Oracle backup and recovery strategies: Export dump vs. RMAN

I have always done my backups with exports on a time basis to a remote site. I also run a script to pre-create users and tablespaces; that way I can change platforms if needed. Some places say I can only use RMAN to do backups. What is your opinion?

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Using exports for your backups are a nice way to capture a snapshot in time of your database. My biggest warning is that you should use the CONSISTENT=Y to ensure the data in this snapshot is consistent across the board. The export dumps do have their place in a solid backup and recovery strategy. From the export dump, you are able to easily recover a procedure or view that was mistakenly dropped. The export dump is a nice way to restore the data to a different OS if needed.

That being said, using export for your backups does limit your recovery options. You cannot perform point-in-time recovery. You cannot roll forward any transactions performed after the export dump was created. So my advice is to use exports for part of your backup strategy but to also employ RMAN as well.


This was first published in June 2010

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