To me, deciding the backup strategy before understanding your recovery requirements is doing things backwards, and I would say that during an interview. One requirement I can glean from your problem description is that you have to be able to recover a 1TB database. But what are the other requirements? It is your recovery requirements that define your backup strategy, not the other way around.
Recovering (and backing up) in a timely manner can be helped by using RMAN and running the operations in parallel. Incremental backups can help too. Oracle 10g's new Incrementally Updated Backup not only makes backups run quicker, but also recovery. For more advanced concepts, please read the Oracle 10g Backup and Recovery Advanced User's Guide.
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