Percona XtraBackup Changing to Strict by Default


Backups are a key part of a disaster recovery strategy, making sure you can continue or restore your business in case of an unwanted event with your data.

We always work on trying to improve Percona XtraBackup reliability, always favoring consistency, attempting to make unwanted outcomes be noticed as earlier as possible in the process.

Enabling –strict by Default

As of the upcoming release of 8.0.27, XtraBackup will no longer accept invalid parameters. Since the beginning of the times, validation of parameters has been a difficult task for XtraBackup as it mixes server-side and XtraBackup only parameters.

Starting at Percona XtraBackup 8.0.7 we implemented PXB-1493 which added –strict option defaulting to false.

This option issues a warning for each parameter/option that XtraBackup does not recognize. 

Having this as a warning is not good enough for a few reasons:

It’s easy for it to go unnoticed as we mostly never read all the lines from the output of the backup, paying attention only to the end of the backup to validate if it completed ok.
Having it as a warning doesn’t prevent us from shooting ourselves in the foot. As an example, when applying a –prepare on an incremental backup, if we mistype –apply-log-only parameter on an incremental backup that is not the last one, we will be executing the rollback phase making it rollback in-fly transactions that might have been completed on the next incremental backup.

And there are more.

With all the above in mind, we have decided to enable –strict mode by default.

What Does it Mean For You?

From the 8.0.27 release going forward, you might see XtraBackup failing in case you use an invalid option, either from the [xtrabackup] group of your configuration file or passed as an argument on the command line.

For the next few releases, we will still allow you to change back to the old behavior by passing the parameter –skip-strict, –strict=0, or –strict=OFF.

In the future, –strict will be the sole option, and disabling it will be forbidden.