Are you using someone else’s backup solution for your MySQL data? Do you care a lot about your data? Are you sure you’re getting a reliable, recoverable backup that’ll work for your business and your application, and won’t impact your critical processes while it runs? Here are ten questions you need to be able to answer:
There are a lot of other things a backup solution needs to provide, but these are some of the things I’d require specifically for MySQL, or more so for MySQL than for other types of backups.
Where is this post coming from? Well, I’ve had a couple of frustrating encounters with vendors who sell backup products with some kind of agent for MySQL database backup. I am almost never able to get any significant technical detail on how their backups are implemented, and often I can’t even get the most basic information such as “dump or file copy.” Sometimes they tell me to register and download a whitepaper that just has a bullet point “Support for MySQL Databases”. Or “I have to transfer you to the salesperson who covers your region” and I never get to talk to anyone.
Some of them even use the word “proprietary” as if it’s a good thing. In reality, a proprietary, secret backup black-box is unacceptable. MySQL backups are complex and difficult to get right. It is very application-dependent and technology-dependent. Unless I know exactly how it works, I cannot tell the client whether it’ll work for them at all.
So I offer the above list as a way to evaluate your backup provider’s suitability for enterprise-ready backup uses. If you can’t answer these questions, it’s a system that you can’t evaluate seriously, in my opinion.