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Cloning an instance on the same server

What are the steps to clone a production server on the same server? Say, for example, I have one instance A and intend to clone, on the same server (Sun Solaris unix platform), an instance B. Hence, I will have both instance A and B, both are exactly same.

There are a couple of different ways to do this. No matter which way you clone your database, make sure that your filesystem conforms to the Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA).

1. Create a clone on the server as an empty database. Create the clone with the same tablespaces as well. Export from production and then import into the clone. This can take a long time for large databases, but it is a pretty easy method.

2. Make a cold backup of the database. Copy the backup files to the clone destinations. Remove the cloned control files. Modify the new INIT.ORA to specify a different DB_NAME. Startup the database in NOMOUNT mode and recreate the control files with the CREATE CONTROLFILE statement. Make sure the new control files have the new db_name as well. Then OPEN the database.

3. If you are using RMAN to backup your database, use RMAN to clone the database. Instructions are given in the Oracle RMAN docs.

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