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Oracle Backing Up the Flash Recovery Area

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

This is an excerpt from "Oracle 10g New Features for Administrators" by Ahmed Baraka.

In order to back up the flash recovery area itself using RMAN, you must set CONFIGURE BACKUP OPTIMIZATION to ON.

You can back up the flash recovery area only to a tape device using these backup commands:


o This command backs up all flash recovery files in the current or previous    flash recovery area destinations.

o It backs up only those files that have never been backed up to tape before.

o The files that the command will back up include full backups, incremental    backups, control file autobackups, archive logs, and datafile copies.

BACKUP RECOVERY FILES - This command backs up all the files that the BACKUP RECOVERY AREA command does, but from all areas on your file system, not just from the flash recovery area.

BACKUP RECOVERY FILE DESTINATION - Use this command to move disk backups created in the flash recovery area to tape.

Note: Neither of the two commands, BACKUP RECOVERY AREA or BACKUP RECOVERY FILES, will back up any permanent files or the flashback logs in the flash recovery area.

Managing the Flash Recovery Area - Space Management

If you ever receive the out-of-space warning (85) and critical alerts (97) because of space pressure in you flash recovery area, you have the following options:

o Consider changing your backup retention and archive log retention policies.

o Increase the size of the DB_RECOVERY_FILE_DEST_SIZE parameter    to allocate more space to your current flash recovery area.

o Use the BACKUP RECOVERY AREA command in the RMAN to back    up the contents of the flash recovery area to a tape device.

o Use the RMAN to delete unnecessary backup files. The RMAN    commands CROSSCHECK and DELETE EXPIRED come in handy    during this deletion process.

Data Dictionary Views


This view is the main source and contains the following columns:

SPACE_LIMIT how much space has been allocated to the flash recovery area
SPACE_USED space occupied
SPACE_RECLAIMABLE how much space you can reclaim by getting rid of obsolete and redundant files in the flash recovery area.
NUMBER_OF_FILES number of files


This view provides information about the flash recovery area disk space usage. Following is its main columns:

FILE_TYPE  - the type of the file and can have any of the following values:

controlfile, onlinelog, archivelog, backuppiece, imagecopy, flashbacklog

PERCENT_SPACE_USED - This represents the disk space used by the file type, in percentage.

PERCENT_SPACE_RECLAIMABLE - this represents the percentage of disk space reclaimable from the file type after deleting any obsolete or redundant files, and files backed up to a tertiary device.

Flash Recovery Area Columns in Other Views

The Yes/No column IS_RECOVERY_DEST_FILE is added to some dictionary views to indicate whether the file was created in the flash recovery area. It exists in V$CONTROLFILE, V$LOGFILE, V$ARCHIVED_LOG, V$DATAFILE_COPY, V$BACKUP_PIECE.

Moving the Flash Recovery Area


Eventually, Oracle will delete all the transient files from the previous flash recovery area location, when each of  them become eligible for deletion. However, if you want to move your current permanent files, transient files, or flashback logs to the new flash recovery area, you can do so by using the standard file-moving procedures.


If you like Oracle tuning, see the book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.

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