My database is in non-archive mode and its size is 5 TB (monthly 200 GB increment). Currently we are taking the full backup monthly. As database growth is high, backup size and time had increased behold the acceptable limit. Hence we would like to take online RMAN backup by enabling the archive mode before starting the online backup and disable the archive mode after completion of online backup.

1) Are we able to recover the database till last backup using above backup policy? 2) Is it required to take archive log backup as well?

This DB only contains historical data and on daily basis an import will be done using dump files from the source DB. One month export dumps will be kept as backup, hence complete recovery till point of failure is not desired. Export dumps can be used to recover the database.

1 Answer 1


A partly online backup is certainly possible but switching to and back from archivelog mode needs downtime. As an alternative you could run in regular archivelog mode and trash the generated archived log files, until you run a backup.

For the backup to be recoverable it is important that it has ALL archived log files that were generated during the backup. End the backup with a log switch and also include those archives in the backup.

You must see this kind of backup as partially online. It does allow you to restore to the point in time where the backup completed, not to any other point in time. Very similar to regular offline backups, only, taken online. It saves downtime.

Why do you want this? This is a lot of effort just to safe maybe 10G of archive storage per day. It also introduces an extra error source and many dba's won't be able to work with this and expect to have all archives. My advice would be to keep it regular online backups, with regular archived log backups and keep things simple.

  • Thanks for your confirmation, I my using this method as work around till the time i get extra space to accommodate archive logs. Oct 18, 2014 at 16:09

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