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Did RMAN backup to tape or was it a disk backup and the backup files were copied to tape on OS level? if you backed directly to tape RMAN knows where the backups on tape are located,you only have to setup the MML.
If the files were copied to tape from the OS you have to copy back the backup files from tape to disk,the easiest way is to the same location. If that is not possible use the CATALOG command to define new locations on the disk.
So if you backup directly to tape then Yes, you can restore direct form tape. Otherwise using the tape to bring what you need back to the OS.
My guess is that a BACKUP BACKUPSET (to sbt_tape) would cause Oracle to register the tape location of the backuppieces as well.
There is no RESTORE BACKUPSET but a RESTORE DATABASE should be able to restore from the tape location (although I suspect it would first look for the backuppieces on disk and then fallback to tape if they are not on disk or are expired from disk).
However, that is the behaviour I expect --- without ever having tested it.
As for the FRA (BACKUP RECOVERY AREA or BACKUP DB_RECOVERY_FILE_DEST), I expect a similar behaviour -- that Oracle would register the tape location of each backupset-backuppiece that is copied to tape.
Note : Per the documentation for 220.127.116.11 BACKUP RECOVERY AREA / DB_RECOVERY_FILE_DEST can also backup to an alternate disk.
Hemant K Chitale