January 6, 2003

Linux can do hot backups on Oracle now

- by Tina Gasperson -
Data backups are essential in the enterprise - not just a good idea.
STORserver has an interesting backup
appliance that installs in fifteen minutes, they say.
Now, they're releasing a product that will allow companies to run "hot" backups
on Oracle databases, in Linux. It is called SDP - STORserver Data Protection."Hot" means you don't have to take the servers offline - the backup operation
runs silently in the background. "You don't have to take it down at night to
backup - or say, if you have a disaster in the middle of the trading day," says
David Miller, the senior software architect and director of engineering for

STORserver's flagship product is a piece of hardware they call an appliance. It's an all-in-one outfit that includes all hardware, software, and connectivity needed. It runs Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM), and STORserver says it is possible to backup terabytes worth of information with one of these.

Now, STORserver is releasing a software product that allows the appliance to run on Linux systems that need to back up Oracle databases.

STORserver developed the interface for this new product by taking an existing
Oracle backup product, removing the libraries, and adding in its own code.
"What's cool about this, is you can the same product to Tru64 or AIX or NT and
it is the same exact script on the Oracle side," says Miller. "So it is

What that means is less time spent on development for companies making the
switch to Linux. "It's a rapid way for them to deploy on multiple platforms,"
Miller says.

Even Linux Journal says that Oracle is the best database on Linux, and Oracle
has a pretty big chunk of the overall database market share - $2.83 billion in
sales for 2001, according to Gartner.com. So it would seem advantageous to have
the ability to do hot backups on Oracle in Linux.

"We've gotten tons of request for this from the Unix folks," says Miller.
"Nobody is providing this for Linux." Miller says it has been easy to port
SDP to lots of different operating systems. "The code base is pretty similar for
all the OSes."

STORserver has a special partner relationship with Oracle which allowed them to
manipulate Oracle code. "Our key was that we wanted to go into the Unix market
and some of the obscure operating systems where there is still money to be
made," says Miller. "We developed these portable libraries that allow us to
rapidly deploy to other OSes. We made that conscious decision from the

The STORserver appliance is pricey - tens of thousands of dollars - but if you're running Oracle you're used to that.


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