RMAN provides a range of options to name the files generated by the BACKUP command.

Make RMAN Backup output to a specific location

BACKUP DATABASE
FORMAT "/disk1/backup_%U";
  • In this example backups are generated on the file system with the prefix "/disk1/backup_".
  • %U substitution variable generate unique string in the filename, is required.

Make RMAN Backup to an ASM disk group

BACKUP DATABASE
FORMAT '+dgroup1';

No %U is required because ASM generates unique file names as needed. However, you can specify %U if desired.

Make RMAN Backup Multiple Formats for Disk Backups

You can specify a format to spread the backup across several drives for improved performance. Allocate one DISK channel for each disk drive and specify the format string on the ALLOCATE CHANNEL command.

RUN
{
ALLOCATE CHANNEL disk1 DEVICE TYPE DISK FORMAT '/disk1/%d_backups/%U';
ALLOCATE CHANNEL disk2 DEVICE TYPE DISK FORMAT '/disk2/%d_backups/%U';
ALLOCATE CHANNEL disk3 DEVICE TYPE DISK FORMAT '/disk3/%d_backups/%U';
BACKUP AS COPY DATABASE;
}

If FORMAT clause is used then RMAN obeys the FORMAT setting. If none of the RMAN backup format specified the default location and filename format platform-specific are used.

You do not need to specify a format when backing up to tape because the default %U variable generates a unique filename for tape backups.

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