17.1.1.6 Creating a Data Snapshot Using Raw Data Files

If your database is large, copying the raw data files can be more efficient than using mysqldump and importing the file on each slave. This technique skips the overhead of updating indexes as the INSERT statements are replayed.

Using this method with tables in storage engines with complex caching or logging algorithms requires extra steps to produce a perfect point in time snapshot: the initial copy command might leave out cache information and logging updates, even if you have acquired a global read lock. How the storage engine responds to this depends on its crash recovery abilities.

This method also does not work reliably if the master and slave have different values for ft_stopword_file, ft_min_word_len, or ft_max_word_len and you are copying tables having full-text indexes.

If you use InnoDB tables, you can use the mysqlbackup command from the MySQL Enterprise Backup component to produce a consistent snapshot. This command records the log name and offset corresponding to the snapshot to be later used on the slave. MySQL Enterprise Backup is a commercial product that is included as part of a MySQL Enterprise subscription. See Section 25.2, “MySQL Enterprise Backup” for detailed information.

Otherwise, use the cold backup technique to obtain a reliable binary snapshot of InnoDB tables: copy all data files after doing a slow shutdown of the MySQL Server.

To create a raw data snapshot of MyISAM tables, you can use standard copy tools such as cp or copy, a remote copy tool such as scp or rsync, an archiving tool such as zip or tar, or a file system snapshot tool such as dump, providing that your MySQL data files exist on a single file system. If you are replicating only certain databases, copy only those files that relate to those tables. (For InnoDB, all tables in all databases are stored in the system tablespace files, unless you have the innodb_file_per_table option enabled.)

You might want to specifically exclude the following files from your archive:

To get the most consistent results with a raw data snapshot, shut down the master server during the process, as follows:

  1. Acquire a read lock and get the master's status. See Section 17.1.1.4, “Obtaining the Replication Master Binary Log Coordinates”.

  2. In a separate session, shut down the master server:

    shell> mysqladmin shutdown
    
  3. Make a copy of the MySQL data files. The following examples show common ways to do this. You need to choose only one of them:

    shell> tar cf /tmp/db.tar ./data
    shell> zip -r /tmp/db.zip ./data
    shell> rsync --recursive ./data /tmp/dbdata
    
  4. Restart the master server.

If you are not using InnoDB tables, you can get a snapshot of the system from a master without shutting down the server as described in the following steps:

  1. Acquire a read lock and get the master's status. See Section 17.1.1.4, “Obtaining the Replication Master Binary Log Coordinates”.

  2. Make a copy of the MySQL data files. The following examples show common ways to do this. You need to choose only one of them:

    shell> tar cf /tmp/db.tar ./data
    shell> zip -r /tmp/db.zip ./data
    shell> rsync --recursive ./data /tmp/dbdata
    
  3. In the client where you acquired the read lock, release the lock:

    mysql> UNLOCK TABLES;
    

Once you have created the archive or copy of the database, copy the files to each slave before starting the slave replication process.