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Server Monitoring Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Ken Schwaber

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Oracle RMAN, BMC Patrol Catalogs Hosted in Amazon Cloud

Oracle RMAN  (Recovery Manager) catalog database contains backup metadata for all enterprise wide Oracle databases. Each database backed up through RMAN needs connection to a central backup repository database. RMAN catalog  is purged and maintained by removing obsolete backup records, crosschecking with existing media etc. If central repository grows too big then backup performance will suffer since it will take too long for RMAN to locate metadata.

Amazon Web Services gives us the ability to quickly and easily create either brand new RMAN catalog database or move an existing catalog to it. If purging fails to remove sufficient number of rows and current catalog becomes too big and  then we can create another RMAN catalog and direct backups for newly created Oracle databases to it. RMAN catalog is ideally positioned to take advantage of Amazon Web Services EC2 Cloud since RMAN application perfectly scales horizontally. All you need to do is to add new repository database once catalog reaches certain size.  The only change on source database servers ( ones being backed up ) is that they will have to point to new RMAN catalog database. You can start using new catalog simply by adding a new entry to TNSNAMES.ORA configuration file on database server that is backed up. This is same as pointing to any other on-premise RMAN catalog, the only difference being target host name.

BMC Patrol is monitoring tool that often uses Oracle database as metadata repository. In-house developed database monitoring scripts and tools also frequently store their data in Oracle databases. All these repositories can quickly be moved to or created in AWS EC2 Cloud.

If there is a need to migrate  existing RMAN catalog data to AWS database it can be done very simply either by copying database files to target database ( if source and target databases are on the same platform – Linux, for example ), or by using Oracle Data Pump to dump data to flat files and upload to target database.

You can have brand new, fully functional RMAN catalog database server up and running in just couple of hours on Amazon EC2. The usual advantages of cloud computing i.e. ultra-fast, cheap provisioning and hosting apply here too, thus avoiding inter-departmental friction and long provisioning lead times.

We recommend Oracle database installation on Oracle Virtual Machine since this configuration is certified and fully supported by Oracle corporation.

RMAN catalog contains information critical for restores so it should be protected by Oracle Data Guard physical standby database.  Data Guard database can be created in Amazon Web Services Cloud.


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