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Backup and Restore a Standalone or Frontend install

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Periodic backups of Chef Infra Server data are an essential part of managing and maintaining a healthy configuration and ensuring that important data can be restored, if required.

chef-server-ctl

For the majority of use cases, chef-server-ctl backup is the recommended way to take backups of the Chef Infra Server. Use the following commands for managing backups of Chef Infra Server data, and for restoring those backups.

backup

The backup subcommand is used to back up all Chef Infra Server data. This subcommand:

  • Requires rsync to be installed on the Chef Infra Server prior to running the command
  • Requires a chef-server-ctl reconfigure prior to running the command
  • Should not be run in a Chef Infra Server configuration with an external PostgreSQL database; use knife ec backup instead
  • Puts the initial backup in the /var/opt/chef-backup directory as a tar.gz file; move this backup to a new location for safe keeping

Options

This subcommand has the following options:

-y, --yes

Use to specify if the Chef Infra Server can go offline during tar.gz-based backups.

Syntax

This subcommand has the following syntax:

chef-server-ctl backup

restore

The restore subcommand is used to restore Chef Infra Server data from a backup that was created by the backup subcommand. This subcommand may also be used to add Chef Infra Server data to a newly-installed server. This subcommand:

  • Requires rsync to be installed on the Chef Infra Server prior to running the command
  • Requires a chef-server-ctl reconfigure prior to running the command
  • Should not be run in a Chef Infra Server configuration with an external PostgreSQL database; use knife ec backup instead

Options

This subcommand has the following options:

-c, --cleanse

Use to remove all existing data on the Chef Infra Server; it will be replaced by the data in the backup archive.

-d DIRECTORY, --staging-dir DIRECTORY

Use to specify that the path to an empty directory to be used during the restore process. This directory must have enough disk space to expand all data in the backup archive.

Syntax

This subcommand has the following syntax:

chef-server-ctl restore PATH_TO_BACKUP (options)

Examples

chef-server-ctl restore /path/to/tar/archive.tar.gz

Backup and restore a Chef Backend install

Warning

Chef Backend is deprecated and no longer under active development. Contact your Chef account representative for information about upgrading your system.

This document is no longer maintained.

In a disaster recovery scenario, the backup and restore processes allow you to restore a data backup into a newly built cluster. It is not intended for the recovery of an individual machine in the chef-backend cluster or for a point-in-time rollback of an existing cluster.

Backup

Restoring your data in the case of an emergency depends on having previously made backups of:

  • the data in your Chef Backend cluster
  • the configuration from your Chef server

To make backups for future use in disaster scenarios:

  1. On a follower chef-backend node, run chef-backend-ctl backup
  2. On a Chef Infra Server node run: chef-server-ctl backup --config-only
  3. Move the tar archives created in steps (1) and (2) to a long-term storage location.

Restore

To restore a Chef Backend-based Chef Infra Server cluster:

  1. Restore the node and an IP address that can be used to reach the node on the first machine that you want to use in your new Chef Backend cluster. The argument to the --publish_address option should be the IP address for reaching the node you are restoring.

    chef-backend-ctl restore --publish_address X.Y.Z.W /path/to/backup.tar.gz
    
  2. Join additional nodes to your Chef Backend cluster. (If you are only testing and verifying your restore process you can test against a single Chef Backend node and a single Chef Infra Server node.)

    chef-backend-ctl join-cluster IP_OF_FIRST_NODE --publish_address IP_OF_THIS_NODE
    
  3. Restore Chef Infra Server from your backed up Infra Server configuration (See step 2 in the backup instructions above). Alternatively, you can generate new configuration for this node and reconfigure it using the steps found in the installation instructions..

    chef-server-ctl restore /path/to/chef-server-backup.tar.gz
    
  4. Run the reindex command to re-populate your search index

    chef-server-ctl reindex --all
    

Verify

We recommend periodically verifying your backup by restoring a single Chef Backend node, a single Chef Infra Server node, and ensuring that various knife commands and Chef Infra Client runs can successfully complete against your backup.

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