SolarWinds Backup Help

Pre-backup settings for remote access to Oracle

We recommend installing Backup Manager on the same machine where your Oracle database is located. If this is not possible, you need to configure some settings before you start backups.

Step 1. Install Oracle Client

Install Oracle Client to the computer where Backup Manager is running. Here are steps to follow.

  1. Download Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Client for your system. To access the installer, visit the Oracle Database Software Downloads page. Under the "Oracle Database 11g Release 2" header, click See all next to your version of Windows (32- or 64-bit). A new page will open where you will find the installation file.
  2. Unpack the archive and start the setup.exe file.
  3. Select "Administrator" as the installation type.
  4. Specify where you want to place Oracle files. Oracle Base is the installation directory, for example C:\app\username. Software Location is the home directory (inside of Oracle Base), for example C:\app\username\product\11.2.0\client_1.
  5. Complete the installation as prompted by the installation wizard.

When the installation completes, please make sure that Oracle has been configured correctly and all necessary utilities included into the installation package are responsive. This is done using Command Prompt.

  1. Check Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) using the rman command. You should get the RMAN> response.
  2. Use the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut to exit RMAN.
  3. Check SQL*Plus (a basic Oracle Database utility) using the sqlplus.exe command. You should get the Enter user-name: response.
  4. Use the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut to exit SQL*Plus.
  5. Close Command Prompt.

If either of the utilities happens to be unresponsive, you might need to configure your system settings.

  1. Right-click the "Computer" icon (or "My Computer" in Windows XP). You can find it on your desktop or in the Start menu.
  2. Choose Properties from the context menu. Click Advanced system settings > Advanced > Environment Variables.
  3. Add a new environment variable – ORACLE_HOME. Set its value to the Software Location folder that you specified during the installation.
  4. Edit the PATH variable. Add %ORACLE_HOME%\bin to the list of its values. Use a semicolon to separate it from the previous value.
  5. Restart your computer to apply the new PATH value to the system account.

Step 2. Connect to the Oracle database

Now it is necessary to connect Oracle Client to your database. To accomplish the task, you will need to edit two files inside of the Software Location folder: tnsnames.ora and sqlnet.ora. Use Notepad or any other text editing tool. If you do not find the files, you will need to create them manually.

tnsnames.ora

The tnsnames.ora file (in the current case C:\app\USERNAME\product\11.2.0\client_1\network\admin\tnsnames.ora) must contain the following data:

ORCL1 = (DESCRIPTION = (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = 192.168.0.37)(PORT = 1521)) (CONNECT_DATA = (SERVER = DEDICATED) (SERVICE_NAME = orcl1.solaris.company.local) ) )

Please replace the values in bold with the values applicable to your system.

  • ORCL1 is the Oracle TNS alias (network name)
  • 192.168.0.37 is the IP address of the Oracle server you are connecting to. A host name can also be used.
  • 1521 is the Oracle database Listener port.
  • orcl1.solaris.company.local is the database service name.

sqlnet.ora

In sqlnet.ora (in the current case C:\app\USERNAME\product\11.2.0\client_1\network\admin\sqlnet.ora) the SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES and NAMES.DIRECTORY_PATH parameters should have the following values (there can be other values as well).

SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES= (NTS)
NAMES.DIRECTORY_PATH= (TNSNAMES, EZCONNECT)

When you save the changes, please make sure the connection has been set up correctly. For example, the TNSPING utility can help. Start Command Prompt and run the tnsping <TNS alias> command.

tnsping ORCL1

If the connection is working, you will get the OK response such as OK (140 msec).

Step 3. Mount the backup folder as a mapped network drive

Backup Manager requires access to the backup folder on the Oracle server. To provide this access, you need to share the backup folder via the SMB protocol and then map the network drive to the computer on which Backup Manager is installed. The network drive must be mapped for the same account that is used to run Backup Manager.

Backup Manager usually runs under the LocalSystem account. This account is not normally suitable for network access. There are two ways to overcome this limitation.

Option A: Map the network drive for the LocalSystem account

To make the shared folder accessible to the LocalSystem account, you can use the Windows Sysinternals PsExec tool. It helps you map the shared folder as a network drive for the LocalSystem account.

  1. Download an installation archive (visit downloads page).
  2. Extract the archive to a directory, for example C:\Pstools.
  3. Start Command Prompt. Change the Command Prompt directory to the directory where the installation archive has been unpacked to.

cd c:\Pstools

  1. Open another Command Prompt window with the LocalSystem account.

psexec -i -s cmd.exe

  1. Run the following command in the newly-created console window:

net use o: \\192.168.0.37\oracle\app\oracle\backup /persistent:yes

Instead of \\192.168.0.37\oracle\app\oracle\backup use the actual path to the shared folder.

Note that the mapped network drive may be invisible to user accounts other than LocalSystem.

Option B: Map the network drive for an administrative user account

Another way to make the shared folder accessible to Backup Manager is by changing the user account under which Backup Manager operates to an account from the Administrators group and mapping the network drive for that account. This option requires fewer settings but in some rare cases it can limit the functionality of Backup Manager.

  1. Open the Start menu. Start the Services Console (services.msc).
  2. Right-click the "Backup Service Controller" service. Choose Properties > Log On.
  3. Select the This account checkbox. Enter access credentials for the alternative account. Apply the changes.
  4. Right-click "Backup Service Controller", and choose Restart from the context menu.

When done, add the network drive:

  1. Log in to Windows under the administrator account you have just configured for Backup Manager.
  2. Start Command Prompt and run the following command:

> net use o: \\192.168.0.37\oracle\app\oracle\backup /persistent:yes

Instead of \\192.168.0.37\oracle\app\oracle\backup use the actual path to the shared folder.