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Data guard architecture

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  • 1. Data Guard Architecture<br />Oracle Data Guard Concept<br />Oracle Data Guard is one of the most effective and comprehensive data availability, data protection and disaster recovery solutions available today for enterprise data.<br />Oracle Data Guard is the management, monitoring, and automation software infrastructure that creates, maintains, and monitors one or more standby databases to protect enterprise data from failures, disasters, errors, and corruptions. <br />Data Guard maintains these standby databases as transitional consistent copies of the production database. These standby databases can be located at remote disaster recovery sites thousands of miles away from the production data center, or they may be located in the same city, same campus, or even in the same building. If the production database becomes unavailable because of a planned or an unplanned outage, Data Guard can switch any standby database to the production role, thus minimizing the downtime associated with the outage, and preventing any data loss.<br />Data Guard Configuration:<br />A Data Guard configuration consists of one production (or primary) database and up to nine standby databases. The databases in a Data Guard configuration are connected by Oracle Net and may be dispersed geographically. There are no restrictions on where the databases are located, provided that they can communicate with each other. However, for disaster recovery, it is recommended that the standby databases are hosted at sites that are geographically separated from the primary site.<br />Redo Apply and SQL Apply:<br />A standby database is initially created from a backup copy of the primary database. Once created, Data Guard automatically maintains the standby database as a transactional consistent copy of the primary database by transmitting primary database redo data to the standby system and then applying the redo logs to the standby database.<br />Data Guard provides two methods to apply this redo data to the standby database and keep it transactional consistent with the primary, and these methods correspond to the two types of standby databases supported by Data Guard.<br />Redo Apply, used for physical standby databases <br />SQL Apply, used for logical standby databases <br />A physical standby database provides a physically identical copy of the primary database, with on-disk database structures that are identical to the primary database on a block-for-block basis. The database schemas, including indexes are the same. The Redo Apply technology applies redoes data on the physical standby database using standard Oracle media recovery techniques. <br />A logical standby database contains the same logical information as the production database, although the physical organization and structure of the data can be different. The SQL apply technology keeps the logical standby database synchronized with the primary database by transforming the data in the redo logs received from the primary database into SQL statements and then executing the SQL statements on the standby database. This makes it possible for the logical standby database to be accessed for queries and reporting purposes at the same time the SQL is being applied to it. Thus, a logical standby database can be used concurrently for data protection and reporting.<br />Role Management:<br />Using Data Guard, the role of a database can be switched from a primary role to a standby role and vice versa, ensuring no data loss in the process, and minimizing downtime. There are two kinds of role transitions – a switchover and a failover. A switchover is a role reversal between the primary database and one of its standby databases. This is typically done for planned maintenance of the primary system. During a switchover, the primary database transitions to a standby role and the standby database transitions to the primary role. The transition occurs without having to re-create either database. A failover is an irreversible transition of a standby database to the primary role. This is only done in the event of a catastrophic failure of the primary database, which is assumed to be lost and to be used again in the Data Guard configuration, it must be re-instantiated as a standby from the new primary.<br />Data Guard Broker:<br />The Oracle Data Guard Broker is a distributed management framework that automates and centralizes the creation, maintenance, and monitoring of Data Guard configurations. All management operations can be performed either through Oracle Enterprise Manager, which uses the Broker, or through the Broker’s specialized command-line interface (DGMGRL).<br />Data Guard Architecture Diagram<br />The following diagram shows an overview of the Oracle Data Guard architecture.<br />What’s New in Oracle Data Guard 10g Release 2?<br /> <br />This section will highlight some of the key new features of Oracle Data Guard 10g Release 2. For details into these features, please refer to the following:<br />Fast-Start Failover<br /> <br />This capability allows Data Guard to automatically, and quickly fail over to a previously chosen, synchronized standby database in the event of loss of the primary database, without requiring any manual steps to invoke the failover, and without incurring any data loss. Following a fast-start failover, once the old primary database is repaired, Data Guard automatically reinstates it to be a standby database. This act restores high availability to the Data Guard configuration. <br />Improved Redo Transmission<br />Several enhancements have been made in the redo transmission architecture to make sure redo data generated on the primary database can be transmitted as quickly and efficiently as possible to the standby database(s). <br />Easy conversion of a physical standby database to a reporting database<br />A physical standby database can be activated as a primary database, opened read/write for reporting purposes, and then flashed back to a point in the past to be easily converted back to a physical standby database. At this point, Data Guard automatically synchronizes the standby database with the primary database. This allows the physical standby database to be utilized for read/write reporting and cloning activities. <br />Automatic deletion of applied archived redo log files in logical standby databases<br />Archived logs, once they are applied on the logical standby database, are automatically deleted, reducing storage consumption on the logical standby and improving Data Guard manageability. Physical standby databases have already had this functionality since Oracle Database 10g Release 1, with Flash Recovery Area. <br />Fine-grained monitoring of Data Guard configurations<br />Oracle Enterprise Manager has been enhanced to provide granular, up-to-date monitoring of Data Guard configurations, so that administrators may make an informed and expedient decision regarding managing this configuration. <br />What’s New in Oracle Data Guard 10g Release 1?<br />This section will highlight some of the key new features of Oracle Data Guard 10g Release 1. For details into these features, please refer to the following:<br />General New Features:<br />Real Time Apply:<br />With this feature, redo data can be applied on the standby database (whether Redo Apply or SQL Apply) as soon as they have written to a Standby Redo Log (SRL). Prior releases of Data Guard require this redo data to be archived at the standby database in the form of archivelogs before they can be applied. <br />The Real Time Apply feature allows standby databases to be closely synchronized with the primary database, enabling up-to-date and real-time reporting (especially for Data Guard SQL Apply). This also enables faster switchover and failover times, which in turn reduces planned and unplanned downtime for the business.<br />The impact of a disaster is often measured in terms of Recovery Point Objective (RPO – i.e. how much data can a business afford to lose in the event of a disaster) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO – i.e. how much time a business can afford to be down in the event of a disaster). With Oracle Data Guard, when Maximum Protection is used in combination with Real Time Apply, businesses get the benefits of both zero data loss as well as minimal downtime in the event of a disaster and this makes Oracle Data Guard the only solution available today with the best RPO and RTO benefits for a business.<br />Integration with Flashback Database:<br />Data Guard in 10g has been integrated with the Flashback family of features to bring the Flashback feature benefits to a Data Guard configuration.<br />One such benefit is human error protection. In Oracle9i, administrators may configure Data Guard with an apply delay to protect standby databases from possible logical data corruptions that occurred on the primary database. The side-effects of such delays are that any reporting that gets done on the standby database is done on old data, and switchover/failover gets delayed because the accumulated logs have to be applied first. In Data Guard 10g, with the Real Time Apply feature, such delayed-reporting or delayed-switchover/failover issues do not exist, and – if logical corruptions do land up affecting both the primary and standby database, the administrator may decide to use Flashback Database on both the primary and standby databases to quickly revert the databases to an earlier point-in-time to back out such user errors. <br />Another benefit that such integration provides is during failovers. In releases prior to 10g, following any failover operation, the old primary database must be recreated (as a new standby database) from a backup of the new primary database, if the administrator intends to bring it back in the Data Guard configuration. This may be an issue when the database sizes are fairly large, and the primary/standby databases are hundreds/thousands of miles away. However, in Data Guard 10g, after the primary server fault is repaired, the primary database may simply be brought up in mounted mode, “flashed back” (using flashback database) to the SCN at which the failover occurred, and then brought back as a standby database in the Data Guard configuration. No re-instantiation is required.<br />SQL Apply New Features:<br />Zero Downtime Instantiation:<br />Logical standby database can now be created from an online backup of the primary database, without shutting down or quiescing the primary database, as was the case in prior releases. No shutdown of the primary system implies production downtime is eliminated, and no quiesce implies no waiting for quiescing to take effect and no dependence on Resource Manager.<br />Rolling Upgrades:<br />Oracle Database 10g supports database software upgrades (from Oracle Database 10g Patchset 1 onwards) in a rolling fashion, with near zero database downtime, by using Data Guard SQL Apply. The steps involve upgrading the logical standby database to the next release, running in a mixed mode to test and validate the upgrade, doing a role reversal by switching over to the upgraded database, and then finally upgrading the old primary database. While running in a mixed mode for testing purpose, the upgrade can be aborted and the software downgraded, without data loss. For additional data protection during these steps, a second standby database may be used.<br />By supporting rolling upgrades with minimal downtimes, Data Guard reduces the large maintenance windows typical of many administrative tasks, and enables the 24×7 operation of the business.<br />Additional Datatypes:<br />SQL Apply now supports the following additional data types.<br />NCLOB <br />LONG <br />LONG RAW <br />BINARY_FLOAT <br />BINARY_DOUBLE <br />IOT-s (without overflows and without LOB columns) <br />This support for additional datatypes allows logical standby databases to recover and protect a wider variety of data, thus increasing the overall database protection and recovery options for Data Guard.<br />ORACLE DATA GUARD PROCESS ARCHITECTURE<br />As shown in the following figure, Oracle Data Guard uses several processes of the Oracle database instance to achieve the automation necessary for disaster recovery and high availability.<br />On the primary site, Oracle Data Guard uses the Log Writer Process (LGWR) to collect transaction redo data and ship this data to the standby, and the Fetch Archive Log Process (FAL) to provide a client-server mechanism for shipping archived logs to the standby following a network outage, for automatic gap resolution and resynchronization. <br />On the standby site, Oracle Data Guard uses the Remote File Server Process (RFS) to receive redo records from the primary database, the Managed Recovery Process (MRP) to apply redo information to the physical standby database, and the Logical Standby Process (LSP) to apply redo information to the logical standby database. <br />Oracle Data Guard also uses the Data Guard Broker Monitor Process (DMON) to manage and monitor the primary and standby databases as a unified configuration.<br />

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