Recovery Manager (RMAN) is an Oracle Database client that performs backup and recovery tasks on your databases and automates administration of your backup strategies. The RMAN environment consists of the utilities and databases that play a role in backing up your data. RMAN includes following components.

Required RMAN Components

Target Database

The target database is the database that you are backing up, restoring, or recovering with RMAN Backup.

RMAN Client

The client application that manages backup and recovery operations for a target database can be located on any host.

RMAN Repository

RMAN Backup maintains metadata about its operations; this RMAN metadata is called as RMAN repository and stored in control file of the database.

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Optional RMAN Components

 Flash Recovery Area

A Flash recovery area is a Disk-Based location where RMAN stores files related to backup and recovery and controls disk space automatically.

Recovery Catalog

A schema on different database stores additional copy of RMAN metadata known as recovery catalog. Recovery catalog is used when control files are missing are not accessible or metadata is required for the longer period because oracle database may overwrite older records in the control file. RMAN maintains additional records in the recovery catalog forever unless deleted by the user. A recovery catalog can be used for one or more target database.

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Enterprise Manager

A browser based GUI for administrating and managing database, including backup and recovery tasks using RMAN

Standby database

Copy of primary database being updated by archived logs of primary database.

Duplicate database

A copy or clone of primary database can be reside on different host used for testing backups

Media Manager

An application that allows RMAN to backup on tape or storage system. This is a vender-specific application required for RMAN to backup on sequential media such as tape. In RMAN configuration this interface is called by SBT (system backup to tape). 

Media Manager Catalog

A repository maintains metadata about media management application.

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