Backing up a Liferay DXP Installation

Once you have an installation of Liferay DXP running, you should implement a comprehensive backup plan. In case some kind of catastrophic hardware failure occurs, you’ll be thankful to have backups and procedures for restoring Liferay DXP from one of them. Liferay DXP isn’t very different from other Java web application that might be running on your application server. Nevertheless, there are some specific components you should include in your backup plan.

The recommended backup plan includes backing up these things:

  • Source code
  • Liferay DXP’s file System
  • Liferay DXP’s database

Backing up Source Code

If you have extended Liferay DXP or have written any plugins, they should be stored in a source code repository such as Git, Subversion, or CVS, unless you’re Linus Torvalds, and then tarballs are okay too (that’s a joke). You should back up your source code repository on a regular basis to preserve your ongoing work. This probably goes without saying in your organization since nobody wants to lose source code that’s taken months to produce. Thus you should include source code in your Liferay DXP backup plan.

Next, let’s examine the Liferay DXP installation items you should back up.

Backing up Liferay’s File System

The Liferay Home folder stores Liferay DXP’s properties configuration files, such as portal-setup- wizard.properties and portal-ext.properties. You should absolutely back them up. In fact, it’s best to back up your entire application server and Liferay Home folder contents.

Liferay DXP stores configuration files, search indexes, and cache information in Liferay Home’s /data folder. If you’re using the File System store or the Advanced File System store, the documents and media repository is also stored here by default. It’s always important to back up your /data folder.

The files that comprise Liferay DXP’s OSGi runtime are stored in Liferay Home’s /osgi folder. It contains all of the app and module JAR files deployed to Liferay DXP. The /osgi folder also contains other required JAR files, configuration files, and log files. It’s also important to back up your /osgi folder.

Liferay Home’s /logs folder contains Liferay DXP’s log files. If a problem occurs on Liferay DXP, the Liferay DXP log files often provide valuable information for determining what went wrong. The /data, /osgi, and /logs folders are all contained in the Liferay Home folder. Thus, if you’re backing up both your application server folder and your Liferay Home folder, you’re in good shape.

Remember that if you’ve configured the document library to store files to a location other than the default location, you should also back up that location.

That covers the Liferay DXP file system locations you should back up. Next, let’s discuss how to back up Liferay DXP’s database.

Backing up Liferay DXP’s Database

Liferay DXP’s database is the central repository for all of the portal’s information. It’s the most important component to back up. You can back up the database live (if your database allows this) or by exporting (dumping) the database into a file and then backing up the exported file. For example, MySQL ships with a mysqldump utility which lets you export the entire database and data into a large SQL file. This file can then be backed up. On restoring the database you can import this file into the database to recreate the database state to that of the time you exported the database.

If you’re storing Liferay DXP’s Documents and Media Library files to a Jackrabbit JSR-170 repository database, you should back it up. If you’ve placed your search index into a database (not recommended; see the Liferay DXP Clustering article for information on using Cluster Link or Solr), you should back up that database too.

If you wish to avoid re-indexing your content after restoring your database, back up your search indexes. This is easiest to do if you have a separate Elastic or Solr environment on which your index is stored. If you’re in a clustered configuration and you’re replicating indexes, you’ll need to back up each index replica.

Restoring your application server, your Liferay Home folder, the locations of any file system-based media repositories, and your database from a backup system should give you a functioning portal. Restoring search indexes should avoid the need to re-index when you bring your site back up after a catastrophic failure. Good, consistent backup procedures are key to recovering successfully from a hardware failure.

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