14.2.5 Backing Up and Recovering an InnoDB Database

14.2.5.1 The InnoDB Recovery Process
14.2.5.2 Forcing InnoDB Recovery
14.2.5.3 InnoDB Checkpoints

The key to safe database management is making regular backups.

MySQL Enterprise Backup enables you to back up a running MySQL database, including InnoDB and MyISAM tables, with minimal disruption to operations while producing a consistent snapshot of the database. When MySQL Enterprise Backup is copying InnoDB tables, reads and writes to both InnoDB and MyISAM tables can continue. During the copying of MyISAM tables, reads (but not writes) to those tables are permitted. In addition, MySQL Enterprise Backup supports creating compressed backup files, and performing backups of subsets of InnoDB tables. In conjunction with MySQL’s binary log, users can perform point-in-time recovery. MySQL Enterprise Backup is commercially licensed. For a more complete description of MySQL Enterprise Backup, see Section 22.2, “MySQL Enterprise Backup”.

If you are able to shut down your MySQL server, you can make a binary backup that consists of all files used by InnoDB to manage its tables. Use the following procedure:

  1. Shut down the MySQL server and make sure that it stops without errors.

  2. Copy all InnoDB data files (ibdata files and .ibd files) into a safe place.

  3. Copy all the .frm files for InnoDB tables to a safe place.

  4. Copy all InnoDB log files (ib_logfile files) to a safe place.

  5. Copy your my.cnf configuration file or files to a safe place.

In addition to making binary backups as just described, you should also regularly make dumps of your tables with mysqldump. The reason for this is that a binary file might be corrupted without you noticing it. Dumped tables are stored into text files that are human-readable, so spotting table corruption becomes easier. Also, because the format is simpler, the chance for serious data corruption is smaller. mysqldump also has a --single-transaction option for making a consistent snapshot without locking out other clients. See Section 7.3.1, “Establishing a Backup Policy”.

Replication works with InnoDB tables, so you can use MySQL replication capabilities to keep a copy of your database at database sites requiring high availability.

To be able to recover your InnoDB database to the present from the time at which the binary backup was made, you must run your MySQL server with binary logging turned on. To achieve point-in-time recovery after restoring a backup, you can apply changes from the binary log that occurred after the backup was made. See Section 7.5, “Point-in-Time (Incremental) Recovery Using the Binary Log”.

To recover from a crash of your MySQL server, the only requirement is to restart it. InnoDB automatically checks the logs and performs a roll-forward of the database to the present. InnoDB automatically rolls back uncommitted transactions that were present at the time of the crash. During recovery, mysqld displays output something like this:

InnoDB: Database was not shut down normally.
InnoDB: Starting recovery from log files...
InnoDB: Starting log scan based on checkpoint at
InnoDB: log sequence number 0 13674004
InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 0 13739520
InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 0 13805056
InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 0 13870592
InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 0 13936128
...
InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 0 20555264
InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 0 20620800
InnoDB: Doing recovery: scanned up to log sequence number 0 20664692
InnoDB: 1 uncommitted transaction(s) which must be rolled back
InnoDB: Starting rollback of uncommitted transactions
InnoDB: Rolling back trx no 16745
InnoDB: Rolling back of trx no 16745 completed
InnoDB: Rollback of uncommitted transactions completed
InnoDB: Starting an apply batch of log records to the database...
InnoDB: Apply batch completed
InnoDB: Started
mysqld: ready for connections

If your database becomes corrupted or disk failure occurs, you must perform the recovery using a backup. In the case of corruption, you should first find a backup that is not corrupted. After restoring the base backup, do a point-in-time recovery from the binary log files using mysqlbinlog and mysql to restore the changes that occurred after the backup was made.

In some cases of database corruption it is enough just to dump, drop, and re-create one or a few corrupt tables. You can use the CHECK TABLE SQL statement to check whether a table is corrupt, although CHECK TABLE naturally cannot detect every possible kind of corruption. You can use the Tablespace Monitor to check the integrity of the file space management inside the tablespace files.

In some cases, apparent database page corruption is actually due to the operating system corrupting its own file cache, and the data on disk may be okay. It is best first to try restarting your computer. Doing so may eliminate errors that appeared to be database page corruption.