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Why “Dump and Sweep”?

When I first learned that “dump and sweep” is a procedure for backing up Oracle databases I flashed back to the time a vacuum cleaner salesman dumped a bag of dirt on my carpet and demonstrated the vacuum by sweeping it up. As I learned more about “Dump and Sweep” I realized that it is a method cobbled together to accommodate the different tools the Database Administrators (DBA) and the Backup Administrator use.

Copilot.jpg“Dump and Sweep” is a two-step process.  First, the Oracle DBA backs up a database with RMAN (recovery manager), a tool developed by Oracle, and “dumps” the backup files into an intermediate storage area. Next the Backup Administrator “sweeps” the Oracle backup files out of the intermediate storage area into backup storage.

Recovery is just “Dump and Sweep” in reverse. The DBA requests a recovery from the Backup Administrator. The Backup Administrator then “dumps” the database backup files into the intermediate storage area and RMAN “sweeps” them into production storage.

“Dump and Sweep” works and has been in use for years, but has a few inefficiencies:

  1. The DBA can’t recover the database directly. The Backup Administrator has to first dump it into the intermediate storage location. This interim step takes extra time (critical in disaster situations), the DBA has to wait for the Backup Administrator to respond, and it interrupts the Backup Administrator’s workflow.
  2. The intermediate storage costs money and could be expensive if it is in production storage.
  3. “Dump and Sweep” is a manual process introducing the chance for errors and miscommunications between the DBA and Backup Administrator.

NetBackup Copilot for Oracle streamlines the “Dump and Sweep” by eliminating the intermediate storage. The “Dump and Sweep” process does not change from the DBA’s perspective. The DBA backs up a database using RMAN and “dumps” the files directly into a NetBackup appliance running Copilot. The database is recovered directly from the NetBackup appliance using RMAN. Data protection is self-service for the DBA, no need to contact the Backup Administrator. The streamlined “Dump and Sweep” saves time and money and a DBA continues to use the tools and processes they are comfortable with.

  1. Nothing changes from the DBA perspective
    1. RMAN is used for backup and recovery
    2. Full RMAN catalog integration with NetBackup
  2. The intermediate storage step is eliminated, saving the cost of the storage and saving time.
  3. Copilot reduces the chance for errors by eliminating manual steps.

NetBackup Copilot for Oracle made me wonder why the salesman didn’t demonstrate the vacuum by eliminating the intermediate step of dumping dirt on my carpet. Just sweep it right out of the bag.

To learn more about NetBackup Copilot for Oracle and how it helps collaboration between Database and Backup Admins, watch this video or click here.

Attend the Northern California Oracle User Group (NoCOUG) Spring 2017 Conference at the Veritas Campus in Mountain View on May 18. This is an opportunity to learn how the “cloud” will affect everything you do in the coming years. Ask yourself this question: What are the simple use-cases for which my organization can leverage the cloud immediately? You will learn the answers at this conference.

To register for the conference visit

To learn more about NetBackup Copilot for Oracle attend the conference as a guest of Veritas. Get a free pass by registering in the "Veritas Guest" category using the code VELOCITY

1 Comment

This is cool tech, is there any timeline on when this might be brought to MSSQL dumps?