Oracle Database backup in Azure – Strategy for Low Cost and Best Storage Solution for storing the backups in Azure.

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I am sure many of you are already planning or have already moved oracle databases to Azure VM. In any IT infrastructure landscape Oracle workload migration to public cloud is one of the most difficult task and needed to be planned well in advance. If your organisation is a large shop of Oracle and you are migrating to Azure, cost saving is something which you will definetely consider.

I was recently working on Azure file share so that we can save some money in terms of huge storage cost for the Oracle database Backup for an assignment where the present backup was taken with Oracle RMAN process and it’s used to be taken in the local EMC storage when it was on-premise before the migration to Azure.

In case you are from Oracle background or handling on premise storage from long you must be aware that Oracle is having two types of backup process one is RMAN and the 2nd one is the conventional backup.

Now we have recently migrated hundreds of Oracle database from Onpremises to Azure and we have choosen Azure File Share for the Oracle RMAN backup storage location instead of VM managed disks.

The cost benefits of Azure File Share.

In terms of cost Azure File Share really gives us good benefits. Let’s take a look in the cost comparison for the Azure File Share w.r.t Azure VM Managed Disks.

Azure File Share Storage (LRS) : USD 0.06 per GB for a 1 TB storage volume the Price will be USD 60 (Please note that this amount is only charged if we use the full 1 TB quota. You will only be billed for storage used, not for the quota set.)

Now if you would like to compare with a standard managed disk of 1 TB (We have choosen S30) the per month price is USD 40.96, so the price will be charged every month. And for the production workload if you choose to use P30. Azure will bill you for USD 122.88 per month which is also very high compared to file storage.

Now the main question which may come to your mind whether the Azure File Share can give us a good performance compared managed standard disks. The answer is yes. To test the performance of the Azure File share we have done a PoC with the Oracle RMAN backup and traditional backup. And you can find the results here.

The performance comparison of Azure File Share. (Please note this below PoC has been carried out when the Azure Storage Account and the Azure VM’s were in the same Azure Data Center which was US West2)

Please find the PoC results.

A) Oracle RMAN Backup:

DB Name

Actual Size(GB)

RMAN Backup Size(GB) to Azure File Share

RMAN Backup Time to Azure File Share

RMAN Backup Size(GB) to local disk

RMAN Backup Time to local disk

DBCUSTD

484

340 GB

4 Hrs, 52 Min

340 GB

4 Hrs, 32 Min

DBFASH

810

555 GB

6 Hrs, 58 Min

534 GB

6 Hrs, 45 Min

B) Oracle Conventional Backup:

DB Name

Actual Size(GB)

Conventional Backup Size (GB) to Azure File Share (Compressed)

Conventional Backup Time to Azure File Share

Conventional Backup Size (GB) to local disk

Conventional Backup Time to local disk

DBCUSTD

484

84.7 GB ( ~ 17.5% of DB Size)

8 Hrs, 40 Min

86 GB

9 Hrs, 20 Min

DBFASH

810

36.4 GB ( ~ 13.5% of DB Size)

10 Hrs, 30 Min

120 GB

13 Hrs, 1 Min

So clearly you can see that there is not much difference in the performance of the Azure File Share compared to Azure VM managed disks, also you are getting more speed with Azure File Share when you are using oracle conventional backups.

I know you still have doubts in your mind on this solution so I have listed down few frequently asked questions and answers on this.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions on Azure File Share)

1. What is the maximum IOPS does Azure File Share supports?

Ans: 1000 IOPS

2. What is the maximum size of an Azure File Share?

Ans: 5 TB

3. What is the maximum of single File Size in Azure which can be stored in Azure File Share?

Ans: 1 TB

4. What is the maximum number of files in an Azure File share?

Ans: No Limit.

5. What is the maximum number of shared snapshot Azure File Share can support?

Ans: 200 share snapshots.

Conclusion: If you are migrating or building new Oracle Database servers in Azure, for the VM lebel backup of the system drives Azure backup is a good solution however for the database level backup Azure File Share is best and low cost solution in Azure at the moment. I hope this post will help you, if you are planning to migrate your oracle workload to Azure. Stay tuned for more on Oracle on Azure in my next posts.

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