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Sun StorEdge Instant Image 3.0 and Oracle8i Database Best Practices

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A methodology for implementing the Sun StorEdge Instant Image 3.0 Point-In-Time copy technology to perform non-intrusive and efficient backup operations on Oracle8i databases, without impacting business operations, is presented. A method customers can use to repurpose the PIT Oracle8i data for parallel business processes is also included.
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As databases grow in size and backup windows shrink, Oracle8i database customers need methods for performing faster and less intrusive backups and restores. Customers are also looking to maximize the use of their valuable data contained in these databases.

Current Methodology

Currently, system and database administrators clone an existing database to test their application. Cloning requires the existing database to be backed up to tape and restored to another location. A cold backup of the database requires the database be unavailable to production users for a significant period of time. Given the average size of databases and slow performance of tape technology, the backup could take hours. For this reason, cold backups are not frequently done because the data used for testing is stale.

One method used today is to perform hot backups. This method allows online activity to continue, but it requires the database to be in backup mode for hours. This method might also require various transactions to be rolled forward, and any uncommitted transactions must be rolled back. Additionally, online performance is affected during the backup. After the backup is completed and restored to the test area, it has to be recovered. Various transactions also have to be rolled back.

Products such as VERITAS NetBackup or Legato NetWorker are used to back up data. Traditionally, as the product names imply, NetBackup and NetWorker were designed to back up data across the network; however, these products can also be used with directly accessible storage.

Another method used today is to create a new database. The new database would be similar to the online database; however, it would contain different data. This has little impact on online activity. The downside to this method is that the application is being tested on a different database; thus, it is not real-world data.

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