Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking at putting a database on an Amazon EBS volume. I'm using the fairly decent guide at for creating a volume and storing the database on it. However, I am a bit confused by the snapshot process. The guide says it just takes a moment to create a snap shot, but I find it takes about 10 minutes for a 10gb volume with 3.5gb of data on it. Is it really safe to lock the tables, initiate the snapshot, then unlock the tables before the snapshot is fully created? Or would we have to take our site down for the 10 or so minutes to let the snapshot complete?

share|improve this question

If you have a budget, perhaps setting up another (micro) VM and use a master-slave replication would be a better solution? This replica can be stopped and dumped without affecting the production system, so long as your bin logs are big enough.

Then again, unless it is really important that you can restore the database quickly, just doing a mysqldump is probably going to be simpler.

share|improve this answer

It could be safe, if you do it correctly. Here is article about using LVM snapshots for MySQL backup. Instead of LVM you could use EBS snapshots.

You should wait for all running transactions to finist before taking a lock. IMHO you should wait for snapshot process to finish before releasing a lock.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.