Data Backup & Recovery

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As a backup administrator, your primary job is making and monitoring backups for data protection. A backup is a copy of data of a database that you can use to reconstruct data. A backup can be either a physical backup or a logical backup.

Physical Backups are copies of the physical files used in storing and recovering a database. These files include data files, control files, and archived redo logs. Ultimately, every physical backup is a copy of files that store database information to another location, whether on disk or on offline storage media such as tape.

Logical Backups contain logical data such as tables and stored procedures. You can use Oracle Data Pump to export logical data to binary files, which you can later import into the database. The Data Pump command-line clients expdp and impdp use the DBMS_DATAPUMP and DBMS_METADATA PL/SQL packages.

Physical backups are the foundation of any sound Backup and recovery strategy. Logical backups are a useful supplement to physical backups in many circumstances but are not sufficient protection against data loss without physical backups.

Unless otherwise specified, the term backup as used in the backup and recovery documentation refers to a physical backup. Backing up a database is the act of making a physical backup. The focus in the backup and recovery documentation set is almost exclusively on physical backups.

While several problems can halt the normal operation of an Oracle database or affect database I/O operations, only the following typically require DBA intervention and data recovery: media failure, user errors, and application errors. Other failures may require DBA intervention without causing data loss or requiring recovery from backup. For example, you may need to restart the database after an instance failure or allocate more disk space after statement failure because of a full datafile.

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