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Selective backup and restore

Version added: 2.0.0


Selective backup and restore is the technical preview feature.

You can back up and restore certain namespaces - databases or collections. For example, if your “Payments” collection in the “Staff” database was corrupted, you can restore only this collection from your full backup up to a specific point in time. Or, if your “Invoices” database contains sensitive data and must be backed up frequently, you can configure the backup of only this database. This way you work only with the desired subset of data without disrupting the operations of your whole cluster.

You also drastically reduce time on backup / restore operations of the whole data set and save on storage consumption.

With the selective backup and restore functionality, you have the following options:

  1. Backup a single database or a specific collection and restore all data from it.
  2. Restore a specific collection from a single database backup
  3. Restore certain databases and / or collections from a full backup
  4. Make a point-in time recovery for the specified databases / collections.

Sharded collections

Version added: 2.1.0

You can back up and restore sharded collections. During backup, pbm-agents on each shard save the documents for the specified databases/collections and the full oplog for the period of the backup process. A pbm-agent on the config server replica set saves router config documents from the config database required for restoring the selected namespaces.

During the restore, the reverse process occurs:

  • A pbm-agent on each shard restores only the specified databases/collections and replays the oplog that relates only to the specified namespaces. The operations for other namespaces are ignored.
  • On the config server replica set, the pbm-agent restores the router configuration only for the specified sharded collections. The router configuration for other databases, collections and chunks remains intact.

The restore for sharded time series collections is not supported.

Note that selective backups and restores operate only with data and router configuration. The cluster configuration and topology-related settings are ignored. Therefore, we recommended to restore the databases/collections on the same environment.

Implementation specifics

During the selective restore, the primary shard for a database is set to the state it had during the backup. For example, the primary shard for the database “Staff” during backup was A. After you restore the “Staff” database, the primary shard will be set to A even if you moved the primary from A to B before the restore. All non-sharded collections will be restored on A; however, they will not be deleted from B. You must take needed actions (cleanup or move the primary back to B) to maintain them.

Known limitations of selective backups and restores

  1. Only logical backups and restores are supported.
  2. Selective backups and restores are supported in sharded clusters for non-sharded collections starting with version 2.0.3. Sharded collections are supported starting with version 2.1.0.
  3. Sharded time series collections are not supported.
  4. Multiple namespaces are not yet supported for selective backups. However, you can specify several namespaces for the restore (e.g., restore several collections of a database).
  5. Multi-collection transactions are not yet supported for selective restore.
  6. System collections in admin, config, and local databases cannot be backed up and restored selectively. You must make a full backup and restore to include them.
  7. Selective point-in-time recovery is not supported for sharded clusters.

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Last update: April 15, 2024
Created: April 15, 2024