RMAN

How to create your own Oracle database merge patch

A little bit scary title, isn't it? Please keep in mind that definitely it is neither supported nor advised method to solve your problems and you should be really careful while doing it - hopefully not on production environment. But it may sometimes happen that you end up with the situation where creating your own merge patch for Oracle database could not be as crazy idea as it sounds :).

Nuances of Oracle Managed Files (OMF) and RMAN

Oracle Managed Files (OMF) have many advantages, but the fact that such files could coexist in the same database with manually added (and named) ones, could sometimes lead to confusion. Situation is made worse by the fact, that there is no straightforward way (at least of which I'm aware of...or rather was - please check the comment of Mikhail Velikikh) to say if the file is Oracle managed or not. Oracle documentation seems to confirm this:

Potential of "import catalog" command

Since version 11.1 of Oracle database, there is very useful command available, allowing DBAs to easily move RMAN recovery catalog schemas between databases. Its functionality is even broader, as it also allows one catalog schema to be merged into another - either the whole schema or just the metadata of chosen databases. Command I'm writing about is of course import catalog, which I had a chance to use recently, to move our recovery catalog to the new database.

Datafile without backups - how to restore?

Have you ever had a problem with restoring datafiles without any backups available? It's easy, of course if you have all archived logs from the time datafile was created. Please check it here: Re-Creating Data Files When Backups Are Unavailable. Moreover, RMAN is clever enough to create empty datafile automatically during restore phase and then recover it using archived logs. So far, so good, but...

Importance of testing yours backup strategy

Most of you for sure know, that ability to restore data in case of failure is a primary skill for each DBA. You should always be able to restore and recover data you’re responsible for. This is an axiom. To be sure, that you’re able to do it, you should test it on regular basis. There is of course possibility to use some Oracle features, like backup ... validate or restore ...

Backups in Data Guard environment

Physical standby databases seem to be ideal candidates for offloading backups from primary ones. Instead of "wasting" resources (unless you're already using Active Data Guard for example), you could avoid affecting primary performance while backing up your database, especially if your storage is under heavy load even during normal (user- or application-generated) workload. So, if you're seeking for good reasons to convince your boss/finance department/etc.

How to verify if archived log deletion policy is correctly applied?

What is the best way to handle archived logs deletion in environments with standby and downstream capture databases? One could use own scripts, to delete for example all backed up archived logs, older than n days. But better way, will be to set RMAN archived log deletion policy, because then, additional options could be specified, to delete archived logs which are not only backed up n times, but also applied or shipped to other databases in the environment.