Before knowing how to use RMAN for backup and recovery, one
should know why backup of files is required. One should remember that backup
and recovery are one of the most important aspects in database administration.
What is backup and recovery? It is a copy of the data which includes important
parts of a database like redo log files, control files and data files. Normally
back up is divided into two parts: physical backup and logical backup. Physical
backup is the copy of physical database files. Logical backup contains data
that is exported using SQL commands and stored in a binary file. Restoring a
database generally refers to various operations in restoring, rolling forward
and rolling back a backup. Regular backups prevent the loss of data and damage
caused due to failure of disk drives, virus attack, power outrages and other
network problems. No one is completely sure about when the failures may occur.
One of the important reasons for failure is user error which may cause
corruption or loss of valuable data. Another reason is media failure which can
occur when the media, where the data files or transaction logs are stored,
fails. Backup operations which are planned properly beforehand make the
recovery process of the data very simple. Like this, there can be a number of
reasons of failure.