The innobackupex tool is a Perl script that acts as a wrapper for the xtrabackup C program. It is a patched version of the innobackup Perl script that Oracle distributes with the InnoDB Hot Backup tool. It enables more functionality by integrating xtrabackup and other functions such as file copying and streaming, and adds some convenience. It lets you perform point-in-time backups of InnoDB / XtraDB tables together with the schema definitions, MyISAM tables, and other portions of the server.
We are currently not satisfied with the architecture, code quality and maintainability, or functionality of innobackupex, and we expect to replace it with something else in the future.
This manual section explains how to use innobackupex in detail.