Sunday Sep 29, 2013

Backing up full server instance using MySQL Enterprise Backup

Introduction:

MySQL Enterprise Backup(MEB) takes fast, consistent backups of MySQL server data, and helps in restoring the server to source server's data at the time of backup. But most of the times it is as much important to have same source server's state(server configuration like server global variables, plugins), as data. As backups become more frequent, server variables modified, plugins added or removed, it is very difficult to keep track of this changing server states for every backup. MEB 3.9.0 helps user in providing a complete backup so that the restored server can run with exactly the same state as that of the source server at the time of the backup.

MEB 3.9.0 performs full server instance backup,  which, on top of the log files and data files, also includes all the global variables and plugins(both internal and external) details. With this feature, backup-content.xml, a meta file under "meta" folder of the backup directory , now additionally contains all the plugins details like name, status, type etc under <plugins> section. In addition, there are two new files created under backup directory

  • server-my.cnf - contains all the global variables with non-default values for that server environment(MySQL server version, Operating System, Hardware Architecture etc).
  • server-all.cnf - contains all the global variables, that includes all the variables with non-default values and the other global variables with default values.

Advantages of Full Server Instance Backup:

  • Create replica - User can clone source server state by using either server-my.cnf or server-all.cnf file in the backup as defaults-file for starting the target server. As most of the global variables default value depend on the server environment, user can create a server with same state even if the target environment is different from source by using server-all.cnf as defaults file. If the target environment is same as source, user can use either of the files.
  • Keep a history of global variables - This new feature reduces the user's task for storing the state of the server, if changed, before every backup or incremental backup, so user need not worry about keeping track of server global variables. With this feature, now we can figure out non-default values of global variables for the running server with server-my.cnf.
  • Full plugins information - With all the plugins information backed up, this information will be used while installing missing plugins on restored server. Plugin details like type, status, library can be used to install missing plugins with the same configuration of the source.

Using Full Server Instance Backup:

Backup:

From MEB 3.9 onwards, this feature is enabled by default for all kinds of backup(i.e normal, incremental, image, compressed etc). That is there is no need to turn on any feature or use any option and all backups are full server instance backups.

Note: Binary logs and *info files used for replication and Innodb buffer pool details, which are also part of server instance, are not included in backups. Server plugins details are copied, but actual plugins binaries are not copied.

Restore:

After copy-back operation, server-all.cnf, server-my.cnf will be present in restored data directory. If there were any external plugins exist in source server, copy-back operation throws a warning about the missing plugins to install.

Starting Server:

The files server-my.cnf, server-all.cnf, which could be used as defaults-file to start the server on the restored data directory. When source and target environments are same, restoring server using server-my.cnf will be easier than using server-all.cnf as server-my.cnf has fewer global variables to verify or modify.

Note: User has to be careful while starting another server instance on the same host using server-my.cnf, server-all.cnf files without changes. There is a possibility of modifying source server settings or data, as some file paths like innodb_log_group_home_dir, innodb_log_group_home_dir,tmpdir,general-log etc are related to source server.

Incremental Backup:

The files server-my.cnf,server-all.cnf reflect the state of the server at the time of a incremental backup and it is desirable to have the same state after applying the incremental backup. So after apply-incremental-backup operation, full backup's server-my.cnf and server-all.cnf will be overwritten by corresponding incremental backup's server-my.cnf and server-all.cnf files.

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