One appliance is meant to be able to create reliable copies of hundreds or thousands of databases in an enterprise. Instead of using a long backup window, often in the middle of the night with minimal database activity, the appliance is geared to take time-stamped snapshots of a database system. Once a full copy has been created, updates occur through snapshots that capture only the changes since the last snapshot.
"Most customers spend up to a quarter of their budget on business continuity or making sure they have a copy of their data in a safe place," said Oracle president Mark Hurd at an afternoon press conference Monday. Hurd said he knows of a customer running 1,000 Oracle systems.
"Now they can take just a momentary snapshot. It takes the risk, complexity and cost out of the equation" of creating backups, he said. The database server's role is limited to running a backup algorithm that recognizes and captures what changes have occurred since the previous backup and offloads them to the appliance. All backup processing activity, where the data is stored in the correct manner, is offloaded to the appliance, reducing the work of the database server.
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The appliance makes use of the existing Recovery Manager (RMAN) feature in Oracle database systems. By telling RMAN to run "in an incremental-forever" configuration, the database system will send quick, periodic snapshots to the storage-equipped appliance, where they will be saved. If a restore is required, data loss is minimized, compared to "hours to a day of business data loss" with other backup systems, the Oracle announcement said.
The appliance can be scaled up to petabytes of storage, if necessary. Recovery of a given database system can be specified for a given point in time, the announcement said.
No price was announced with the appliance, nor was there an estimate of cost savings over other recovery systems. The backup process can be executed to an on-premises appliance or to the Oracle cloud, the announcement said.