Determining Channel Parallelism to Match Hardware Devices
RMAN can perform the I/O required for many commands in parallel, to make optimal use of your hardware resources. To perform I/O in parallel, however, the I/O must be associated with a single RMAN command, not a series of commands. For example, if backing up three datafiles, issue the command
BACKUP DATAFILE 5,6,7;
rather than issuing the commands
BACKUP DATAFILE 5;
BACKUP DATAFILE 6;
BACKUP DATAFILE 7;
When all three datafiles are backed up in one command, RMAN recognizes the opportunity for parallelism and can use multiple channels to do the I/O in parallel. When three separate commands are used, RMAN can only perform the backups one at a time, regardless of available channels and I/O devices.
The number of channels available (whether allocated in a RUN block or configured in advance) for use with a device at the moment that you run a command determines whether RMAN will read from or write to that device in parallel while carrying out the command. Failing to allocate the right number of channels adversely affects RMAN performance during I/O operations.
As a rule, the number of channels used in carrying out an individual RMAN command should match the number of physical devices accessed in carrying out that command. If manually allocating channels for a command, allocate one for each device; if configuring automatic channels, configure the PARALLELISM setting appropriately.
When backing up to tape, you should allocate one channel for each tape drive. When backing up to disk, allocate one channel for each physical disk, unless you can optimize the backup for your disk topography by using multiple disk channels. Each manually allocated channel uses a separate connection to the target or auxiliary database.
The following script creates three backups sequentially: three separate BACKUP commands are used to back up one file each. Only one channel is active at any one time because only one file is being backed up in each command.