Archive for December, 2007

Webinar Q & A: MySQL Backup Techniques for the Oracle DBA

Monday, December 17th, 2007

We presented a webinar along with MySQL last week. The topic was MySQL Backup from the perspective of an Oracle DBA. We got some really good questions at the end of the webinar. Here is a transcript of Q&A:

Q from Trey: Will this Webinar be available online for viewing later?

A from MySQL: Yes. It will be on our site in a few days at

Q from Randy: Is a copy of presentation available on web? Where?

A from Zmanda : slides are available on Zmanda Network:

Q from Jing: Converting database from oracle to MySQL, any limitation regards the version compatibility?

A from MySQL: We provide a free GUI migration tool that helps migrate Oracle data objects to MySQL. For a complete and very detailed discussion on the subject, download our white paper on the subject at

Q from Julien: Is MySQL supported on NetApp?

A from MySQL: Yes

Q from Julien: For mysql on NetApp, which protocols are supported? nfs? iscsi? cifs?

A from MySQL: I believe the key protocols are supported.

Q from Haris: How does ZRM integrate with NetApp

A from Zmanda: ZRM takes advantage of snapshots provided by Data ONTAP OS in NetApp filers.

Q from Jim: Will the “new non-blocking backup utility” for MySQL for hot backup be free? or an extra cost option? Thank you.

A from MySQL: At this time, the core backup utility is planned to be GPL and in the community server

Q from Neil: How much does ZRM cost?

A from Zmanda: Annual subscription starts from $200 per MySQL server. We provide subscriptions with three levels of support — Basic (email only), Standard (business hrs phone and email) and Premium (7 X 24). Pricing is available at

Q from Franck: so the licensing is per MySQL Server

A from Zmanda: Yes, subscription is per MySQL server and you can backup as many databases within that server as you have.

Q from Isaac: Is the community edition of Zmanda fully functional or somehow restricted?

A from Zmanda: The Community Edition is fully functional. However, only the Enterprise version provides web-based Management Console that simplifies all operations. It also provides log analyzer that simplifies point-in-time recovery. To see additional details, please check

Q from Pavel: Does Zmanda GUI manager comes for free???

A from Zmanda: No. Only the Enterprise (which requires annual subscription) version provides a web based console.

Q from Tim: Could you provide onsite support if we need that?

A from Zmanda: Yes. We can provide onsite support and training if needed.

Q from Haijun: Does ZRM include InnoDB online backup?

A from Zmanda: Not in the current release. It is planned for a future release

Q from Alicia: Any idea how long before the release of a ZRM version that supports hot backup of InnoDB databases?

A from Zmanda: 3-6 months (likely next release)

Q from Mike: mysqldump cmdline for non-blocking with innodb?

A from Zmanda: mysqldump –single-transaction is non-blocking for transaction storage engines such as InnoDB

Q from Kevin: Now that Oracle owns the rights for InnoDB, what is it’s future. Will Oracle charge for InnoDB? Is there a replacement for Innodb from MySQL

A from MySQL: For MySQL, it’s business as usual so no changes from a support standpoint. We do have other transactional engines available – NDB (cluster) and our new Falcon transaction engine (about to enter beta). Also we have SolidDB and PBXT, – external engines

Q from Srinivas: what is the dependency of InnoDb during backup process?

A from Zmanda: There is no dependency on storage engines, but we can take advantage on functionality provided with some engines, e.g. we can use mysqlhotcopy as a data extraction utility for MyISAM. Another example — using snapshots with InnoDB can provide truly hot backup of MySQL.

Q from Madhavi: Having a combination of MyISAM and innodb, do we need separate jobs for backups?

A from Zmanda: No, you don’t. ZRM is designed to handle variety of MySQL configurations and the same backup job can handle different engines.

Q from Alicia: Which backup modes of ZRM support Innodb backups?

A from Zmanda: All backup methods are supported with Innodb storage engine (logical, raw, snapshot, replication)

Q from Rich: For datacenters with centralized backup to tape, will ZRM work in this environment? If so, am I able to have each customer have their own tape and can it be incremental and/or full?

A from Zmanda: Absolutely. ZRM can be easily integrated with any enterprise media manager such as Amanda, Netbackup by Veritas, NetWorker by Legato and TSM by IBM. Think of ZRM as “RMAN” for MySQL.

Q from Kevin: With Oracle we use RMAN and Netbackup using scripts for level 0,1,2. Can ZRM do the same?

A from Zmanda: Yes you can. You can use ZRM in conjunction with Amanda Enterprise (network backup software similar to NetBackup). If you are using NetBackup pre-backup and post-backup scripts to integrate with Oracle/RMAN, you can write similar scripts with ZRM.

Q from Charlie: If my 20 backups are successful and usually they are, I don’t want 20 emails. I only want an email if it “fails”.

A from Zmanda: You may have to tailor the email being sent. This can be done with some scripting. We plan to improve this functionality in the next release of Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL

Q from Jos: When in a replicated environment, can you restore all replicated databases at the same time from one backup?

A from Zmanda: Yes. You should configure all databases in the same backup set.

Q from Srinivas: Is selective recovery feature allows deselecting the corrupted records ?

A from Zmanda: If you have incremental backups covering the time frame when the records were not corrupted — then yes

Q from Isaac: How is recovery handled with the community edition of ZRM?

A from Zmanda: Recovery in community and enterprise editions is the same. Recovery depends on the backup method used. The DBA does not need to remember the backup method used. Enterprise edition provides easy to use recovery manager in Zmanda Management Console.

Q from Bob: Can Zmanda use multiple streams in parallel to backup a database?

A from Zmanda: You can configure ZRM to backup in multiple streams by configuring tables in the database in different backup sets.

Q from Raju: Can I resume my backup after a failure instead of starting over?

A from Zmanda: If there is backup failure, ZRM uses a different backup method. ZRM uses a hierarchy of backup methods depending on configuration and storage engine in use. Currently we don’t have a built-in checkpoint mechanism to resume a particular failed backup run.

Q from Isaac: Can ZRM be used to take backups from a slave, or is there some writing that is performed during the backup?

A from Zmanda: You can take backup from slaves in a replication setup.

Q from Rich: How does the recovery time compare between ZRM and RMAN for similar sized (say 800GB) DBs?

A from Zmanda: ZRM supports multiple backup methods and multiple storage engines. If you are using InnoDB storage engine (size 800GB) and snapshot backup method, the recovery time will be comparable.

Q from Eric: Does ZRM perform any compression? or encryption options?

A from Zmanda: Yes. ZRM uses plug-in architecture. You can create plug-ins for compression and encryption. The default configuration has lz and bzip2 compression similar to Oracle/RMAN.

Q from Steve: Can ZRM restore a single mysql database if you have it configured to “backup all databases” on a server?

A from Zmanda: Yes.

Q from Adam: So, when I enable the Zmanda backup, should I disable the collection of the binary logs, or can Zmanda use the logs collected by MySQL?

A from Zmanda: Zmanda can use logs collected by MySQL. Binary logs are used for incremental backups.

Q from Rich: what gets installed on the DB – an agent? If so, how lightweight is it?

A from Zmanda: On MySQL server, you need to install small footprint software that does data transfer to the ZRM server. This software runs only when needed (during backup run).

Q from Nitish: how to you integrate third part snapshots methods within zmanda?

A from Zmanda: There is a snapshot plugin interface which is documented in ZRM for MySQL wiki

Q from Mike: Can you speak more about the feature that will delay a backup during times of heavy usage?

A from Zmanda: This is done using scheduling plugin. Please see ZRM for MySQL wiki

Q from Sarah: are zrm and zmc integrated or can they be? or are they completely free standing applications such as rman and netbackup.

A from Zmanda: ZRM can be used without ZMC, but then you loose ease of use and extensive monitoring and reporting available only via ZMC.

Q from Srinivas: does ZRM supports Community Version of MySQL?

A from Zmanda: ZRM enterprise version supports both the community and enterprise versions of MySQL.

Q from Rich: Will ZRM Community work with MySQL Enterprise or is that a licensing restriction?

A from Zmanda: Yes, it will, but we highly recommend to use the Enterprise version of ZRM for Enterprise version of MySQL.

Q from Eric: when is support for Falcon storage engine expected from ZRM

A from Zmanda: Zmanda works very closely with MySQL engineering. We will support Falcon when released and we are already working with alpha version of Falcon.

Q from Greg: What is ZRM’s backward compatibility to previous versions of MySQL? I notice your examples all show MySQL v5.

A from Zmanda: We support all versions from MySQL 3.X. There are restrictions on the backup methods supported in older releases. Please contact zsales (at) if you are interested in compatibility with a particular MySQL release.

Q from Rick: Is ZRM available on Suse?

A from Zmanda:: Yes. It works on SLES as well as Open SuSE

Q from Franck: Do you also support Mac OS X?

A from Zmanda: Yes, remote backup of MySQL on Mac OS X is supported.

Q from Neil: No ZRM for Windows server? Is that correct?

A from Zmanda: ZRM can be used to protect MySQL database on ANY operating system. Some OS are supported in remote configurations only. Windows is supported remotely and we are working on a new version that runs either locally remotely on Windows and uses VSS snapshots for backup of MySQL.

Q from Franck: I’m confused. Is Zmanda a backup solution for Mysql only? Of can it be used to BackUp Oracle too?

A from Zmanda: Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) has been designed specifically for backup and recovery of MySQL. It is closely integrated with MySQL. Think of ZRM as “RMAN” for MySQL.

Q from Alexandre: Our organization has both Oracle and MySQL databases. Can ZRM provide some uniformity in managing both backups, e.g. backup MySQL to the same physical backend tape storage as Oracle?

A from Zmanda: You can backup both to same physical backend by using a third party media manager, such as Amanda Enterprise or NetBackup.

Q from Bob: From a ZRM standpoint is there any difference backing up a MySQL DB on Linux vs. Windows?

A from Zmanda: In current release, we do not support snapshots for MySQL on Windows. The next release will support VSS snapshot method for MySQL on Windows.

Q from Bob: What media managers does Zmanda integrate with?

A from Zmanda: Any media manager, for example Amanda Enterprise, NetBackup, Legato and others.

Q from Alexandre: Are there any competing products on the market to manage MySQL backups?

A from Zmanda: Our competition is adhoc scripts written by MySQL DBA and our own community edition 🙂

Q from Adam: I’m a little confused… What is the ZRM DB Event log exactly? Is it like the InnoDB binary logs? What is the format of it?

A from Zmanda: ZRM DB event log is same as MySQL binary log (that is used for MySQL replication). It contains SQL statements and results of SQL statements.

Q from Nitish: who are your major customers?

A from Zmanda: We have organizations of all sizes as our customers – from large online retailers and airline reservation systems to small manufacturers and research labs. We are where MySQL is run in production and where organizations value their MySQL data. Please send an email to zsales (at) to get a reference list of our ZRM customers.

Q from Neil: Where is Zmanda located?

A from Zmanda: We are in Sunnyvale, CA and Pune, India. Many employees work remotely in different countries.

What does “backup” mean to you?

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

I was at LISA’07 in Dallas in mid-November, and attended Jacob Farmer’s training session, titled “Disk-to-Disk Backup and Eliminating Backup System Bottlenecks.”

Early in the talk, he brought up a question that’s fundamental to this business: what does “backup” really mean? His breakdown was particularly clear, in six categories:

  1. Object recovery — recovery of specific files, rows, tables, etc.
  2. Application checkpoint, e.g., a snapshot of an application prior to an upgrade.
  3. Server hardware failure protection, which includes bare-metal restores.
  4. Protection from storage device failure, which generally has tighter recovery-time requirements than server hardware failure.
  5. Site failure: floods, fires, etc.
  6. Historical archive, usually for regulatory compliance.

I thought this was a particularly insightful way to break down this problem domain. These categories form a nice basis for differentiating backup products, and for seeing where backup products will complement one another nicely. An application that does a great job of object recovery may operate entirely independently of an application that manages historical archives. There’s no reason that a single application should serve both of those needs.

Amanda is an interesting application in that it can be used to achieve any of these aims. As we build in more flexibility and modularity, we will try to balance the attention to these categories to keep Amanda well-rounded.

Backup and Recovery Techniques for MySQL Database

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

If you are migrating your production environment to MySQL database or even thinking about it, you do not want to miss this webinar Experts from Zmanda and MySQL will present various methods to backup MySQL database and correlate them with tools and terminology you may be familiar with in other databases, including Oracle.

A good pre-read for this webinar would be Paddy’s blog on online MySQL Backup


Chander Kant, CEO, Zmanda

Robin Schumacher, Director Product Management, MySQL


MySQL Backup Techniques for the Oracle DBA (web presentation)


Thursday, December 13, 2007, 10:00 am PDT, 1:00 pm EDT, 18:00 GMT
The presentation will be approximately 45 minutes long followed by Q&A.