NOTE TO READER: This post is a post from guest blogger Chris Lawless, VP of Product Management at Dbvisit.

No not BLAST OFF!! Backup! Many of you have heard of the phrase before, when it comes to business continuity regarding your Oracle database. But I think it is one of those topics that is so important it needs another mention. Something that IT organizations should review every so often. The “3-2-1 rule” phrase is really quite simple.


3 Keep three copies of your data

2 Keep the backed up data on different storage types

1 Keep one copy of the data offsite


Sounds very simple. Sounds very practical. Yet I am willing to bet that many organizations don’t follow through all the way. Let’s dig a bit deeper into each of these ‘rules’ and talk about some different ways you can solve them in the cloud era.


The first rule is quite simple. Have 3 copies of your data. This would mean having the original database and at least two different backups. These days with Oracle RMAN, taking a backup is very easy to do. So taking a second backup is just as easy. And it goes without saying that it should say AT LEAST three copies. You won’t be faulted for having more.


The second rule looks at the first rule and gives it a bit of a twist. Make sure that your 2 copies are on different media. This may mean that you have one backup on a hard drive on another machine. It may mean that you place the backup on a tape drive. I know a friend who used different USB external drives for his backups. The reason behind this is quite simple. Although having a failure is relatively rare, having a failure on two different media at the same time should be even rarer.


The third rule makes sense. Make sure you store 1 copy of your backup offsite. This may mean taking the USB drive home every night, this may mean that you ship the tape to another facility. Of course you would love to have a copy onsite for fast recovery in the event of a problem. But sending it offsite protects you from other events such as a fire or natural disaster.


Another more recent development that follows on from the third rule is that of the cloud.
What if you could ship your RMAN backups and store them on an S3 storage drive on Amazon Cloud? Or use the really cool feature from Oracle that is integrated with RMAN? I recently started playing around with the Oracle Cloud Database Backup Service.

You can specify that your RMAN backup be safe and secure in the Oracle Cloud. This certainly makes sure that the backup is offsite. Of course these rules make sense 100%. But you may have to think a bit further about your business continuity plan. You may have the backup, but do you have a machine and database ready to go in the event of a failure or disaster?


This is where you can apply the “3-2-1 rule” to standby databases as well.


3 Have three copies of your database.

By using Dbvisit Standby you can have two different targets. This would comply with the first rule.

2 Keep the backed up data on different storage types

Dbvisit Standby can send the data to a different database although the databases would have to be on the same operating system. However, you could put one database on a stand-alone machine, another on a virtual machine and yet another in the Cloud. This would help satisfy the second rule.

1 Keep one copy of the data offsite

Dbvisit Standby can send a copy to the current data center, to a remote data center or to the cloud. Dbvisit Standby is flexible in that is not a backup solution that requires data to reside in the same data center. Dbvisit Standby works with many different cloud providers that would allow you to place your DR copy of your database in the cloud.


Dbvisit Standby can also work to allow you to have a DR copy of your database in the cloud if your primary database is in the cloud. Whether on-premises, a hybrid solution, or a pure cloud solution, these are all supported situations for Dbvisit Standby.


So the next time that you are reviewing business continuity plans for your Oracle database remember the “3-2-1 rule”. I should stress here that backups and standby databases are complimentary and part of a fully balanced business continuity plan.