Can you tell me how to size my archivelog backup sets? I know I can set the max # of files in a backup set, and the max size of the backup set in bytes, but I don't understand the significance of these. It seems I would want my backup set as large as possible so I would have less backupsets to maintain, but what are the constraints I should be aware of? I currently have max files 100 and max kbytes at 500000, but I still get about 20 backup sets a day, which I then have to go back and delete. The list grows so quickly, I would like to make this more manageable.
Remember, that the size of your archive logs will match the size of your online redo logs.
A certain transaction level is going to produce a given level of redo log information. You can choose to archive this in a few large files or many small files, but the amount of information is the same.
I usually think of redo log sizing as it relates to performance not storage, and I try to get my logs to switch about every 1/2 hour. Otherwise you may be checkpointing to frequently, but that again depends on your instance recovery needs which may be better handled by init.ora parameters(fast_start_io, log_checkpoint_interval, etc).
The size of your redo logs is set at database creation but you can adjust dynamically by adding new redo log files with the ADD LOGFILE command and then bringing them online and the older ones offline with ALTER DATABASE. See your doc.
The size and number of Archive logs will depend upon the amount of redo generated in your database.
There is very little you can do about it except:
(a) Use Nologging mode to insert bulk data into tables (eg during a batch process).
(b) Temporarily turn off archiving when you are making bulk changes in database which you know you can remake changes if some failure happens.
Remember both these options you are compromising recoverability to some extent. So dont forget to take cold backups after these operations.
If you wish to reduce the number of archivelogs generated, you can increase the size of your online redo logs. Since archiving occurs at each log switch, your archive logs will be fewer although bulkier. However remember that you would increase recovery time by having larger online redo logs.
Let me try to clarify what I am asking - I am not talking about the size of the archive logs themselves - I am talking about the size of the backupsets that will contain copies of the archivelogs. RMAN allows you to set the max number of archivelogs contained in one backup set. That's what I want to increase, so I don't have so many backupsets to then be deleting as they become obsolete.