Long-term data retention with Druva’s PBS

Nick Stachniak, Senior Solutions Architect, Databases

Druva’s Phoenix Backup Store (PBS), is a software appliance that acts as both a ZFS storage pool and NFS server. It exposes storage to an Oracle relational database host for RMAN backups to the NFS target. In previous blogs, we discussed the utility of the PBS software appliance. In this blog, we will delve into the topic of enabling long-term data retention (LTR) for Druva backups utilizing PBS. But what exactly does LTR entail? LTR is an acronym that delineates a new form of storage tiering. This new tiering allows a backup administrator, or Oracle DBA acting as a backup administrator, to create a policy that essentially rolls RMAN backups to Deep Glacier Archive Storage in AWS — and in the process reduces storage costs up to 20 percent!

LTR advantages for Oracle and cost savings

Deep Glacier Archive is a storage modality of AWS or AWS EC2 architecture that the Druva cloud leverages. It allows a backup administrator the ability to deep archive backup data that is not necessary to keep on hand. The idea behind LTR is that the administrator and/or DBA knows his or her RPO and RTO intimately, and therefore is able to keep a number of backups on hand in the event of a disaster. Those backups that are not necessarily the most recent are then capable of policy tiering in terms of storage. The administrator simply assigns a policy to the particular backup, and after a period of time passes in terms of retention the backup simply rolls off automatically to cheaper, less frequently-accessed storage. The cost savings for this data is a substantial 20 percent, as previously mentioned.This storage tier is particularly advantageous for DBAs required to back up and secure financial or sensitive data governed by compliance regulations. 

LTR, therefore, is a very powerful tool to enable efficient backup storage as well as storing the data in a cost-effective manner, while simultaneously adhering to the very rigid legal requirements attendant to the data. The LTR architecture is depicted in the following diagram:

LTR architecture

Setting up LTR for your Oracle backups

As with all Druva products, simplicity and ease of setup are at the heart of LTR. As an initial step in the setup process, you must log in to the Druva Console to access the backup data and enable LTR.

Sign in

Once you’ve signed in, navigate to the Oracle protection menus and enable LTR for select Oracle databases and their backup data. Then, once in the console, navigate to the PBS pages and select the store holding the backup data for the intended Oracle database. Click on, Protect Oracle.

Product menu

Once in the Protect Oracle menu, select the actual PBS by clicking under its name on the left.

Protect Oracle menu

Under this menu is the actual defined virtual software appliances which we select by name, once again by clicking under the name of the registered PBS on the left under the store name. This will take you into the configured PBS and its attendant mounts, which translate to an NFS mount per each Oracle database. In the example shown, 19c database dev19c1 has been selected by clicking underneath the mount name. 

More actions

Under the More Actions menu on the right, you can then click and change or edit the retention of the backups. In this case, you can edit the configuration to enable LTR for this database — by toggling the LTR button from left to right. Once this is complete, you’ll now retain the backups for the 19c database via LTR. Any backup that is qualified for archiving under LTR must be retained for a minimum of one year or the configuration will signal an informational warning to that effect.

Edit retention

In this scenario, you’ll see that the default has been chosen, which is to keep snapshots in the warm tier for 15 days. The final step is to click the finish button. The dev19c1 database now has LTR defined for it and after 15 days the warm backups will roll over to cold storage with an immediate 20 percent savings in cost!

This process illustrates how easy it is to configure a particular feature of Druva backups through the console, and leverage the very best in AWS storage with a simple toggle to Advanced Glacier Deep Storage Archiving. Druva’s products don’t just provide great features and functionality from a design and utilization perspective — as a partner of AWS, and built in the EC2 environment, we also empower our customers with the very best that AWS has to offer!

Key takeaways

The advent of LTR within the PBS end-user community means that Oracle DBAs or backup administrators may store on-premises or cloud-based RMAN backups in the Druva cloud with a lower TCO than ever before. We accomplish this simply by enabling LTR and letting the policy age backups out of warm storage to cold storage. Whether your Oracle databases are on-premises or in the cloud, Druva allows you to back up and retain your Oracle databases efficiently and cost-effectively. This archiving feature controls costs and keeps your Oracle environment operating in legal compliance! 

Stay tuned for the next blog in the Oracle series. We’ll discuss additional features of Druva’s new Oracle direct-to-cloud (DTC) software and dive into the DTC restore process. To learn more about Oracle DTC, check out the video demo below.