Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Documentation

Backing Up a Database to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage


This topic is not applicable to Exadata DB systems. For Exadata DB systems, see Managing Exadata Database Backups.

This topic explains how to work with backups managed by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. You do this by using the Console or the API. (For unmanaged backups, you can use RMAN or dbcli, and you must create and manage your own Object Storage buckets for backups. See Backing Up a Database to Object Storage Using RMAN.)


If you previously used RMAN or dbcli to configure backups and then you switch to using the Console or the API for backups, a new backup configuration is created and associated with your database. This means that you can no longer rely on your previously configured unmanaged backups to work.

Required IAM Policy

To use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, you must be given the required type of access in a policy  written by an administrator, whether you're using the Console or the REST API with an SDK, CLI, or other tool. If you try to perform an action and get a message that you don’t have permission or are unauthorized, confirm with your administrator the type of access you've been granted and which compartment  you should work in.

If you're new to policies, see Getting Started with Policies and Common Policies.


The DB system requires access to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage service, including connectivity to the applicable Swift endpoint for Object Storage. Oracle recommends using a service gateway with the VCN to enable this access. For more information, see these topics:


Note that your database and DB system must be in an “Available” state for a backup operation to run successfully. Oracle recommends that you avoid performing actions that could interfere with availability (such as patching and Data Guard operations) while a backup operation is in progress. If an automatic backup operation fails, the Database service retries the operation during the next day’s backup window. If an on-demand full backup fails, you can try the operation again when the DB system and database availability are restored.

In addition to the prerequisites listed, ensure that the following conditions are met to avoid backup failures:

  • The database's archiving mode is set to ARCHIVELOG (the default).
  • The /u01 directory on the database host file system has sufficient free space for the execution of backup processes.
  • The .bash_profile file for the oracle user does not include any interactive commands (such as oraenv or one that could generate an error or warning message).
  • (For automatic backups) No changes were made to the default WALLET_LOCATION entry in the sqlnet.ora file.
  • No changes were made to RMAN backup settings by using standard RMAN commands.

See Backup Failures on Bare Metal and Virtual Machine DB Systems for details on problems that can result from not following these guidelines.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Managed Backup Features

The following information applies to managed backups configured using the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console or API.

Automatic Incremental Backups

When you enable the Automatic Backup feature, the service creates daily incremental backups of the database to Object Storage. The first backup created is a level 0 backup. Then, level 1 backups are created every day until the next weekend. Every weekend, the cycle repeats, starting with a new level 0 backup.

Backup Retention

If you choose to enable automatic backups, you can choose one of the following preset retention periods: 7 days, 15 days, 30 days, 45 days, or 60 days. The system automatically deletes your incremental backups at the end of your chosen retention period.

Backup Scheduling

The automatic backup process starts at any time during your daily backup window. You can optionally specify a 2-hour scheduling window for your database during which the automatic backup process will begin. There are 12 scheduling windows to choose from, each starting on an even-numbered hour (for example, one window runs from 4:00-6:00 AM, and the next from 6:00-8:00 AM). Backups jobs do not necessarily complete within the scheduling window

The default backup window of 00:00 to 06:00 in the time zone of the DB system's region is assigned to your database if you do not specify a window. Note that the default backup scheduling window is six hours long, while the windows you specify are two hours long. See note for backup window time zone information.


  • Backup Window Time Zone - Automatic backups enabled for the first time after November 20, 2018 on any database will run between midnight and 6:00 AM in the time zone of the DB system's region. If you have enabled automatic backups on a database before this date, the backup window for the database will continue to be between midnight and 6:00 AM UTC. You can create a My Oracle Support service request to have your automatic backups run in a backup window of your choice.
  • Data Guard - You can enable the Automatic Backup feature on a database with the standby role in a Data Guard association. However, automatic backups for that database will not be created until it assumes the primary role.
  • Retention Period Changes - If you shorten your database's automatic backup retention period in the future, existing backups falling outside the updated retention period are deleted by the system.
  • Object Storage Costs - Automatic backups incur Object Storage usage costs.

On-Demand Full Backups

You can create a full backup of your database at any time unless your database is assuming the standby role in a Data Guard association.

Standalone Backups

When you terminate a DB system or a database, all of its resources are deleted, along with any automatic backups. Full backups remain in Object Storage as standalone backups. You can use a standalone backup to create a new database.

Using the Console

You can use the Console to enable automatic incremental backups, create full backups on demand, and view the list of managed backups for a database. The Console also allows you to delete full backups.


The list of backups you see in the Console does not include any unmanaged backups (backups created directly by using RMAN or dbcli).

All backups are encrypted with the same master key used for Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) wallet encryption.

To navigate to the list of standalone backups for your current compartment
To configure automatic backups for a database
To create an on-demand full backup of a database
To delete full backups from Object Storage

Using the API

For information about using the API and signing requests, see REST APIs and Security Credentials. For information about SDKs, see Software Development Kits and Command Line Interface.

Use these API operations to manage database backups:

For the complete list of APIs for the Database service, see Database Service API.