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Far Sync Data Guard Tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJuly 23, 2013

Question:  What is the new "Far Sync" instance in Oracle Data Guard and when would I choose to use a Far Sync instance over traditional standby databases?

Answer:  The far Sync instance feature is new in Oracle 12c active Data Guard, an extra-cost feature in Oracle 12c.  Oracle notes that far sync in 12c data guard will enable zero data loss protection and off-host network compression, even when primary and standby are thousands of miles apart.

In a nutshell, the Far Sync instance managed the transport layer of the archived redo logs as they are moved from the primary to the standby databases.  According to the 12c docs, the Far Sync instance has only three functions:

- Manages a control file
- Receives the redo logs from the primary database
- Archives the "standby" redo log files to a local archived redo log filesystem.

The Far Sync instance was created because of the geographical latency issues when performing synchronous Data Guard.  Essentially, Far Sync is a "proxy" that physically resides close to the primary database, a "middleman" instance that manages the near real-time apply of replication information.

As far as the primary database is concerned, the database is in-sync, and it is up to the Far Sync instance to ensure that the data gets transported to the standby database in near real time.

Data Guard "Near Sync" Standby is in SYNC mode while "Far sync" Standby ins  ASYNC mode.

Notes:  See MOSC Note 409013.1

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