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Overview - Oracle RAC iDataAgent

Introduction

The Oracle RAC iDataAgent provides a simplified end-to-end backup and recovery solution for Oracle databases in your enterprise without using multiple subclients and storage policies. It also allows you to load-balance Oracle backups and restores across multiple database nodes. The product can be used to perform both full system rebuilds and granular recovery of data and logs.

Key Features

Full Range of Backup and Recovery Options

The Oracle RAC iDataAgent provides the flexibility to backup the Oracle database in different environments. This is very essential since the Oracle database is always subject to constant changes.

You can perform a full or incremental backup of the entire database or individual datafiles and tablespaces, and archive logs at any point in time. The following section describes the backups that can be performed in different environments.

In configurations where there is no RMAN catalog, the Oracle control file can be used as an alternative.

Offline Backup

When the database is mounted, and not open or available for use, perform a full backup of the database without the archive logs. Use the offline backup when the data is consistent, and there are no transactions in the database.

Online Backup

When you cannot bring down the database to perform an offline backup, use the online backup method. Perform full or incremental backups when the database is online and in ARCHIVELOG mode. Use online backups to perform a point-in-time restore of the database.

You can also backup the archive logs only when the database is online. These logs can be applied to an online backup to recover the database to the current point-in-time.

You can also protect the non-database files and profiles using the appropriate File System iDataAgent.

Selective Online Full Backup

You can backup and store copies of valid data from a source copy of a specific storage policy to all or one active secondary copy within a storage policy to provide better tape rotation. An online full backup job is copied to a selective copy, if the full backup job cycle completes successfully. This allows you to select, store and protect your valuable data on a secondary copy for future restores.

Effective Management of Backups and Restores

This iDataAgent allows you to group any desired number of Oracle iDataAgent instances under one or more Oracle RAC database logical entities. As such, Oracle backups and restores as well as other job types and functions (including Data Aging, Scheduling, Job Management) are all consolidated and easy to manage. This allows you to maintain your data irrespective of whether you add or remove Oracle iDataAgent instances from the RAC database.

MultiStreaming for Accelerated Backups and Restores

You can configure various resources on the RAC nodes and include more number of streams for accelerated  backup and restore.

Backup and Recovery Failovers

In the event that the MediaAgent used for the backup or recovery operation fails, the backup is automatically resumed on an alternate MediaAgents. In such cases, the backup or restore job does not restart from the beginning, but resumes from the point of failure. This is useful for backups and restores of large amount of file system data.

In the event that a network goes down, the backup and recovery jobs are resumed on alternate data paths. Similarly, in the event of a device failure, the jobs are automatically switched to alternate disk and tape drives.

Also, this iDataAgent automatically checks the status of each Oracle instance during a backup or restore and allocates RMAN channels only for the instances that are active.  Therefore, even if a specific instance fails, the backup or restore will continue.

Efficient Job Management and Reporting

You can view and verify the status of backup and recovery operations from the Job Controller and the Event Viewer within the CommCell Console. You can also track the status of the jobs using Reports, which can be saved and distributed. Generate reports for different aspects of data management. Customize the reports to display only the required data and save them to a specific location in different formats. For example, you can create a backup job summary report to view the completed backup jobs.

You can schedule, generate and send the Reports via email without user intervention. 

Block-Level Deduplication

Deduplication provides a smarter way to store data by identifying and eliminating the duplicate items in a data protection operation.

Deduplication at the data block-level compares blocks of data against each other. If an object (such as, file, database) contains blocks of data that are identical to each other, then block-level deduplication does not store the redundant data, which reduces the size of the object in storage. This reduces the size of the backup data copies on both the disk and tapes.

Command Line Support

In addition to using the CommCell Console, you can perform backup and restore operations from the command line using XML scripts or Qcommands. The options for backup and restore can be selected from the CommCell Console and saved as an XML file.  Also, there are many downloadable XML file templates available in the documentation, which can be used to perform specific operations from the command line interface.

Terminology

The Oracle documentation uses the following terminology:

RAC

A Real Application Cluster environment which allows multiple nodes in a clustered system to access a single database that resides on a shared storage location.

Client

The computer in which the iDataAgent is installed and contains the data to be secured.

Instance

The Oracle database to be used for the backup and restore operations.

Subclient

The Oracle data to be backed up.