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Common Data Protection Questions from Oracle Open World 2018

Questions from Oracle Open World

Last week, I attended Oracle Open World in San Francisco.  Actifio had a large booth, and I was excited to meet with many Oracle users to discuss the challenges of Oracle protection and cloning.  As part of the show, I also presented in two sessions:

  1. Instant Backup and Recovery of Oracle Databases On-Premises or in the Cloud
  2. Accelerate DevOps with Instant Oracle Database Clones

I wanted to share the questions that I received during my “Instant Backup and Recovery” session because I imagine that many questions for oracle open world 2018of my readers might have similar ones.

Do you capture Oracle data in a consistent manner?

In a word, yes.  We rely on native RMAN APIs for all data capture and recovery operations and so everything we capture is in a native and consistent state.  This is a big reason why we can recover data so quickly and provide such high performance on the copies.

Does it work with Exadata?

There were numerous flavors of this question both in the presentation and the booth.  The long and short answer is Yes. We fully support the capture and recovery of Oracle data running on Exadata.  Customers will need to use IP-based protocols for protection and so data will be captured using iSCSI or NFS.

We also support native Oracle ASM Switch and Rebalance which dramatically simplifies the process of both recovering data and moving the live recovered Oracle database back to Exadata storage.  Best of all, this approach enables instant recovery from Actifio while moving data in the background back to Exadata storage which minimizes downtime. What storage vMotion does to VMs in VMware environment, Actifio enables the automation of migrating a live Oracle database from backup storage to Exadata post instant recovery.

Does it work in the cloud?

Yes, Actifio appliances are available in cloud marketplaces thus simplifying the provisioning process.  Actifio enables a simple hybrid cloud model with the ability to protect Oracle data on-premises and then replicate data to an alternate Actifio appliance in the cloud or directly to cloud object storage.  In either case, databases can be instantly recovered in the cloud in minutes regardless of size.

How does it compare to Data Guard?

Data Guard is a technology from Oracle that enhances availability by replicating Oracle data from a primary instance to a secondary one.  The benefit is that you can failover to the secondary instance if the first fails. However, if you want to recover from many hours or days ago, recovering from Data Guard takes a long time; with Actifio, the recoveries are instant — in minutes.

Data Guard provides continuous availability, but it lacks traditional functionality around data retention and clone creation.  Actifio is complementary with Data Guard because it enables data capture from either a primary or secondary Data Guard along with powerful retention options relying on block storage, deduplicated storage and even object storage.  Actifio’s ability to instantly provision dozens of thin database clones in minutes enables other use cases like analytics, DevOps or patch testing.

Do you support deduplication?

Because it significantly modifies data, deduplication is typically compute, I/O and memory intensive, and as a result, recovery performance can be significantly degraded.  (Also remember that the increased compute, I/O and memory requirements of deduplications significantly increases cloud usage costs.) While we offer deduplication, we see customers gravitating towards the use of storing data in a native format (e.g. non-deduplicated) for instant access and using object storage for cost-effective long-term retention.  That said, we offer customers the ability to set policies around what type of storage to use for which applications.

I appreciated everyone that attended my session and visiting our booth.  Oracle Open World was a great show, and there was significant excitement.

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