FlashGrid server (non-clustered) on Azure. Backup best practices.

This article covers backup procedures that must be used for different types of data including:

  • OS and software on a FlashGrid server
  • Database files
  • Files on ACFS, if used

Backing up OS and software on a FlashGrid server

It is strongly recommended to back up the OS disk and software disk (LUN 0) after the initial FlashGrid server configuration and before and after applying any changes, such as patch installation or security settings changes. Using Azure Backup service is the recommended method for backing up the disks.

  1. Using Azure CLI configure disk backup of the Azure VM:
  • Backing up LUN0 and OS disks:
az backup protection enable-for-vm --resource-group {resourcegroup}  --vault-name {vaultname} --vm {vmname} --policy-name {policyname} --disk-list-setting include --diskslist 0

The backup configured by the above script includes both LUN0 and OS disks, because the OS disk is by default added to the VM backup and can't be excluded.

  • Backing up only OS disk:
az backup protection enable-for-vm --resource-group {resourcegroup} --vault-name {vaultname} --vm {vmname} --policy-name {policyname} --exclude-all-data-disks
  1. Make sure that backup configuration contains only OS and LUN0 disks:

Connect to the Azure portal -> Recovery Services Vault -> {vaultname} -> Backup Items (Azure Virtual Machine) -> click {vmname} -> check Included disk(s) section.

  1. Click Backup now from Azure portal, or use CLI to initiate the backup and wait until the job is successfully completed before applying any changes.

Backing up database files

Standard RMAN procedures should be used for backing up and restoring database files.

Two main options for backup destination are available:

  1. A disk attached to the FlashGrid server system
  2. Azure File Share

Configuring a disk attached the FlashGrid server system for database backup

  • This option allows higher performance of the backups and does not consume network bandwidth
  • The disk must be attached with a LUN number 50 through 64 (LUNs 1 through 49 are reserved for use by ASM).
  • The disk must be formatted with a local file system, such as XFS.
  • Disk snapshots can be used for exporting backup data to external locations (Make sure that RMAN backup is complete before you make snapshot of the backup disk.)

Configuring Azure File Share for database backup

  • Create Standard performance Storage Account and add a file share.

  • Install cifs-utils package:

    # yum install cifs-utils -y
  • Make sure port 445/TCP is not blocked:

    Azure Files uses SMB protocol, which communicates over TCP port 445. If you're having trouble mounting your Azure file share, make sure your firewall is not blocking TCP port 445.

  • Create backup mount point:

    # mkdir /db_backup
    # chown oracle:oinstall /db_backup
    # chmod 755 /db_backup
  • Create a persistent mount point for the Azure file share in /etc/fstab. Example:

    //mystorageaccount.file.core.windows.net/myfileshare  /db_backup cifs vers=3.0,username=mystorageaccount,password=c3N+JcWQk7bw0yTT/yAMBmDcEFcRa4AkPQp+zpaljj6e...,dir_mode=0755,file_mode=0755,gid=2000,uid=3001

    Where uid and gid options are Oracle software owner user and group ids respectively. If you have a customized user, then you need to change these parameters accordingly.

  • Mount the backup folder:

    # mount /db_backup

Backing up Grid Infrastructure configuration files

Please follow Grid Infrastructure Backup and Restore Best Practices

Backing up files on ACFS

For backing up and restoring files on ACFS use same tools and procedures that you would normally use for file-level backup and restore.