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Duplicating a database without using rcp

I have an Oracle 8.1.6 database that resides on two Sun servers. One is production server, A, and the other one, B, is for backup purposes. Every night, I will shut down the database on server A and rcp all the dbf files from server A to server B. The database is getting bigger and bigger, and the rcp takes more than eight hours to finish. Is there any other way instead of rcp so that the database at server B will always same as server A? Currently, I try to rcp the control files and the archived log to backup server. Then I bring up the database at backup server:

SVRMGR> startup
ORACLE instance started.
Total System Global Area 49995760 bytes
Fixed Size 69616 bytes
Variable Size 29356032 bytes
Database Buffers 20480000 bytes
Redo Buffers 90112 bytes
Database mounted.
ORA-01113: file 1 needs media recovery
ORA-01110: data file 1: '/disc4/data1.dbf'

SVRMGR> set autorecovery on
Autorecovery ON
SVRMGR> recover database
ORA-00279: change 7877607 generated at 02/26/2003 16:30:04 needed for thread 1
ORA-00289: suggestion : /disc5/archive/457.arc
ORA-00280: change 7877607 for thread 1 is in sequence #457
Log applied.
ORA-00279: change 7897706 generated at 03/06/2003 08:54:35 needed for thread 1
ORA-00289: suggestion : /disc5/archive/458.arc
ORA-00280: change 7897706 for thread 1 is in sequence #458
ORA-00278: log file '/disc5/archive/457.arc' no longer needed for this recovery
ORA-00283: recovery session canceled due to errors
ORA-00314: log 1 of thread 1, expected sequence# 459 doesn't match 457
ORA-00312: online log 1 thread 1: '/disc8/log1b.dbf'
ORA-00314: log 1 of thread 1, expected sequence# 459 doesn't match 457
ORA-00312: online log 1 thread 1: '/disc4/log1a.dbf'
What should I do?

What you should do is to use an entirely different mechanism for duplicating your database. I'd suggest setting up a standby database.

You can learn all about standby database setup/configuration in the Oracle docs (Oracle8i Standby Database Concepts and Administration):

"A standby database is a database replica created from a backup of a primary database. By applying archived redo logs from the primary database to the standby database, you can keep the two databases synchronized."

The nice thing here is that it happens "automatically" once you get it configured. Then you don't have to do the big shutdown/copy every night at all.

Give this a look; I think it might just be the answer for you.

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