Best Practices in Oracle Archiving

Published: 10th May 2011
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Oracle Archiving is a strategy in which 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 Oracle Application or BI layer.

Organizations 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 grows, up to 80% of data is considered inactive and performance of the application and reporting can degrade and impact 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.

Impact of Data Growth on the 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 new green IT solutionsthat are putting pressure on organizations to reduce hardware, power and cooling infrastructure in the data center.

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.

Archiving Oracle Applications and Databases

Archiving Oracle Applications and databases 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.

1. Archiving for Information Lifecycle Management

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is a comprehensive data management strategy for managing data from inception, protection, security and storage to disposal. It also takes into account the costs and risks 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 mediums and secure, long term data retention.

2. 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 then create and deploy policies for archiving and disposal that meet access and compliance requirements. Data can then be archived to lower cost storage mediums but maintain access through the native application or BI layer before performance is negatively impacted.

3. 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. For a 500GB production system, that translates into 48 copies that occupy 24TB of storage space alone, and this does not even account for the time and resources needed to make 48 full-size clones.

4. Archiving for Compliance

Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II and 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 requests for documents are not defensible strategies in court for not producing requested data. Organizations are looking for archiving solutions that will meet compliance requirements yet be cost effective. Deploying data archiving with efficient, low cost storage mediums such as MAID will allow organizations to meet both cost and compliance requirements.


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 database archiving a viable and proven approach for managing performance, storage and IT infrastructure.

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