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Expert Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonNovember 10, 2015

Oracle RMAN Simplified Recovery Through OPEN RESETLOGS

Following an incomplete point-in-time recovery or recovery without a backup control file, it will be necessary to open the database with the OPEN RESETLOGS option as follows:

SQL> alter database open resetlogs;

The OPEN RESETLOGS operation creates a new incarnation of the database, resets the log sequence to 1 and online redo logs are given a new time stamp and SCN.  Prior to Oracle 10g, the newly generated redo log files could not be used with the backups taken in the past.  Therefore, it was historically important to take an immediate backup as all previous backups became invalid.  Using OPEN RESETLOGS can negate the need for that backup.

Without the use of OPEN RESETLOGS, when using the RMAN catalog for future backups, the following command had to be issued to make the RMAN catalog aware of the new incarnation of the database.

RMAN> reset database;

As of Oracle 10g, it is no longer necessary to back up the database following an incomplete recovery and OPEN RESETLOGS operations. 

The OPEN RESETLOGS feature is also applicable for the following two scenarios:

  • Performing a recovery using a backup control file and opening the database with the RESETLOGS operation. 

  • Reinstantiation of  the old primary database following a failover

When the new database incarnation is created following the use of OPEN RESETLOGS and the log sequence reset, orphaned backups are created.  These orphaned backups can be used by RMAN to restore the database to a point in time not in the current incarnation path.

It is possible for RMAN to restore backups from direct ancestor incarnations and recover up to the current time as long as a continuous path of archived logs exists from the earliest backups to the desired point of recovery.  This holds true even across OPEN RESETLOGS operations.

 Under certain circumstances RMAN can also perform restore and recovery with orphaned backups via the restoration of a control file from an appropriate incarnation.


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