Contiguous backup of Oracle

Tomas Dalebjörk
3 min readJun 30, 2020

Stay protected up to last archived transaction log by following this simple example.

It is very common to use RMAN to schedule backup of archive logs, typically once per day.

As the scheduled are performed once per day, one can loose 24 hours of data, it can even be more if the last backup is ongoing while a system failure occur, perhaps 48 hours of data.

The terminology Recovery Point Objective (RPO), refers to what are the recovery points? which also includes data loss. However, as most part of databases today has the ability to recover to almost any time between using transaction logs, it is better to refer to the maximum data loss using various recovery techniques.

With classical RMAN scheduled backups of archive logs, you can loose more data than having an integrated backup method described below here.

Integrated backup of archived transaction logs

Backing up the transaction log data immediately when a redo log file becomes full will improve the RPO, as it will send a copy of the full redo log directly to the backup server.

To integrate automatic backups of transaction logs in Oracle is simple, just follow these steps

Download and install SPFS

# rpm -i spfs-*.rpm


# dpkg -i spfs*.deb

Configure SPFS

# cat > /etc/spfs/spfs.opt <<-eof
MOUNTPOINT /archivelogs
OPTIONFILE /etc/spfs/dsm.opt
DATATYPE archive

Configure Spectrum Protect

# cat > /opt/tivoli/tsm/client/api/bin64/dsm.sys <<-eof
ERRORLOGNAME /var/log/dsmerror_spfs.log

Register Node

# dsmadmc -id=admin -password=admin “REGISTER NODE spfs secretpwd”

Save initial password

# setpassword /etc/spfs/TSM.PWD <<< secretpwd

Select stanza

# echo spfs > /etc/spfs/dsm.opt

Mount the SPFS file system

# mkdir /archivelogs
# mount -t spfs /archivelogs

Edit Oracle configuration file

# vi ${ORACLE_HOME}/dbs/init_${ORACLE_SID}.ora

Restart the Oracle instance

You now have an extra copy of your archived redo log files that are sent directly at each redo log switch on the Spectrum Protect backup server

Even though you still uses RMAN to backup the archive log files, it will not add extra space on the Spectrum Protect backup server if the target storage pool is a de-duplication enabled storage pool.

Recovery of Oracle database

Restoring archive log files are no longer required, as Oracle will request restoration of archive logs automatically during the recovery process. This is true as Oracle knows about the different locations of the archive log destinations, where one of the destinations are the mount point of the SPFS file system.

This can also help to take online snapshots of Oracle databases, as you do not need to take care of the archive log backups directly during a snapshot process. This happens automatically.

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