With the main release of update 4 for its flagship solution Backup & Replication platform, Veeam introduced among the others also additional support to further extend it’s capabilities to also protect Oracle, SAP HANA, IBM AIX and Oracle Solaris platforms. To be fair, Oracle Databases were already part of the list of workloads Veeam is natively protecting. In particular, this is happening with the Oracle Call Interface method (OCI). As of the Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 it is also possible to use Oracle RMAN (Recovery Manager) method to protect Oracle Databases. In fact, Veeam RMAN backup plug-in integrates with Oracle Database and provides an native method protecting such Databases.
Why Veeam RMAN backup plug-in? Quoting directly the Oracle RMAN architecture page:
“A complete high availability and disaster recovery strategy requires dependable data backup, restore, and recovery procedures. Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) provides a comprehensive foundation for efficiently backing up and recovering the Oracle database. It is designed to work intimately with the server, providing block-level corruption detection during backup and restore. RMAN optimizes performance and space consumption during backup with file multiplexing and backup set compression, and integrates with Oracle Secure Backup, as well as third party media management products, for tape backup”.
Veeam natively integrates with Oracle RMAN technology. All the existing RMAN scripts can be used together with Veeam where Veeam Backup & Replication offers a “gateway” to access its own Backup Repositories with all the goodies coming from Veeam. The Veeam RMAN backup plug-in also allows to go into the nitty-gritty details allowing the Oracle DBAs to mould the script for particular requirements. These includes the ability to:
- send Database Backups to a single Veeam Backup Repository
- send Database Backups to multiple Veeam Backup Repositories with a predefined order
- choose the number of parallel streams when sending data to the Backup Repository (useful for large environments)
- use a single panel to monitor backups (VBR – Veeam Backup & Replication)
- use a single panel to perform any type of restore (VEOR – Veeam Explorer for Oracle) irrespective if the Oracle Database backup was initiated using OCI or RMAN methods
- and more..
In this article a quick overview about Veeam RMAN backup plug-in install, configuration and setup for Oracle Databases.
Veeam RMAN plug-in installation
The main installation of Veeam RMAN backup plug-in is very straight forward. From the main installation ISO for the Veeam Backup & Replication and by browsing the plug-ins folder there are the ones for SAP HANA and Oracle.
It is important to note the Veeam RMAN backup plug-in requires the Enterprise Plus Edition of Veeam Backup & Replication.
At the time of writing the Veeam RMAN plug-in is available for Windows and Linux based operating systems. This article refers to the Oracle Database running on a Windows OS.
Next is to accept the license and EULA to proceed.
Next is to choose the location where the main .dll “OracleRMANPlugin.dll” and the rest of the binaries will be deployed. From a troubleshooting perspective it is important to make sure the correct permissions are set for the Oracle accounts used for running the RMAN backups.
The wizard has now all the info to proceed with the installation.
A few seconds later and the Veeam RMAN backup plug-in is installed.
Veeam RMAN Plug-in configuration
The first step right after the installation is the configuration of the Veeam RMAN backup plug-in. It is important to start this one with the “Run as Administrator”. In this first step it is necessary to point at the server running the Veeam Backup & Replication. By default the Network Port 10006 is used and can be customised when required. Next is to provide a user account that has access to the Veeam Backup Repositories.
In the next screen it allows to choose how many, where and in which order the backup data should be sent to the available Backup Repositories. From this screen also the ability to set the number of concurrent streams for each Veeam Backup Repository. It leverages the RMAN DEVICE PARALLELISM value and comes handy for larger environments improving backup and restore performance by running more streams at the same time.
At this point from the same screen the option to choose which Veeam Backup Repositories to use. This wizard will only show the ones where the configured user has access. This is a practical way to limit access only to the desired Backup Repositories making life difficult to potential attacks based on compromised accounts.
As per screenshot below a new Oracle Veeam Backup Repository is selected. In terms of Backup Repositories, the Veeam RMAN plug-in supports:
- Windows Server
- Linux Server
- CIFS (SMB) Share
- Dell EMC Data Domain Boost
- HPE StoreOnce used as CIFS share or Linux repository with mounted NFS
In case the plug-in is not Run As Administrator it might pop an error message similar to the one in the screenshot below.
By running the plug-in with the appropriate permissions it now shows the Veeam RMAN plug-in configuration with the option to export the pertinent configuration files for Veeam and Oracle RMAN.
Oracle Database preparation
At this point the Veeam RMAN plug-in is ready. The next step is to configure or prepare RMAN for the job execution so that when the RMAN backup kicks in then the Backup data will be stored on the Veeam Backup Repository.
From a SQLPLUS console directly on the Oracle Database Server first step is to start the console as Admin and than issu the command:
“sqlplus / as sysdba”
Now from the SQLPLUS context the steps are to shutdown the Oracle Database Instances, Mount and Alter the properties to allow the Archive mode which allows the Database and Data Point in Time restores. The commands are as follow:
- “shutdown immediate;”
- “startup mount;”
- “alter database archivelog;”
Next is to set the Oracle Database(s) to Open:
“alter database open;”
At this point to verify the access mode to the Oracle Database:
“select open mode from v$database;”
shows the current access mode. It is now safe to “quit” the SQLPLUS utility and return to the Admin command prompt.
From an RMAN perspective now everything should be ready to start with the Oracle Database backup. First step is to connect to the Oracle Database Server and issue the backup command:
- “rman target /”
- “backup database;”
The RMAN utility is now running the Oracle Database Backup.
Veeam Plug-in Backup Job
As soon as the RMAN backup is starting a new job is automatically created in the Veeam Backup & Replication console. It shows all the info from a Veeam and Oracle perspective with the finer details.
A click on each Server, Database shows even deeper details about the execution.
What about restoring data? It is completely up to the DBA to either use RMAN agin to restore data or use the Veeam explorer for Oracle to do this using a GUI. This means that if the Oracle DBA is on holiday, anyone else even with little knowledge of Oracle Databases can still recover data at any level just using the built-in Veeam Explorer for Oracle.