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Using AWS EBS volume snapshots for open backup [message #669397] Fri, 20 April 2018 10:43 Go to next message
John Watson
Messages: 8085
Registered: January 2010
Location: Global Village
Senior Member
Yes, I know that Amazon AWS EC2 is not certified by Oracle. However, zillions of people use it.

I've been asked to try setting up a fast recovery environment based on EBS volume snapshots. My tests so far show that if the whole database is on one volume, then a snapshot of the volume taken while the database is open does give me a database that works. I can mount it on another EC2 and start the instance: it recovers with the online redo and the database opens. So it seems that the snapshot is crash consistent. However, Oracle is not going to support this and Amazon will not give any guarantees either.
Does anyone have any experience they can share of using EBS snapshots like this? Does it always work, or have I just been lucky so far?

Thank you for any insight.
Re: Using AWS EBS volume snapshots for open backup [message #669398 is a reply to message #669397] Fri, 20 April 2018 13:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Frank Naude
Messages: 4561
Registered: April 1998
Senior Member
We had similar results with NetApp snapshots:
  • Entire DB is on one volume = NO DBA ACTION REQUIRED
  • Multiple volumes = DBA must script BEGIN/END BACKUP
See https://www.netapp.com/us/media/tr-3858.pdf (slightly old, but probably still valid) -

"If a database has all of its files (control files, data files, online redo logs, and archived logs) contained within a single NetApp volume, then the task is straightforward. A Snapshot copy of that single volume will provide a crash-consistent copy."

"However, when a database resides on multiple volumes, achieving a snapshot that is crash consistent requires coordination across the volumes to make sure that the set of volume snapshots are consistent with each other."

That said, I would still put the DB in backup mode!
Re: Using AWS EBS volume snapshots for open backup [message #669405 is a reply to message #669398] Sun, 22 April 2018 05:09 Go to previous message
John Watson
Messages: 8085
Registered: January 2010
Location: Global Village
Senior Member
Thank you for this, it gives me some confidence. I'd almost forgotten about BEGIN/END BACKUP. Was there life before RMAN? "Yes, Jim, but not as we know it."
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