1. What is your opinion on what steps you would take to handle the Oracle disaster recovery plan (DRP) project?
  2. In how many ways can we design and implement a disaster recovery plan for Oracle?
  3. I am planning to transport a tablespace that resides on a Win2003 server to a Sun Solaris Sparc machine (64-bit), and the database is Oracle 10g. What kinds of problems can arise during the task?

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  1. Disaster recovery plans start with risk assessment. You need to identify all the risks that your data center faces and then determine the business impact should that risk become an event. For instance, typical risks that are considered are: loss of a disk drive, loss of a server, complete loss of your data center, etc. Once you have identified the risks you face and quantified the impact to your business, then you can begin to start planning for those disasters.

    What happens if you lose a disk drive? Your disaster plan should give details on how to recover from that event. For instance, you may pull a spare drive off the shelf and restore the database from a backup. This means you have to have that spare drive on the shelf. The more detailed your risk assessment, the more detailed your disaster recovery plan will be.

  2. There are many ways to handle your disasters. You'll have to look at the risks you face. Each risk should have a solution. In some cases, multiple risks have the same solution.

  3. In order to be able to transport tablespaces between platforms, you must meet two criteria. One, you must be running Oracle 10g on both platforms. Two, both platforms must have the same "endianess" or you'll need to perform a conversion step. The endianness refers to the byte ordering on that platform. Solaris is big endian. Windows is little endian. If both platforms were big endian or both were little endian, then you would have no difficulties transporting the tablespaces.

    You'll have to use RMAN to convert the tablespace to the destination platform's endianness before transporting the tablespace. This document provides step-by-step details.

This was first published in November 2005

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