FAQ
After doing some investigation here is what I found out but still not clear why the behavior is not consistent. Any explanation will be appreciated.
Even though both of these databases (see the parameters below) have "CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP ON", the database1 writes c-IIIIIIIIII-YYYYMMDD-QQ (backup controlfile) file to the $ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory and database2 doesn't write the c-IIIIIIIIII-YYYYMMDD-QQ (backup controlfile) file to the $ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory. There is one difference between these database1 and database2. The database1 is backed up to DISK by RMAN whereas the database2 is backed up to TAPE by RMAN. Will that make such difference?
For both of these databases the snapshot controlfile (snapcf_<ORACLE_SID>.f') is being correctly written to the directory as defined by "CONFIGURE SNAPSHOT CONTROLFILE NAME TO" persistent parameter.
I also noticed that size of the snapshot controlfile (snapcf_<ORACLE_SID>.f') is same as the size of the regular controlfile on the server whereas the backup controlfile(c-IIIIIIIIII-YYYYMMDD-QQ) is few bytes bigger than the controlfile on the servers. Any idea why it is bigger?

Database1 on Server1 (Oracle 10.2.0.4): This database is writing the backup controlfile under the $ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory in the following format c-IIIIIIIIII-YYYYMMDD-QQ, where: IIIIIIIIII stands for the DBID, YYYYMMDD is a time stamp of the day the backup is generated, QQ is the hex sequence that starts with 00 and has a maximum of FF.

RMAN> show all;
using target database control file instead of recovery catalog
RMAN configuration parameters are:
CONFIGURE RETENTION POLICY TO RECOVERY WINDOW OF 14 DAYS;
CONFIGURE BACKUP OPTIMIZATION OFF;
CONFIGURE DEFAULT DEVICE TYPE TO 'SBT_TAPE';
CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP ON;
CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP FORMAT FOR DEVICE TYPE DISK TO '%F';
CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP FORMAT FOR DEVICE TYPE SBT_TAPE TO '%F'; # default
CONFIGURE DEVICE TYPE DISK BACKUP TYPE TO BACKUPSET PARALLELISM 4;
CONFIGURE DEVICE TYPE 'SBT_TAPE' PARALLELISM 4 BACKUP TYPE TO BACKUPSET;
CONFIGURE DATAFILE BACKUP COPIES FOR DEVICE TYPE DISK TO 1;
CONFIGURE DATAFILE BACKUP COPIES FOR DEVICE TYPE 'SBT_TAPE' TO 1;
CONFIGURE ARCHIVELOG BACKUP COPIES FOR DEVICE TYPE DISK TO 1;
CONFIGURE ARCHIVELOG BACKUP COPIES FOR DEVICE TYPE 'SBT_TAPE' TO 1;
CONFIGURE CHANNEL DEVICE TYPE 'SBT_TAPE' PARMS 'ENV=(NB_ORA_CLIENT=phx11db1,NB_ORA_POLICY=ora_phx11db1),SBT_LIBRARY=/usr/openv/netbackup/bin/libobk.so64.1';
CONFIGURE MAXSETSIZE TO 30 G;
CONFIGURE ENCRYPTION FOR DATABASE OFF;
CONFIGURE ENCRYPTION ALGORITHM 'AES128';
CONFIGURE ARCHIVELOG DELETION POLICY TO NONE;
CONFIGURE SNAPSHOT CONTROLFILE NAME TO '/phx11db1/u01/app/oracle/admin/<ORACLE_SID>/pfile/snapcf_<ORACLE_SID>.f';

Database2 on Server2 (Oracle 10.2.0.4): This database doesn't write any backup controlfile in the following format c-IIIIIIIIII-YYYYMMDD-QQ under $ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory. In fact it doesn't write anywhere on the database server.
RMAN> show all;

using target database control file instead of recovery catalog
RMAN configuration parameters are:
CONFIGURE RETENTION POLICY TO NONE;
CONFIGURE BACKUP OPTIMIZATION ON;
CONFIGURE DEFAULT DEVICE TYPE TO 'SBT_TAPE';
CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP ON;
CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP FORMAT FOR DEVICE TYPE SBT_TAPE TO '%F'; # default
CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP FORMAT FOR DEVICE TYPE DISK TO '%F'; # default
CONFIGURE DEVICE TYPE 'SBT_TAPE' PARALLELISM 2 BACKUP TYPE TO BACKUPSET;
CONFIGURE DEVICE TYPE DISK PARALLELISM 1 BACKUP TYPE TO BACKUPSET; # default
CONFIGURE DATAFILE BACKUP COPIES FOR DEVICE TYPE SBT_TAPE TO 1; # default
CONFIGURE DATAFILE BACKUP COPIES FOR DEVICE TYPE DISK TO 1; # default
CONFIGURE ARCHIVELOG BACKUP COPIES FOR DEVICE TYPE SBT_TAPE TO 1; # default
CONFIGURE ARCHIVELOG BACKUP COPIES FOR DEVICE TYPE DISK TO 1; # default
CONFIGURE CHANNEL DEVICE TYPE 'SBT_TAPE' PARMS 'ENV=(NB_ORA_SERV=mspsbk100, NB_ORA_CLIENT=msp06db2, NB_ORA_POLICY=CRDM_ORACLE_MSP06DB2_GOLD),SBT_LIBRARY=/usr/openv/netbackup/bin/libobk.so64.1';
CONFIGURE MAXSETSIZE TO UNLIMITED; # default
CONFIGURE ENCRYPTION FOR DATABASE OFF; # default
CONFIGURE ENCRYPTION ALGORITHM 'AES128'; # default
CONFIGURE ARCHIVELOG DELETION POLICY TO NONE; # default
CONFIGURE SNAPSHOT CONTROLFILE NAME TO '/msp06db2/u01/app/oracle/admin/<ORACLE_SID>/pfile/snapcf_<ORACLE_SID>.f';

Thanks for your help in advance,
Ashoke

From: Wayne Smith
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 8:30 AM
To: Mandal, Ashoke
Cc: oracle-l@freelists.org
Subject: Re: RMAN question on the copy of the controlfile under $ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory

If you do the following from an "oracle" user session, you'll see what is set to cause these to be placed there:

* . oraenv
* (enter name of your database)
* rman
* connect target
* show all;
* quit
The "show all" will display your rman configuration. rman is really excellent in that these settings are displayed in a form that is the correct syntax to change the setting!

As others have said, these are control file auto backups. You may also have another form of control file backup in file names that might start with "snapcf". If the path to "dbs" is specified, simply issue the rman command "configure" command as you see from the "show all", but with the path you wish to use. If something like "%F" is all that is used, look up the syntax in the rman documentation.

By the way, these are backup files. If you don't want any of them, and don't need them by policy, just erase the ones you don't want. Also, I don't know if these (control file auto backup) files are automatically erased by your rman retention policies ... if not, you may have old files you can erase to regain free space.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Wayne
Wayne T Smith - wts@maine.edu - UMS-ITS-S&O -

* LISTSERV(r), the software that pioneered opt-in email list communication, is now 25 years old.
On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 6:26 PM, Mandal, Ashoke wrote:
We are having c- files under the ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory on regular basis and these are pretty big to fill up the filesystem.
-rw-rw---- 1 oracle oinstall 15564800 May 22 18:08 c-3963933903-20110522-03
-rw-rw---- 1 oracle oinstall 15564800 May 22 23:09 c-3963933903-20110522-04
Q1. Are these created by RMAN?
Q2. How to stop these files being written to ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory?
Q3. What will be the impact if we delete these files from ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory?
Q4. Why these c-* files are not generated under ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory for other ORACLE_HOME?

Appreciate your help in advance,
Ashoke



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