The RMAN recovery catalog (Oracle Protection)


Recovery Manager (RMAN) is a vital tool for Oracle Database management, especially for backup and recovery tasks. Oracle introduced Virtual Private Catalogs to enhance security and simplify administrative responsibilities in the RMAN recovery catalog. This article explores the creation, management, and upgrading of Virtual Private Catalogs, emphasizing the importance of meticulous catalog administration.


Please use this as a reference for managing your RMAN Database.

The number of catalog entries to retain is a customer preference because the recovery process requires more steps if the catalog entry for the selected recovery point does not exist.


Overview of Virtual Private Catalogs:

RMAN recovery catalog users typically have full privileges by default, posing risks in environments requiring strict duty separation. Virtual Private Catalogs address this by restricting administrators to modify only metadata related to their managed databases. Each virtual private catalog is linked to a distinct schema user, ensuring a secure approach to RMAN catalog management.


Using the VPD Model for Virtual Private Catalogs:

Virtual Private Catalogs rely on the Virtual Private Database (VPD) functionality. Activating this function is done using the dbmsrmanvpc.sql script, enabling administrators to control catalog activation or deactivation through options like -vpd and -novpd.


Creating Virtual Private Catalogs:

Creating a Virtual Private Catalog involves several steps, such as establishing a database user, granting necessary privileges, and managing connections. Careful access management is essential to ensure each catalog owner has permissions only for relevant databases. The process includes creation, privilege granting, and optionally enabling the VPD model for the virtual private catalog.


Registering a Database with a Virtual Private Catalog:

To store backup metadata in a virtual private catalog, databases must be registered. This process includes connecting to the catalog as the owner, connecting to the target database, and using the REGISTER DATABASE command in RMAN. This ensures the virtual private catalog contains the necessary metadata for backup operations.


Revoking Privileges from a Virtual Private Catalog Owner:

After creating a virtual private catalog, administrators may need to revoke privileges. This involves connecting to the recovery catalog as the owner and using the REVOKE command to remove specific access privileges from the virtual private catalog owner. This step is crucial for maintaining security and aligning with changes in responsibilities.


Dropping a Virtual Private Catalog:

When removing a virtual private catalog, connect to the catalog as the virtual private catalog owner and use the DROP CATALOG command in RMAN. Distinguish between dropping a virtual private catalog and removing the base recovery catalog to ensure only security policies are removed.


Upgrading Virtual Private Catalogs:

For environments not yet upgraded to Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) or using versions below Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (, upgrading is necessary. Oracle provides scripts like dbmsrmansys.sql and dbmsrmanvpc.sql to guide administrators through upgrading both the base recovery catalog and associated virtual private catalog schemas.



Effectively managing RMAN recovery catalogs, especially with Virtual Private Catalogs, is vital for secure and efficient backup and recovery operations. Administrators should plan and execute catalog tasks carefully, considering security implications at each step. Following best practices enhances the overall security of Oracle Database environments. 

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