Configure an RMAN backup of an on-prem Oracle database to OCI Object Storage

by Manoj Chawla, Oracle Applications Database Administrator, Rackspace Technology

Cloud storage is popular these days because of easy accessibility, high redundancy and replication, and different storage tiering for cost-saving. With these benefits in mind, you can use cloud storage to keep Oracle® Database backups. Having an off-site backup copy is another good reason to take Oracle database backups on cloud storage.

You can configure Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) backups of your Oracle database to store directly on Cloud Object Storage. In this post, I discuss how to configure RMAN backups for an on-premises Oracle database to create and send backups directly to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Object Storage

Taking backups with ODBCS

To take Oracle Database backups on cloud storage, you need to use the Oracle Database Backup Cloud Service (ODBCS). ODBCS is a secure, scalable, on-demand storage solution for backing up Oracle databases to the Oracle Cloud. This post explores the following steps to take Oracle database backups and use Oracle Database Backup Cloud Service to send them to Cloud Object Storage:

  1. Subscribe to ODBCS.
  2. Download and install the Oracle Database Cloud Backup Module
  3. Configure RMAN settings for your environment to send backups to Cloud Object Storage.
  4. Use RMAN commands to take backups.

The following image illustrates these steps:

rman pic 1

Note: ODBCS is available for 11g Release 2 ( and later. Both enterprise and standard editions of Oracle software support cloud backups, and the service is available for the following platforms: Linux, Solaris x86-64, SPARC, Windows, AIX, HP-UX, and zLinux. 

Subscribe to the Oracle Database Backup Cloud Service

Perform the following steps to subscribe to the Oracle Database Cloud service:

  1. Request either a trial or purchase a subscription to Oracle Database Backup Cloud Service by searching for Oracle Storage Cloud Service in the Cloud Portal.
  2. Activate and verify the service.
  3. Select a data center or region for your service and set replication to another region if you prefer.

Download and install the Oracle Database Cloud Backup module

You can perform backups and restores in OCI by using the Oracle Database Cloud Backup module for OCI and standard RMAN commands. This module provides a system-backup-to-tape (SBT) interface that integrates with RMAN.

1. Download the Oracle Database Cloud Backup Module for OCI from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

2. Before you install the Oracle Database Cloud Backup Module for OCI, make sure of the following details:

   - You are using a supported OS and Oracle database version.
   - You have an Oracle Cloud account with access to OCI object storage.
   - You have installed JDK 1.7 or later.
   - You have details for the following required installation parameters:
     - HTTPS endpoint URL for your OCI object storage
     - your tenancy OCID, the Oracle Cloud Identifier for a resource
     - compartment OCID (optional)
     - private key file
     - wallet location
     - SBT library location for the installation

You do not need to create a storage bucket or container because the installation process automatically creates a default storage container.

3. After downloading, extract the contents of the downloaded zip file. The file contains two directories, oci_installer and opc_installer, and a README file.

4. Use your Oracle Cloud credentials and run the installer, oci_install.jar, in the oci_installer directory on the database server. Provide the
   required parameters in the following command to install OCI Cloud Backup module:

        $ java -jar oci_install.jar 
          -pvtKeyFile /home/oracle/install/privateKeyFile.pem 
          -pubFingerPrint XX:XX:XX:XX
          -tOCID ocid1.tenancy.oc1..XXXX 
          -uOCID ocid1.user.oc1..XXXX 
          -cOCID ocid1.compartment.oc1..XXXX 
          -walletDir $ORACLE_HOME/dbs/wallet 
          -libDir $ORACLE_HOME/lib 
          -configFile $ORACLE_HOME/dbs/opcSID.ora

After you install the module, the system securely stores the authentication keys in the Oracle wallet and uses them to authenticate the module's interactions with OCI Object Storage.

5. If there are multiple RDBMS homes on a server, then you need to install this module separately on each home to take their backups to OCI object storage. The installation creates the following files:

   - $ORACLE_HOME/lib/ Operating system-specific SBT library that
     enables cloud backups and restores with the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
   - $ORACLE_HOME/dbs/opcSID.or: Configuration file containing the Oracle
     Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage bucket URL, credential wallet location,
     bucket name, and other required information.
   - cwallet.sso: Oracle wallet file that securely stores OCI Object Storage
     credentials created at the location specified by using the --walletDir
     parameter when you run the installer.

Configure RMAN settings and send a backup to OCI object storage

You can perform the following steps to configure the settings to take a successful backup to OCI object storage:

1. You must encrypt backups before you can send them to the Oracle Database Backup Cloud Service. You can specify encryption while performing a backup by using any of the following modes:

   - Password encryption
   - TDE (Transparent Data Encryption)
   - Dual-mode encryption (combination of both password and TDE)

2. You should have already enabled TDE encryption for your database to take a successful backup to OCI object storage. If not, you can use password encryption. For example, use the following command to enable a password encryption during backup:


3. You can also use compression while backing up Oracle databases to ODBCS to reduce the size of backups before you send them to the cloud. For example, the following RMAN command configures compression by using the MEDIUM algorithm:


4. Configure an RMAN channel to create a persistent configuration for all RMAN commands such as backup, restore, and recover to use this channel. On Linux and UNIX systems, use the following command:


Perform backups and restores by using RMAN commands

After you complete the RMAN configuration, you can perform cloud backups and restores by using any of the RMAN commands you generally use to back up on-premises disks. After you complete the configuration, you can run a backup script similar to the following example to take a backup for OCI object storage:

    run {
      allocate channel ch1 device type sbt parms 'SBT_LIBRARY=<ORACLE_HOME>/lib/,ENV=(OPC_PFILE=<ORACLE_HOME>/dbs/opcSID.ora)';
      allocate channel ch2 device type sbt parms 'SBT_LIBRARY=<ORACLE_HOME>/lib/,ENV=(OPC_PFILE=<ORACLE_HOME>/dbs/opcSID.ora)';
      backup as compressed backupset database format '%d_DB_%U';
      backup as compressed backupset archivelog all not backed up format '%d_ARCH_%U';
      backup as compressed backupset current controlfile format '%d_CTRL_%U';
      release channel ch1;
      release channel ch2;


This post provides the necessary steps to take RMAN backup to OCI object storage for an on-premises database. After you put the configuration in place, you can use OCI object storage, such as another tape library, to perform all the operations (like backing up archive logs, restoring, recovering, purging backups, and so on) similar to an on-premises database. This way, you can use the valuable features of cloud storage mentioned in the introduction section.

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