Oracle RMAN Backup - Back up Using Native Methods

Oracle Database Backup

As Oracle database engines of all versions include latest 11g and 12c becomes more and more essential in all areas of expertise, so it does methods of backup and restoration of Oracle data.

Anytime a need to tell Oracle backup schema or a single database using native methods can emerge. So let us view on some instruments capable to perform this task.

Tools of Trade: What Software Instruments are Available for Oracle Backup?

These are two programs designed to perform backup and restorations of Oracle schemas or data.

Recovery Manager

Recovery manager (RMAN) is based on Extensive Backup Utility (EBU) developed earlier, and seriously increasing the capabilities of EBU including possibilities such as writing an Oracle backup script or scheduling a restoration task, for examples.

It is a command-line backup client with no GUI. RMAN backs up Oracle databases with automatic consistency and full range of features typical for this class of software.


It is possible to use third-party software designed as an interface or a bridge between RMAN and user. Such programs can provide user with intuitive RMAN GUI and set some Oracle backup script operations into an overall strategy of data-keeping along with other types of data.

RMAN uses its own glossary of terms and definitions not common to backup matters in other IT world. This fact can discourage unskilled users, but all these terms are readily available and explained both in the Internet and in RMAN manuals.

RMAN capabilities and disadvantages can be characterized summarily by the following list:

  • Can perform “hot” (without stopping a database engine) or “cold” backup;
  • Relatively fast and very reliable performance of Oracle backup command;
  • Can backup and restore simultaneously as parallel operations;
  • Allows incremental backups and block-level (somewhat called “physical”) media recovery;
  • No GUI provided, and some terms and actions are redefined or renamed comparing to the common backup terms;
  • Provides interfaces with media management systems (TMS).

Data Pump Export

Data Pump Export (expdp) implements for a logical data backup from selected tables. To be restored properly some time later, this export operations must be performed in internal consistent mode with a strong check of data integrity ensured.

Otherwise the database cannot be recovered. In a modern days, using of this utility may be performed almost exclusively in conjunction with a more powerful and capable RMAN.

The short list of expdp merits and flaws:

  • Free;
  • Easy-to-use for any user familiar with command line;
  • Backup and restore any specified single database without any effort;
  • Does not required database processed turns on ARCHIVELOG mode;
  • Somewhat slow, compared to RMAN (see below).

Evaluation Of Native Backup Methods

As some advantages takes RMAN significantly over expdp utility, almost everything Oracle backup command set or strategy eventually uses RMAN. It is true for third-party Oracle backup software.

Recommended Solution

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