Making and Restoring Backups

If you are worried about data loss, and of course you should be, you need a way to back up your Solr indexes so that you can recover quickly in case of catastrophic failure.

Solr provides two approaches to backing up and restoring Solr cores or collections, depending on how you are running Solr. If you run in SolrCloud mode, you will use the Collections API. If you run Solr in standalone mode, you will use the replication handler.

SolrCloud Backups

Support for backups when running SolrCloud is provided with the Collections API. This allows the backups to be generated across multiple shards, and restored to the same number of shards and replicas as the original collection.

Note
SolrCloud Backup/Restore requires a shared file system mounted at the same path on all nodes, or HDFS.

Two commands are available:

  • action=BACKUP: This command backs up Solr indexes and configurations. More information is available in the section Backup Collection.

  • action=RESTORE: This command restores Solr indexes and configurations. More information is available in the section Restore Collection.

Standalone Mode Backups

Backups and restoration uses Solr’s replication handler. Out of the box, Solr includes implicit support for replication so this API can be used. Configuration of the replication handler can, however, be customized by defining your own replication handler in solrconfig.xml. For details on configuring the replication handler, see the section Configuring the ReplicationHandler.

Backup API

The backup API requires sending a command to the /replication handler to back up the system.

You can trigger a back-up with an HTTP command like this (replace "gettingstarted" with the name of the core you are working with):

Backup API Example
http://localhost:8983/solr/gettingstarted/replication?command=backup

The backup command is an asynchronous call, and it will represent data from the latest index commit point. All indexing and search operations will continue to be executed against the index as usual.

Only one backup call can be made against a core at any point in time. While an ongoing backup operation is happening subsequent calls for restoring will throw an exception.

The backup request can also take the following additional parameters:

location

The path where the backup will be created. If the path is not absolute then the backup path will be relative to Solr’s instance directory. |name |The snapshot will be created in a directory called snapshot.<name>. If a name is not specified then the directory name would have the following format: snapshot.<yyyyMMddHHmmssSSS>.

numberToKeep

The number of backups to keep. If maxNumberOfBackups has been specified on the replication handler in solrconfig.xml, maxNumberOfBackups is always used and attempts to use numberToKeep will cause an error. Also, this parameter is not taken into consideration if the backup name is specified. More information about maxNumberOfBackups can be found in the section Configuring the ReplicationHandler.

repository

The name of the repository to be used for the backup. If no repository is specified then the local filesystem repository will be used automatically.

commitName

The name of the commit which was used while taking a snapshot using the CREATESNAPSHOT command.

Backup Status

The backup operation can be monitored to see if it has completed by sending the details command to the /replication handler, as in this example:

Status API Example
http://localhost:8983/solr/gettingstarted/replication?command=details&wt=xml
Output Snippet
<lst name="backup">
  <str name="startTime">Sun Apr 12 16:22:50 DAVT 2015</str>
  <int name="fileCount">10</int>
  <str name="status">success</str>
  <str name="snapshotCompletedAt">Sun Apr 12 16:22:50 DAVT 2015</str>
  <str name="snapshotName">my_backup</str>
</lst>

If it failed then a snapShootException will be sent in the response.

Restore API

Restoring the backup requires sending the restore command to the /replication handler, followed by the name of the backup to restore.

You can restore from a backup with a command like this:

Example Usage
http://localhost:8983/solr/gettingstarted/replication?command=restore&name=backup_name

This will restore the named index snapshot into the current core. Searches will start reflecting the snapshot data once the restore is complete.

The restore request can take these additional parameters:

location

The location of the backup snapshot file. If not specified, it looks for backups in Solr’s data directory.

name

The name of the backed up index snapshot to be restored. If the name is not provided it looks for backups with snapshot.<timestamp> format in the location directory. It picks the latest timestamp backup in that case.

repository

The name of the repository to be used for the backup. If no repository is specified then the local filesystem repository will be used automatically.

The restore command is an asynchronous call. Once the restore is complete the data reflected will be of the backed up index which was restored.

Only one restore call can can be made against a core at one point in time. While an ongoing restore operation is happening subsequent calls for restoring will throw an exception.

Restore Status API

You can also check the status of a restore operation by sending the restorestatus command to the /replication handler, as in this example:

Status API Example
http://localhost:8983/solr/gettingstarted/replication?command=restorestatus&wt=xml
Status API Output
<response>
  <lst name="responseHeader">
    <int name="status">0</int>
    <int name="QTime">0</int>
  </lst>
  <lst name="restorestatus">
    <str name="snapshotName">snapshot.<name></str>
    <str name="status">success</str>
  </lst>
</response>

The status value can be "In Progress", "success" or "failed". If it failed then an "exception" will also be sent in the response.

Create Snapshot API

The snapshot functionality is different from the backup functionality as the index files aren’t copied anywhere. The index files are snapshotted in the same index directory and can be referenced while taking backups.

You can trigger a snapshot command with an HTTP command like this (replace "techproducts" with the name of the core you are working with):

Create Snapshot API Example
http://localhost:8983/solr/admin/cores?action=CREATESNAPSHOT&core=techproducts&commitName=commit1

The CREATESNAPSHOT request parameters are:

commitName

The name to store the snapshot as.

core

The name of the core to perform the snapshot on.

async

Request ID to track this action which will be processed asynchronously.

List Snapshot API

The LISTSNAPSHOTS command lists all the taken snapshots for a particular core.

You can trigger a list snapshot command with an HTTP command like this (replace "techproducts" with the name of the core you are working with):

List Snapshot API
http://localhost:8983/solr/admin/cores?action=LISTSNAPSHOTS&core=techproducts&commitName=commit1

The list snapshot request parameters are:

core

The name of the core to whose snapshots we want to list.

async

Request ID to track this action which will be processed asynchronously.

Delete Snapshot API

The DELETESNAPSHOT command deletes a snapshot for a particular core.

You can trigger a delete snapshot with an HTTP command like this (replace "techproducts" with the name of the core you are working with):

Delete Snapshot API Example
http://localhost:8983/solr/admin/cores?action=DELETESNAPSHOT&core=techproducts&commitName=commit1

The delete snapshot request parameters are:

commitName

Specify the commit name to be deleted.

core

The name of the core whose snapshot we want to delete.

async

Request ID to track this action which will be processed asynchronously.

Backup/Restore Storage Repositories

Solr provides interfaces to plug different storage systems for backing up and restoring. For example, you can have a Solr cluster running on a local filesystem like EXT3 but you can backup the indexes to a HDFS filesystem or vice versa.

The repository interfaces needs to be configured in the solr.xml file. While running backup/restore commands we can specify the repository to be used.

If no repository is configured then the local filesystem repository will be used automatically.

Example solr.xml section to configure a repository like HDFS:

<backup>
  <repository name="hdfs" class="org.apache.solr.core.backup.repository.HdfsBackupRepository" default="false">
    <str name="location">${solr.hdfs.default.backup.path}</str>
    <str name="solr.hdfs.home">${solr.hdfs.home:}</str>
    <str name="solr.hdfs.confdir">${solr.hdfs.confdir:}</str>
  </repository>
</backup>

Better throughput might be achieved by increasing buffer size with <int name="solr.hdfs.buffer.size">262144</int>. Buffer size is specified in bytes, by default it’s 4096 bytes (4KB).