Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Reading the documentation: incremental backups

Some smart people have recommended that I simply read the documentation from front to back. Tom Kyte suggested that when he was in town for our local IOUG, and Job Miller has mentioned it a few times. Reading is hard, especially a technical document. Even if you only focus on a few of the books; my brain is well-trained to expect sci-fi/fantasy when I read. *grin*

There is a ton of good stuff in the documentation. I have to give a standing ovation for the folks that write them. Yes, sometimes there are errors, or an old section is apparently skipped over during a version upgrade. But by and large, it is good stuff!

Just today I was reading about incremental backups. And I came across this little feature I had not realized before:
To reduce backup sizes for NOARCHIVELOG databases. Instead of making a whole database backup every time, you can make incremental backups.


Wow, that is quite handy. So if you are ever tempted to put a DEV database in archivelog mode just to get point-in-time recovery, you can go with incremental backups instead. How cool is that?

Of course, there are a lot of other handy ramifications of using incremental backups (ie, a precurssor to snapshot standby's, you can convert your physical standby to a reporting database and then convert it back at the end of the day).

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