Running a job to Backup Oracle Server and its databases using Veeam it’s a breeze. Really. In fact Veeam Backup & Replication natively integrates with Oracle Database simply by leveraging the same object model making direct calls using the OCI (Oracle Call Interface).
This means Veeam Backup & Replication can be used both as the only solution to protect your Oracle workloads and in addition to Oracle RMAN tasks. And there’s more. Veeam Backup & Replication does not just take standalone Backups of the Oracle Application. All the nice features and capabilities like volume and file level backups along with application and crash consistent backups are still there. Which means we can still take full advantage of fast and efficient backups on a block level using the CBT (VMware) or RCT (Hyper-V). And best of all we can leverage a Veeam Explorer for Oracle to enable quick recovery for a very low RTO.
When it comes to restores Veeam Backup & Replication is second to none. Also for Oracle Database servers we can leverage excellent features like Instant VM Restore, granular items and application restores and even restores from storage snapshots. More on this in the next article.
So where do we start?
First we need to have an Oracle Database Server. I’m assuming a Veeam backup server is already installed! For the purpose of this article in my homelab I have installed an Oracle Database 12c release 2 on a Windows Server 2016. Will use this one to create a job to Backup Oracle server and its databases. Along with the first database created with the first install I have also added a new Oracle database called DemoDB1. This second database is pretty much a vanilla one based on the default “General Purpose” template with the main difference I have enabled the Archive log feature. The intention is to cover both with the same Veeam Backup job.
Let’s take a look on how to protect Oracle workloads with Veeam!
Configure Veeam to backup Oracle Database
Let’s create a new Veeam Backup Job. In this case I’m creating a single job which will include all Enterprise Applications for which Veeam already provides an Explorer. First enterprise application I’m adding is Oracle. As the screenshot is showing will add more applications in the future. Of course we can configure separate settings for them when it comes to guest interaction for application consistent backups.
At this point we can choose machines or group of machines we want to add. In this case the Oracle server is a single instance so just one VM to add. But let’s say the Oracle install sits for example on a Windows Failover Cluster or uses physical server we can target these with Veeam Agents and Protection Groups. Similarly to what we have already seen when protecting SQL Failover Clusters with Veeam.
In the Storage section of the wizard we ca select which Backup Proxy will run job. When multiple Backup Proxies are available Veeam automatically picks the best one based on scoring. The Storage or Backup Repository is where data will be located along with the number of desired restore points. And in addition also advanced settings we already discussed in a previous article. All of these settings can be changed at any time based on requirements.
In the Guest Processing section it is where things are getting interesting: by enabling the application awareness we can dictate how the application consistent backup should work by choosing the interaction with either VSS in the case of Windows based servers or scripts to pre-freeze and post-thaw the file system when based on toher OS types like Linux and Unix in general.
Other two important aspects here: the Guest OS credentials and the Guest interaction proxy. Whereas the former identifies which account should be used to interact with the guest server (Oracle in this case) the latter specifies which Backup proxy should carry this action. Again full flexibility for an automatic choice or a specific one like in this case.
When more Guest servers are added into the Backup job we can also use different OS credentials per target in the Backup job.
By clicking on Application we can see a list of targets part of the backup job. In this case at the moment we just see the details to backup Oracle Database server with default settings related to:
- VSS interaction
- Transaction logs
Let’s take a deeper look with the Edit button.
In the first General tab we can instruct Veeam to leverage the VSS writers (in the case of Windows based machines) for all applications on that server. A simple command as administrator like
“vssadmin list writers”
will shows all the available writers including the ones for Oracle relative to the existing databases. In case we want to run a “copy-only” type of backup of Database servers we also have the option to disable the application processing. This option allows the coexistence with third-part tools master of the database backup chain. And more in general the first part of the screen refers to all vss-aware application for which a writer already exists.
At this point if we switch to the Oracle tab we have the options to specify:
- an oracle account to interact with Oracle Databases
- ability to retain or delete archive logs based on time or size
- option to backup the transaction logs based on custom requirements along
- create a separate retention of transaction log backups with the option to use Veeam Backup Repositories as Log shipping servers
In the schedule section of course we have the option to specify the backup occurrences along with the time window when the job to backup Oracle should operate and the number of automatic retries.
I have already run the Full Backup followed by an incremental job. When going into the statistic we have access to two reports. The standard one as per the screenshot below. The actual warning is due to the fact CBT cannot be used in presence of vm snapshots. the incremental took about 10 mins to complete. with CBT would have been faster. So will remove the snapshot just after this article!
The other report is the one that covers the backup of the Oracle databases. As per screenshot below we have information about:
- number of databases protected vs unprotected vs excluded. In my example 1 db has archive logs enabled the other one doesn’t.
- RPO statistics including SLA success, misses and delays
- general status
- statistics about duration and size of the transaction log files and more
- plus a clear window showing in clear text with the main events
Pretty comprehensive and very easy to configure a job to backup Oracle. In the next article we’ll review the Veeam recovery options for Oracle backups.