In addition to using mysqldump, I've been backing up my mysql server by tarring up /var/lib/mysql for redundancy and convenience. This directory includes ibdata, ib_logfile0, and ib_logfile1 as well as some other files and a subdirectory for each of my databases. (I also back up my.cnf.) Now I need to segment the backup into two parts: (1) the "h" database containing only myisam compressed (readonly) tables and (2) all the other databases on the mysql server.
Assuming I am not changing server versions, is it safe and reliable to tar up /var/lib/mysql/h and to separately tar up everything else in the /var/lib/mysql directory? If "everything else" continues to change, can I still restore the "h" database from its older tar archive? If I restore everything else except the "h" subdirectory, will the other databases still be usable and the only effect be that the "h" database will be missing?
The reason I want to do this is that the "h" database is very large and only changes once a year. Everything else is comparatively small and changes all the time. If this approach works, I could make annual archives of the "h" database and weekly archives of everything else.
I am using MySQL Server 5.5.31 running on Debian 7 (Wheezy).