We are planning to setup RMAN for our production database. Present status: We take hot backups daily (takes about 2.5 hrs) and a cold backup weekly. This hot backup is used to create a reporting database daily.

What we want:
1) Hot backup time reduced. 2) Ability to create reporting database using this backup daily. This process also should be faster than what we have now. I would like to know how RMAN can help our scenario.

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RMAN can help in both of your requests. First, you need a baseline backup. With RMAN, this baseline backup can be hot or cold. You can then perform incremental backups on a daily basis. These incremental backups can replace your nightly hot backups. Since these nightly backups are incremental, your backup time should be significantly reduced. Only those blocks that have changed since the last baseline backup or incremental backup will be backed up. Those blocks that haven't changed will not be backed up.

Now that RMAN is backing up your database, you can use RMAN to create a clone of that database on another server for your reporting applications. RMAN doesn't care if the clone is created from a full database backup or from the baseline plus incrementals. RMAN will handle all of this for you!

Please read the RMAN documentation as it contains all of the information you'll need for incremental backups and for creating clones of the database.

This was first published in July 2004

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