Introducing EMC ProtectPoint, with Oracle RMAN Integration!


Data Protection


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Introducing EMC ProtectPoint, with Oracle RMAN Integration!


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In my previous blog post Storage Integrated Data Protection, for Oracle Databases too!, I mentioned that on Tuesday, July 8th, EMC announced ProtectPoint, an industry-first data protection offering that provides direct backup from primary storage to protection storage. Delivers the performance of snapshots with the functionality of backups, while eliminating the impact of backup on the application environment and ensuring consistent application performance.


Further, EMC ProtectPoint enables fast recovery and instant access to protected data for simplified granular recovery, while removing the need for excess backup infrastructure, reducing overall cost and complexity.


ProtectPoint will initially support backing up the new VMAX3 storage systems to EMC Data Domain systems DD4500, DD7200, and DD990 running DD OS 5.5.



In this blog post, let's examine how EMC ProtectPoint performs backup and recovery operations; 

At a high-level, this is how EMC ProtectPoint works to backup directly from primary storage to Data Domain. The first step is for the Storage Administrator to make a point in time copy of the LUN(s) to be protected and seeds the initial blocks on the Data Domain system, the environment is then ready for its first full backup via ProtectPoint.





  1. As shown above, an application owner, such as an Oracle DBA using the new ProtectPoint script integration for Oracle RMAN, triggers a backup at an application consistent checkpoint
  2. This triggers the primary storage, leveraging new primary storage changed block tracking, to send only the changed blocks (since the last backup/initial copy) directly to Data Domain
  3. The Data Domain system will receive and deduplicate the changed blocks, using them to create an independent full backup in native format, which enables greatly simplified recovery

With ProtectPoint, you perform a full RMAN backup every time, but primary storage only sends unique blocks, so the full backup comes at the cost of an incremental.

Let’s take a look at how a recovery works with ProtectPoint – first we’ll review a full recovery, which would be recovering an entire LUN. 





  1. First, the app owner will trigger the recovery …
  2. Then, the primary storage reads the full backup image from Data Domain
  3. The primary storage will then replace the production LUN with the recovered copy


In comparison, here’s how a granular recovery works – for an Oracle database environment this might be recovering a specific database, table or record – as opposed to the entire LUN.






  1. First, the app owner or DBA triggers the recovery
  2. Then, primary storage connects to the backup image on the Data Domain system
  3. This gives the DBA instant access to their protected data, which will still be on the Data Domain, but it will appear like it’s on primary storage.

At this point, the DBA can use the LUN as they would a snapshot and, for example, perform normal steps to open a database and recover a specific object to the production database.






Overall with EMC ProtectPoint, you can reduce the time, cost and complexity of managing application backups, by eliminating the impact of backups on application servers with non-intrusive data protection since no data will flow through the application server. This ensures you will maintain consistent application performance, but still gain application consistent backups for simple recovery.

Further, you’ll finally be able to meet stringent protection SLAs, since only changed blocks are sent directly across the network and as all backups are stored in native formats, you’ll gain much faster backup, faster recovery and instant access to protected data for simplified granular recovery.

EMC ProtectPoint is simple and efficient and requires no additional infrastructure, above your new VMAX3 and Data Domain Appliance.


In a future blog post, I will examine how EMC ProtectPoint provides script integration with Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) for Oracle 11g and 12c databases running on Unix (Solaris, AIX, HP-UX) and Linux.

Comments / Questions?