Database Backup (DBS) provides database backup solutions for a variety of environments through different connection means such as Express Connect and the Internet. DBS requires minimal configurations to perform full backup or incremental backup, and restore data to databases. DBS allows you to back up ApsaraDB RDS databases and databases that are deployed in self-managed data centers, on Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances, or on third-party cloud platforms.

Features

  • Low costs

    DBS uses Apsara Distributed File System as built-in storage. Backup data is converted to a dedicated format, compressed, and then saved to the built-in storage. This reduces storage costs.

    DBS supports the pay-as-you-go billing method, which minimizes your investment in assets. In addition, DBS also supports storage tiering. It can automatically store backup data to different cost-effective storage media. This is suitable for long-term archiving and also reduces storage costs.

  • High security and reliability
    • Encrypted transmission and storage:
      • DBS uses SSL and AES-256 encryption to secure backup data during transmission and storage.
      • DBS supports Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) so that you can encrypt backup data by using data keys generated by Key Management Service (KMS).
    • Automated alerting: DBS sends notifications about key events such as backup errors, restoration errors, and restoration success.
    • Geo-redundancy: This feature enhances the level of data protection.
  • Flexibility and ease of use
    • Fine-grained backup: DBS allows you to back up data of varying granularities based on your requirements, including entire instances, individual databases and tables, and multiple databases and tables.
    • Single-table restoration: DBS allows you to select a single table as the object to restore. This reduces the recovery time objective (RTO).
    • Lifecycle management: DBS supports custom rules for the lifecycle management of backup data. You can customize rules to automatically dump, clean up, duplicate, and distribute backup data.
    • Graphical user interface (GUI): DBS provides a web-based GUI for you to perform backup and restore operations with ease. You can purchase and configure a backup schedule and run a backup task on the GUI. The whole process takes only 5 minutes.
  • High performance
    • Real-time backup: DBS captures in-memory logs in real time and achieves the recovery point objective (RPO) within seconds.

      DBS reads and parses database logs in real time by using the real-time data streaming technology of Alibaba Cloud. After backing up and storing the existing data in the cloud, DBS performs incremental backup when new data is generated. Typically, DBS stores incremental data to the cloud within a few seconds after you write the data to your database. However, the time spent in incremental backup is dependent on actual network conditions.

    • Parallel backup: DBS can back up data in an unlocked manner, use multiple threads to back up data in parallel, and adaptively shard data during data pulling.
    • Restoration to a point in time: DBS provides a calendar and a timeline so that you can select a point in time to which data is restored.

      DBS enables you to restore a database within seconds by using full backups and incremental backups. This ensures the security and integrity of your data.

    • Multiple specifications: DBS features high scalability, meeting the performance requirements of enterprises at different stages.

Comparison between DBS and self-managed backup systems

The following table compares DBS with self-managed backup systems.

Item DBS Self-managed backup system
Costs
  • The pay-as-you-go billing method ensures 100% resource utilization and avoids a large amount of upfront asset investment.
  • Cold data is separated from hot data for tiered storage. This is suitable for the long-term archiving of backup data.
  • The compressed and compact backup formats can significantly reduce storage costs.
  • No investments in hiring maintenance personnel or hosting databases are required.
  • A large amount of upfront asset investment is required.
  • Storage space is limited by hard disk capacity. The storage space must be manually resized.
  • Single-line or double-line access is slow, and bandwidth is limited. The bandwidth must be manually resized during peak hours.
  • The introduction of multi-level storage media leads to a sharp increase in O&M costs.
Security
  • DBS uses SSL and AES-256 encryption to ensure security during the transmission and storage of backup data.
  • Resources are isolated between different users, and geo-disaster recovery is supported.
  • DBS provides a variety of authentication and authorization methods, such as whitelist configuration, hotlink protection, and RAM user management.
  • DBS allows you to verify the validity of backups at any time, and notifies you of the task status.
  • Custom authentication is supported.
  • Additional scrubbing devices and black hole policy-related services are required.
  • A separate security mechanism is required.
Ease of use
  • The process of purchasing and configuring a backup schedule and running a backup task takes only 5 minutes.
  • Fine-grained backup is supported. You can back up data of varying granularities based on your requirements, including entire instances, individual databases and tables, and multiple databases and tables.
  • DBS supports global rules for the lifecycle management of backup data. You can customize rules to automatically dump, clean up, duplicate, and distribute backup data.
  • DBS provides a web-based GUI for you to perform backup and restore operations with ease.
  • The backup process requires complex scripts and tools, which are difficult to learn.
  • The backup service is not flexible and provides only basic capabilities in most cases.
Performance
  • DBS captures in-memory logs in real time and achieves the RPO within seconds. DBS allows you to restore backup data to a point in time.
  • DBS allows you to select a single table as the object to restore. This greatly reduces the RTO.
  • DBS supports streaming backup. Data is not flushed to disks. The entire backup window is unlocked. The backup speed can be adjusted based on the concurrency configuration.
  • DBS uses a multi-line Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) backbone network that has no bandwidth limits. This allows a large number of users to perform backup and restore operations simultaneously.
The shortcomings of multiple tools used for backup are performance bottlenecks.
Reliability
  • DBS uses Apsara Distributed File System to provide a distributed storage service with high reliability.
  • DBS uses a redundant storage design to deliver a designed durability of at least 99.999999999%.
  • During the backup process, data integrity is verified in real time.
  • Tested by a large number of users, DBS is able to efficiently detect and fix vulnerabilities.
  • The mixed use of multiple tools causes high risks.
  • Prone to errors due to low hardware reliability. If a disk has a bad sector, data may be lost.
Scalability
  • DBS allows you to back up ApsaraDB databases and databases that are deployed on ECS instances, in self-managed data centers, or on third-party cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Tencent Cloud.
  • In addition to restoring data to the source database, DBS also allows you to restore backup data to other environments. For example, you can restore an on-premises database to an ApsaraDB database by using DBS.
Self-managed backup systems support only specific environments and are generally not scalable.

Comparison between the backup capabilities of DBS and ApsaraDB RDS

  • ApsaraDB RDS provides basic database backup capabilities. Some instance types, such as High-availability Edition with local SSDs, support features such as cross-region backup and emergency instances.
  • In addition to the basic database backup capabilities, DBS also provides enterprise-level backup capabilities. DBS provides more features in scenarios such as backup and restoration granularities, disaster recovery, and backup data application. Such features include differentiated backup, database and table restoration, multi-level storage pool management, recovery drills, and one-click data analysis. For more information, see ApsaraDB RDS-generated backups and DBS-generated backups.