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Oracle® Data Guard Concepts and Administration
11g Release 2 (11.2)

Part Number E17022-03
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5 Data Guard Protection Modes

This chapter contains the following sections:

5.1 Data Guard Protection Modes

This section describes the Data Guard protection modes.

In these descriptions, a synchronized standby database is meant to be one that meets the minimum requirements of the configured data protection mode and that does not have a redo gap. Redo gaps are discussed in Section 6.4.3.

Maximum Availability

This protection mode provides the highest level of data protection that is possible without compromising the availability of a primary database. Transactions do not commit until all redo data needed to recover those transactions has been written to the online redo log and to the standby redo log on at least one synchronized standby database. If the primary database cannot write its redo stream to at least one synchronized standby database, it operates as if it were in maximum performance mode to preserve primary database availability until it is again able to write its redo stream to a synchronized standby database.

This mode ensures that no data loss will occur if the primary database fails, but only if a second fault does not prevent a complete set of redo data from being sent from the primary database to at least one standby database.

Maximum Performance

This protection mode provides the highest level of data protection that is possible without affecting the performance of a primary database. This is accomplished by allowing transactions to commit as soon as all redo data generated by those transactions has been written to the online log. Redo data is also written to one or more standby databases, but this is done asynchronously with respect to transaction commitment, so primary database performance is unaffected by delays in writing redo data to the standby database(s).

This protection mode offers slightly less data protection than maximum availability mode and has minimal impact on primary database performance.

This is the default protection mode.

Maximum Protection

This protection mode ensures that no data loss will occur if the primary database fails. To provide this level of protection, the redo data needed to recover a transaction must be written to both the online redo log and to the standby redo log on at least one synchronized standby database before the transaction commits. To ensure that data loss cannot occur, the primary database will shut down, rather than continue processing transactions, if it cannot write its redo stream to at least one synchronized standby database.

Because this data protection mode prioritizes data protection over primary database availability, Oracle recommends that a minimum of two standby databases be used to protect a primary database that runs in maximum protection mode to prevent a single standby database failure from causing the primary database to shut down.

Note:

Asynchronously committed transactions are not protected by Data Guard against loss until the redo generated by those transactions has been written to the standby redo log of at least one synchronized standby database.

For more information about the asynchronous commit feature, see:

5.2 Setting the Data Protection Mode of a Primary Database

Perform the following steps to set the data protection mode of a primary database:

Step 1   Select a data protection mode that meets your availability, performance, and data protection requirements.

See Section 5.1 for a description of the data protection modes.

Step 2   Verify that at least one standby database meets the redo transport requirements for the desired data protection mode.

The LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_n database initialization parameter that corresponds to at least one standby database must include the redo transport attributes listed in Table 5-1 for the desired data protection mode.

The standby database must also have a standby redo log.

See Chapter 6, "Redo Transport Services" for more information about configuring redo transport and standby redo logs.

Table 5-1 Required Redo Transport Attributes for Data Protection Modes

Maximum Availability Maximum Performance Maximum Protection

AFFIRM

NOAFFIRM

AFFIRM

SYNC

ASYNC

SYNC

DB_UNIQUE_NAME

DB_UNIQUE_NAME

DB_UNIQUE_NAME


Step 3   Verify that the DB_UNIQUE_NAME database initialization parameter has been set to a unique value on the primary database and on each standby database.
Step 4   Verify that the LOG_ARCHIVE_CONFIG database initialization parameter has been defined on the primary database and on each standby database, and that its value includes a DG_CONFIG list that includes the DB_UNIQUE_NAME of the primary database and each standby database.

For example, the following SQL statement might be used to configure the LOG_ARCHIVE_CONFIG parameter:

SQL> ALTER SYSTEM SET LOG_ARCHIVE_CONFIG='DG_CONFIG=(CHICAGO,BOSTON)';
Step 5   Set the data protection mode.

Execute the following SQL statement on the primary database:

SQL> ALTER DATABASE -
> SET STANDBY DATABASE TO MAXIMIZE {AVAILABILITY | PERFORMANCE | PROTECTION};

Note that the data protection mode can be set to MAXIMUM PROTECTION on an open database only if the current data protection mode is MAXIMUM AVAILABILITY and if there is at least one synchronized standby database.

Step 6   Confirm that the primary database is operating in the new protection mode.

Perform the following query on the primary database to confirm that it is operating in the new protection mode:

SQL> SELECT PROTECTION_MODE FROM V$DATABASE;