Monday, October 31, 2011

Fractured block in Oracle

A block in which the header and footer are not consistent at a given SCN. In a user-managed backup, an operating system utility can back up a datafile at the same time that DBWR is updating the file. It is possible for the operating system utility to read a block in a half-updated state, so that the block that is copied to the backup media is updated in its first half, while the second half contains older data. In this case, the block is fractured.

For non-RMAN backups, the ALTER TABLESPACE ... BEGIN BACKUP or ALTER DATABASE BEGIN BACKUP command is the solution for the fractured block problem. When a tablespace is in backup mode, and a change is made to a data block, the database logs a copy of the entire block image before the change so that the database can reconstruct this block if media recovery finds that this block was fractured.

The block that the operating system reads can be split, that is, the top of the block is written at one point in time while the bottom of the block is written at another point in time. If you restore a file containing a fractured block and Oracle reads the block, then the block is considered a corrupt.

What Happens When A Tablespace/Database Is Kept In Begin Backup Mode (Doc ID 469950.1)


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