How to Backup an Oracle Database?

14 minutes read

Backing up an Oracle database is an essential task in ensuring data preservation and disaster recovery. There are several methods to accomplish this, including:

  1. Using Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN): RMAN is a powerful tool provided by Oracle to backup and recover databases. It allows for complete or incremental backups and provides options for creating backup sets or image copies. RMAN can back up the entire database, specific tablespaces, or individual data files.
  2. Export/Import Data Pump: This method involves using the Oracle Data Pump utility to export the database objects and data into a binary file called a dump file. The dump file can then be imported to restore the database if needed. This method is useful when migrating data between different Oracle database versions.
  3. Cold Backup: This method involves shutting down the database and making a copy of all the relevant data and control files. It ensures a consistent backup as the database is not active during the backup process. However, it requires the database to be offline, causing downtime during the backup.
  4. Hot Backup: In contrast to a cold backup, a hot backup allows the database to remain online while the backup is being taken. Hot backups utilize RMAN or file system-level backups to ensure data consistency. This method requires a database in archive log mode to capture all changes made during the backup.
  5. Logical Backup: This method involves using SQL commands like expdp and impdp to create logical backups of database objects. Unlike physical backups, logical backups allow for selective restoration of specific tables or schema, making it useful for partial data recovery.
  6. Snapshot Standby Database: This method involves creating a standby database that can be open for read-only operations while continuously applying changes from the primary database. This standby database can be used as a backup in case of any issues with the primary database.


It's important to consider aspects like the size of the database, the recovery time objective (RTO), and the available resources to choose the appropriate backup method for an Oracle database. Regularly scheduling backups and storing them in secure locations are essential practices to ensure data integrity and protect against potential data loss.

Best Oracle Books to Read in 2024

1
Oracle PL/SQL by Example (The Oracle Press Database and Data Science)

Rating is 5 out of 5

Oracle PL/SQL by Example (The Oracle Press Database and Data Science)

2
Oracle Database 12c DBA Handbook (Oracle Press)

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Oracle Database 12c DBA Handbook (Oracle Press)

3
Oracle Database Administration: The Essential Refe: A Quick Reference for the Oracle DBA

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Oracle Database Administration: The Essential Refe: A Quick Reference for the Oracle DBA

4
Oracle DBA Mentor: Succeeding as an Oracle Database Administrator

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Oracle DBA Mentor: Succeeding as an Oracle Database Administrator

5
OCA Oracle Database SQL Exam Guide (Exam 1Z0-071) (Oracle Press)

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

OCA Oracle Database SQL Exam Guide (Exam 1Z0-071) (Oracle Press)

6
Oracle Database 12c SQL

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Oracle Database 12c SQL

7
Oracle Autonomous Database in Enterprise Architecture: Utilize Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Autonomous Databases for better consolidation, automation, and security

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Oracle Autonomous Database in Enterprise Architecture: Utilize Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Autonomous Databases for better consolidation, automation, and security


What is the process to backup and recover an Oracle database using Oracle Flashback Technology?

To backup and recover an Oracle database using Oracle Flashback Technology, follow these steps:

  1. Enable the Flashback Technology feature by setting the initialization parameters in the Oracle database.
  2. Take a consistent backup of the database using the Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) or any other backup tool.
  3. In case of data loss or database corruption, identify the point of failure by checking the database alert log and other error logs.
  4. Use the Oracle Flashback Query feature to view the data as it existed at a specific point in time before the failure.
  5. If necessary, use Oracle Flashback Table to recover individual tables to a previous state.
  6. If the failure is severe and requires a complete database recovery, use the RMAN utility to restore the backup taken earlier.
  7. After the backup is restored, use the Oracle Flashback Database feature to revert the database to a previous point in time. This feature uses the archived redo logs to bring the database to a specific SCN (System Change Number) or timestamp.
  8. Once the flashback is complete, validate the recovered database to ensure data integrity.
  9. Reapply any necessary patches, updates, or changes that were made after the recovery point.
  10. Restart the Oracle database and perform thorough testing to verify the recovery and functionality of the database.
  11. Regularly schedule and perform backups using Oracle Flashback Technology to ensure you can recover the database quickly and effectively in the future.


Note: It is essential to have a proper backup strategy and regular backups of the database to ensure data protection and recovery.


What is the procedure to backup an Oracle database in archivelog mode?

To backup an Oracle database in archivelog mode, you can follow these steps:

  1. Connect to the Oracle database using an SQL*Plus session or any other client tool.
  2. Switch the current redo log file to ensure a complete and consistent backup. Use the following command to query the current redo log file: SELECT group#, thread#, sequence#, status FROM v$log; Identify the active log group (status=CURRENT) and execute the following command to force a log switch: ALTER SYSTEM SWITCH LOGFILE; Verify the log switch by re-running the query from step 2.1.
  3. Create a consistent backup of the database by executing the following command: ALTER DATABASE BEGIN BACKUP; This puts the database in backup mode, ensuring data integrity.
  4. Copy all the necessary database files to your backup destination. This includes control files, datafiles, and archived redo log files. Use operating system commands (e.g., cp, scp, rsync) to copy the files to the backup location. The location and naming conventions for these files can be obtained from the Oracle configuration or from the database administrator. Ensure you have enough space in the backup destination to accommodate all the files.
  5. After the backup is complete, execute the following command to end the backup mode: ALTER DATABASE END BACKUP; This makes the database available for regular operations.
  6. If required, compress or encrypt the backup files as per your organization's security policies.
  7. Store the backup files in a secure location or backup storage facility to avoid data loss or unauthorized access.
  8. Perform periodic testing and restoration of the backup files to validate the backup and recovery processes.


Note: It is highly recommended to consult with your organization's database administrator or follow the best practices specified by your organization for backing up Oracle databases.


How to backup an Oracle database to a specific datafile?

To backup an Oracle database to a specific datafile, you can use Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) with the following steps:

  1. Connect to the Oracle database using a privileged user account. $ sqlplus / as sysdba
  2. Start the RMAN utility. RMAN> RMAN
  3. Set the Oracle database as the target for backup. RMAN> CONNECT TARGET /
  4. Specify the datafile you want to backup. RMAN> BACKUP AS DATAFILE ''; Replace with the full path of the datafile you want to backup. You can find the datafile path using the following SQL query: SELECT file_id, name FROM dba_data_files;
  5. Optionally, you can specify other parameters such as backup type, compression, and backup destination. For example, to create a compressed backup with a specific backupset name and destination: RMAN> BACKUP AS COMPRESSED BACKUPSET DATAFILE '' TAG '' FORMAT ''; Replace with a meaningful name for the backupset and with the desired backup location.
  6. RMAN will start the backup process, and you can monitor the progress in the RMAN utility. Once the backup completes, you will have a backup of the specified datafile in the specified location.


How to determine the size of an Oracle database backup before starting the process?

To determine the size of an Oracle database backup before starting the process, you can follow these steps:

  1. Connect to the Oracle database using an SQL client tool or the command line.
  2. Run the following SQL query to get the size of the database: SELECT sum(bytes)/1024/1024/1024 AS "Total Size (GB)" FROM dba_data_files; This query retrieves the size of all the database data files in bytes and converts it to gigabytes.
  3. Run the following SQL query to estimate the size of the database backup: SELECT sum(bytes)/1024/1024/1024 AS "Total Size (GB)" FROM v$backup_set_details; This query calculates the size of the previous database backup sets.
  4. Add the sizes obtained from the above two queries to get an approximation of the total backup size.


Keep in mind that these queries mainly consider the data files and backup sets, but there might be additional elements like control files, archived logs, or other components that contribute to the backup size. Those can be estimated using similar SQL queries or by checking the backup software's documentation.


What is the impact of taking a backup on the performance of an Oracle database?

Taking a backup of an Oracle database does have an impact on the performance to some extent. The impact varies depending on the type of backup being taken, the size of the database, the hardware infrastructure, and the workload on the database at the time of backup.

  1. Disk I/O: Taking a backup involves reading data from disk and writing it to the backup destination. This can increase the disk I/O activity, potentially leading to slower query response times or increased latency. If the backup infrastructure is separate from the production database storage, the impact might be less noticeable.
  2. CPU Utilization: During backup operations, the CPU is actively involved in compressing and writing data to the backup destination. High CPU utilization may affect the overall performance of the database, especially if the database workload is already heavy.
  3. Network Utilization: If the backup is performed over a network (e.g., to a remote backup server), it can consume network bandwidth, impacting network performance and potentially slowing down data transfers between the database and connected applications.
  4. Locking and Blocking: Depending on the backup type and configuration, there might be locks or blocking activities involved during the backup process. This can potentially impact concurrent transactions and cause delays or timeouts for other database operations.
  5. Overall System Load: Backup processes can generate additional load on the server, including disk, network, and CPU usage. This increased load can impact the overall system performance, especially in scenarios where the server is already heavily utilized.


To mitigate the performance impact of backups, Oracle provides various features like parallel backup, incremental backup, and backup compression. Employing these features and scheduling backups during off-peak hours can help minimize the impact on database performance. It is crucial to perform regular capacity planning and monitoring to ensure that the backup operations do not overwhelm the resources available to the database system.


What is the difference between a hot backup and a cold backup in Oracle?

A hot backup, also known as an online backup, is a type of backup in Oracle where the database remains online and accessible to users while the backup process takes place. This means that data modifications can continue to occur during the backup process. The hot backup involves copying the database files while the database is active and transactions are ongoing. It requires the use of database logs to ensure data consistency, and the backup files may not be consistent at a specific point in time.


On the other hand, a cold backup, also known as an offline backup, is a type of backup in Oracle where the database is shut down before the backup process begins. In a cold backup, all database activity is halted, and the database files are copied to a backup destination. As the database is not active, there is no risk of data inconsistency during the backup process. However, cold backups lead to downtime as the database is unavailable to users during the backup.


In summary, the main difference between hot and cold backups in Oracle is that a hot backup is taken while the database is online and accessible, allowing data modifications to continue, while a cold backup is taken when the database is offline and inaccessible, resulting in downtime.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Telegram

Related Posts:

Backing up data on Oracle involves the following steps:Determine the backup strategy: Decide on the type of backup strategy that suits your needs, such as full backup, incremental backup, or differential backup. Select the backup method: Oracle offers various ...
Restoring an Oracle database from a backup involves several steps. Here's a general overview of the process:Determine the backup type: Identify the backup type you have, whether it's a full backup, incremental backup, or a combination of both. Prepare ...
To restore a MySQL database from a backup, you can follow these general steps:Create a new, empty database in MySQL where you want to restore the backup.Open a command prompt or terminal and navigate to the location of the backup file.Use the MySQL command lin...