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Standby Databases – Oracle 11g


Types:

Physical Standby

A physical standby database is an exact, block-for-block copy of a primary database. It is maintained as an exact copy through a process called Redo Apply, in which redo data received from a primary database is continuously applied to a physical standby database using the database recovery mechanisms.

Logical Standby

A logical standby database is initially created as an identical copy of the primary database, but it later can be altered to have a different structure. The logical standby database is updated by executing SQL statements. This allows users to access the standby database for queries and reporting at any time. Thus, the logical standby database can be used concurrently for data protection and reporting operations.

Data Guard automatically applies information from the archived redo log file or standby redo log file to the logical standby database by transforming the data in the log files into SQL statements and then executing the SQL statements on the logical standby database. Because the logical standby database is updated using SQL statements, it must remain open. Although the logical standby database is opened in read/write mode, its target tables for the regenerated SQL are available only for read-only operations. While those tables are being updated, they can be used simultaneously for other tasks such as reporting, summations, and queries. Moreover, these tasks can be optimized by creating additional indexes and materialized views on the maintained tables.

A logical standby database has some restrictions on datatypes, types of tables, and types of DDL and DML operations

Snapshot Standby

A snapshot standby database is a fully updatable standby database that is created by converting a physical standby database into a snapshot standby database. A snapshot standby database receives and archives, but does not apply, redo data from its primary database. Redo data received from the primary database is applied when a snapshot standby database is converted back into a physical standby database, after discarding all local updates to the snapshot standby databases.

Protection Modes:

Maximum Availability

This protection mode provides the highest level of data protection that is possible without compromising the availability of a primary database. Transactions do not commit until all redo data needed to recover those transactions has been written to the online redo log and to the standby redo log on at least one synchronized standby database. If the primary database cannot write its redo stream to at least one synchronized standby database, it operates as if it were in maximum performance mode to preserve primary database availability until it is again able to write its redo stream to a synchronized standby database.

This mode ensures that no data loss will occur if the primary database fails, but only if a second fault does not prevent a complete set of redo data from being sent from the primary database to at least one standby database.

Maximum Performance

This protection mode provides the highest level of data protection that is possible without affecting the performance of a primary database. This is accomplished by allowing transactions to commit as soon as all redo data generated by those transactions has been written to the online log. Redo data is also written to one or more standby databases, but this is done asynchronously with respect to transaction commitment, so primary database performance is unaffected by delays in writing redo data to the standby database(s).

This protection mode offers slightly less data protection than maximum availability mode and has minimal impact on primary database performance.

This is the default protection mode.

Maximum Protection

This protection mode ensures that no data loss will occur if the primary database fails. To provide this level of protection, the redo data needed to recover a transaction must be written to both the online redo log and to the standby redo log on at least one synchronized standby database before the transaction commits. To ensure that data loss cannot occur, the primary database will shut down, rather than continue processing transactions, if it cannot write its redo stream to at least one synchronized standby database.

Because this data protection mode prioritizes data protection over primary database availability, Oracle recommends that a minimum of two standby databases be used to protect a primary database that runs in maximum protection mode to prevent a single standby database failure from causing the primary database to shut down.

Standby File Management:

AUTO:
In AUTO mode, operations like adding data file, creating tablespaces are automatically handled by the Data guard services.

MANUAL:

In MANUAL mode, DBA’s have to manually copy the new data file to standby database.

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