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Deleting expired backups on tape

I have many backups of 10 different databases taken with RMAN with archiving enabled, currently put to TSM (Tivoli) tapes. What is the best way to delete all expired backups and flag the repository?

I have many backups of 10 different databases taken with RMAN with archiving enabled using Oracle version 8.1.7.0, currently put to TSM (Tivoli) tapes.

My question is what is the best way to delete all expired backups and flag the repository without the use of change backupset xxxx delete?

In Oracle 8i, the CROSSECHECK command can be used to determine if the backup exists or not on your tape media. If the backup set exists, the backup set will be marked as AVAILABLE. If the backup set does not exist, it will be marked as EXPIRED. Typically, your media management software (Tivoli in this case) will automatically remove files on tape that are past your retention period. The Oracle documentation contains the details of the CROSSCHECK command.

Once a backup set has been marked as expired, you can use the DELETE EXPIRED command to remove these backups from your Recovery Catalog.

Upgrading to Oracle 9i or 10g will help you even more as you can define a retention period within RMAN and have RMAN automatically purge expired backup sets. Until you upgrade, you will have to handle this yourself as outlined above.

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