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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Oracle's Backup Cloud Service (OCI)-1

In this series of posts:
Oracle's Backup Cloud Service (OCI)-1 - You are here

Oracle's Backup Cloud Service (OCI) - 2 setup OCI and your server environment

Oracle's Backup Cloud Service (OCI) - 3 setup your backup

IMHO, one of the best use cases for the cloud is backups.  I honestly don't know why Oracle doesn't market this more...its been the best Oracle Cloud experience I've seen.  The bar is low there...but this service has been flawless.  The questions re:security have been MOSTLY answered (save a few for AWS at Capital One).  One of the trends I'm seeing is for companies to move some of their database backups to the cloud.  If you can't handle downtime more than a few minutes, this isn't for you, you may need storage array snaps or a fast dataguard failover...but what about your dev/test/qa database backups?  Putting at least some of your backups in the cloud might make a lot of financial sense.  In a recent analysis, I saw a company that found it was (all things considered) about 400% cheaper to put their dev/test backups in Oracle's cloud.  Backing up to Oracle's new OCI cloud (as opposed to Oracle's Classic Cloud Backup service) was even cheaper than AWS Glacier for their use case.

What about restore performance?  Dev/Test might be more tolerant than prod for an outage during a restore/recovery, but how long are we talking here?  The answer:it really depends more on your infrastructure than it does on the OCI is FAST.  My test used an all-flash Dell/EMC VMax and my 3 RAC nodes were the only things on the new array.  I have no way to know how much spare network bandwidth there was, but I did this test at night using a 1Gb link.  The key is...using Oracle backups allows you to use medium compression.  So...whatever your bandwidth is...multiple that by your compression ratio, and that's the restore speed you can expect (unless you hit a different array performance, cpu, etc...).  I posted in the past about the performance benefits for using rman compression.  In a recent test, my waits were on writing to the storage array, not the network or OCI itself.

The Test:
Oracle RAC 12.2

Almost 14TB (13,940,708 MB)
Starting at 9:53
Finishing at 12:52 3 hrs...~4.66TB/hr.

So you ask...its secured, its much cheaper and its as fast as it could possibly be?  You also get an automatic air-gap, offsite backup.  What's the downside?

Once you understand it, its easy to do and the up-time has been great, too, but the instructions are almost impossible to locate online...and when you do, they're obsolete or talking about classic, not OCI.  The only instructions (that weren't wrong) I found were in the README...but they weren't great and they were about how to set it up for a probable have more than 1, right?  Several times/yr, maybe without warning, Oracle will update their security certificates which will force you to do a re-install...but if you plan your installation with this in mind, you can make that almost painless.  In my next post, I'll describe what I did.....

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