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Making the most of RMAN

I am configuring a new server -- HPUX 11.0 running the Oracle Applications 10.7 NCA (Yeah, I know it is old and not supported, don't get me started). The current environment is running on a database and I use EBU to perform a combination of hot and cold backups. In the new environment I am upgrading to a server partitioned configuration and the database will be 64-bit 8.1.7.

I will be using RMAN for the first time and I have a question. Should I create the catalog database using an 8i Oracle_HOME or could I benefit from installing and running it out of a 9i home?

The real question, I guess, is does the database version of the database being backed up determine the RMAN features you can use, or is it the version of the database that the RMAN catalog is stored in?
The database version can have an impact, but normally when you go backwards. For instance, I can't have a Recovery Catalog in an Oracle8i database to have RMAN backups in a 9i database. But I can have a Recovery Catalog in a 9i database being used to backup an 8i database. But you don't gain anything by doing this, from the 8i database's viewpoint. You will still be using the 8i RMAN executable, which won't be able to handle any of the new 9i functionality. So I'd just set up a 8i Recovery Catalog. I don't see any reason to install a completely different version of Oracle just for a Recovery Catalog.

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