14.6.2 Moving or Copying InnoDB Tables to Another Machine

This section describes techniques for moving or copying some or all InnoDB tables to a different server. For example, you might move an entire MySQL instance to a larger, faster server; you might clone an entire MySQL instance to a new replication slave server; you might copy individual tables to another server to develop and test an application, or to a data warehouse server to produce reports.

Techniques for moving or copying InnoDB tables include:

Using Lowercase Names for Cross-Platform Moving or Copying

On Windows, InnoDB always stores database and table names internally in lowercase. To move databases in a binary format from Unix to Windows or from Windows to Unix, create all databases and tables using lowercase names. A convenient way to accomplish this is to add the following line to the [mysqld] section of your my.cnf or my.ini file before creating any databases or tables:

[mysqld]
lower_case_table_names=1

Transportable Tablespaces

Introduced in MySQL 5.6.6, the transportable tablespaces feature uses FLUSH TABLES ... FOR EXPORT to ready InnoDB tables for copying from one server instance to another. To use this feature, InnoDB tables must be created with innodb_file_per_table set to ON so that each InnoDB table has its own tablespace. For usage information, see Section 14.5.5, “Copying Tablespaces to Another Server (Transportable Tablespaces)”.

MySQL Enterprise Backup

The MySQL Enterprise Backup product lets you 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 and other non-InnoDB tables, reads (but not writes) to those tables are permitted. In addition, MySQL Enterprise Backup can create compressed backup files, and back up subsets of InnoDB tables. In conjunction with the MySQL binary log, you can perform point-in-time recovery. MySQL Enterprise Backup is included as part of the MySQL Enterprise subscription.

For more details about MySQL Enterprise Backup, see Section 25.2, “MySQL Enterprise Backup”.

Copying Data Files (Cold Backup Method)

You can move an InnoDB database simply by copying all the relevant files listed under "Cold Backups" in Section 14.16, “InnoDB Backup and Recovery”.

Like MyISAM data files, InnoDB data and log files are binary-compatible on all platforms having the same floating-point number format. If the floating-point formats differ but you have not used FLOAT or DOUBLE data types in your tables, then the procedure is the same: simply copy the relevant files.

Portability Considerations for .ibd Files

When you move or copy .ibd files, the database directory name must be the same on the source and destination systems. The table definition stored in the InnoDB shared tablespace includes the database name. The transaction IDs and log sequence numbers stored in the tablespace files also differ between databases.

To move an .ibd file and the associated table from one database to another, use a RENAME TABLE statement:

RENAME TABLE db1.tbl_name TO db2.tbl_name;

If you have a clean backup of an .ibd file, you can restore it to the MySQL installation from which it originated as follows:

  1. The table must not have been dropped or truncated since you copied the .ibd file, because doing so changes the table ID stored inside the tablespace.

  2. Issue this ALTER TABLE statement to delete the current .ibd file:

    ALTER TABLE tbl_name DISCARD TABLESPACE;
    
  3. Copy the backup .ibd file to the proper database directory.

  4. Issue this ALTER TABLE statement to tell InnoDB to use the new .ibd file for the table:

    ALTER TABLE tbl_name IMPORT TABLESPACE;
    
    Note

    The ALTER TABLE ... IMPORT TABLESPACE feature does not enforce foreign key constraints on imported data.

In this context, a clean .ibd file backup is one for which the following requirements are satisfied:

You can make a clean backup .ibd file using the following method:

  1. Stop all activity from the mysqld server and commit all transactions.

  2. Wait until SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUS shows that there are no active transactions in the database, and the main thread status of InnoDB is Waiting for server activity. Then you can make a copy of the .ibd file.

Another method for making a clean copy of an .ibd file is to use the MySQL Enterprise Backup product:

  1. Use MySQL Enterprise Backup to back up the InnoDB installation.

  2. Start a second mysqld server on the backup and let it clean up the .ibd files in the backup.

Export and Import (mysqldump)

You can use mysqldump to dump your tables on one machine and then import the dump files on the other machine. Using this method, it does not matter whether the formats differ or if your tables contain floating-point data.

One way to increase the performance of this method is to switch off autocommit mode when importing data, assuming that the tablespace has enough space for the big rollback segment that the import transactions generate. Do the commit only after importing a whole table or a segment of a table.