Best backup for 7 major databases

There are many backup options for databases, but here are recommendations for Cassandra, DB2, DynamoDB, MongoDB, MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL.

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There are many options for backing up databases, and what’s best varies from database to database and how it’s delivered. Here are recommendations for seven of them, with a glimpse at how the options were chosen to help inform your decision making.

Oracle

Oracle has many options for backup, but the official answer for backing Oracle would be Recovery Manager, or RMAN, which is also the name of the actual command that invokes it. Among many options, RMAN supports an image option that can merge older incremental backups into full backups, which would give you multiple recovery points without having to make multiple full backups. That’s an efficient dump and sweep option, but challenge is you need enough disk space to store a full backup and a series of incrementals. If you’re short on disk space, you can also use the SQL command alter database begin backup before you back up and alter database end backup when you’re done. This will allow you to use whatever backup method you choose. Oracle on Windows also integrates with Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS), allowing you to perform hot backups without having to script at all. The RMAN image option with a dump and sweep approach offers the best recovery speeds.

SQL Server

The backup database command can automate full or incremental backups of the database or its transaction logs to disk (for a dump and sweep), to Azure (for cloud backup), or to stream them directly to a third-party backup tool.  Like Oracle, SQL Server can also be backed up hot using VSS on Windows. The VSS method is more easily integrated into VM backups and doesn’t require a disk staging area. The method that most DBAs seem to prefer is the dump and sweep approach.

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