Archive for May, 2008

A Snapshot of Snapshots

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Storage Snapshots are excellent tools in arsenal of a system administrator to create quick and consistent backups of their databases and applications. Snapshot is a “picture” of a filesystem at a point-in-time. In most modern snapshot implementations, this “picture” is not a full copy of the data, but rather a set of pointers to the data.

Here is a list of current industry leading snapshot technologies:

  • LVM Snapshots: Snapshot capability built into the Linux Volume Manager (LVM) - the default option on a Linux system.
  • ZFS Snapshots: Snapshot capability built into the ZFS filesystem on Solaris and OpenSolaris
  • NetApp SnapShots: A feature of the WAFL® (Write Anywhere File Layout) filesystem
  • Windows VSS: Volume Shadow Copy Service from Microsoft introduced in Windows Server 2003. VSS is also available with Windows XP, Vista, and 2008 Server.
  • VxFS Snapshots: Snapshot capability built into the Veritas File System
  • EMC SnapView: Snapshot capability on the EMC CLARiiON storage systems
  • IBM FlashCopy: Available in the IBM Storage Subsystems (DS8000, DS6000, ESS 800, SAN VC)
  • EqualLogic Smart Copy: Feature in the Dell EqualLogic PS Series

Our Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL product uses storage snapshots as one of the technologies to do a quick full backup of the MySQL database. We currently support LVM, ZFS, NetApp, VSS and VxFS Snapshots. Rest are coming soon…

Webinar:The Essential MySQL Backup & Recovery Solution - ZRM 2.2 Overview

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

MySQL databases are increasingly used by high volume, high transaction applications
that support businesses running full throttle 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Backup and recovery operations need to be conducted in such as way that is non-disruptive
to users and applications. The latest release of Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) 2.2 provides
Continuous Data Protection (CDP) as well as instant point-in-time recovery for MySQL.
In this webinar, we will demonstrate the latest ZRM enhancements so that you can use ZRM
to build a robust, flexible, and easy to use backup and recovery solution.

When: Thursday May 29, 2008, 10:00am Pacific / 1:00pm Eastern

Efficient CDP solution with instantaneous point-in-time recovery for MySQL

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Ask any DBA what are his top priorities for backup of MySQL. Chances are that hot backup and recovery to a specific point-in-time (or transaction) will be on top of everybody’s list.

The recovery to any point-in-time has been always an ultimate goal for data protection. Traditional backup solutions allow recovering only to a point in time when the last backup took place, e.g. last night. A lot of new data could be created and lost since that last backup. That is why in the last several years many vendors have been working on Continuous Data Protection (CDP).

Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) defines Continuous Data Protection (CDP) as “a class of mechanisms that continuously capture or track data modifications enabling recovery to previous points in time”.

ZRM 2.2 enables CDP by using LVM, VxFS, VSS, ZFS and NetApp snapshots in conjunction with MySQL transaction logs. When doing a recovery to a particular point in time, ZRM reads data from the snapshot and then replays MySQL transaction log from that point forward. This enables almost instantaneous point-in-time recovery.

ZRM CDP diagram

For each point in time T, ZRM creates a snapshot that includes a MySQL binary log. To recover MySQL database to a specific Recovery Point Objective (RPO) between T2 and T3, ZRM reads data from snapshot T2 and replays transactions from binlog T3 up to RPO providing the user with point-in-time recovery. To enable instantaneous recovery snapshots are stored where the database files are, for example, on the same NetApp filer.

Since real life recoveries are performed under stressful conditions, we designed our product to simplify your life and ensure successful recovery:

  • With a single click you can initiate point-in-time recovery that reads data from the snapshot and replays transactions so you get your database back in time.
  • Our unified recovery mechanism allows the very same recovery workflow not just for snapshots, but for all other backup methods such as logical and raw backup. The unified recovery works even with third party data extraction utilities for MySQL such as InnoDB HotBackup.
  • ZRM allows recovery to any point in time for multiple MySQL servers in the organization. MySQL servers could have different storage engines and run on different operating systems and all backup and recovery operations are centrally managed by ZRM.

Some CDP solutions capture all writes to the database effectively duplicating what a binary log is designed to do. Why re-invent the wheel and waste computing resources? ZRM is integrated with MySQL on a deeper level than any other backup solution. That allows us to provide very efficient CDP solution with almost instantaneous point-in-time recovery.

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Dmitri Joukovski