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Why and when should I backup my database? (for DBA

ORACLE Interview Questions and Answers (Part 5)

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793. Why and when should I backup my database? (for DBA

Backup and recovery is one of the most important aspects of a DBAs job. If you lose your company's data, you could very well lose your job. Hardware and software can always be replaced, but your data may be irreplaceable!
Normally one would schedule a hierarchy of daily, weekly and monthly backups, however consult with your users before deciding on a backup schedule. Backup frequency normally depends on the following factors:
. Rate of data change/ transaction rate
. Database availability/ Can you shutdown for cold backups?
. Criticality of the data/ Value of the data to the company
. Read-only tablespace needs backing up just once right after you make it read-only
. If you are running in archivelog mode you can backup parts of a database over an extended cycle of days
. If archive logging is enabled one needs to backup archived log files timeously to prevent database freezes
. Etc.
Carefully plan backup retention periods. Ensure enough backup media (tapes) are available and that old backups are expired in-time to make media available for new backups. Off-site vaulting is also highly recommended.
Frequently test your ability to recover and document all possible scenarios. Remember, it's the little things that will get you. Most failed recoveries are a result of organizational errors and miscommunications.

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