5 Benefits of using Mongo backup

By Sri Saila Badam 5 min read

MongoDB Backup: Benefits and Strategies

MongoDB is a dream come true for companies that need to store massive amounts of unstructured data. Its ability to store documents with differing fields — and to perform complex queries to locate data in any of those fields — makes it the ideal choice for a company that wants to use a single database to integrate CRM, ERP, marketing and other platforms. When you rely on databases to store your corporate data — especially when your company’s ability to operate depends on the health of a single database — you need an ironclad backup solution to keep your data safe. A good backup solution protects your company from hardware failure, ransomware, hacking and a host of other problems that might otherwise cripple your ability to continue operating.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of backing up your MongoDB database in greater detail. We’ll also compare some of the backup solutions available for MongoDB.

Five Benefits of Backing Up Your MongoDB Database

Backing Up Increases Your Database’s Reliability

Having a remote backup hardens your MongoDB environment against most threats and everyday problems by ensuring that you always have a way to restore lost data when necessary. A backup doesn’t just protect your database from hacking and malware. It also protects you from issues such as an error made by an employee or data corruption resulting from a failed software update. Whether you need to restore your entire database — or just a few records — a remote backup makes it easy.

Configuring an Automatic Backup Is a One-Time Process

On the surface, configuring an automatic remote MongoDB backup may seem like a daunting task for a company that already has limited IT resources. Once you’ve gone through that process, though, you never need to worry about it again. Every day — or at the interval you specify — your system automatically pushes a copy of your data to a remote server. There’s no need to worry about the security of your data because your backups are always there if you need them.

Automatic MongoDB Backups Use Your Time More Efficiently

If your company presently has its IT staff conduct backup operations manually, it’s likely that you’ve dedicated at least one person to the task. During the backup operation, the person running the backup needs to run the operation, wait for the files to transfer and verify the integrity of the completed backup. In all, the process may take hours. Creating an automatic backup operation — which requires no human interaction after the initial setup phase — is a much more efficient use of your IT resources.

A Backup Solution Utilizing Offsite Storage Increases Your Security

Having an offsite backup solution in place increases your company’s security because it protects you from a disaster that might affect your office or primary data center. Hacking, malware and data theft aren’t the only security concerns that affect your company. Fires, storms and other disasters can cause just as much damage. Imagine what businesses in Houston went through during Hurricane Harvey in 2017; disasters can happen anywhere. You can’t prevent them, but you can prepare for them. The best way to ensure the security of your data is to store it in more than one place.

An Automatic MongoDB Backup Solution Reduces Your Expenses

Backing up your company’s data isn’t just a good idea; in some industries, the law may actually require it — and if you’ve been in your industry for a while, it’s likely that you’ve invested heavily in your company’s current backup solution. Servers, tape drives, data cartridges and RAID arrays are very costly — and like all computer hardware, they can fail without warning. Even if your backup solution doesn’t fail, it’ll eventually become obsolete. Moving your MongoDB backup to the cloud doesn’t just make your data more secure; it also frees you from the costly cycle of hardware upgrades.

What MongoDB Backup Solutions Are Available?

MongoDB Atlas

If your company lacks the resources necessary for database management, MongoDB Atlas is an alternative that gives you the features of MongoDB with the added benefit of seamless automatic backups. MongoDB Atlas is a cloud-based database service that you can deploy in minutes. It features a continuous backup system that allows you to restore any record in your database to its previous state at any point in time. Since it’s based in the cloud, it can scale to meet any level of demand. Most importantly, it’s an official MongoDB product — so you’ll know that you’re always using the latest version of MongoDB with all of the most recent features and enhancements.

MongoDB Cloud Manager

If the security and scalability of a cloud-based MongoDB deployment appeal to you — but you want to choose your own cloud service rather than using the MongoDB cloud — MongoDB Cloud Manager may be the right choice for your company. MongoDB Cloud Manager is a database management tool that can interface with any cloud-based MongoDB deployment. It monitors more than 100 database performance metrics in real time to identify problems that could affect the user experience. MongoDB Cloud Manager includes a database backup and restore feature that works through the manager’s graphical user interface.

Ops Manager

If you’d like to utilize the features of MongoDB Cloud Manager but would rather run MongoDB from your own facility or within a traditional data center environment, Ops Manager is the MongoDB backup solution that you want. Ops Manager has all of the features of MongoDB Cloud Manager — including the extensive suite of performance tests and one-click backup and restore operations — but doesn’t require a cloud-based MongoDB deployment. Using Ops Manager requires a subscription to the MongoDB Enterprise Advanced service.

MONGODUMP and MONGORESTORE

MONGODUMP and MONGORESTORE are commands integrated within the MongoDB platform. The MONGODUMP command is easy to use and creates a small, efficient backup file. MongoDB suggests, though, that MONGODUMP isn’t an appropriate backup strategy for very large databases. Although MONGODUMP does create copies of the documents in your database, you’ll need to use the MONGORESTORE command when restoring your database from a backup file to recreate the database’s original structure.

File System Backups

If it’s a better fit for your company’s IT setup, you can use the backup solution of your choice — or a utility included with the server’s operating system — to back up your MongoDB database by copying its data files. You may prefer this method for backing up your database if your company already has an automatic backup solution that’s working for you. To back up your MongoDB database with a standard file system backup, the server must fulfill three requirements.

  1. The file system must support journaling.
  2. The journaling feature must be enabled.
  3. The MongoDB database and file system journal must reside on the same logical storage device.

CP and RSYNC

If your server’s file system doesn’t support journaling, you can perform a MongoDB backup manually using a Linux command such as CP or RSYNC. While creating a database backup using Linux commands works when you need a backup in a pinch, it’s an imperfect solution because you need to pause the database by disabling write operations before you can perform the backup. An additional problem with performing a MongoDB backup using CP or RSYNC is that the backup will include unnecessary files and will most likely result in a larger backup than what you’d get using another solution.

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Sri Saila Badam

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Sri Saila Badam