I have cloned Oracle databases since Oracle7 days in 1995. Cloning techniques in Oracle7 were devised by the DBAs. Quite a few manual steps in Oracle7 to clone an Oracle database, but it worked. The first cloning tool/command that Oracle introduced was in RMAN with Oracle9i . Manaul steps such as recreating control file and recovery/restore operations were automated. Further enhancements in cloning techniques with Oracle10g RMAN. Oracle took the cloning techniques to the next level with Oracle11g with enhancements such as FROM ACTIVE DATABASE and BACKUP LOCATION.
All cloning techniques/tools that Oracle offers are for databases only. What about cloning an Oracle software stack? What if you want to clone Oracle database binaries to standby servers? Tar ORACLE_HOME and then untar it to the same location on the destination. Update IP addresses and server names in few files such as TNSNAMES.ORA and LISTENER.ORA. If you need to untar it to different location, then you need to update inventory and make some more changes to configuration files. In short, it's doable for Oracle database binaries, but lots of manual steps. Cloning Oracle database binaries maybe doable, but it's lot harder if you need to clone Oracle10g Application Server. I have never cloned Oracle Application Server binaries. I always reinstall it.
I wonder if Oracle could provide cloning tools to clone Oracle binaries, or Oracle binaries and Oracle databases. Oracle Applications Release 12 does.
I have had an opportunity to clone Oracle Applications Release 12 during the last year or so. And I must say I am impressed. Sure, there are some restrictions and limitations with Rapid Clone, but it works very well for the use cases that one needs to deal with quite often.
Oracle Applications Release 12 Rapid Clone performs the following important tasks:
- Clone Oracle Database Binaries (ORACLE_HOME)
- Recreate Database Configuration Files. For example, LISTENER.ORA
- Clone Oracle Database
- Clone Oracle Applications (APPL_TOP)
- Clone Oracle Applications Server 10.1.2 Binaries (ORACLE_HOME)
- Clone Oracle Applications Server 10.1.3 Binaries (IAS_ORACLE_HOME)
- Recreate Configuration Files on Applications Servers
- Create Instance Top (INST_TOP)
For more information on Oracle Applications Release 12 Rapid Clone, refer to Metalink Note 406982.1.