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Failed creating physical standby database

These days I’m implementing Oracle Dataguard for two Oracle databases 10.2 as part of disaster recovery project, one of them is around 1.7TB, not yet production. As part of the DG setup backups have to be available for both primary and standby. I preferred to use ASM and was able to negotiate with the storage admin to run storage replication for the FRA disks during the backup. This way I would have the same structure and files, locally at the disaster site immediately after the backup of the primary database is completed.

Unfortunately two weeks passed and by the time (this morning) I had to start with the DG setup the FRA (2TB big) got exhausted, because of too many archivelogs. When I saw this the first thing it came to my mind was to delete the backup as it was too big and I already had it at the disaster site!?. Deleting archivelogs was not an option as I need these archivelogs so the standby could catch up with the primary. So what I’ve done was to delete the backup without thinking and then moved on to duplicate the primary database for standby.

I’ve setup the standby instance and when issued “DUPLICATE TARGET DATABASE FOR STANDBY NOFILENAMECHECK DORECOVER;” I got the following errors:

RMAN-03002: failure of Duplicate Db command at 06/05/2012 11:12:04
RMAN-03015: error occurred in stored script Memory Script
RMAN-06136: ORACLE error from auxiliary database: ORA-01180: can not create	datafile 1
ORA-01110: data file 1: '+DATA/orcl/datafile/system.347.666704609'

I was surprised by this error and started thinking if there wasn’t a problem with the storage (it happened twice before to have read only disks), but this was not the case. Once the diskgroup is mounted it means that ASM can read/write to its disks.

It’s obvious what my mistake is, but it took me a while until I realize what I’ve done. Deleting backup at the primary database means that it no longer knows for my backup and for that reason I could not clone the primary database. That’s why I got error that datafile 1 could not be created, simply it has no backups to restore it from. Thinking now what if the backup was located at NFS share, then I would definitely not delete it, but maybe move the archivelogs and manually register them later on the standby.

So now I started a new backup, waiting for it to finish and got replicated to the disaster site.