BT Group Plc

Configuring backup and recovery procedures for BritishTelecommunications Plc

About The Client

As one of Europe’s leading communications companies, BT Group plc has a mission to help customers exploit the business opportunities that rapidly advancing communications technologies provide. For customers of its hosted and managed services, achieving the highest possible levels of availability for their database and applications is one of the most important criteria.

Overview & Challenges

Basic Project Goals

  • Improve availability.
  • Improve recoverability.
  • Ensure the integrity of Oracle backups.
  • Tighter integration of the Oracle backups with the existing backup infrastructure.
  • Cost savings
  • Allow the DBAsto have
  • The ability to backup a database as an entity.
  • More control of the verification of the success of the backups.

The Solution

The BT database administrators achieve maximum productivity by standardizing backup and recovery procedures across the enterprise. To achieve consistency and additional automation across databases, a BT DBA wrote UNIX shell scripts and RMAN command files. The scripts are located in a directory that is mounted on each database server.

Backup jobs are scheduled through a 3rd party cross-platform scheduling tool, and each job executes the parameter-driven “rman_backup” shell script. When a database is backed up for the first time, the “rman_backup” shell script creates a standard RMAN command file for the database, which the DBA can then tune as needed for the specific database.

To recover a database, the DBA runs the ”rman_recovery” script, which generates RMAN recovery command files that can then be modified based on the recovery requirements.

Backup & Recovery Solution

  • Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN)
  • 1000 concurrent users on production systems
  • Nightly full online backups of production databases to tape
  • Archive Logs backups to tape twice per day
  • Recovery time objective of 24 hrs, for restoring all Tier 1 and 2 databases
  • 14 day tape retention policy at datacenter
  • Production backup tape copies vaulted offsite
  • Full disaster recovery testing conducted once per 6 Months


For a number of years, BT has relied on Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) for data protection of Oracle 8i/9i/10g databases.

RMAN’s intimate knowledge of the database provides BT

  • Reliability and ease of use for backup and recovery
  • Online RMAN backups
  • Corruption checking during backup and restore
  • Restore speeds averaging 100 Gb/ hour from tape
  • Seamless integration with Veritas NetBackup
  • Excellent value proposition; no additional cost with the Oracle database

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