[DRBD-user] Re quest comments: DRBD to cold BackUp DMS with minimal DownTime

I. Schumacher dramatic.serenity at gmail.com
Thu Nov 11 13:07:09 CET 2010

Note: "permalinks" may not be as permanent as we would like,
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I am administrator of an Alfresco DMS running on an dedicated ubuntu server
and is backedup to a streamer via a simple cron job.
Unfortunately my predecessor (who set up this backup process) did not know
that streaming a backup while the DMS is running causes mysql database
inconsistencies preventing the DMS to boot after recovery. boo-hoo
Running a proper cold back requires approx 2h while the DMS is shutdown.
Thats just to long.

One way would be to set up a slave-read-only-dms-site with mysql replication
which can be shutdown for backup anytime while the master system is still
running. In my opinion this is a waste of ressources because the slave site
got to be up all the time, only building indices out of the replicated mysql

In the course of an Upgrade to a newer version of the DMS I plan to
implement a new backup process using DRBD involving a well equipped
Master-DMS-Site and a MiniDRBD-Site for backup on another machine.

1. I have two virtual machines on two separate physical machines. VM1=
MasterSite VM2=MiniDRBD
2. VM1 is running Ubuntu Server, RDBD, iptables, sshd, mysqld,
oOffice-headless and tomcat.
3. Residents of VM2 are Ubuntu Server, RDBD, sshd and iptables
4. VM1 and VM2 use a virtual HardDisk /dev/sdb  each residing on the
corresponding physical machine
5. RDBD repilicates "VM1/dev/sdb0" to "VM2/dev/sdb0" via /dev/drdb0
6. VM1 stores all DMS relevant data including mysql database and indices on

To stream a cold BackUp with minimal DownTime I intend to use the following

1. crontab a shell script on VM1 which 
=> stops DMS closing the database properly 
=> RDBD replicates the closed state of the database to VM2/dev/sdb0 via
=> stops replication via "drbdadm disconnect MyFS"
=> starts the DMS again
=> waits for 2.5h and starts replication via "drbdadm connect MyFS"
=> exits

2. Five Minutes after 1. started I crontab a shell script on VM2 which
=> mounts VM2/dev/drdb0 to e.g. /media/drdb0
=> streams all files to tape via "tar cvf - /media/drdb0/* | dd
of=/dev/str0/n block-size=4096"
=> umounts /media/drdb0
=> exits

(I think that:)

Streaming a BackUp that way reduces the downtime of the Master
(VM1/alfresco) to about 10 seconds instead of 2 hours. Additionally it (i
hope) nearly halves required CPU time and RAM usage in comparison to the
mysql-replication approach that is recommended by the Alfresco-DMS vendor.

(:but I may be wrong)

Some general questions:

Q1. I wonder if DRDB will autosync all changes made on the master during the
"disconnect" to the slave after a "drbdadm connect MyFS" (in script 1. on

Q2. How long will it take drbd to replicate the closed state of a 150mb
database to VM2 so I can stop replication? (1GB/s LAN)

Q3. What do you think would be the minimum specs for my miniRDBD machine
(VM2). (128RAM,1core,256swap?)

Q4. Do you have any suggestions how to use drbd a smarter way for my backup

Q5. <Non drbd question> What is the best way to invoke all commands from
only one script on VM1? Commands on VM2 will have to be executed as root.
How can I do that without storing my root password as plaintext inside the
script. I know I did that some time ago but I forgot how...

I hope you can help me.
Thanks a lot in advance. ;)

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