About Backup and Restoration in Oracle Java Cloud Service

Learn how Oracle Java Cloud Service backups are initiated, what backups contain, where backups are stored, and how long backups are retained.

What are the Contents of a Backup?

Java Cloud Service ensures that backups contain only the data that is needed for a proper restoration of a service instance.

A backup does not include software installations and other binary files. Java Cloud Service can also take a backup of the database that’s associated with the service instance, if desired.

There are two types of backups. A full backup contains all of the artifacts and configuration data that are required to restore a service instance. An incremental backup contains only those changes to the configuration data since the last scheduled full backup. Each incremental backup is linked to the last scheduled full backup that was performed before the incremental backup. You cannot delete a full backup that is linked to incremental backups without also deleting the incremental backups

When Do Backups Occur?

Backups run automatically, and you can also run them as needed.

If backups are configured for a service instance, they are scheduled to occur automatically. You can also initiate an on-demand backup immediately without having to wait for the next scheduled backup.

By default, scheduled backups occur at the following times:
  • Full backups are initiated weekly starting 12 hours after backups were enabled on a service instance, rounded to the nearest five-minute interval.

    For example, if a service instance is created with backups at 1:01 PM on a Monday, full backups are initiated at 1:00 AM on Tuesdays.

  • Incremental backups are initiated every day, except the day of a full backup, at the same time that full backups are initiated.

    For example, if a service instance is created with backups at 1:01 PM on a Monday, incremental backups are initiated at 1:00 AM every day except Tuesdays.

You can change the default schedule on which automated backups are initiated. Backups do not occur while the instance is stopped. After you start an instance, the next backup occurs at the scheduled time.

After configuring backups for a service instance, you can enable or disable the backup service as needed.

If you provided an email address when you provisioned the service instance, Java Cloud Service automatically disables scheduled backups on a service instance after three consecutive failures of the same type occur with scheduled backups. If you did not specify an email, Java Cloud Service automatically disables backups after three consecutive failures of the same type or seven consecutive failures of any type occur with scheduled backups.

If you provided an email address, both you and the account administrator will receive an email notification when backups are automatically disabled. A reminder notification is sent every week until backups are enabled again.

The activity logs show the last failed backup and all previous failures. You will see that backups are disabled, but you will not see whether you disabled them or they were disabled automatically due to errors.

Where are Backups Stored?

Backups are recorded to multiple locations.

Java Cloud Service records all backups to a specified destination in Oracle Cloud object storage. To speed up restorations, recent backups are also copied to a dedicated storage volume that’s attached to a node in your service instance.


Do not attempt to download the backup files generated by Java Cloud Service. These files are encrypted and not accessible offline. You must use Java Cloud Service to restore a service instance from a backup.

How Long are Backups Retained?

After completing a scheduled backup, Java Cloud Service deletes any backups in object storage (and any local copies of backups) that are due to be deleted.

By default, backups are retained in object storage for the following time periods:
  • Scheduled incremental backups are retained for 30 days.

  • Scheduled full backups are retained until all the incremental backups to which they are linked are no longer available.

  • On-demand backups are retained for 30 days, unless you choose to keep a backup forever (it will not expire and will not be deleted automatically).

You can change the default retention policy for backups. You can also manually delete backups that you no longer require.

What Happens When a Backup is Restored?

Java Cloud Service restores your service instance’s configuration from a selected backup.

You can also choose whether to restore the Oracle software (binary files) to its current official patch level, or to leave the software unchanged. Restore the Oracle software to undo a change to the software that you don’t want. For example:
  • You accidentally modified or deleted some files in the software installation.

  • You installed a patch to the software and it no longer works as required.

If you choose to restore the software, it is restored from an image maintained internally to Oracle Cloud. The software is not restored to the point in time at which the backup was created.

During the restoration process, Java Cloud Service shuts down the server processes that are running in the service instance. After the restoration is complete, these processes are restarted.

If you performed a scaling operation after the backup was created, the topology of the service instance and the topology of the backup might not be the same. The restore operation will not remove nodes that you added after the backup was created, or add nodes that you removed after the backup was created.