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Database Backup:Common scenarios

Last Updated:Dec 13, 2023

Database Backup (DBS) provides features, including the full backup feature, incremental backup feature, cross-region backup feature, and data restoration feature, to help you implement data backup and restoration in various scenarios.

Typical scenarios



Backup security

Data protection

Disaster recovery and security for ECS-hosted self-managed databases

Cross-region backup

Implement geo-redundancy for a self-managed database

Backup to the cloud

Quick restoration

Emergency disaster recovery

Data backup and data restoration can be performed based on your business requirements. Traditional data backup and restoration methods have the following issues: the system requires a long period of time to complete data restoration operations, backup costs for large amounts of data are high, and manual operations on data can cause high risks. If a data security issue occurs during data backup and restoration, your online business is interrupted. Greater losses may be incurred as the data restoration continues. DBS provides the emergency disaster recovery feature. The system automatically obtains backup sets and generates snapshots by using the backup sets. You can use the snapshots that are generated to create a sandbox instance in a short period of time. Then, you can immediately use the sandbox instance that corresponds to the source database instance to support your business. Read operations and write operations that are performed on the sandbox instance do not affect data in the source database instance. You can perform various operations by using the sandbox instance, including data restoration, recovery drills, development and testing, query analysis, and emergency disaster recovery. For more information, see Overview.


  • High performance: The backup efficiency is greatly improved. The backup rate can be more than 200 MB per second. The maximum data compression ratio of backup sets is 7:1.

  • Restoration within seconds: One TB of data can be restored in 2 minutes. In-memory logs can be captured in real time. Data can be restored to a specified point in time. Data can be quickly rolled back.

  • Low storage costs: DBS provides the data deduplication feature to help you reduce the storage costs of your backup data.

  • Storage virtualization: Emergency disaster recovery is implemented based on sandbox instances that are created on Alibaba Cloud and does not depend on your production databases. Read operations and write operations that are performed on the sandbox instances do not affect data in your source databases.

Cross-region backup

Databases that are used in industries, such as Internet finance, banking, and insurance, require geo-redundancy in addition to zone-redundant storage. In a traditional geo-redundancy architecture, a leased line or the Internet is used to connect the networks of different regions to synchronize data. The traditional geo-redundancy mode has disadvantages such as low security, low backup speed, high technology costs, and monotonous backup policies. DBS allows you to back up data and logs to an OSS bucket in a region that is different from the region where the source database is deployed. You can configure and run a cross-region backup schedule to implement geo-redundancy in an easy manner. For more information, see Overview.


  • High security: Data is transmitted across regions over a virtual private cloud (VPC). You do not need to enable the Internet access feature for your database. This enhances data security.

  • High flexibility: DBS allows you to configure the backup cycle in a more flexible manner. For example, you can configure a backup policy to perform default backup operations on a daily basis and perform cross-region backup operations on a monthly basis.

  • High backup performance: Backup operations can be completed in a short period of time.

Cross-cloud database backup

Cross-cloud database backup can meet the requirements of rapid business growth of enterprises. Alibaba Cloud DBS allows you to back up databases to Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS). You can run a backup schedule in DBS to back up your database from a third-party cloud platform. Cross-cloud database backup provided by DBS is cost-effective and stable.


  • High security and high reliability: Data is encrypted to prevent the service endpoints of source databases from being exposed to the Internet. The data transmission process is secure.

  • Ease of use: As a cutting-edge unified backup and restoration platform, DBS supports databases that are deployed in various environments. DBS can be used to back up databases that are managed by different database services on different cloud platforms. This way, DBS helps resolve issues that occur due to different backup retention periods in different database services on different cloud platforms.

Database- and table-level restoration

Full data backup is a common practice. If data is accidentally deleted and you use the traditional method to restore data, you need to restore all data of the instance, find the table that is deleted, and then drop data that is not stored in the table. The traditional restoration mode is time-consuming and greatly prolongs the data restoration time. To improve data restoration efficiency, DBS provides the table-level data restoration feature to restore data of a specific table. For more information, see Restore data by database or table.


  • High efficiency: When you perform a table-level data restoration operation, DBS reads backup data only from the specified table for restoration. This greatly improves data restoration efficiency.

  • High flexibility: You can use the incremental backup feature to restore data to a specified point in time.

Backup integration solutions for ISVs

For independent software vendors (ISVs), various problems exist. For example, multiple database environments and multiple backup scripts cannot be managed in a centralized manner, the storage costs for specific business data that must be stored for a long period of time are high, retention periods for data backups in different database services on different cloud platforms are different, and data that is restored may be inconsistent with the original data.


  • Cutting-edge backup technologies: As a unified backup and restoration platform, DBS helps you greatly reduce the O&M workload.

  • Cloud backup: DBS can help ISVs integrate data backups from different databases in the cloud.

  • Low O&M costs: DBS can help ISVs reinforce data security. ISVs can purchase DBS backup schedules to protect user data, avoid data loss, and reduce O&M costs.