How we configure MongoDB backup strategy

mongo db

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MongoDB is a better choice to store very large datasets in various web applications such as Facebook.

Also, MongoDB speeds up the data retrieval process by storing the data in a single document.

However, any problem with database makes web applications unavailable. Therefore, it’s critical to have a proper MongoDB backup strategy.

At 1 onlyhost, we often get requests from our customers set up MongoDB backup strategy as part of our Server Management Services.

Today, we’ll see how our Support Engineers set up MongoDB backup strategy and fix the related errors.


Why have a MongoDB backup strategy?

Any application that requires high availability, clustering, fast performance, then MongoDB is one of the best backend databases for these applications.

Also, having a proper MongoDB backup strategy prevents you from data loss. Fortunately, in production servers having automated scheduled backups really work as a fallback option.

In the case of a failure such as a data center migration or bug in your system, MongoDB backups help to recover the data. Again, the backup strategy can vary in different scenario. It depends on the type of servers, data, and application constraints.


The top 3 MongoDB Backup Strategies

Here, let’s look at major backup strategies for the MongoDB database.

MongoDB can back up by three main methods:

1. Mongodump

Mongodump is a backup tool used for creating a backup of the data in MongoDB and it captures the documents in the database.

Furthermore, the mongodump strategy is sufficient for a small deployment, they are not suitable for larger systems. In addition, mongorestore utility is also available to restore the data from the existing database.

Our Support Engineers took the backup of a whole Database by using the following command

mongodump --db mydb --out /var/backups/mongo


2. Copying the Underlying Files

MongoDB can be back up by copying the underlying files of the MongoDB database. Also, MongoDB supports a point-in-time snapshot.

This snapshots can use to create MongoDB backups at the exact time. Before taking the snapshot of the database, it is necessary to stop all writes to the database for the successful restoration of the database.

This method is efficient than mongodump for taking full backups and restoring the MongoDB database.


3. MongoDB Management Service (MMS)

MMS provides monitoring and backup capabilities. Above all, this is the only continuous backup solution for MongoDB. Also, it features point-in-time recovery and fully managed backup strategy.

In addition, MongoDB Management Service avoids the need for custom backup monitoring.



How we set up the backup strategy for our customer

Recently, one of our customers requested help with regularly taking a backup of all his MongoDB databases.

Then our Support Engineers took the following steps to set up a backup strategy.

We took copying the underlying files strategy as a backup option for this customer. Because the customer needed to back up the entire folder /backup/databases/mongoDatabases/ containing MongoDB database backups.

Unlike normal MySQL databases, MongoDB backup contains a complete folder structure. In MySQL, the backup will be a single .sql file. Therefore, the backup strategy for MongoDB needs to maintain the exact directory structure.

So, we first created a tar file of backup folders at “/backup/databases/mongoDatabases” and uploaded to FTP server.

Then, we verified that the tar file is transferred completely.

150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for file list
drwxr-xr-x 2 u119953 u119953 3 Feb 28 10:16
drwxr-xr-x 3 u119953 u119953 11 Feb 27 20:43
-rw-r--r-- 1 u119953 u119953 2904 Feb 28 10:16 02-28-17.tgz 226 Transfer complete

In order to automate this task, our Dedicated Engineers set it up as a cron job on the server to run at 3 am every day. Thus, the customer had a set of MongoDB backup in his backup FTP server.


[Having trouble while setting up MongoDB backup strategy? We’ll fix it for you.]



In short, backups are essential to safeguard your data. MongoDB backup strategy minimizes data loss in case of a disaster event as much as possible. Today, we saw the various methods for MongoDB backup and how our Support Engineers setup MongoDB backup strategy for one of our customer.

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