Chapter 16. Oracle Backup and Recovery

Oracle is a very popular commercial relational database management system with a very large installed base. Oracle can be backed up using two very different methods, and each method has its advantages and disadvantages—and its strong supporters and detractors.

Two Backup Methods

The backup and recovery method with the most history is now called user-managed backup. A user-managed backup consists of putting the Oracle database into a “backup friendly” state, then backing up its files using whatever tool strikes your fancy. Once the files have been backed up, you can take the database out of its “backup friendly” state. User-managed backup is documented and supported, but is not what Oracle would prefer you do.

The preferred method of backing up Oracle databases is the Recovery Manager (rman), which was first available in Oracle 8. The rman utility can be used independently or with a commercial backup utility to back up Oracle to disk or tape. It offers a number of advantages over user-managed backups, including incremental backups, data integrity checks, block-level media recovery, and guided restores. Those who have learned rman swear by it, especially the new and improved version available in Oracle 10g.


As of this writing, approximately half the Oracle community is using rman and half is performing user-managed backups. Both methods will be covered in this chapter, starting with this comparison of the two.


rman has a number of advantages ...

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