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Brian Keating on Using Raw Data Files

In this excellent article written by Brian Keating, presented by Chris Lawson, author of the bestselling The Art and Science of Oracle Performance Tuning, we see an explanation of how to use raw data files:

Brian Keating starts with an introduction to raw devices.  He states that:

     Oracle data files on UNIX systems come in two basic flavors - "cooked files" and "raw devices.

Keating further explains the difference between the two types of data files.  He goes on to explain the following in his conclusion:

     In order for an Oracle database to use a raw device for a data file, the character special device file of the logical volume in question must be specified as the name of the data file. So, if you want to use a logical volume called "testdb_admin" for a data file, you must specify the character special device file "rtestdb_admin" as the name of the data file. To make a physical backup of that data file, you must use the dd command to copy that data file to a file system on disk or to a tape. When you copy raw device data files, though, a problem arises - the copy of the data file that gets created is itself a normal UNIX file - it is not a character special device file.


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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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