Recovery Manager

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Recovery Manager (RMAN) is an Oracle provided utility for backing-up, restoring and recovering Oracle Databases. RMAN ships with the Oracle database and doesn't require a separate installation. The RMAN executable is located in your ORACLE_HOME/bin directory. In fact, RMAN, is just a Pro*C application that translates commands to a PL/SQL interface. The PL/SQL calls are statically linked into the Oracle kernel, and does not require the database to be opened (mapped from the ?/rdbms/admin/recover.bsq file).

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[edit] Benefits of RMAN

Some of the benefits provided by RMAN include:

  • Backups are faster and uses fewer tapes (RMAN will skip empty blocks)
  • Less database archiving while database is being backed-up
  • RMAN checks the database for block corruptions
  • Automated restores from the catalog
  • Files are written out in parallel instead of sequentially

[edit] Getting started

RMAN can be operated from Oracle Enterprise Manager, or from command line. Here are the command line arguments:

Argument     Value          Description
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
target       quoted-string  connect-string for target database
catalog      quoted-string  connect-string for recovery catalog
nocatalog    none           if specified, then no recovery catalog
cmdfile      quoted-string  name of input command file
log          quoted-string  name of output message log file
trace        quoted-string  name of output debugging message log file
append       none           if specified, log is opened in append mode
debug        optional-args  activate debugging
msgno        none           show RMAN-nnnn prefix for all messages
send         quoted-string  send a command to the media manager
pipe         string         building block for pipe names
timeout      integer        number of seconds to wait for pipe input
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is an example:

[oracle@localhost oracle]$ rman
Recovery Manager: Release 10.1.0.2.0 - Production
Copyright (c) 1995, 2004, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

RMAN> connect target;

connected to target database: ORCL (DBID=1058957020)

RMAN> backup database;
...

[edit] Using a recovery catalog

Start by creating a database schema (usually called rman). Assign an appropriate tablespace to it and grant it the recovery_catalog_owner role. Look at this example:

sqlplus sys/ as sysdba
SQL> create user rman identified by rman;
SQL> alter user rman default tablespace tools temporary tablespace temp;
SQL> alter user rman quota unlimited on tools;
SQL> grant connect, resource, recovery_catalog_owner to rman;
SQL> exit;

Next, log in to rman and create the catalog schema. Prior to Oracle 8i this was done by running the catrman.sql script.

rman catalog rman/rman
RMAN> create catalog tablespace tools;
RMAN> exit;

You can now continue by registering your databases in the catalog. Look at this example:

rman catalog rman/rman target backdba/backdba
RMAN> register database;

[edit] Writing to tape

RMAN can do off-line and on-line database backups. It cannot, however, write directly to tape. A MML (Media Manager Layer) is required to interface between RMAN and the tape drive/library. Various 3rd-party tools (like Veritas Netbackup, Data Protector, TSM, etc) are available that can integrate with RMAN to handle the tape library management.

To see what tapes were used for a particular backup, run this query against the RMAN catalog database:

SELECT media, start_time, completion_time FROM rc_backup_piece
 WHERE db_id = (SELECT db_id FROM rc_database WHERE UPPER(name) = 'ORCL')
   AND completion_time BETWEEN TO_DATE('27-DEC-2007 12:38:36','DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SS')
                           AND TO_DATE('28-DEC-2007 01:39:27','DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SS')
/

[edit] Also see