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Backup Scheduling, Retention, and On-Demand Snapshots

On this page

  • View Backup Policies
  • Change the Backup Policy Time
  • Configure the Backup Policy
  • Configure the Restore Window
  • Configure Atlas to Automatically Copy Snapshots to Other Regions
  • Delete a Backup Snapshot
  • View Backup Snapshots
  • Take On-Demand Snapshots

A backup policy has the following sections:

  • A time of day, in UTC, at which to create snapshots.

  • A frequency interval and duration of retention.

  • If PIT Restores are enabled, a PIT window that allows you to restore to any point in time in the last X days where X is the window.

Example

The default backup policy specifies a snapshot time of 18:00 UTC and the following four policy items:

Policy Type
Tier
Continuous Cloud Backup
Snapshot Taken
Snapshot Retained
Hourly

NVMe

Enabled
Every 12 hours
2 days
Hourly
non-NVMe
Enabled
Every 6 hours
2 days
Daily
All
Either
Every day
7 days
Weekly
All
Either
Every Saturday
4 weeks
Monthly
All
Either
Last day of the month
12 months

To learn more about Cloud Backup billing, see Cloud Backups.

Each row in the Backup Policy Frequency and Retention table represents a backup policy item. Configure the policy items and, optionally, add new policy items to configure a new backup policy.

Tip

Atlas displays the estimated number of snapshots associated with your changes below the Backup Policy Frequency and Retention table.

To specify a backup policy item using the Atlas UI:

  1. Select the frequency unit from Frequency Unit for a policy item.

    Alternatively, click Add Frequency Unit to add a new policy item to the backup policy.

    Note

    You cannot specify multiple Hourly and Daily backup policy items.

  2. Select the frequency for the frequency unit from Every.

    Note

    If you delete an existing backup frequency unit, the snapshots for which the frequency was specified remain intact until they expire or you delete them.

  3. Specify the retention time for the policy item in Retention Time and the units for the retention time from the list to the right.

    Note

    Atlas requires that the value specified for Retention Time for items that are less frequent is equal to or larger than the value specified for items that are more frequent. For example, if the hourly policy item specifies a retention of two days or greater, the retention for the weekly snapshot must be two weeks or greater.

    You can't configure a restore window that is longer than the Hourly Snapshot Retention Time.

  4. (Optional) To apply the retention changes in the updated backup policy to snapshots that Atlas took previously, check Apply policy retention changes to existing snapshots.

    Note

    This option affects only snapshots created by the updated policy items and whose retention has not been updated individually with the Modify Cloud Backup Backup Policy API.

  5. Click Save Changes.

Note

To take a snapshot sooner than the next scheduled snapshot, use the Take One On-Demand Snapshot API.

Note

If overlapping policy items generate the same snapshot, Atlas associates the snapshot with the policy item with the longest retention time.

Example

If the policy specifies a daily snapshot with a retention of two days and a weekly snapshot every Saturday with a retention of three weeks, Atlas must choose which frequency unit to associate with the snapshot taken on Saturday, hourly or weekly.

Since the retention time for the weekly policy item is longer than that specified for the hourly policy item, Atlas displays a frequency of Weekly in the Frequency column on the Snapshots page for the snapshot taken on Saturday.

Important

If you disable Cloud Backups for a cluster or terminate a cluster that had snapshots enabled, Atlas immediately deletes the backup snapshots for that cluster. For clusters not using Encryption at Rest using Customer Key Management you can download the latest snapshot to preserve any data stored in the cluster.

You can replay the oplog to restore a cluster from any point in time within a specified restore window.

To specify the restore window duration, select how long you want Atlas to retain the oplog for point-in-time restores from the Restore Window list.

You can't configure a restore window that is longer than the Hourly Snapshot Retention Time.

You can configure Atlas to automatically create copies of your snapshots and oplogs and store them in other regions. With snapshots distributed across regions, you can still restore your cluster if the primary region goes down, enhancing your disaster recovery capabilities to bring them in line with internal or regulatory requirements. Additionally, you can perform direct attach restores rather than slower streaming restores for clusters based in the same project and region where you store copies. This reduces system recovery time.

You can use copied oplogs to perform continuous cloud backup from secondary regions in the event the primary region of your cluster goes down.

Note

Serverless instance backups and legacy backups don't support this configuration.

Snapshots taken in AWS and Azure regions are incremental. Snapshots taken for GCP are not incremental, resulting in higher data storage and transfer costs.

To configure automatic snapshot distribution in other regions:

  1. Navigate to the Backup Policy tab. In the Additional Backup Copies section, click the arrow button to expand the pane.

  2. Toggle Copy to other regions on. You will see a table of distribution policies pre-populated with the cluster's current regions.

    Note

    For a global cluster, you can enable or disable this setting independently for each zone.

  3. In the Copy to other regions table, click Choose a region in the Region column of the row under your current region and select the region to distribute snapshots to.

    Note

    You can select regions only for the same cloud provider as the primary region. For example, if your cluster is in the AWS us-east-1 region, you can distribute snapshots only to other AWS regions supported by Atlas. For global clusters, each zone may have nodes in multiple cloud providers. When you select regions in which to store copied snapshots, you can select only regions in the same cloud provider as the zone's primary region.

  4. In the Snapshots column, click the arrow to view the available snapshot policies for the cluster. Atlas displays options based on the backup policies for the cluster.

    For example, if you set the cluster with a Daily backup policy of taking daily 5:00 PM snapshots, checking Daily in the Snapshots column enables snapshot distribution of daily 5:00 PM snapshots. You can't set the snapshot distribution policy to a different frequency or timing than its underlying backup policy.

    You can enable or disable any combination of the available policies on a region-by-region basis.

    Example

    The following table describes the snapshot distribution policy for a cluster with enabled storage nodes in the AWS regions us-east-2, us-west-1, and us-west-2:

    Region
    Hourly
    Daily
    Weekly
    Monthly
    On Demand
    Point-in-Time
    us-east-1 (Original)
    Every 6 hours
    Every 2 days
    Every Sunday
    Last day of the month
    Yes
    Yes
    us-east-2 (Copy)
    Disabled
    Disabled
    Enabled
    Enabled
    Disabled
    No
    us-west-1 (Copy)
    Enabled
    Enabled
    Enabled
    Enabled
    Enabled
    Yes
    us-west-2 (Copy)
    Enabled
    Enabled
    Disabled
    Disabled
    Enabled
    Yes
  5. If you enabled Continuous Cloud Backup for the cluster, you can enable oplog distribution for each additional region. If you disabled Continuous Cloud Backup for the cluster, you can't enable oplog distribution for additional regions.

To delete a policy for snapshot distribution to other regions:

  1. In the Action column, click .

  2. In the dialog box, select either Keep all snapshots in this region or Delete all snapshots in this region, and click Confirm. If you choose to keep snapshots in a disabled region, the snapshots persist until their scheduled expiration date.

Alternatively, to disable all snapshot distribution policies within a single-region cluster or within a global cluster zone, click the Copy to other regions toggle. As with deleting an individual policy, you can choose to keep or delete all copied snapshots for that cluster or zone.

Note

In the event of a cloud provider service outage in a region configured for automatic snapshot distribution, Atlas will attempt restore using snapshots stored in copy regions.

To delete all copies of a snapshot without deleting its distribution policy, delete the snapshot from its original region using one of the following methods:

Deleting the original snapshot by any of these methods will propagate the deletion to all copies of that snapshot.

By default, Atlas displays both on-demand and policy-based snapshots. To view only policy-based snapshots:

  1. Click Policy under View Snapshots by.

    Alternatively, click On-demand to display only snapshots taken by clicking Take Snapshot Now.

Snapshots taken according to the backup policy display the frequency of the policy item that generated the snapshot in the Frequency column: Monthly, Weekly, Daily, or Hourly.

Note

If overlapping policy items generate the same snapshot, Atlas associates the snapshot with the policy item with the longest retention time.

Example

If the policy specifies a daily snapshot with a retention of two days and a weekly snapshot every Saturday with a retention of three weeks, Atlas must choose which frequency unit to associate with the snapshot taken on Saturday, hourly or weekly.

Since the retention time for the weekly policy item is longer than that specified for the hourly policy item, Atlas displays a frequency of Weekly in the Frequency column on the Snapshots page for the snapshot taken on Saturday.

You can change a zone's name in the Atlas UI. If you rename a zone, old snapshots' tooltip zone names aren't renamed.

Atlas takes on-demand snapshots immediately, unlike scheduled snapshots which occur at regular intervals. If there is already an on-demand snapshot with a status of queued or inProgress, you must wait until Atlas has completed the on-demand snapshot before taking another. If there is already a scheduled snapshot with a status of queued or inProgress, you may queue an on-demand snapshot. You must have the Organization Owner or Project Owner role to successfully call this endpoint.

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