Managing Exadata Database Backups

This topic explains how to work with Exadata database backups managed by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. You do this by using the Console or the API. (For unmanaged backups, see Managing Exadata Database Backups by Using bkup_api.)


If you previously used bkup_api 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.
  • bkup_api uses cron jobs to schedule backups. These jobs are not automatically removed when you switch to using managed backups.

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.



To avoid backup failures, ensure that the database's archiving mode is set to ARCHIVELOG (the default).

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 bkup_api).

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

The 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 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.

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.


  • 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.

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.

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.

What's Next?

See Recovering an Exadata Database from Object Storage.