Life of an Oracle DBA – Test environment.

It’s been a few weeks since I have posted. The short story is my work load has been keeping me from posting.

Today I had an interesting conversation regarding a test environment that we are building in a technology refresh. Early on I was asked what are the space requirements for the test environment? I came up with a answer based on:

  1. Current size of my production database. 350G
  2. Enough space to store two full backups. 700G
  3. Enough space to stage an export to refresh. 350G
  4. Growth of 20%/year

So the minimum space required would be 1.4T with out including growth. I get a phone call asking me about why I need so much space from one of the unix admins. Why would you backup a test environment? You can just refresh from production if you need to.

This is actually a good question. Why backup the test environment?

  1. You need a place to test your backup and restore scripts. There is a system where there is no way to test your backup and restore scripts outside of production. This week a change was needed to the backup script, the change was made and the job was put into cron. The backup failed and I had to run it manually the next morning.
  2. Testers use the testing system. I had an instance where a test system was restored from production. After doing the restore, we needed to apply the archive logs to recover the database and make it available for the testers. The recover failed because there were objects in the production database that were in nologging. This caused us to have to shutdown the production database and get a cold backup because of the errors caused by the nologging. The end result, testers were down for a full day and production was down for the four In the end, I got the space I wanted for the test system, however the unix admin was still pushing back about actually backing up a test database. She still believes backing up test systems is a waist of time.
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