Because the database continues writing to the file during an online backup, there is the possibility of backing up inconsistent data within a block. For example, assume that either RMAN or an operating system utility reads the block while database writer is in the middle of updating the block. In this case, RMAN or the copy utility could read the old data in the top half of the block and the new data in the bottom top half of the block. The block is a fractured block, meaning that the data in this block is not consistent.