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Create a copy of the data on secondary media. Copying ERP data can take days, hours, minutes or seconds depending on the process followed. Storage infrastructure can play a big role in reducing the time required to create a copy and the time required to hold the database in a suspended mode during the copy. For instance, most storage arrays today can create a clone or snapshot of disk groups. Cloning, sometimes referred to as a full snapshot, offers more protection and better performance than the typical copy-on-write snapshots, but cloning requires enough available storage to hold the entire copy of the database.
All of the disk groups used for the application should have a full clone created at all times. That way, when the database is in backup mode, the secondary clone copy can be split or fractured so that the database administrator has a full copy of a recoverable database on disk that can be used for recovery. Once the fracture is completed, the database suspend or backup mode can be released. With a full copy of the database in a recoverable mode, snapshots can be taken against the clone to drive additional secondary copies. The snapshot requires a small amount of disk space, which can be mounted to a backup server and copied to tapes or other disk.
Our sequence of events is now as follows:
- Synchronize clone copy to the primary database
- Suspend updates to the database
the clone and hold as gold copy
This was first published in December 2006