Tandem Servers WIth Oracle Database

I have a client who is in need of a backup peer server.  The current server is running Windows 7 and a Oracle Database.  Their current server has been offline for over a week, three times last year.  The client in question can't have this happen continuously.  Both machines would need to be running the oracle database.  My question is what kind of options can I offer my client as a backup server.  He has already turned down a fail-over Server 2012 setup.  Is their any option that I can offer him that wont run into the tens of thousands of dollars?
RobertAsked:
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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
You will need to reach out to Oracle directly to confirm the final pricing (thy change things all the time and it varies based on the database product you have) but...

I think the cheapest Oracle solution would be a Data Guard and a physical standby:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/server.112/e41134/standby.htm#SBYDB00102

Note:  This is NOT Active Data Guard with is more expensive.

That said:
I have heard of people that have rolled their own archived redo log shipping and as long as the database on the other server is never started, the license doesn't come into play.

The negatives here:
If/when you finally started the home made standby, you would have A LOT of redo to apply.
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sdstuberCommented:
what kind of fail over time is acceptable?

could you simply do a point-in-time recovery from backups and archived logs to a new server?

This goes along with the "roll your own" mentioned above; but if your backups are frequent and available to the new server, then you can reduce the amount logs needed to be come consistent and up to date.
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RobertAuthor Commented:
My clients original statement was that he wanted a real time fail over.  Since the quote was out of reach for him, he is exploring other options.  He would like his fail over time to be close to 0 if he can.  However, I feel a 24 hour turn around would be acceptable compared to his current 1 week turn time.
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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
Just remember:
Inexpensive sort of implies some data loss.

It is all about what they can live with.

>>Their current server has been offline for over a week, three times last year.

What is causing the outages?

Must be serious to not be able to manually copy files around and get back up in under a week.

It might be possible to separate the database from the server on a NAS/SAN.  Server one fails, server two can be started up to take over.
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sdstuberCommented:
what's the size of the database?
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RobertAuthor Commented:
The outage is caused in a weird way.  If anything touches the database files (antivirus scans the folder) the database gets corrupted and then Oracle falls on its face requiring the machine to be reloaded with a fresh copy of Windows.  We may explore the NAS idea as a possible solution.

The size of the database is roughly 4 or 5gb.
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johnsoneSenior Oracle DBACommented:
As others have suggested, I would recommend physical standby.  When it does down, you should be able to copy off the last copy of logs and lose almost no data.  Right now, you have to be losing quite a bit.

You can go with data guard options, or roll your own.  I have certainly done my share of doing it myself.  I was doing it before Oracle had any kind of automation to it.

Essentially, a physical standby is a copy of the database that is always recovering.  After an archive log is generated, it needs to get to the secondary server and be applied.  It is a pretty simple process, but there are tools to make it easier.

As far as licensing, you would have to talk to your Oracle rep on that.  If it is a DR server that you are managing without using the automated data guard product, you can probably push them into no licensing cost.  The database isn't open, ever, so nobody can access it.  If you have a catastrophic failure, you should be able to transfer the license.  Again, only your Oracle rep can say for sure.
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sdstuberCommented:
4 or 5gb is tiny, if you take hourly hot backups and copy them to the new server every hour and then copy your archived logs immediately you should be able to do a point in time recovery within minutes.

if your backup is written to some kind of networked storage, then copying may not even be necessary, simply mounting the storage from the new server may be sufficient for immediate access.
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Alex [***Alex140181***]Software DeveloperCommented:
If anything touches the database files (antivirus scans the folder) the database gets corrupted and then Oracle falls on its face requiring the machine to be reloaded with a fresh copy of Windows.
Then you're definitely facing "some other" mean & nasty problems that should be dealt with first, IMHO...

The size of the database is roughly 4 or 5gb.
Don't get me wrong, but what do you / your client thinks about "downgrading" towards Oracle XE, plus e.g. Dbvisit Standby for failover and DR (http://www.dbvisit.com/products/dbvisit_standby_database_for_oracle_disaster_recovery/)?!
On top of it, this also would result in less cost (licensing)...
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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
>>antivirus scans the folder

NEVER LET ANTI-VIRUS SCAN ORACLE DATA FILES!!!

Never seen it corrupt files but it will KILL overall system performance.

It also really serves no purpose.

>>the database gets corrupted and then Oracle falls on its face requiring the machine to be reloaded with a fresh copy of Windows

NEVER seen a trashed Oracle database require a full OS install.

Been running Oracle on Windows for about 16 years.  Never had it happen.

I agree with Alex:  Your system has demons...  I would contact a Priest!  ;)

All that said:
What is the Oracle version (please include all 4 numbers)?

There may be a bug if the version isn't fully supported on Win 7.
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