Oracle Archiving

Oracle Archiving

Oracle archiving is a strategy, where data is moved out of the production system to reduce the volume and increase application and reporting performance while maintaining access to critical business data through the Oracle application or BI layer.


Corporations running enterprise applications depend on fast application response and reliable reporting windows to run their businesses. Business applications retain their information in underlying databases from Oracle, IBM, Informix and others. As data in these databases grow with up to 80% of data considered inactive, performance of the application and reporting can degrade, impacting overall business performance. A comprehensive strategy to proactively manage data for performance and storage optimization must be formulated to improve application performance and reduce total cost of data retention.

Archiving Oracle applications and databases gives users the best opportunity to maintain application and reporting performance in a cost-effective way. Long term data retention requirements, restricted IT budgets, and business productivity pressure make Oracle archiving a viable and proven approach for managing performance, storage and IT infrastructure.

Data growth’s impact on organization

Faster servers, higher network bandwidth and cheaper storage have allowed IT organizations to manage data growth through hardware upgrades rather than by implementing comprehensive data management strategies. The prevailing hardware strategy is not sustainable as data growth exceeds the ability of new hardware to maintain application and reporting performance. Compounding the problem are tough economic times, restricted IT budgets and the new Green IT movement that is putting pressure on organizations to reduce hardware, power and cooling infrastructure in the data center.

Applications such as E-Business Suite have long left the finance and business analyst communities within organizations and are often used by large numbers of employees for routine corporate activities in CRM, supply chain, HR and others. As the performance of these applications slow down, overall employee productivity is negatively impacted.

Furthermore, there is a downstream burden on IT productivity that is a direct result of large production databases. Unlike document storage systems, business applications and databases are undergoing constant patch and upgrade cycles. The systems need to be duplicated many times over for test and development purposes. On average, most mid to large size organizations are running 6 enterprise applications and make 8 full size copies of each.

Pre-packaged data management

Oracle supplies pre-packaged purge routines for some Oracle E-Business Suite application modules like Financials and Manufacturing that archive eligible data to temporary tables so the data can then be written to alternative media. These built-in purge routines are effective in removing data from the production system but once data is purged, all related information is removed from the database and cannot be viewed or reported on once the purge is completed. Purged data cannot be restored easily back into the database and access cannot be maintained from the existing application or BI layer.

For Oracle databases not attached to specific enterprise applications, data partitioning may be deployed to manage data growth within the database by reallocating data from the primary partition to secondary partitions where users can perform local transactions, increasing performance and availability for sites that have transactions for some views of data. Partitioning is not available for all applications or modules within supported applications and is designed to be a performance strategy not necessarily optimized to meet the long term data retention requirements required by regulators.

Oracle data archiving

Archiving Oracle applications and database has numerous benefits for the organization from increasing application performance to reducing IT infrastructure costs to ensuring long term data retention needed for regulatory and legal compliance.

"Archiving for Information Lifecycle Management"

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is a comprehensive data management strategy for managing data from inception to disposal. ILM as a business strategy takes into account all aspects of data management— inception, protection, security, storage and disposal. ILM also takes into account the cost and risk of data retention. Oracle application archiving is a critical step in any Oracle ILM strategy that manages data for compliance, cost and business continuity reasons through data tiering, cost appropriate storage media and secure, long term data retention.

"Archiving to improve performance"

Steps to deploying data archiving include defining data classes, creating storage tiers, developing access and migration policies and understanding the compliance requirements for broad classes of data. Using tools such as Oracle ILM Assistant or other data classification strategies to identify candidates for archiving, organizations than then create and deploy policies for archive and disposal that meet access and compliance requirements. Data can then be archived to lower cost storage media but maintain access through the native application or BI layer before performance is negatively impacted.

After archiving, application performance and availability is improved through size optimized production database. Archiving is distinctly different from tape back-up processes as data access is maintained through the native application layer or via standard BI tools.

"Archiving for test and development productivity"

Application archiving increases DBA productivity by reducing the size of production databases. Clones needed for test and production or disaster recovery clone more quickly with far less storage. As in the previous example, on average, most mid to large size organizations are running 6 enterprise applications and make 8 full size copies of each. For a 500 GB production system, that translates into 48 copies that occupy 24 TB of storage space alone and does not even account for the time and resources needed to make 48 full size clones.

"Archiving for compliance"

Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II, HIPAA are just a few of the regulations that are requiring organizations to save more and more data. Documents, email, and increasingly application data are being requested in both legal and civil proceedings. Ignorance of the data or inability to produce requested documents is not a defensible strategy in court. Organizations are looking for archiving solutions that will meet compliance requirements yet be cost effective. Deploying data archiving with efficient, low cost storage media such as MAID will allow organizations to meet both cost and compliance requirements.

External links

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