Subject RE: [firebird-support] Firebird Backups on Google Compute Engine
Author Rudi Feijó

>> We are considering moving our systems to GCE and trying to figure the best

>> approach to backup our many firebird databases.

>> Firebird is not VSS aware so we can't use shadow copying.


>Not completely true.


>1- Firebird uses careful write order, so a VSS snapshot should be a valid database image -- though with pages containing uncommitted data. So, which FB is not VSS aware, it co-exists with VSS quite nicely.


>2- You can use nbackup to create a logical DB snapshot, which would be equivalent of a VSS snapshot.


>> On our current

>> host, we create backups of every single database with gbak daily - which

>> consumes a lot of time and disk. We would like to improve that.

>> Would the following procedure be enough to guarantee a safe differential

>> backup? We are on windows :

>> 1. connect to all databases and set them to backup mode (or offline mode)

>> 2. stop the firebird service

>> 3. unmount the drive containing the dbs

>> 4. create a snapshot with gcloud

>> 5. remount, restart service, put dbs online


>Please clarify.


>1- Are you moving your databases to run on GCE?

>2- Looking to store backups on gcloud?

>3- Both?


>If 1 or 3 you need to perform some disk benchmarking.


>Unlike some databases, Firebird performance is significantly influenced by IO _latency_.


>All clouds talk about provisioning IOPS, but few talk about what the latency is of each IOP. You can get 10,000 IOPS if you have 10,000 processes each generated 1 IOPS, Firebird is (largely) a single process. I know that there are differences between cloud provider (don't have first hand experience with GCE -- hoping soon)


Thanks for your reply Sean.

Yes we are planning to move everything to GCE. Today we have a single physical server with about 100 db’s in it (about 2TB).

Here is a link do GCE’s details on disk choices (we are considering persistent SSD’s)

On this page there is a section “Size required to match a 7200 RPM SATA drive” , I will run the usual benchmarking with crystalmark, but I think the figures seem to be nice.


GCE have a snapshot functionality which can be automated by command line too. This snapshots are stored automatically and have their own pricing, albeit they are rather cheap.
So, it would seem to be ideal to us to just use the snapshot functionality on the whole drive, rather then running backups on individual db’s like we do today.
So my main concern was about the integrity of those snapshots, I believe you answered what I needed to know, thanks again.