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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle active data guard tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJuly 18,  2015

Question:  The Oracle marketing people are at-it again, and I noticed that within Oracle 11g "active" data guard is an extra cost option!  In Oracle 10g, there was no distinction between an "active" data guard and an inactive one, so I wonder if Data Guard costs extra in Oracle 11g?

Answer:  The only way to know for sure if Data Guard is still free in 11g EE is to contract your CSR (customer support representative).  Oracle is always re-naming products, and it's not uncommon for a single feature to have many names (e.g. Oracle VPD is the same as RLS).  As to Data Guard, Oracle is slicing-off the functionality as Data Guard matures.

Also see my notes on Far Sync instances with active data guard.

You are correct, the Oracle web site says that Data Guard (SQL Apply and Redo Apply) comes as part of 10g Enterprise Edition (EE).

Active Data Guard - Now an extra cost option

In 11g, "active data guard" is indeed an "option".  The description suggests that "active data guard" is Data Guard with physical standby, opened for read-only transactions:

Oracle Active Data Guard - Oracle active data guard is an option for Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition?enhances Quality of Service by offloading resource-intensive activities from a production database to one or more synchronized standby databases.

Oracle Active Data Guard enables read-only access to a physical standby database for queries, sorting, reporting, web-based access, etc., while continuously applying changes received from the production database.

Oracle Active Data Guard also enables the use of fast incremental backups when offloading backups to a standby database, and can provide additional benefits of high availability and disaster protection against planned or unplanned outages at the production site.

The docs also say that active data guard implies that it is essentially redo apply services used with physical standby:

"If a license for the Oracle Active Data Guard option has been purchased, Redo Apply Services can also run on a physical standby database instance that is open."

Let's look at the 11g new features for Data Guard.  Oracle 11g Data Guard introduced several new features.  The Oracle 11g New Features book notes some Data Guard Pricing changes:

"As site failures do not happen on a regular occurrence these disaster recovery (DR) servers can be sitting idle for long periods of time without any use or value being obtained.

Prior to 11g businesses were unable to benefit as greatly from their DR investment. Oracle's goal for 11g was to make DR cost effective, better utilize standby resources and allow for easy testing of DR.

Data Guard is included with the Enterprise Edition of Oracle, but it should be noted that a named user or processor license may need to be purchased for the database. It's always recommended to check with an Oracle sales."

The book also confirms that "active Data Guard" is essentially Data Guard Physical Standby with read-only access:

"Oracle Active Data Guard allows DBAs and users to run real-time queries on a physical standby system for reporting and other purposes while still seeing transactional consistent results. As opposed to previous versions where applying of logs had to stop while reporting was taking place, it now runs simultaneously.

Oracle versions 9 and 10 couldn't have the physical standby in readable state; 11g has this and is fully synced. This ability makes an organizations DR investment much more valuable. This capability is known as Real-Time Query."



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