A recovery catalog is a database schema used by RMAN to store metadata about one or more Oracle databases. Typically, you store the catalog in a dedicated database. A recovery catalog provides the following benefits:
A recovery catalog creates redundancy（冗余） for the RMAN repository stored in the control file of each target database. The recovery catalog serves as a secondary metadata repository. If the target control file and all backups are lost, then the RMAN metadata still exists in the recovery catalog.
A recovery catalog centralizes metadata for all your target databases. Storing the metadata in a single place makes reporting and administration tasks easier to perform.
A recovery catalog can store metadata history much longer than the control file. This capability is useful if you have to do a recovery that goes further back in time than the history in the control file. The added complexity of managing a recovery catalog database can be offset by the convenience of having the extended backup history available.
RMAN automatically manages the backup metadata in the control file of the database that is being backed up. To protect and keep backup metadata for long periods of time, the RMAN repository, usually referred to as a recovery catalog, is created in a separate database. There are many advantages of using a recovery catalog, including the ability to store backup information long-term, the ability to store metadata for multiple databases, and the ability to restore an available backup on to another system. In addition, if you are using only the target database control file to house the repository, the control file, with its limited maximum size, may not be large enough to hold all desired backup metadata. If the control file is too small to hold additional backup metadata, then existing backup information is overwritten, making it difficult to restore and recover using those backups.