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Difference between whole and full backup [message #297776] Sun, 03 February 2008 11:28 Go to next message
Messages: 161
Registered: February 2007
Senior Member
When I was reading through 10g Backup and Recovery Bascis Guide I came across the term Full Backup .

I searched in the net for the exact definiton of that term since I was always confusing it with whole backup . In one of the forums the same question was raised and the reply was

Whole backup
Backs up all database files, but this backup is not cataloged, which means that you cannot use it as a reference backup for an incremental backup with RMAN.

Full backup
Backs up all database files. You can perform a full backup with or
without RMAN. If you do not use RMAN, then RMAN is called separately to catalog the backup. This means that you can use this backup as a reference backup for an incremental backup with RMAN.

But the reply was not convincing since in the Oracle Documentation it was clearly mentioned as

A level 0 incremental backup is physically identical to a full backup. The only difference is that the level 0 backup is recorded as an incremental backup in the RMAN repository, so it can be used as the parent for a level 1 backup.

Can anyone explain me the difference between these two ?
Re: Difference between whole and full backup [message #297782 is a reply to message #297776] Sun, 03 February 2008 12:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 754
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member

full backup
A non-incremental RMAN backup. Note that "full" does not refer to how much of the database is backed up, but to the fact that the backup is not incremental. Consequently, you can make a full backup of one datafile.

The only difference between a full backup and an incremental level 0 backup is that the full backup will not affect the number of blocks backed up by any subsequent incremental backup.

whole database backup
A backup of the control file and all datafiles that belong to a database.

Re: Difference between whole and full backup [message #301490 is a reply to message #297782] Wed, 20 February 2008 18:53 Go to previous message
Messages: 1
Registered: February 2008
Location: Fort Lauderdale, USA
Junior Member
Just to add to what has been said already:

In a Full backup all datafile blocks are backed up. As it was said already, a full backup applies to one or more datafiles and up to all of them (database). The opposite of a full backup is an incremental backup. An incremental backup level 0 backs up all datafile blocks that have ever been used, and an incremental level 1 backs up anything that has changed afterwards. One can do full backups with either RMAN or O/S utilities.

A whole backup is a full backup of all datafiles plus the controlfile. The opposite of a whole backup is a partial backup. A partial backup is a full backup of a subset of datafiles.

Hope that clears it out.
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