Oracle Database 11g Direct NFS Clonedb Feature – Part I.

Database Clones Without Storage Snapshot/Clone Technology? Yes, Of Course! You Knew That, Didn’t you?

Oracle Database 11g Release 2 has a bit of a “stealth feature” that few are aware of. The feature is called clonedb which is functionality built into Oracle Database 11g Direct NFS (DNFS). The best way to explain this feature is to pose a short list of questions:

  1. Do you have NFS mounts?
  2. Do you have DNFS enabled?
  3. Do you have an RMAN backup?
  4. Do you want to quickly and simply provision fully read/write database clones for development/test purposes?
  5. Do you generally provision development/test instances using your vendor NFS snapshot/clone technology?
  6. Do you find it too cumbersome to set up development/test clones using your vendor snapshot/clone technology?

If you say yes to most of these then you’ll appreciate the clonedb feature.

Database Clones Without Storage Snapshot/Clone Technology?
This is Part I in the series so at this stage I’ll clearly point out that with Oracle Database 11g Direct NFS clonedb functionality you can create a fully read/write clone database without storage snapshots or clones. Moreover, the clonedb feature is a thin-provisioning approach.

I could type a lot more words about this new feature, but this is a Part I blog entry and since I have a video presentation introducing the feature I’ll just offer a link to it:

I’m excited about this feature. In terms of administrative effort, it is by far the easiest way to provision clones for development/test instances that I am aware of. In my assessment it is simple, stable and it performs. I don’t get to say that as often as I’d like to about technology.

Link to Part I (and a half)

39 Responses to “Oracle Database 11g Direct NFS Clonedb Feature – Part I.”

  1. 1 Noons December 23, 2010 at 2:44 am

    AWESOME! Thanks for this, Kevin: it’s gonna have direct relevance to us in the next 6 months!
    (or whenever I can get the SAN guys to give me enough space for a 11gr2 upgrade…)

  2. 3 Tanel Poder December 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    So that’s what clonedb is 🙂

  3. 5 Steve December 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    This is great! Glad to see someone who knows his stuff is talking about this topic.

  4. 6 glennfawcett December 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    As always very useful stuff. A thin-provisioned clone of the backup is brilliant. I know a fair number of customers that struggle managing Dev/QA environments and this will definitely be part of solution.

  5. 7 Thomas Presslie December 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Extremely useful post – thanks, Kevin!!!

  6. 9 Niall Litchfield December 24, 2010 at 10:28 am


    Excellent post, presentation and demo.

    Thank you very much indeed.


  7. 11 Jas Bhati December 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Awesome feature…:)

  8. 12 Randall December 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Very good blog. I noticed your RMAN backups are image copies so I assume your doing incremental Merge backups of the prod DB. What happens to the clone when the prod backup updates those image copies?

  9. 13 Jason Bucata January 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Would it be possible to get the files in another format other than MP4? Perhaps uploading to YouTube or something?

  10. 14 Kiran January 10, 2011 at 9:39 am

    cool feature.. Waiting for 2nd part.. Need to know more how it works.

  11. 15 Raghu January 17, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Wow..Thats fantastic…!!!
    This is very cool feature
    we are using with direct NFS …!
    Thanks for such a nice discription.


  12. 16 Duncan Lawie February 7, 2011 at 11:46 am


    it seems the presentations can’t be downloaded any more. Are they available elsewhere?


  13. 18 Abe Tong May 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Kevin,

    Again the download limit is on for the first video presentation. Could you release it?



  14. 21 Chris Martin September 29, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks, Kevin… great vid and explanation… Chris

  15. 22 Sreekanth Chintala November 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    there is a startup company that offer this feature in a commercial way:

    • 23 kevinclosson November 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      I know Delphix well:
      1) They are partly funded by the same venture capital that funded PolyServe (were I was the Chief Software Architect for Database Solutions)
      2) One of the early technology innovators at Delphix was Boris Klots who I worked with closely on Oracle’s performance regression engineering efforts while I was in Sequent Advanced Oracle Engineering. At the time, Oracle did all Oracle Parallel Server performance regression testing on clustered Sequent hardware (no surprise since it was the dev platform for the first Unix release of OPS).
      3) Delphix was making recruitment moves on me when I was working out my move from Oracle Server Technologies Exadata Development to EMC Greenplum. So,
      4) I nudged by fellow Oaktable Network friend Kyle Hailey to give Delphix a call. Kyle is doing performance engineering now at Delphix.

      …that about covers it 🙂 It is a ******really***** small world.

  16. 24 Ian March 29, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Great notes and videos – just upgraded so this is next on my list to try out.
    You make it look so simple – Thanks!

  17. 25 Jeff August 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

    hi kevin – the download limit is on for both presentations – could you release those?


  1. 1 Clones! « Oracle Mine…. Trackback on December 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm
  2. 2 M-A-O-L » Oracle Direct NFS Clonedb Feature Trackback on December 27, 2010 at 10:40 pm
  3. 3 clonedb « Oracle Scratchpad Trackback on January 6, 2011 at 9:07 am
  4. 4 Direct NFS (DNFS) Clonedb in Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (Patchset « YET ANOTHER ORACLE DBA Trackback on March 3, 2011 at 7:06 am
  5. 5 Direct NFS (DNFS) Clonedb in Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (Patchset « DiAbOlIkO NetWork Trackback on November 11, 2011 at 8:32 am
  6. 6 Direct NFS (DNFS) Clonedb in Oracle Database 11g Release 2 | BLOG DO ALEXANDRE PIRES "DBA" Trackback on May 12, 2012 at 10:24 am
  7. 7 Solve the SQL mini-challenge and attend the November 15 NoCOUG conference for free‏ « So Many Oracle Manuals, So Little Time Trackback on November 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm
  8. 8 Log Buffer #210, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs Trackback on February 15, 2013 at 6:20 am
  9. 9 Virtual DB | Oracle Scratchpad Trackback on March 9, 2013 at 2:52 am
  10. 10 clonedb with Direct NFS | Oracle RAC and Exadata Expert Trackback on April 7, 2013 at 9:04 am
  11. 11 Oracle Database DNFS CloneDB Feature | DBA Galaxy Trackback on August 11, 2013 at 7:59 am
  12. 12 Oracle Database : DNFS cloneDB feature Trackback on November 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

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