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Issue 16.1 ('London 2017')
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Disaster Recovery and Barman

An introduction to Disaster Recovery

Issue: 16.1 (January/February 2018)
Author: Craig Boyd
Author Bio: Craig Boyd is currently a data architect for a major fashion retail brand. But in his 20 years of IT experience, he has been everything from a PC Technician, iSeries System Administrator, iSeries Programmer, Sr. Technical Lead, Data Modeler, Data Architect, Oracle DBA, BI Consultant and Solution Architect. He lives in the great state of Texas with his wife and two kids.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 10,741
Starting Page Number: 87
Article Number: 16107
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Excerpt of article text...

Before I dig into this month's column I just wanted to take a few moments to express my appreciation and gratitude to each of you. I have been writing this column for a while now and I appreciate Marc initially asking me to write it and for continuing to let me do so. I am also grateful to Geoff Perlman and the amazing team of people he has assembled and also for the wonderful product they have crafted together. Lastly, I am grateful for the many friends and acquaintances I have accrued over the years within the Xojo community. To each of you, I hope you have the best year yet in 2018.

For the past three columns we have been discussing PostgreSQL backups. In that same vein, I am going to begin the conversation around a free, open source tool called Barman (http://www.pgbarman.org/) that will help to manage and automate PostgreSQL backups, and I am also going to very lightly touch on the topic of disaster recovery.

The name Barman is derived from the purpose of the tool: Backup and Recovery Manager. It is distributed under the GNU GPL 3 license (basically this means you are free to use the software privately or commercially) and is maintained by 2nd Quadrant (http://www.2ndquadrant.com), a PostgreSQL consulting group that was founded back in 2001.

Barman is written in Python, not, unfortunately, in Xojo. The good news is that for a standard configuration you need to know little or no Python as the configuration options are stored in INI files. Barman will run on Linux or Mac, but not on Windows at this time. However it will backup PostgreSQL databases running on Windows. Barman will work on PostgreSQL versions 8.3 or higher. It doesn't have to be installed on the same server as the PostgreSQL instance. Usually it is installed on a server that is setup specifically for managing PostgreSQL backups.

In the previous columns, we discussed using pg_dump, pg_restore, and pg_dumpall. As a quick review pg_dump will make a backup of the database in a consistent state even if the database is in use. Additionally, pg_dump will create the backup in either a binary or text file and if you opt for a binary backup you must then use pg_restore to restore the database. Otherwise, you will do a full restore from the text file as there is not a means of selectively restoring objects unless you want to comb through the file line by line. The pg_dumpall command backs up the entire instance including global settings which pg_dump does not.

These tools are part of the basics needed for backing up and restoring a PostgreSQL database. Barman's focus goes above and beyond just backing up a database. Barman is more concerned with assisting in the broader aspect of disaster recovery. Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_recovery) has a good definition of disaster recovery:

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