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How to back up Oracle 10g RAC database on an AIX system

I have a two-node Oracle 10g RAC database with Automatic Storage Management (ASM) on an AIX system. One node is disabled. I want to take a cold backup of my data files on the tap drive, which resides on SAN. How do I see the data files? How do I get a cold backup?

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If one node in the RAC cluster is still up and running, then you will not be able to obtain a cold backup. The data files are used by all nodes in the RAC cluster. In order to obtain a cold backup, you will need to shut down all instances in the RAC environment.

How you use OS-level commands to backup your database depends on your environment. Since you are using AIX, you might be able to use tar for this operation. However, RAC can make things more complex. Is your RAC file system a RAW file system? An ASM file system? Or a clustered file system? If you're using a clustered file system, then you can use tar. If you're using a RAW file system, you can use the dd command. In all cases, using RMAN will back up your RAC database regardless of the file system.

This was first published in September 2008

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