Apr. 01, 2020

Bruce Clayton


3 min. read

Backups are boring–until you reach for one and the shelves are bare.

World Backup Day is March 31st

March 31 is World Backup Day. With the amount of data generated by businesses growing exponentially every day, World Backup Day is a great reminder to check that your backup strategy is really working to protect and preserve your vulnerable data–because backups can fail silently, leaving you with empty shelves at the worst possible moment.

Solr Backups Aren’t Easy, But SearchStax Makes it Easier

SearchStax is a Managed Solr-as-a-Service that makes it easy for our customers to set up, configure, deploy and expand their search applications. One of the features of SearchStax is the ability to easily create manual or scheduled backups.

Our manual or scheduled Solr deployment backups include all files in the deployment: the Solr index files, the Zookeeper Solr configuration files, and any added JAR files required by a client’s search application. All of these files must be available to restore a damaged or corrupt Solr deployment.

Most of today’s search systems are in demand 24/7/365, so there is no daily window or downtime when the entire system can be backed up. To avoid any system downtime, SearchStax only backs up only one server of each Solr cluster at a time, so other servers in the cluster can serve queries without interruption.

In keeping with data security best practices, SearchStax clients can run a deployment in one cloud region while storing copies of backups in a second cloud region. This enables cold disaster recovery capability for our clients.

The Lurking Threat of Backing Up Solr

For Solr backup, there is a troll lurking under the bridge because backing up a Solr deployment is disk-intensive. The backup process copies all of the Solr index files into the backup file, which means that disk usage doubles during a backup. If the deployment runs out of disk space, the backup fails. Since a Solr index grows over time, this failure point will eventually be reached. Maybe you already reached it and didn’t notice!

Fixing Failed Backup Due to Disk Space

The solution to a failed backup due to lack of disk space is to temporarily increase disk space in your Solr deployment so the backup process can be completed, and then restore the backup to a bigger deployment. That way there will be no interruption of service while making sure you have a valid backup of all files for your deployment.

New SearchStax Solr Backup Feature

To celebrate World Backup Day, SearchStax is rolling out a new Solr backup feature. When a backup fails for any reason, SearchStax will automatically send an email to the deployment’s users to alert them that the backup failed and why.

Because empty shelves induce panic, and we don’t like that feeling.

Solr Warm Disaster Recovery

The Warm Disaster Recovery option has a service level agreement (SLA) to restore your site within 10 minutes and will provide full replication functionality in under 4 hours.

Cold Disaster Recovery for Solr Deployments

For some businesses, downtime is not a critical requirement. Under the Cold Disaster Recovery option, the restoration process starts after the disaster occurs. A new Solr cluster is created and the data and configurations are then restored from a backup file.

The SearchStax Cold Disaster Recovery handles this process for you and uses backup files that are stored in different cloud regions and provides a higher level of recovery than backups stored in the same region. While everyone should maintain regular backups of their deployments, the Cold Disaster Recovery option takes this to the next level by storing the backups in a different cloud region from the primary system. If the production site goes down, we will start a deployment in the same region as the backup and restore it.

By Bruce Clayton

“…search should not only be for those organizations with massive search budgets.”

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