Question: The oravssw.exe
process is listed as top 3 processes consuming virtual
memory. on my Windows server. Due to this memory issue
we had to reboot the Windows server. Can you please
give me your opinion on the Oravssw.exe process.
Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a Windows shadow copy
utility used in conjunction with the Veeam Backup VSS
integration. The Oracle VSS writer supports log, copy,
full, differential, and incremental backups, just like RMAN.
Kim Thomas notes that:
"OraVSSW.exe doesn't have a product
name yet and it is developed by Oracle Corporation. I've
seen about 76 different instances of OraVSSW.exe in
Oracle 11g has a component named "Oracle VSS Writer" that
gets installed when selecting Windows OCI Components on the
Oracle 11g database install wizard of the DBCA.
Veeam starts windows VSS agent and VSS starts Oracle VSS
Writer, does the full consistent hot-backup of the database
and then I use a script to clean archive logs and traces
Sadly, the web is full of reports of:
- Slow backup performance on large
- VEEAM causing system-wide lock-ups.
- Memory leaks when using VSS, and many people
recommending periodic bouncing of the VSS service to release
In a nutshell, VSS has issues and RMAN is recommended
instead of VSS for performing backups on Windows systems.
See my important notes on taking
RMAN backups with Windows scripts.
However, there are known issues with VSS, most related to
memory leaks and excessive memory consumption.
See MOSC Note
1358570.1 titled "Instance Crash Or ORA-04030 Errors
When Pagefile Is Full."
Cause: The issue is
discussed in suspended and unpublished Bug 9063341 - MEMORY
LEAK OCCURS FROM ORAVSSW.EXE EVERY TIME BACKUP JOB HAS DONE.
The problem is caused by a memory leak in the Oracle Volume
Shadow Copy Service.
is no fix for this. However, the problem can be worked
around as follows:
- If not using the
Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) feature, then
simply disable the ORAVSSW.EXE service.
- If VSS is being used, then simply stop and restart the
performing your disk shadow backup.
In short, RMAN is the recommended backup method for all
Oracle databases on all platforms.
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