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Incremental backup explained

Could you please give us an easy explanation of incremental backup?

See the Oracle documentation Backup & Recovery for more information but here are the basics from the guide:

An incremental backup reads the entire file and then backs up only those data blocks that have changed since a previous backup. Oracle allows you to create and restore incremental backups of datafiles, tablespaces or the whole database. Note that RMAN can include a control file in an incremental backup set, but the control file is always included in its entirety -- no blocks are skipped.

The primary reasons for making an incremental backup are:

  • To save network bandwidth when backing up over a network.
  • When the aggregate tape bandwidth available for tape write I/Os is much less than the aggregate disk bandwidth for disk read I/Os.
  • To be able to recover changes to objects created with the NOLOGGING option.

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