations automatically when needed.
retention policy
A user-defined policy for determining how long backups and copies need to be
retained for media recovery. You can define a retention policy in terms of backup
redundancy or a recovery window. For example, if you need to recover the
database to any point within the last 7 days, then at least one backup made 8 days
ago or earlier must be retained. Also, you must retain all of the archived redo logs
needed to perform the recovery.
Any backup or copy that is not needed according to the retention policy is
considered obsolete. RMAN can automatically delete such obsolete backups.
See Also: obsolete backups and copies
RMAN
See RecoveryManager (RMAN)
Glossary-36
rollback segments
Database segments that record the before-images of changes to the database. A
rollback segment contains a transaction table with two or more extents of undo
blocks. Undo blocks are arranged in a circular fashion so that older pieces of undo
data are overwritten in chronological order.
rolling back
The use of rollback segments to undo uncommitted transactions applied to the
database during the rolling forward stage of recovery.
rolling forward
The application of redo records or incremental backups to datafiles and control files
in order to recover changes to those files.
See Also: recovery, rolling back
SBT
System Backup to Tape
See Also: media management interface
serial recovery
A form of recovery in which a single process applies the changes in the redo log
files sequentially.
See Also: parallel recovery
SGA (System Global Area)
A group of shared memory structures that contain data and control information for
one Oracle database instance. The SGA and Oracle processes constitute an Oracle
instance. Oracle automatically allocates memory for an SGA whenever you start an
instance and the operating system reclaims the memory when you shut down the
instance. Each instance has one and only one SGA.
snapshot control file
A copy of a database's control file taken by Recovery Manager. RMAN uses the
snapshot control file to read a consistent version of a control file when either
resynchronizing the recovery catalog or backing up the control file.
split block
See fractured block
Glossary-37
standby database
A copy of a production database that you can use for disaster protection. You can
update the standby database with archived redo logs from the production database
in order to keep it current. If a disaster destroys the production database, you can
activate the standby database and make it the new production database.
standby transmission
The transmittal of archived redo log files over a network to either a local or remote
standby database.
stored script
A sequence of RMAN commands stored in the recovery catalog.
switch
A Recovery Manager command which converts a datafile copy into a datafile used
by an Oracle database. It performs the equivalent function of the SQL statement
ALTER DATABASE RENAME FILE 'original_name' TO 'new_name', and also
marks the datafile copy as no longer available.
system change number (SCN)
A stamp that defines a committed version of a database at a point in time. Oracle
assigns every committed transaction a unique SCN.
SYSTEM tablespace
The SYSTEM tablespace differs from other tablespaces in that all datafiles contained
in the tablespace must be online for Oracle to function. If a media failure affects one
of the datafiles in SYSTEM, then you must mount the database and recover.
tablespace
A database is divided into one or more logical storage units called tablespaces. Each
tablespace has one or more physical datafiles exclusively associated with it.
See Also: datafile
tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR)
The recovery of one or more non-SYSTEM tablespaces to a point in time that is
different from the database. You can use either RMAN or user-managed methods to
perform TSPITR.
Glossary-38
tag
A user-specified character string that acts as a symbolic name for a backup set or
image copy. You can specify a tag when executing the RESTORE or CHANGE
command. The maximum length of a tag is 30 characters.
tape streaming
Writing output to a tape drive fast enough to keep the tape constantly busy. If the
device is not kept busy, then its performance decreases because the drive
mechanism must be started and stopped for each piece of data that is received.
tape drive
A piece of hardware that reads and writes magnetic tapes.
tape silo
See ATL (automated tape library)
tape volume
One physical piece of tape media.
target database
In RMAN, the database that you are backing up or restoring.
tempfile
A file that belongs to a temporary tablespace, and is created with the TEMPFILE
option. Temporary tablespaces cannot contain permanent database objects such as
tables, and are typically used for sorting. Because tempfiles cannot contain
permanent objects, RMAN does not back them up.
thread
See redo thread
thread checkpoint
A type of checkpoint stored in the control file indicating that all changes to online
datafiles in a given thread prior to the checkpoint SCN have been saved to disk.
Oracle updates the thread checkpoint every time an instance checkpoints its thread.
Checkpointing is crucial for recovery because it limits the amount of transaction
redo that crash and instance recovery must potentially apply. Online switch
management guarantees that the current checkpoint has moved out of an online log
file before that log file eligible for reuse. Checkpointing works in conjunction with
Glossary-39
online log switch management to ensure that crash and instance recovery can be
accomplished using only online redo logs.
See Also: database checkpoint, datafile checkpoint, redo record
time-based recovery
The incomplete recovery of database files to a noncurrent time. Time-based
recovery is also known as point-in-time recovery. There are two types:
 database point-in-time recovery (DBPITR) signifies the incomplete recovery of
all datafiles and control file to a time before the most recent time.
 tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR) signifies the incomplete recovery
of all datafiles in one or more tablespaces on an auxiliary database to a specific
time before the most current time. The tablespace is then re-integrated into the
original database.
See Also: incomplete recovery, media recovery, recovery
transaction recovery
Transaction recovery involves rolling back all uncommitted transactions of a failed
instance. These are "in-progress" transactions that did not commit and that Oracle
needs to roll back. It is possible for uncommitted transactions to get saved to disk.
In this case, Oracle uses undo data to reverse the effects of any changes that were
written to the datafiles but not yet committed.
transportable tablespace
A feature that transports a set of tablespaces from one database to another, or from
one database to itself. Transporting or "plugging" a tablespace into a database is like
creating a tablespace with preloaded data. This feature is often an advantage
because:
 It is faster than import/export or unload/load, since it involves only copying
datafiles and integrating metadata
 You can use it to move index data, allowing you to avoid rebuilding indexes
TSPITR
See tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR)
undo blocks
Oracle blocks that contain the before-image of a change to the database. For
example, if you update a salary column in a table from 55 to 65, Oracle writes the
Glossary-40
before-image of 55 into an undo block. If you run in manual undo management
mode, then undo blocks are stored in user-managed rollback segments. If you run
in automatic undo management mode, then undo blocks are stored in
system-managed undo tablespaces.
undo tablespace
A dedicated tablespaces that stores only undo information when the database is run
in automatic undo management mode. An undo tablespace contains one or more
undo segments. The creation of any other types of segment (for example, tables,
indexes) in undo tablespaces is not allowed.
In the automatic mode, each Oracle instance is assigned one and only one undo
tablespace. Each undo tablespace is composed of a set of undo files. Undo blocks
are grouped in extents. At any point in time, an extent is either allocated to (and
used by) a transaction table, or is free.
Blocks in undo tablespaces are grouped into the following categories:
 File control blocks, bitmap blocks, and so forth used for space management
 Undo segments containing transaction table blocks, undo blocks, and
extent-map blocks used for transaction management
 Free blocks that are unallocated to file control or undo segments
undo segments
Segments containing all undo data when the database is run in automatic undo
management mode. Undo segments are internally similar to the rollback segments
that are used to store undo data in manual undo management mode.
user-managed backups
Backups made using a non-RMAN method, for example, using an operating system
utility. For example, you can make a user-managed backup by running the cp
command on UNIX or the copy command on Windows. A user-managed backup is
also called an operating system backup.
user-managed backup and recovery
A backup and recovery strategy for an Oracle database that does not use RMAN.
This term is equivalent to operating system backup and recovery. You can back up
and restore database files using operating system utilities (for example, the cp
command in UNIX), and recover using the SQL*Plus RECOVER statement or the
SQL ALTER DATABASE RECOVER statement.
Glossary-41
validation
A test that checks whether a backup set or copy can be restored. RMAN scans all of
the copies or backup pieces in the specified backup sets and looks at the checksum
to verify that the contents can be successfully restored.
Use the RESTORE ... VALIDATE or VALIDATE BACKUPSET command when you
suspect that one or more copies or backup pieces in a backup set are missing or
have been damaged. Note that RESTORE ... VALIDATE and VALIDATE
BACKUPSET actually test whether the files can be restored, whereas CROSSCHECK
merely examine the file headers.
See Also: crosscheck, media manager, recovery catalog
whole database backup
A backup of the control file and all datafiles that belong to a database.
See Also: backup
write errors
Errors that occur when Oracle is unable to write data into a datafile, control file, or
online redo log.
Glossary-42
Index-1
Index
A
ABORT option
SHUTDOWN statement, 2-8
aborting an instance, 1-7
ALTER DATABASE statement
BACKUP CONTROLFILE clause, 2-11
ALTER SYSTEM statement
ARCHIVE ALL option
using to archive online redo logs, 2-10
dynamic parameters
LOG_ARCHIVE_MAX_PROCESSES, 1-14
archived redo logs, 1-10, 1-12
ALTER SYSTEM ARCHIVE ALL
statement, 2-10
backups, 2-7
enabling, 1-12
manual archiving, 1-14
ARCHIVELOG mode, 1-12
archiver process (ARCn) and, 1-12
backup strategies when using, 4-5
defined, 1-12
distributed databases, 4-10
strategies for backups in, 4-5
archiver process (ARCn)
example, 1-12
not used for manual archiving, 1-15
trace file, 1-14
archiving
after inconsistent closed backups, 2-10
after online backups, 2-10
ALTER SYSTEM ARCHIVE ALL
statement, 2-10
manual, 1-14
archiving modes, 1-11
automatic undo management mode, 3-6
avoiding dangerous backup techniques, 4-10
B
backup and recovery
definition, 1-2
backup and recovery solutions, 1-15
BACKUP command, 2-12
BACKUP CONTROLFILE clause
ALTER DATABASE statement, 2-11
backup methods, 1-16
comparison, 1-16
feature comparison, 1-16
backup mode, 2-11
backups
after OPEN RESETLOGS option, 4-8
after structural changes to database, 4-7
archived redo log, 2-7
ARCHIVELOG mode in, 4-5
choosing a strategy, 4-4 to 4-11
consistent
whole database, 2-8
control file, 2-6
datafile, 2-6
definition, 1-2
distributed databases, 4-9
ARCHIVELOG mode, 4-10
NOARCHIVELOG mode, 4-10
Export utility, 4-10
frequency, 4-6
golden rule, 4-2
guidelines, 4-2 to 4-13
Index-2
distributed database constraints, 4-9
Export utility, 4-10
frequency, 4-6
often-used tablespaces, 4-7
storing old backups, 4-9
structural changes, 4-7
testing strategies, 4-13
unrecoverable objects, 4-8
whole database backups after OPEN
RESETLOGS, 4-8
inconsistent
closed database, 2-9
in NOARCHIVELOG mode, 2-9
whole database, 2-9
logical, 2-2
definition, 1-2
methods
feature comparison, 1-16
NOARCHIVELOG mode, in, 4-5
offline, 4-6
offline datafiles, 2-12
offline tablespaces, 2-12
online, 4-6
online datafiles, 2-11
online redo logs, 4-10
online tablespaces, 2-11
physical, 2-2
definition, 1-2
planning before database creation, 4-2
records of, 4-12
Recovery Manager, 2-12
storing, 4-9
tablespace, 4-7
techniques to avoid, 4-10
test strategies, 4-13
user-managed, 2-13
whole database, 2-3
C
cache recovery
definition, 1-7
checkpoints
advancing, Glossary-1
closed backups, 2-9
cold backups, 2-9
complete recovery, 3-7
definition, 3-7
consistent backups
whole database, 2-8
control files
backups, 2-6
overview, 1-11
crash recovery, 1-3
after instance failure, 1-3
definition, 1-3
instance failure, 1-3
overview, 3-2
read-only tablespaces, 1-6
D
data structures
involved in recovery, 1-9
database structures
redo log files, 1-9
database writer process (DBWn)
media failure, 1-6
trace file, 1-6
databases
closing
aborting the instance, 1-7
incarnations, 3-8
modes of archiving, 1-11
structures
redo log files, 1-9
datafiles
backing up, 2-6
offline backups, 2-12
online backups, 2-11
read-only
recovery, 1-6
dead transactions, 1-7
disk failures, 1-4
distributed databases
backups, 4-9
taking backups, 4-9
Index-3
E
Export utility
backups, 4-10
F
failures
archiving redo log files, 1-14
database buffers and, 3-5
described, 1-4
instance, 1-7
recovery from, 1-3
media, 1-4
network, 1-9
safeguards provided, 1-9
statement and process, 1-8
See also recovery
fast-start
rollback on demand, 3-6
G
golden rule
of backup and recovery, 4-2
guidelines
backups
distributed database constraints, 4-9
Export utility, 4-10
frequency, 4-6
often-used tablespaces, 4-7
storing old backups, 4-9
structural changes, 4-7
testing strategies, 4-13
unrecoverable operations, 4-8
whole database backups after OPEN
RESETLOGS, 4-8
H
hardware configuration
keeping records of, 4-12
hot backups
inconsistent whole database backups, 2-9
I
incarnations
of databases, 3-8
incomplete media recovery
definition, 3-8
incomplete recovery, 3-8
inconsistent backups
whole database
definition, 2-9
initialization parameters
LOG_ARCHIVE_MAX_PROCESSES, 1-13
LOG_ARCHIVE_START, 1-13
instance failures, 1-7
instance recovery, 1-3
definition, 1-3
instance failure, 1-3
overview, 3-2
read-only tablespaces, 1-6
instances
aborting, 1-7
failure in, 1-7
recovery of, 1-3
L
log entries, 3-5
log writer process (LGWR)
archiving modes, 1-11
manual archiving and, 1-14
LOG_ARCHIVE_MAX_PROCESSES parameter
automatic archiving, 1-13
LOG_ARCHIVE_START initialization
parameter, 1-13
LOG_ARCHIVE_START parameter, 1-13
logical backups, 1-2
overview, 2-2
M
manual undo management mode, 3-6
media failures
overview, 1-4
media recovery
basic concepts, 1-2
complete, 3-7
Index-4
definition, 1-2
incomplete, 3-8
definition, 3-8
methods, 3-9
options, 3-9
overview, 3-3, 3-7
using Recovery Manager, 3-9
using SQL*Plus, 3-10
modes
archive log, 1-11
multiplexing
recovery and, 1-5
N
network failures, 1-9
networks
failures of, 1-9
NOARCHIVELOG mode, 1-11
distributed database backups, 4-10
inconsistent closed backups in, 2-10
strategies for backups in, 4-5
O
offline backups, 4-6
online backups, 4-6
online redo logs, 1-9
archiving, 1-12
backing up, 4-10
media failure, 1-5
multiplexed, 1-5
unintentional restore of, 4-11
P
performing backups after unrecoverable
operations, 4-8
physical backups, 1-2
overview, 2-2
physical database structures
redo log files, 1-9
point of recoverability
recovery window, Glossary-32
process failures, 1-8
process monitor process (PMON)
network failure, 1-9
process failure, 1-8
processes
failure in, 1-8
user
manual archiving by, 1-15
R
recovery
basic concepts, 1-2
basic steps, 3-6
complete, 3-7
crash, 3-2
crash recovery, 1-3
read-only tablespaces, 1-6
data structures used in, 1-9
database buffers and, 3-5
dead transactions, 1-7
failures requiring, 1-4
incomplete, 3-8
instance, 3-2
instance recovery, 1-3
instance failure, 1-3
read-only tablespaces, 1-6
media, 3-3
media recovery
enabled or disabled, 1-11
methods, 3-9
overview of, 3-5
process recovery, 1-8
rolling back transactions, 3-6
rolling forward, 3-5
statement failure, 1-8
tablespace
point-in-time, 3-8
transaction, 3-6
types, 3-2, 3-9
using Recovery Manager, 3-9
using SQL*Plus, 3-10
Recovery Manager
backups, 2-12
redo logs, 1-9, 3-5
"fuzzy" data in backups and, 4-6
Index-5
archived, 1-12
errors in archiving, 1-14
manually, 1-14
archiving modes, 1-11
committed data, 3-5
entries, 3-5
rolling forward, 3-5
instance failure, 1-7
rolling forward and, 3-5
uncommitted data, 3-5
redo records
how Oracle applies, 3-4
RESETLOGS option
ALTER DATABASE statement
database backups after using, 4-8
restoring
backups
of online redo logs, 4-11
rollback segments, 1-10
overview of, 1-10
parallel recovery, 3-6
partly available, 1-7
use of in recovery, 3-6
rolling back, 3-6
definition, 1-4
rolling forward
definition, 1-4
rolling forward during recovery, 3-5
S
SHUTDOWN ABORT statement
consistent whole database backups, 2-8
crash recovery required, 1-7
software configuration
keeping records of, 4-12
SQL statements
failure in, 1-8
startup
recovery during, 1-3
STARTUP FORCE statement
crash recovery required, 1-7
strategies
backup, 4-4 to 4-11
ARCHIVELOG mode, 4-5
NOARCHIVELOG mode, 4-5
structures
physical
redo log files, 1-9
system monitor process (SMON)
instance recovery, 1-7
rolling back transactions, 3-7
SYSTEM tablespace
media failure, 1-6
T
tablespace point-in-time recovery, 3-8
tablespaces
backing up, 4-7
frequency, 4-7
offline backups, 2-12
online backups, 2-11
recovery, 3-8
testing
backup strategies, 4-13
trace files
ARCn trace file, 1-14
DBWn trace file, 1-6
transaction recovery, 3-6
definition, 1-7
transactions
dead, 1-7
recovery, 1-7
U
undo blocks, 1-10
undo tablespaces, 1-10
unrecoverable operations
performing backups after, 4-8
user errors, 1-6
user processes
manual archiving by, 1-15
user-managed backups, 2-13
V
V$RECOVER_FILE view, 3-9
determining which files to recover, 4-14
Index-6
W
warning
archiving mode for first backup, 4-5
whole database backups
consistent, 2-8
using SHUTDOWN ABORT statement, 2-8
definition, 2-3
inconsistent, 2-9

1 comment:

Sridevi Koduru said...

Regards
Sridevi Koduru (Senior Oracle Apps Trainer Oracleappstechnical.com)
LinkedIn profile - https://in.linkedin.com/in/sridevi-koduru-9b876a8b
Please Contact for One to One Online Training on Oracle Apps Technical, Financials, SCM, Oracle Manufacturing, OAF, ADF, SQL, PL/SQL, D2K at sridevikoduru@oracleappstechnical.com | +91 - 9581017828.