RMAN: Configuring backups encryption

Andrey Volkov

Andrey Volkov

System, network administration + DBA. And a little programmer!)) See Author profile.

You may be required to encrypt backups. Some shops especially require this for backups that contain sensitive data and that are stored offsite. To use encryption when backing up, you must use the Oracle Enterprise Edition, possess a license for the Advanced Security option, and use Oracle 10g Release 2 or higher.

If you’ve configured a security wallet (see the Oracle Advanced Security Administrator’s Guide, which can be freely downloaded from the Technology Network area of the Oracle website (http://otn.oracle.com, for details), you can configure transparent encryption for backups, as shown:

RMAN> configure encryption for database on;

Any backups that you make now will be encrypted. If you need to restore from a backup, it’s automatically unencrypted (assuming the same security wallet is in place as when you encrypted the backup). To disable encryption, use the CONFIGURE command:

RMAN> configure encryption for database off;

You can also clear the encryption setting with CLEAR:

RMAN> configure encryption for database clear;

You can query V$RMAN_ENCRYPTION_ALGORITHMS to view details regarding the encryption algorithms available for your release of the database.

RUNNING SQL FROM WITHIN RMAN

Starting with Oracle 12c, you can run SQL statements (and see the results) directly from within RMAN:

RMAN> select * from v$rman_encryption_algorithms;

Prior to 12c, you could run the prior SQL statement with the RMAN sql command, but no results would be displayed:

RMAN> sql 'select * from v$rman_encryption_algorithms';

The RMAN sql command was meant more for running commands such as ALTER SYTEM:

RMAN> sql 'alter system switch logfile';

Now, in 12c, you can run the SQL directly:

RMAN> alter system switch logfile;

This ability to run SQL from within RMAN is a really nice enhancement; it allows you to see the results of SQL queries and eliminates the need for specifying the sql keyword as well as for placing quotation marks around the SQL command itself.

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