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Which vendors support Oracle RMAN backup and recovery?

It's important to carefully analyze if a given backup software platform supports Oracle RMAN backup and recovery, as the level of support varies from vendor to vendor.

Although most backup vendors offer some level of support for Oracle backups, integrated Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) backup and recovery support still seems to be somewhat rare.

Commvault fully supports Oracle RMAN backup and recovery. The Commvault site states:

"The ability to protect the database as a cold backup, hot backup of full RMAN or streaming backup is fully supported. Plus, Simpana software is fully integrated with the RMAN catalog. DBAs can locate, recover and restore databases from backups that are stored in the cloud, on deduplicated disk or on tape using native RMAN commands."

The site goes on to say that "You can also mix RMAN streaming backups with storage array snapshots for clones of the same database."

Symantec's NetBackup is able to work with Oracle RMAN backup and recovery, but getting NetBackup to work with RMAN is anything but intuitive. NetBackup does not provide an RMAN-specific graphical user interface. Instead, administrators must create an RMAN script and a policy that will execute the script. Oracle provides a step-by-step walkthrough of this process on its website.

Acronis Backup & Recovery incorporates Oracle RMAN backup, but does so externally through the use of a log file. According to Acronis, "In ARCHIVELOG mode, the log_writer service puts information about operations (queries, commits, transactions) to a special online log file. In this mode you can recover the database to a specified time (e.g., using Oracle RMAN)."

A 2013 post from Veeam indicates that Windows-based Oracle backups are handled through Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). According to Veeam:

"As to Oracle backup, it depends on [the] version that is being used. VMs [Virtual machines] 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 [the] AIMP option."

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How effective has your backup software platform been in supporting Oracle RMAN?

In relation to Unitrends, the Oracle agent component is a core piece of the standard Windows, Linux and Solaris agents.  The agent leverages Oracle’s Recovery Manager (RMAN) utility to perform backup and recovery operations to ensure a consistent database snapshot is captured, performing standard Oracle Database backup operations, such as saving redo logs and quiescingbuffers.

The agent invokes commands on the Oracle client and suppliesRMAN a Samba share target (/backups/rae/<client_name>/<instance>) so that jobs save directly to the backup system storage.

Of course the alternative, is to just leverage native Oracle RMAN dumps and pick it up at the file level. I've seen preferences for both options.