Backup Metadata

The goal of OpenMetadata is to enable company-wide collaboration around metadata. The more we use it, the more value this brings to the table, which means that keeping the metadata safe can become a critical activity for our Disaster Recovery practices.

While there are cloud services that feature automatic snapshots and replication, the metadata CLI now allows all users to perform backups regardless of the underlying infrastructure.

The CLI comes bundled in the base openmetadata-ingestion Python package. You can install it with:

pip install openmetadata-ingestion

One of the backup features is to upload the generated backup to cloud storage (currently supporting S3). To use this, you can instead install the package with the backup plugin:

pip install "openmetadata-ingestion[backup]"

This is a custom utility. As almost all tables contain GENERATED columns, directly using mysqldump is not an option out of the box, as it would require some further cleaning steps to get the data right.

Instead, we have created a utility that will just dump the necessary data.

The requirement for running the process is that the target database should have the Flyway migrations executed.

The backup utility will provide an SQL file which will do two things:

  1. TRUNCATE the OpenMetadata tables
  2. INSERT the data that has been saved

You can then run the script's statements to restore the data.


Make sure that the migrations have been run correctly (find out how here).

Also, make sure that the target database does not already have any OpenMetadata data, or if it does, that you are OK replacing it with whatever comes from the SQL script.

After the installation, we can take a look at the different options to run the CLI:

> metadata backup --help
Usage: metadata backup [OPTIONS]

  Run a backup for the metadata DB. Uses a custom dump strategy for
  OpenMetadata tables.

  We can pass as many connection options as required with `-o <opt1>, -o
  <opt2> [...]` Same with connection arguments `-a <arg1>, -a <arg2> [...]`

  To run the upload, provide the information as `--upload endpoint bucket key`
  and properly configure the environment variables AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID &

  -h, --host TEXT               Host that runs the database  [required]
  -u, --user TEXT               User to run the backup  [required]
  -p, --password TEXT           Credentials for the user  [required]
  -d, --database TEXT           Database to backup  [required]
  --port TEXT                   Database service port
  --output PATH                 Local path to store the backup
  --upload <TEXT TEXT TEXT>...  S3 endpoint, bucket & key to upload the backup
  -o, --options TEXT
  -a, --arguments TEXT
  --help                        Show this message and exit.

There is a set of four required parameters, the minimum required for us to access the database service and run the backup: host, user, password and database to point to. Note that the user should have at least read access to the database. By default, we'll try to connect through the port 3306, but this can be overridden with the --port option.

The CLI will create a dump file that looks like openmetadata_YYYYmmddHHMM_backup.sql. This will help us identify the date each backup was generated. We can also specify an output path, which we'll create if it does not exist, via --output.

We currently support uploading the backup files to S3. To run this, make sure to have AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY as environment variables with permissions to the bucket that you'd like to point to. Afterwards, we can just use --upload <endpoint> <bucket> <key> to have the CLI upload the file. In this case, you'll get both the local dump file and the one in the cloud.

You can pass any required connection options or arguments to the MySQL connection via -o <opt1>, -o <opt2> [...] or -a <arg1>, -a <arg2> [...].

If you are saving the data from Postgres, pass the argument -s <schema> or --schema=<schema> to indicate the schema containing the OpenMetadata tables. E.g., -s public.

We can do a test locally preparing some containers:

  1. sh docker/ to start the docker compose service.
  2. docker run -p 9000:9000 -p 9001:9001 minio/minio server /data --console-address ":9001" to start minio, an object storage S3 compatible.
  3. Connect to http://localhost:9001 to reach the minio console and create a bucket called my-bucket
  4. Finally, we just need to prepare the environment variables as:
    export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=minioadmin
    export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=minioadmin

An example CLI call will look as:

metadata backup -u openmetadata_user -p openmetadata_password \
    -h localhost -d openmetadata_db --output=dir1/dir2 \
    --upload http://localhost:9000 my-bucket backup/

And we'll get the following output:

Creating OpenMetadata backup for localhost:3306/openmetadata_db...
Backup stored locally under dir1/dir2/openmetadata_202201250823_backup.sql
Uploading dir1/dir2/openmetadata_202201250823_backup.sql to http://localhost:9000/my-bucket/backup/openmetadata_202201250823_backup.sql...

If we now head to the minio console and check the my-backup bucket, we'll see our SQL dump in there.


Still have questions?

You can take a look at our Q&A or reach out to us in Slack

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