A flash recovery area is a disk location in which the database can store and manage files related to backup and recovery.
Some features of Oracle database backup and recovery, such as Oracle Flashback Database and guaranteed restore points,
require the use of an FRA. However, having an FRA for use by these features does not force you to use it to store
all recovery-related files.
Backups moved to tape from the flash recovery area (via RMAN and media manager) are retained on disk until space
is needed for other required files, reducing the need to restore backups from tape. At the same time, obsolete
files no longer needed to meet your recoverability goals and files backed up to tape become eligible for deletion
and are deleted when space is needed. These deletions are managed by Oracle when space is required. The DBA no longer
has to manually delete old backups, and, it is less likely that a DBA accidentally deletes redundancy set files.
Note that if backups written to the FRA are not copied via RMAN and media manager to tape, the automatic deletion
of obsolete backups does not occur and pre-Oracle10g cleanup methods are required.