This topic provides answers to some frequently asked questions about the sandbox feature of Database Backup (DBS).

How am I charged for the sandbox feature?

You are charged based on the following two billable items when you use the sandbox feature:
  • Sandbox storage: After you enable the sandbox feature, DBS automatically synchronizes the data to be restored to the sandbox storage and generates multiple snapshots for the backup data. The snapshots are stored in the sandbox storage and can be directly used to create sandbox instances. DBS charges you sandbox storage fees based on the volume of the data stored in the sandbox storage. For more information, see Sandbox storage fees.
  • Sandbox instance: After you create a sandbox instance for emergency disaster recovery, DBS charges you sandbox instance fees based on the specifications and usage duration of the sandbox instance. If you have not created sandbox instances for emergency disaster recovery, you are not charged sandbox instance fees. For more information, see Sandbox instance fees.

Does the sandbox feature support free trials?

Each Alibaba Cloud account is provided a one-month free sandbox storage plan. This capacity-type sandbox storage plan contains 100 GB storage space. You can obtain this sandbox storage plan when you enable the sandbox feature.

What is the time range to which the data of a sandbox instance can be restored?

The time range to which the data of a sandbox instance can be restored depends on whether the log backup feature is enabled for the source database instance. The log backup feature is also called the incremental backup feature.

  • If the log backup feature is enabled, you can restore the data to a point in time in the time range that starts when the last full backup set is created before the sandbox feature is enabled and ends when the last binary log (binlog) file is created. You can restore the data to a point in time that is accurate to the second within the preceding time range.
  • If the log backup feature is disabled, you can restore the data to a point in time in the time range that starts when the last full backup set is created before the sandbox feature is enabled and ends when the latest full backup set is created. You can restore the data only to a point in time when a full backup set is created.
For more information about how to enable the log backup feature for the source database instance, see the related topic.

What is the latest point in time to which the data of a sandbox instance can be restored?

If the log backup feature is disabled for the source database instance, you can restore the data to the point in time when the last full backup set is created. If the log backup feature is enabled for the source database instance, you can restore the data to the point in time when the last binlog file is created.

  • If the source database instance is an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance, you can view the backup data on the Backup and Restoration page in the ApsaraDB RDS console.
  • If the source database instance is a self-managed database, you can view the backup data on the details page of the backup schedule in the DBS console.

Why can I restore the data of a sandbox instance only to a point in time when a full backup set is created?

If the log backup feature is disabled for the source database instance, you cannot restore the data to an arbitrary point in time. You can restore the data only to a point in time when the last full backup set is created. For more information about how to enable the log backup feature for the source database instance, see the related topic.

Do the specifications of sandbox instances affect the time required to restore the data of the sandbox instances?

No, the time required to restore the data of a sandbox instance is irrelevant to the specifications of the sandbox instance. However, sandbox instances with higher specifications provide better performance.

How long does it take to restore the data of a sandbox instance?

The time required to restore the data of a sandbox instance varies with the point in time to which the data is restored.
  • If you restore the data to a point in time when a snapshot is created, it takes about two minutes to restore one terabyte of data. We recommend that you use this method.
  • If you want to restore the data to a specific point in time, you must first restore the data to a point in time when the last snapshot is created before the specific point in time. Then, you can restore the data to the specific point in time by replaying binlog files. When you replay binlog files, 512 MB of data can be restored every five minutes on average.

When does DBS generate snapshots for sandbox instances?

DBS generates snapshots for sandbox instances in the following scenarios:
  • The sandbox feature is enabled for the first time.
  • A full backup set is created for the source database instance.
  • Optional:If the log backup feature is enabled for the source database instance, DBS regularly reads backup binlog files and generates snapshots. The interval at which DBS reads binlog files is about 10 minutes.

How do I connect to a sandbox instance?

You can connect to a sandbox instance by using the virtual private cloud (VPC) endpoint of the sandbox instance. You can view the endpoint of the sandbox instance in the sandbox instance list, as shown in the following figure. View the endpoint of a sandbox instanceFor more information, see Use DMS to access sandbox instances or Use ECS to access sandbox instances.

Why am I unable to log on to a sandbox instance by using an account that is created after the sandbox instance is created?

A database account that is created after the sandbox instance is created does not exist in the backup data. Therefore, you cannot use this account to log on to the sandbox instance. The configurations of a sandbox instance, such as the accounts and passwords, are the same as those in the backup data of the source database instance that is used to create the sandbox instance. You must log on to a sandbox instance by using the database accounts and passwords that are created before the sandbox instance is created.

How do I retain the data stored in a sandbox instance?

You can use Data Transmission Service (DTS) to migrate the data stored in a sandbox instance to an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance. For more information, see Migrate data from a sandbox instance to an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.