Windows 2008 Server backup with Oracle running?

I have been searching for an answer to this question today, but with no luck.

Is it possible to use Windows 2008 Server image backup on a server with an oracle instance running?
That is, will the oracle instance be correctly backed up, or will it be messed up?
Anyone with experience on this issue?

One of my customers are upgrading to 2008 server and plans to use the 2008 server built-in backup solution that I have come to understand is a bit...bad.
His technician says that the 2008 server backup always want to make an image backup of the C volume.

I'm an Oracle DBA and know that Oracle files have to have identical timestamps for them to be valid, so an image backup solution that does not take a snapshot of the disk is of no use.

I consider this backup solution to be no good for an oracle installation, but the customer does not want to use any other backup solution...

Alexander MoanSystems ArchitectAsked:
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I've used it with Exchange and Acronis is a great company. I trust them to tell the truth, I'd contact them directly for details on Oracle support.
the image backup takes an image of the whole server but as you know, oracle needs to be in a consistent state.

i would recommend using the image backups to restore the server, but for oracle, you should probably do exports to a file and rely on that for a restore.  I guess you can use the image level backup to restore the exported oracle db file that was backed up.

in any case, you can easily perform a few tests to make sure this solution works and be able to perform restores.  

let me know how it goes.
About Acronis True Image Echo purports to do that. Create backup images of a live server running Oracle or MS SQL, Exchange, etc.
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I assume you mean image backup tool utilizing VSS. Yes, it works great. I personally use Acronis to backup both my Exchange and Oracle servers running on Windows 2008. I have also done a number of restores to test the image and data integrity. I rebuilt my systems including DC, Exchange, Oracle, ERP app with those images many times already.

On a separate note, for Oracle, you need more than one method of protection. Depends on your customer's application, I'd also suggest to incorporate RMAN or Oracle import/export, and if necessary, Double Take.

it sounds like the customer does not want to use any other backup solution and if they cannot be persuaded, sometimes you just have to make them happy.  my solution did not involve purchasing any other software.

there are plenty of backup solutions that they can use if you would like suggestions.  especially if the server is a virtual machine; even though oracle doesnt support VMware.
Darius GhassemCommented:
I would do backups of Oracle through Oracle then allow the customer to use the Windows 2008 Server backup utility which isn't that good of a backup solution. You can then restore the Oracle database from backup and use the translog to restore any transactions from the last backup this will work without issues.
If you can shut down the Oracle instance prior to taking the backup using the Windows tool, then that would be a decent solution.

Otherwise, you could still use Windows backup to create an image of the OS drive, then combine it with a full database backup using RMAN. It would still leave you with a need to create the image of the Oracle installation folders - which you might need to do separately.
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
Someone mentioned VSS.  Here's the Oracle link to using it if it is available to you:
johnsoneSenior Oracle DBACommented:
What is the intended purpose of the image copy?

I would not suggest this as a backup solution, but if you wanted to make a copy it should be fine.

Is the database in archive log mode?

If not, then you don't have many options.

If it is, this is what I would suggest, without having to use other products.

image copy

Once the logs are done being written to disk copy the archive directory again (there will be new files and you will need them to bring the database up on the other side).  After you copy the archive logs, you should be able to do cancel based recovery on the other side and then cancel the recovery after you apply the last log you have.
Alexander MoanSystems ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Question was weather or not an image copy using Windows 2008 server backup would function with an Oracle DB. Alernative pointed out, but really not answered.
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