Ensuring that the system has been backed up and is fully “recoverable”, is a very important aspect of the DBA’s responsibility.An RMAN command which is usually used to test the availability of the all these required backup files, is the RESTORE DATABASE VALIDATE command.
This command looks at the backup set files in the destination and compares them to the list of required files from the repository or control file required for a restore. It does not perform an actual restore. Contrary to popular belief, it does NOT look and verify the archive logs, but only the database backup sets required for the restore. DBA’s usually are not aware that the RESTORE ARCHIVELOG ALL VALIDATE should be run to ensure that archive logs are also available to ensure a complete recovery.
These two commands should be part of a periodic script to ensure that a complete backup set is available at all times, in case required.
RESTORE DATABASE VALIDATE;
RESTORE ARCHIVELOG ALL VALIDATE;
If no error is returned from the above commands then the files required for BOTH restore and recovery are available.
Another interesting blog on Opatch Utility.