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EDB releases new Backup and Recovery Tool (BART)

Ahsan Hadi I Senior Director, Product Development, EnterpriseDB
Singapore, 16 Dec 2014
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16-Dec-2014

The EDB Backup and Recovery Tool (BART) is an administrative utility providing simplified backup and recovery management for multiple local or remote Postgres Plus Advanced Server and PostgreSQL database servers. Managing backups of your important business data and the speedy recovery of your data in case of an incident is critical for any organization.

The process of taking backups and performing recovery or point-in-time recovery can be a complicated process. DBAs often feel that more than others. EDB developed BART to simplify the important operations of backup and recovery management for the users of PostgreSQL and Postgres Plus Advanced Server.

The first version of BART 1.0 was released in October of 2014. It:

  • Supports complete, hot, physical backups of multiple Postgres Plus Advanced Server and PostgreSQL database servers
  • Provides backup and recovery management of the database servers on local or remote hosts
  • Uses a single, centralized catalog for backup data
  • Displays backup information in an easy-to-read form
  • Verifies backup’s with checksums
  • Simplifies the point-in-time recovery process

The next version of BART, v1.1, is expected in mid-2015. BART 1.1 aims to provide features around usability and performance.

Here are some of the main features of BART 1.1:

* Backup and WAL Retention and Deletion management

1. BART 1.1 manage command will provide two modes of retention, Redundancy and Recovery_Window.

The redundancy option will allow users to specify number of backups for all the servers, backups and associated WALs will be marked obsolete if the number of backups for a server exceeds the specified number. The backups aren’t removed at this point. Instead, they are marked as obsolete to give users a chance to keep the backups if needed.

The recovery_window option for retention will allow the user to specify the window in which the backup is expected to be restored. The recovery window can be specified in number of DAYS|WEEKS|MONTHS|YEAR from the backup creation date. The backup’s that are over the recovery window will be marked as obsolete.

2. Deletion Management

The deletion management feature of BART 1.1 will give the database administrator another opportunity to keep the backups even after they have been marked obsolete. Using the BART manage command, users will have the option to mark obsolete backups as KEEP or NO-KEEP. The BART manage command will mark the NO-KEEP backups as obsolete in the next run if they fall under the retention policy. The KEEP backups are left for users to decide, they can be marked as NO-KEEP in which the next run on BART manage will mark them as obsolete.

The delete option of BART manage command only removes the backups that are marked as obsolete.

* Disk Space Awareness

It is very annoying to take a backup of a large database and find out after some time that the disk where you plan to store the backup is out of space. You would have to make some room and start the backup process again, from the beginning. The disk space awareness feature coming in BART 1.1 will check the disk space and notify users if the destination doesn’t have enough space to store the backup. The user can then make room and kick-off the backup process.

* WAL Compression

The default limit of a WAL file in PostgreSQL is 16MB. It can be altered with the —with-wal-segsize configure option when building the server. The WAL file of a large database can accumulate and take up a lot of disk space. With BART 1.1 manage, users will be able to set a global parameter for WAL compression. The values for the parameter would be enabled or disabled, latter being the default. When the parameter is enabled, the WAL files in archived_wal_directory will be compressed using gzip.

* Custom compression techniques

The compression technique provided by BART 1.0 is gzip. BART 1.1 will provide custom compression format, the users will be able choose the compression format for a given server or globally using a configuration parameter.

* Custom Checksum Format

The checksum format used by BART 1.0 for backup verification is md5. BART 1.1 will support custom checksum formats such as sha1sum. The user will be able to specify a custom checksum format for a backup server using a configuration parameter. The default is md5 if a custom format is not specified.

* Enhanced and Detailed Report for BACKUPs

BART 1.0 has show-backups and show-servers command that are used to display information about granular backups and backup servers, respectively. BART 1.1 will greatly enhance the information displayed by both commands to include more information about backups i.e. backup size, number of WALs including first and last WAL id, tablespace information, and more. Similarly, more information will be provided for backup servers, i.e. disk utilization, number of WAL archives current managed etc.

Above are just some of the key features of BART 1.1. Apart from these, there are other, smaller features that will be part of BART 1.1.

EDB BART 1.0  is included as part of your Postgres Plus Standard or Enterprise Edition database subscription.  If you’d like to try it now, you can download it from our product page.

– Ahsan Hadi I Senior Director, Product Development, EnterpriseDB

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