Remote replication with Oracle software

Storage expert Pierre Dorion discusses remote replication for Oracle software.

We have two Dell PowerEdge 2850 servers. Both servers are dual processor/dual core running Windows Enterprise 2003. We are running Oracle 10G RAC using an EMC SAN and would like to replicate to an offsite server.

The issue is that Oracle has its own unique file types that can only be seen using Oracle software. We are looking for a disaster recovery/business continuity solution that will recognize the Oracle files and replicate them to our disaster recovery site.

Remote replication for Oracle can be achieved by using Oracle Data Guard between the primary and standby (copy) databases. The standby database can be created using a backup copy or existing EMC data replication capabilities if installed.

Once this is done and the software configured, Data Guard automatically updates the standby database by transmitting primary database redo log data from the primary database to the standby system and then applying the redo logs to the standby database.

It should be noted that Data Guard is a feature of Oracle Enterprise Edition, which implies proper licensing. It is technically possible to implement this process manually through scripting and by leveraging Oracle backup tools such as RMAN for budget conscious organization. However, this approach relies on the availability of technical skills and introduces potential maintenance issues typically associated with custom scripts.

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