17.3.1.3 Backing Up a Master or Slave by Making It Read Only

It is possible to back up either master or slave servers in a replication setup by acquiring a global read lock and manipulating the read_only system variable to change the read-only state of the server to be backed up:

  1. Make the server read-only, so that it processes only retrievals and blocks updates.

  2. Perform the backup.

  3. Change the server back to its normal read/write state.

Note

The instructions in this section place the server to be backed up in a state that is safe for backup methods that get the data from the server, such as mysqldump (see Section 4.5.4, “mysqldump — A Database Backup Program”). You should not attempt to use these instructions to make a binary backup by copying files directly because the server may still have modified data cached in memory and not flushed to disk.

The following instructions describe how to do this for a master server and for a slave server. For both scenarios discussed here, suppose that you have the following replication setup:

In either scenario, the statements to acquire the global read lock and manipulate the read_only variable are performed on the server to be backed up and do not propagate to any slaves of that server.

Scenario 1: Backup with a Read-Only Master

Put the master M1 in a read-only state by executing these statements on it:

mysql> FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK;
mysql> SET GLOBAL read_only = ON;

While M1 is in a read-only state, the following properties are true:

While M1 is read only, perform the backup. For example, you can use mysqldump.

After the backup operation on M1 completes, restore M1 to its normal operational state by executing these statements:

mysql> SET GLOBAL read_only = OFF;
mysql> UNLOCK TABLES;

Although performing the backup on M1 is safe (as far as the backup is concerned), it is not optimal for performance because clients of M1 are blocked from executing updates.

This strategy applies to backing up a master server in a replication setup, but can also be used for a single server in a nonreplication setting.

Scenario 2: Backup with a Read-Only Slave

Put the slave S1 in a read-only state by executing these statements on it:

mysql> FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK;
mysql> SET GLOBAL read_only = ON;

While S1 is in a read-only state, the following properties are true:

These properties provide the basis for a popular backup scenario: Having one slave busy performing a backup for a while is not a problem because it does not affect the entire network, and the system is still running during the backup. In particular, clients can still perform updates on the master server, which remains unaffected by backup activity on the slave.

While S1 is read only, perform the backup. For example, you can use mysqldump.

After the backup operation on S1 completes, restore S1 to its normal operational state by executing these statements:

mysql> SET GLOBAL read_only = OFF;
mysql> UNLOCK TABLES;

After the slave is restored to normal operation, it again synchronizes to the master by catching up with any outstanding updates from the binary log of the master.