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Schedule Backup Window for Sharded Clusters

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  • Overview
  • Procedure

In a sharded cluster, the balancer process is responsible for distributing sharded data around the cluster, so that each shard has roughly the same amount of data.

However, when creating backups from a sharded cluster it is important that you disable the balancer while taking backups to ensure that no chunk migrations affect the content of the backup captured by the backup procedure. Using the procedure outlined in the section Disable the Balancer you can manually stop the balancer process temporarily. As an alternative, you can use the following procedure to define a balancing window so that the balancer is always disabled during your automated backup operation.


mongodump and mongorestore cannot be part of a backup strategy for 4.2+ sharded clusters that have sharded transactions in progress, as backups created with mongodump do not maintain the atomicity guarantees of transactions across shards.

For 4.2+ sharded clusters with in-progress sharded transactions, use one of the following coordinated backup and restore processes which do maintain the atomicity guarantees of transactions across shards:

If you have an automated backup schedule, you can disable all balancing operations for a period of time. For instance, consider the following command:

use config
{ _id : "balancer" },
{ $set : { activeWindow : { start : "06:00", stop : "23:00" } } },

This operation configures the balancer to run between 6:00am and 11:00pm, server time. Schedule your backup operation to run and complete outside of this time. Ensure that the backup can complete outside the window when the balancer is running and that the balancer can effectively balance the collection among the shards in the window allotted to each.

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