What is the correct commands for backing up a production Oracle 11g database (while still running) to an external USB drive or different directory.

I am new to Oracle and but have experience with SQL Server. Essentially, I am looking for the equivalent of a COPY_ONLY backup - something which will not interfere with the existing backup process.

The goal is to take the backup offsite and use it to develop migration scripts for a new application. Any insights would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


To get a consistent single-file snapshot of a running Oracle instance DataPump Export can be used.

You need to have access to the server's filesystem (or a shared filesystem) in order to copy the resulting dump file.

The process would be to

  1. run expdp (for one or multiple schemas)
  2. copy the dump file to the USB stick
  3. run impdp to import the dump into the development database
  • that depends what you mean by a "consistent snapshot" - RMAN+archivelogs+PITR can achieve something very similar and the backup can be deleted from the prod system controlfile so it does not "interfere with the existing backup process". I'd argue it is simpler too. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 9:23
  • @JackDouglas: I have to admit that I have no experience with RMAN. But for "copying" a schema, I assumed that expdp/impdp is still simpler than "RMAN+archivelogs+PITR"
    – user1822
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 9:26
  • It can be simpler, particularly for a schema rather than a database as there is no direct way of using rman to back up a schema. But for large or complex databases export/import can be slower and more complicated. I highly recommend you get to know RMAN - it is an amazing tool and I don't think it deserves it's reputation for being very complicated. See here for Tom Kyte's take. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 9:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.