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Druva Documentation

About RMAN hosts, Phoenix Backup Store, Administrators, and Retention

Phoenix Editions: File:/tick.png Business File:/cross.png Enterprise File:/tick.png Elite

This article provides information about:

  • How the Phoenix Backup Store works with Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) host
  • The administrators who handle the backup and restore jobs
  • The period for which the Phoenix Cloud will retain snapshots

Phoenix Backup Store

The Phoenix Backup Store is an Ubuntu based NAS device with Druva provided Phoenix Backup Store Debian package installed on it. After the Phoenix administrators set up the NAS device, install the Debian package, and activate the Debian package on the device:

  • The NAS device is configured as a Phoenix Backup Store
  • It is registered with Phoenix
  • It creates a persistent connection with the Phoenix Cloud

When a Phoenix administrator adds a backup mount on the Phoenix Management Console, it is created on the Phoenix Backup Store as a shared directory over the network. The shared directory serves as the mount point point, and the Oracle Database Administrator has to map it to the host where RMAN is running. When a backup job is run using RMAN, it creates an Oracle RMAN backup and stores it on the backup mount. The RMAN requires the read and write permissions on the backup mount.

RMAN hosts

Typically, the backup and restore of Oracle databases is handled using an Oracle provided backup and recovery manager call RMAN. RMAN provides utilities to the Oracle Database Administrators to run backup jobs of databases and create Oracle RMAN backups. The RMAN is connected to the databases, and a Database Administrator runs a backup job using it. The host on which the RMAN is running is called the RMAN host, and the backup mount is mapped to the host. After a backup job is run, RMAN creates an Oracle RMAN backup and stores it on the backup mount. 


Two administrators are involved in the backup and restore of Oracle databases:

  • Oracle Database Administrators
  • Phoenix administrators

Oracle Database Administrators

Oracle Database Administrators use RMAN to run backups. They define when a backup job is run, and they use Phoenix provided APIs and scripts to ensure that the Oracle RMAN backups are stored on the backup mount.

Phoenix administrators

Phoenix administrators perform the following tasks:

  • Create Organizations on the Phoenix Management Console
  • Create administrative groups on the Phoenix Management Console
  • Deploy and register a Phoenix Backup Store under an Organization on the Phoenix Management Console
  • Assign administrative groups to Phoenix Backup Stores
  • Create backup mounts on the Phoenix Backup Store using the Phoenix Management Console
  • Select a storage on the Phoenix Cloud for the snapshots
  • Provide the IP addresses of the RMAN hosts that can access and read or write to the backup mount 
  • Provide a bandwidth available to the Phoenix Backup Store for uploading the snapshots to the Phoenix Cloud
  • Define the retention period for the snapshots of the Oracle RMAN backups stored on the backup mount on the Phoenix Management Console
  • Run restore jobs on the Phoenix Management Console
  • Edit name, disable backups, change administrative groups, upgrade clients of the Phoenix Backup Store
  • Re-register Phoenix Backup Stores if it gets disconnected from the Phoenix Cloud for reasons such as a hardware refresh. 

For more information on Phoenix administrators, see Manage administrator accounts


When a Phoenix administrator adds a backup mount to a Phoenix Backup Store, the administrator provides retention settings. When a Database Administrator runs a backup job, RMAN creates an Oracle RMAN backup and stores it on the backup mount. The Phoenix Backup Store that hosts the backup mount creates a snapshot of the Oracle RMAN backup and uploads it to the Phoenix Cloud.

Retention defines the rules for retaining your backed-up snapshots on the Phoenix Cloud storage. Use retention period to define the duration for which you want to retain your historic snapshots.

The main objective of retention is to keep important data for future access, depending on how critical it is, and how often it will be required. Retention also ensures that snapshots that are no longer required are cleaned from your storage periodically, resulting in less storage utilization and costs.

Retention should consider the value of your data, as well as the legal requirements that you might need to adhere to. This means that different types of data will be retained for different durations. For example, a bank's retention settings for customers' financial records are different from facilities' inventory records.

Main factors to consider while defining a retention period are,

  • Legal requirements
  • Storage costs
  • Type of data

What should you know about retention?

  • Any changes that you make to the existing retention policies will be applied to all the new as well as the existing snapshots.
  • Retention periods are applicable for snapshots that reside on Phoenix CloudCache and Phoenix Cloud.
  • You will have to enter appropriate retention settings to retain snapshots.
  • If you are registering the server under default organization, Phoenix provides a default backup policy with the following retention settings:
    • All snapshots: 14 days
    • Weekly revisions: 4 weeks
    • Monthly revisions: 3  months
    • Yearly revisions: 3  years
  • Phoenix runs a retention expiration algorithm to delete the snapshots that have crossed the expiration period. This algorithm does not delete thawed snapshots. For more information, see Snapshots.
  • Phoenix follows the Gregorian calendar for tracking days.
  • For daily snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight as the end of a day.
  • For weekly snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight of Sunday as the end of the week.
  • For monthly snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight of the last day of a month as the end of the month.
  • For yearly snapshots, Phoenix considers the midnight of the last day of the year as the end of the year.
  • Snapshot name displayed on the Phoenix Management Console is snapshot creation time as per the server time zone, on which the backup occurred. Phoenix considers the time zone of the server for retaining the snapshots as per retention setting.

How Phoenix uses retention settings? 

Phoenix follows the Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) retention model. You must define the duration to retain snapshots,

  • Daily snapshots - Phoenix retains all the snapshots that are created for the number of days specified in Daily snapshots.
  • Weekly snapshots (Son) - Number of weekly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the week as the weekly snapshot.
  • Monthly snapshots (Father) - Number of monthly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the month as the monthly snapshot.
  • Yearly snapshots (Grandfather) - Number of yearly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the year as the yearly snapshot.


Below is the calendar for September, 2016.








































Let us assume, if you have specified below configuration in your retention settings of the backup policy:

  • Keep all snapshots for -14 days
  • Keep weekly revisions for  - 4 weeks
  • Keep monthly revisions for - 12 months
  • Keep yearly revisions for - 5 years

Assume, Phoenix performs a daily backup at 22:00 hrs in your environment and today’s date is September 15th, 14:00 hrs.

Based on the retention period, Phoenix retains snapshots as follows,

  • 14 Daily snapshots - Server A has been successfully backed up for last 14 days. As per configuration, all the snapshots that are generated as part of backups are retained for 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th,  3rd, 2nd, and 1st September. On 14th September 11:45 PM UTC, all the snapshots for 31st  August are deleted.

Note: If you have configured Phoenix to backup your server multiple times within a day, Phoenix retains all the snapshots for 14 days.

  • 4 Weekly snapshots are retained for
    • 11th September
    • 4th September
    • 28th August
    • 21st August

Phoenix deletes the oldest weekly snapshot, that is, 21st August snapshot on completion of 4 weeks period on 18th September.

  • 12 Monthly snapshots are retained for
    • 31st August
    • 31st July
    • 30th June
    • 31st May
    • 30th April
    • 31st March
    • 29th February
    • 31st January
    • 31st December, 2015
    • 30th November, 2015
    • 31st October, 2015
    • 30th September, 2015

Phoenix deletes the oldest monthly snapshot, that is, 30th September, 2015 snapshot on completion of 12 months period on 30th September, 2016.

  • 5 Yearly snapshots are retained for
    • 31st December 2015
    • 31st December 2014
    • 31st December, 2013
    • 31st December, 2012
    • 31st December, 2011

Phoenix deletes the oldest yearly snapshot, that is, 31st December, 2011 snapshot on completion of 5 years period on 31st December, 2016.