Backups are important, and backups of databases are even more critical. In a typical CMS, the bulk of the site content is stored in database tables. The filesystem is touched only occasionally for image uploads and the like. I frequently see backups set up as a simple rsync from one filesystem to another. That’s perfectly acceptable for images and static HTML, but it creates some serious problems for a MySQL database server. Even if /var/lib/mysql is in the backup path (is it?), there is no guarantee that the data you copy is going to be in a consistent (or even usable!) state. The proper way to back up a MySQL database is to use the mysqldump utility to export a text file containing the raw SQL INSERT statements. But mysqldump has some limitations — most significantly, it can only dump a single database at a time. If you manage a server with dozens of databases on it, this can become difficult to manage. You’d also have to remember to update your backup scripts when new databases are created, or face a nasty surprise when you realize you never took a single backup of those new databases. MyAutoDump aims to reduce some of that pain.

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