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I am trying to get a better understanding of the behaviors of database backups for Sybase (15.X) and Oracle (11.x) as it relates to the underlying OS. Is the backup file OS specific or can it be backed up on one OS and restored on a separate OS without issue?

If we wanted to support a customer on Oracle (Linux) and wanted to be able to restore their database for support purposes but only had Oracle on AIX is this possible?

If it is feasible does it depend on the settings used to generate the backup?

I would like to know for both Sybase and Oracle versions mentioned above.

Thank you for your help.

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For Oracle, I think "transportable tablespace" is what you're looking for. – gsiems Sep 3 '11 at 3:10

In Oracle, you can restore onto an OS/CPU with the same endianness in most cases. This can be done with RMAN, the standard Oracle backup and restore tool, but it might be worth it to investigate options such as DataPump or a Linux VM on AIX (but I don't know how that would deal with endianness). x86 is little-endian and POWER is big-endian, so this would not necessarily be straightforward.

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