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3PAR Snapshots Your Data - page 2

3PAR InServ Storage Servers

  • August 26, 2004
  • By Rob Reilly

One of 3PAR's newest data management solutions is Virtual Copy DBA, that allows very fast Oracle database recovery. The product is based on 3PAR's Virtual Copy technology, that manages multiple point-in-time copies of operating systems or data.

The product offers a unique recovery/provisioning system for customers that run small/medium database environments (2-10 terabytes) for outsourcing companies with targeted solutions in various vertical industries.

The Virtual Copy DBA software allows the administrator to keepperiodic snapshots of the data and then make that data available, if needed. The live database can continue to be updated and users can go back to the snapshots and find old data or combinations of data that no longer exist in the live database. Rapidly recovering a database backed up to disk occurs in minutes versus the hours or days often required for recovery from tape.

The product can also reduce the administrator's workload because the software takes care of the storage system. Managing databases can consume much of an administrator's time, due to the frequent need to recover user data that has been accidentally changed or deleted. Take the case of UniquE Solutions, where one administrator was spending about 70% of his day managing storage. Due to the provisioning and management functions built into the storage system, they now spend less than 30 minutes a day.

The "snapshot" concept offers some other spiffy uses of the software, too, like quickly recovering a blown-up Oracle database.

First, the Virtual Copy DBA system might be set up to make a snapshot copy once every hour. There are two different ways to copy: full copy or copy on write with no space reservation.

When it's discovered that something has happened to the database, say a programming error caused data corruption, the last snapshot could be recovered and the redo log played against it to bring it up to date. The result is like restoring from tape, only much faster (minutes versus hours), because the snapshots are maintained and managed on the InServ storage server. Types of Oracle database data saved include: table spaces, data files, control files, parameter files and archive log files.

Database snapshots can also be useful to developers or the QA department. Developers can make modifications to code and then run it against a snapshot to see their changes. Likewise, QA can work with "real" data, without affecting production. And, if they find errors, it's easy to go back and look at before and after pictures of the data, as well.

The Virtual Copy DBA software can work together with 3PAR's Remote Copy package. Snapshot copies of data can be made quickly and stored off-site, for protection against loss.

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