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Oracle to simplify database clones and snapshots with Snap utility

The software for Sun ZFS Storage Appliances cuts down the number of steps to creating clones and snapshots of data

Oracle database users can now create snapshots and clones of the company's databases on a Sun ZFS Storage Appliance in one step, which should simplify both storage management and internal development in enterprises.

Oracle's Snap Management Utility for Oracle Database, announced on Wednesday, is designed to take most of the work out of creating and managing copies of information in a database. It can create an almost unlimited number of snapshots, according to the company. Snapshots provide pointers into data as it existed at a certain time, and clones offer a copy of stored data that can be used for offline testing and development.

The new utility, a software option for Oracle's Sun ZFS Storage Appliance, reduces the number of steps for making snapshots from nine to one and for making clones from 12 to one, according to the company. IT administrators can make and manage those copies using a browser-based user interface. The utility has been qualified to work on Oracle Database 10g and 11g and on Oracle Engineered Systems, including the Oracle Exadata Database Machine.

Administrators can carry out some management tasks within the Snap Management Utility, saving them the trouble of working with the more complicated controls of the ZFS Storage Appliance itself, according to Oracle. With the utility, they can schedule snapshots, manage retention of those snapshots and annotate them with metadata. The utility also can handle restoring data to a past snapshot.

The new tool also lets users make their own clones in just a few steps, bypassing the task of coordination between storage resources and a database, which can take weeks, the company said.

Users can buy a license for the utility and download it now. Oracle did not immediately provide a price for the software.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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