What ways there are to backup repositories for Windows VisualSVN?

At this moment we are using Visual SVN and we are backing up the entire repositories directory for visual svn. This backs up the entire data for each repository inside our svn engine. I am curious if I will be able to restore those files in case of an emergency or a disaster? Any of you have experience with this restoration procedure? Thanks.

-

That points to the following documentation:

It describes using the Subversion commands to take a backup. I hope this is what you are doing already because taking a straight directory backup can result in having a non-usable repository.

You should be able to use the backup from the Subversion and use svnadmin dump or svnadmin hotcopy command to restore the full repository. However, as with any backup strategy, you must test the restoration yourself to be sure it works for you.

-

I'm doing it by:

svnadmin dump "c:/Repositories/svnroot" > c:/backup/svnroot_%date%.dump


Also you can rar/zip it to save space. I was using the same method when I moved SVN from Linux to VisualSVN, so this backup works as it should.

-

There are several methods to backup VisualSVN Server repositories. Check the short description below.

1. svnadmin hotcopy tool

svnadmin hotcopy allows you to make a safe copy of the repository, regardless of whether other processes are using the repository. You may write a custom script which will do the backup for your repositories on a regular basis.

2. svnsync tool

This is the incremental backup method. Incremental backup method backups only the portion of the repository data that has changed since the previous backup. You can set up this tool to work as "master" and "slave" and duplicate any commits to its repositories automatically.

See the "svnsync" article for further details: http://www.visualsvn.com/support/svnbook/ref/svnsync/

3. Windows Server Backup. You can use Windows Server Backup to backup Subversion repositories. It allows you to shedule backups to a network share, dedicated backup volume, writeable media. For example, wbadmin command-line tool allows you to safely backup your repositories. This simple command performs one-time copy backup of C:\foo\bar to X:\ volume:

wbadmin start backup –backupTarget:x: -include:c\foo\bar -vsscopy


(To install Windows Server Backup, run ocsetup WindowsServerBackup in elevated command-prompt).

You can setup backup in different ways:

It's not required to stop server's service when you run the backup because FSFS repository backend is always in consistent state.

Here are general tips about recovering Windows Server backups:

1. Recover backups to an empty directory to make sure that restored repository files won't mix with files of the broken one. After repository if recovered, you can delete broken repository and then replace it with the recovered one.

2. Stop-start cycle server after recovering repository from a backup.

3. If your clients get errors after repository recover, run svnadmin recover against it. The command finishes instantly and makes repository accessible again.

Except repositories, you should backup the following pieces of information:

1. Authentication and authorization files that are stored in the repositories root ('C:\Repositories' by default). Depending on your settings, there should be the following files: 'authz', 'authz-windows' and 'htpasswd'.

3. "%VISUALSVN_SERVER%\conf\" folder where configuration files of your VisualSVN Server are stored.

4. "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VisualSVN\VisualSVN Server" registry key where other part of server's configuration is stored.

-

The easiest and best way to make backups of a SVN repo is to use svnsync. Its an incremental tool that replays any commits to a backup repository. Its easy to get going - see this blog post - and its fast as it only sends changes. You will have to set up a post-rev-prop-change hook to catch the 'edge case' of when someone updates a historical revprop, but otherwise you can run it hourly (as I do) to keep backups continually. you can even run it in the post-commit hook if you're really paranoid about data backup!

If your live repo dies, you can then just "svn relocate" to the backup repo until you have your live one running again (though, be careful if you write anything to the backup whilst the live is down unless you run svnsync to get those changes applied to the live repo, which is pretty obvious when you think about it).

So you have continuous backups, and downtime measured in seconds using it with minimal resource usage. Backups don't get much better than that!

-