Easy Database Backups with Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL

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Zmanda Recovery Manager makes it easy to dump your database and that homegrown backup solution you've been using and meaning to replace.
Conclusion

At the end of my evaluation, I decided to use ZRM for our database backups. My use case is logical backups over the network, and for those, the Open Source community edition of ZRM works very well.

I like how easy scheduling new backups and creating new backup jobs is. With Zmanda, I can configure backups for a new database server effortlessly, something that could not be said about my homegrown solution. Restores also are easy, which will be appreciated if the unthinkable happens and I need to restore from a backup. And, thanks to ZRM's use of standard tools, even if I can't restore using ZRM, the backup contains a file that I can load into the database manually either as-is (if I'm not encrypting or compressing my backups) or after a little processing using the standard gunzip and GPG tools.

Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL is not perfect. During my testing, I was never able to get raw backups working properly over the network, for example. Another issue, though minor, is that the man pages have formatting issues that make them hard to read. Some of the error messages are not the most informative as well, and the documentation could be improved and expanded. But, the software is built using solid open-source tools, it doesn't try to re-invent the wheel at every turn, and it works for the backups I want to do.

In the end, the thing that tipped the scales for me was that ZRM offers several things that my homegrown scripts do not. These include automatically creating a checksum for verifying that a backup is still good, faster and very customizable setup for new database servers, and easy restores. I could add all of these to my scripts, given time. But it's time I don't have at the moment, and I never seem to have enough (if you know where to find some, let me know). So despite some rough edges, I've found Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL, Community Edition to be a good backup solution for all my MariaDB servers.

Daniel Bartholomew works for Monty Program (montyprogram.com) as a technical writer and system administrator. He lives with his wife and children in North Carolina and can often be found hanging out on #maria and #linuxjournal on Freenode IRC.

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A few questions...

Mike Diehl's picture

Daniel,

I enjoyed reading your article and hope that ZRM will solve a problem I have.

I sometimes have the desire to restore just a single table from a backup set, particularly, if I can restore it into a new table. Do you know if Zmanda can do that?

On the website, I see a few screenshots of a scheduling utility. I assume that I'm looking at the Enterprise version, right?

Is it safe to assume that with Zmanda, I'll still be using shell script, but the tools will just be better?

Finally, would you like to take a few sentences to make a case for me to try MariaDB? I currently have a MM replicated Mysql DB.

Thanks,
Mike Diehl.

Mike Diehl is a freelance Computer Nerd specializing in Linux administration, programing, and VoIP. Mike lives in Albuquerque, NM. with his wife and 3 sons. He can be reached at mdiehl@diehlnet.com

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