This section summarizes some general methods for making backups.
Customers of MySQL Enterprise Edition can use the MySQL Enterprise Backup product to do physical backups of entire instances or selected databases, tables, or both. This product includes features for incremental and compressed backups. Backing up the physical database files makes restore much faster than logical techniques such as the mysqldump command. InnoDB tables are copied using a hot backup mechanism. (Ideally, the InnoDB tables should represent a substantial majority of the data.) Tables from other storage engines are copied using a warm backup mechanism. For an overview of the MySQL Enterprise Backup product, see Section 30.2, “MySQL Enterprise Backup Overview”.
MyISAM tables can be backed up by copying table files (*.MYD, *.MYI files, and associated *.sdi files). To get a consistent backup, stop the server or lock and flush the relevant tables:
You need only a read lock; this enables other clients to continue to query the tables while you are making a copy of the files in the database directory. The flush is needed to ensure that the all active index pages are written to disk before you start the backup. See Section 13.3.6, “LOCK TABLES and UNLOCK TABLES Syntax”, and Section 22.214.171.124, “FLUSH Syntax”.
You can also create a binary backup simply by copying the table files, as long as the server isn't updating anything. (But note that table file copying methods do not work if your database contains InnoDB tables. Also, even if the server is not actively updating data, InnoDB may still have modified data cached in memory and not flushed to disk.)
For an example of this backup method, refer to the export and import example in Section 13.2.5, “IMPORT TABLE Syntax”.
To create a text file containing a table's data, you can use SELECT * INTO OUTFILE 'file_name' FROM tbl_name. The file is created on the MySQL server host, not the client host. For this statement, the output file cannot already exist because permitting files to be overwritten constitutes a security risk. See Section 13.2.10, “SELECT Syntax”. This method works for any kind of data file, but saves only table data, not the table structure.
Another way to create text data files (along with files containing CREATE TABLE statements for the backed up tables) is to use mysqldump with the --tab option. SeeSection 7.4.3, “Dumping Data in Delimited-Text Format with mysqldump”.
MySQL supports incremental backups: You must start the server with the --log-bin option to enable binary logging; see Section 5.4.4, “The Binary Log”. The binary log files provide you with the information you need to replicate changes to the database that are made subsequent to the point at which you performed a backup. At the moment you want to make an incremental backup (containing all changes that happened since the last full or incremental backup), you should rotate the binary log by using FLUSH LOGS. This done, you need to copy to the backup location all binary logs which range from the one of the moment of the last full or incremental backup to the last but one. These binary logs are the incremental backup; at restore time, you apply them as explained in Section 7.5, “Point-in-Time (Incremental) Recovery Using the Binary Log”. The next time you do a full backup, you should also rotate the binary log using FLUSH LOGS or mysqldump --flush-logs. See Section 4.5.4, “mysqldump — A Database Backup Program”.
If you have performance problems with your master server while making backups, one strategy that can help is to set up replication and perform backups on the slave rather than on the master. See Section 17.3.1, “Using Replication for Backups”.
If you are backing up a slave replication server, you should back up its master info and relay log info repositories (see Section 17.2.4, “Replication Relay and Status Logs”) when you back up the slave's databases, regardless of the backup method you choose. This information is always needed to resume replication after you restore the slave's data. If your slave is replicating LOAD DATA INFILE statements, you should also back up any SQL_LOAD-* files that exist in the directory that the slave uses for this purpose. The slave needs these files to resume replication of any interrupted LOAD DATA INFILE operations. The location of this directory is the value of the --slave-load-tmpdiroption. If the server was not started with that option, the directory location is the value of the tmpdir system variable.
If you have to restore MyISAM tables that have become corrupt, try to recover them using REPAIR TABLE or myisamchk -r first. That should work in 99.9% of all cases. Ifmyisamchk fails, see Section 7.6, “MyISAM Table Maintenance and Crash Recovery”.
If you are using a Veritas file system, you can make a backup like this:
From a client program, execute FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK.
From another shell, execute mount vxfs snapshot.
From the first client, execute UNLOCK TABLES.
Copy files from the snapshot.
Unmount the snapshot.
Similar snapshot capabilities may be available in other file systems, such as LVM or ZFS.