Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

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Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby geejaybee » Fri May 03, 2013 11:47 am

Hi,

We have recently aqcuired VEEAM for backup and replication. One of our main VMs is a large (400GB) Oracle database server. However since we deployed VEEAM we have come across a number of contradictory and frankly scary papers/posts about why you should NOT backup Oracle using any product that uses VMware snapshot technology. Admittedly some of this mis a couple of years old but there is a lot of recent stuff. Many even go so far as to say you should never snapshot an Oracle VM as it could cause major issues either on restore or in the event of snapshot removal. To be honest I have very little experience in this area so am interested in the communities comments as there seems to be a lot of real-world experience here.

Thanks,
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Fri May 03, 2013 12:38 pm 1 person likes this post

However since we deployed VEEAM we have come across a number of contradictory and frankly scary papers/posts about why you should NOT backup Oracle using any product that uses VMware snapshot technology.

Previously, VMs running obsolete versions of Oracle have to be backed up, using pre-freeze/ post-thaw-scripts in order to complete consistent backups of Oracle databases. In contrast, recent versions of Oracle Database running on Windows can be quiesced by VSS for backup, thus, the only thing that needs to be done in this case is enabling of Application Aware Image Proccesing option.

AAIP allows Veaam Backup and Replication to create transactionally consistent backup of a VM running VSS-aware applications without powering them off. Not only does it ensure successful VM recovery, as well as proper recovery of all applications installed on the VM without any data loss, but also it notifies applications about them being backed up.

Long story short, just enable AIMP in the corresponding job setting, and you’d be ok with it.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Fri May 03, 2013 12:48 pm 1 person likes this post

As to using VMware snapshot technology question, then, indeed, you can observer the "usual" stun/unstun problem from VMware during VM snapshot commit operation. If you do face this situation, then here you go a couple of tips that might help:

1. Make sure VM does not have any other snapshots (including hidden).
2. Increase CPU reservations in the VM settings.
3. Move snapshot location to a different datastore (via workingDir parameter)
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Fri May 03, 2013 1:45 pm 1 person likes this post

As an addition, please be aware that VSS application aware backups are available for Oracle under two conditions:
- oracle VM is Windows (sounds obvious, but better repeat it)
- Oracle is at least 11g
If the VM is linux based, you would still need to use pre-freeze scripts, search on google about "oracle backup mode", basically is a command to put each tablespace you need to save into backup mode, so it can be safely copied while guaranteing data consistency.

Luca.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby jwhite.vcf » Mon May 06, 2013 6:50 pm

dellock6 wrote:As an addition, please be aware that VSS application aware backups are available for Oracle under two conditions:
- oracle VM is Windows (sounds obvious, but better repeat it)
- Oracle is at least 11g
If the VM is linux based, you would still need to use pre-freeze scripts, search on google about "oracle backup mode", basically is a command to put each tablespace you need to save into backup mode, so it can be safely copied while guaranteing data consistency.

Luca.


Is Oracle DB quiescing via pre-freeze scripts a quick process? Actually, what I'm more interested in knowing is whether it's something that can be done under production workloads or whether it puts the database in an unusable state.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:16 pm 2 people like this post

Hi John,
I' not at all a Oracle DBA, but from what I learned from DBAs I worked with, with tablespaces backup mode you can do backups without taking down the database. I searched and found this webpage on Oracle website:

http://docs.oracle.com/cd/A84870_01/doc ... backup.htm

And it does seems to say the same.

Luca.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Tue May 07, 2013 8:26 am 1 person likes this post

Additionally, for more detailed explanation regarding snapshotting Oracle VM, pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts, etc. it might be worth taking a look at this topic, or more specifically, the answer provided by Tom Sightler.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby jp1 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:55 pm

I too am attempting to backup a new VM running Oracle and my users are complaining of being disconnected from the database when the backup runs. I have the backup job set to use VSS and I see that the Oracle VSS service is installed. However, I don't see any indications of it actually running during the process as there are not entries in the application log. Any thoughts?
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:03 pm

Actually, if a VM has been backed with Application Aware Image Processing, you should see a corresponding message in the VM backup statistics that goes “Preparing VM for hot backup”. Thanks.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby foggy » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:05 pm

Additionally, you can configure your job to require success on VSS freeze and if it does not fail, that will mean that all VMs have been successfully backed up with application-aware image processing.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby jp1 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:17 pm

I checked the stats and sure enough I see:
"preparing guest for hot backup", then
"creating snapshot", then
"releasing guest".

Am I correct in assuming then that this mean that it successfully backed up using AAIP and that users should not have noticed any interruptions?
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby foggy » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:24 pm

Observing some performance impact at the moments of snapshot creation and removal (the latter can cause some short period of inactivity due to the required stun to commit snapshot data) is fully expected during backup.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby FabioM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:21 am

Hi,
Anyone knows if it is possible to backup a VM with Oracle 11g running on Oracle Linux 5.3 as OS?
Not having VSS is there any way i can backup this VM without using pre-freeze/ post-thaw-scripts ?
Thanks in advanced
Fábio
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:56 pm

Hi, Fabio. You can backup this VM without using pre-freeze/post-thaw scripts, though, the backup will be crash-consistent, it is the same as it would be after a system failure or power outage. This, in its turn, might result in certain issues during the restore process. Thanks.
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Re: Backing Up Oracle database VM (11g)

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:05 pm

This really shouldn't be a problem as long as all disks containing Oracle data (db files, redo logs, etc.) are part of the snapshot. Oracle has supported recovery from crash consistent snapshots for a very long time. On startup the database will perform automatic media recovery using the redo logs.
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