One of the reasons why it is important to protect and take backups of applications is to have amongst other reasons the ability to perform recoveries. Oracle Database Server in this case is no exception. In this article in fact we’ll explore the options to restore Oracle Server along with its databases.
In the previous article we have explored the options and configurations helping to backup Oracle Database server. Using Veeam we can take an image level backup and reuse the same backup data set not only to perform a volume level restore of the Server Operating System but also to perform Application Items restores. and in this case we are going to reuse the same image level backup to restore the Oracle databases.
As we have seen Veeam can take an application and crash consistent backup leveraging cool technologies like VSS integration (for Windows machines) and CBT (for VMware) or RCT (for Hyper-V) filter drivers to speed up the incremental backups just to include the data blocks that have changed since the previous backup occurrence.
Once the backup file is created Veeam mounts this file in read-only to perform various types of restores which include:
- Instant VM recovery
- Restore Entire VM
- Restore virtual disks
- Restore VM files
- Restore guest files
- Restore Application Items (through Veeam Explorers)
For the purpose of this article we’ll use the Veeam Explorer for Oracle which mounts the Veeam Backup file and extract the application items we want to recover. This component is included in the Veeam Backup & Replication solution along with other Explorers for Active Directory, Exchange, SQL and SharePoint. So in the case we want to restore Oracle databases all we need to make sure is to have at least an image or volume level backup of the Oracle Database server.
In the past we have already explored the capabilities of Veeam Backup Jobs for general purpose servers. Exactly the same considerations apply also for enterprise servers where Veeam provides an extra layer of protection and availability for the enterprise applications. Let’s take a look at the recovery options when it comes to restore Oracle databases.
Restore Oracle Server and its databases
From the pertinent Backup Job let’s do a right click to expand and view the machines assosciated to the backup Job. As the screenshot is showing we can see information for the Oracle Server machine restore points plus a separate job which includes information about the number of restore points for the Oracle Database application. In a nutshell Veeam already created and retains the restore points for the transaction log backups. This is an option we can control in the job to Backup Oracle.
With a right click on the Oracle Server let’s choose the Restore Application items to launch the Veeam Explorer for Oracle.
This will lanch a new wizard from which we can select the specific Restore Point. By default Veeam always select the latest one.
We can also specify a Restore Reason. This information will also be captured in the Veeam Reports and can help a great deal when it comes to troubleshooting.
And finally a summary showing the main details before amending the changes and launch the Veeam Explorer.
At this point the Veeam Explorer mounts the backup file in read-only to restore Oracle databases. The Veeam Explorer for Oracle shows all the databases available at the backup time along with relevant information as to the main resource files like Control, Data, Logs and Temp.
The menus are context sensitive and will show to appropriate options upon object selection. In this case for example we can restore Oracle database back to the original location or a different Oracle server.
Should we go back to the original location of course the wizard will pop up a message where the existing database will be deleted to allow the restore.
Another option is the ability to restore Oracle databases to a specific point in time. In this case the wizard will show a slider we can use to choose the desired point in time.
But there’s more! Veeam Explorer has the capability to replay transaction logs showing the major events and allows to restore Oracle even on a more granular level.
To enable this feature all we have to do is to specify an Oracle staging server from the settings menu in the Veeam Explorer. In this case I’m using the Oracle server itself as the only one available in my homelab. For production environment it is highly suggested to use a different one as it helps in separating and isolating tasks without affecting Production workloads.
If we now re-run the same option again, we now have the option to select the checkbox to restore Oracle database to a specific transaction.
The Veeam Explorer will now use the information provided for the Oracle staging server to mount the database (demoDB1 as per this example) and show the list of all major transactions that occurred.
From this screen we can now review and choose the exact point in time to restore Oracle database at a specific transaction.
In conclusion, in terms of RTO, RPO and recovery types, Veeam offers an unmatched flexibility. From the same Backup data set it is possible to fully recover the entire machine including the running applications. All of this without the need of using multiple tools to cover the same workloads. In fact Veeam solution can also be used in conjuction with Oracle RMAN. And there’s more: Veeam makes all workloads available to multiple and different platforms. We’ll cover this in more details in a separate article.