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MAAS doesn’t yet include specific tools to back up and restore a working MAAS configuration. MAAS servers are part of your data centre, just like other Linux-based servers, so your current backup and disaster recovery solution will probably back up your MAAS environment. Even so, you should know which files and actions are critical – to ensure that you get a clean backup, and further ensure that you can restore it cleanly.

Quick questions you may have:

Configuration files

The following MAAS components need to be backed-up and restored, on each region and rack controller, to recreate a working environment:

  1. The PostgreSQL database
  2. The configuration files in /etc/maas
  3. The configuration files in /var/lib/maas

/var/lib/maas/boot-resources can safely be excluded as this contains images easily re-downloaded within MAAS.

Other configuration files, such as those used by your network configuration (/etc/network/interfaces, for example) will need to be backed-up and restored according to your specific deployment requirements.

PostgreSQL export

The following procedure involves some assumptions:

To backup your PostgreSQL database to a file called dump.sql in your home directories, enter the following:

sudo -u postgres pg_dumpall -c > ~/dump.sql

If you run the above pg_dumpall process in the background, you can ensure this has completed and that there are no other established sessions with the following command:

sudo -u postgres psql -c  "SELECT * FROM pg_stat_activity"

Running sessions, such as pg_dumpall, will appear in the application_name column of the output alongside psql running the above pg_stat_activity query. Excepting psql, if application_name is empty, you can safely stop the database service.

Stop critical services

To avoid conflicting updates during a backup, stop the following services with the sudo systemctl stop <service> command:

Archive configuration files

Archive the database and the required configuration files with a command similar to the following:

sudo tar cvpzf ~/backup.tgz --exclude=/var/lib/maas/boot-resources /etc/maas /var/lib/maas ~/dump.sql

Make sure you move the resulting backup.tgz to some external storage you can access when restoring the system.

We’ve now backed up all the components necessary to recreate a MAAS deployment. Next, we’ll discuss how to restore this configuration.

Restore files

Start with a freshly-updated installation of Ubuntu on identical hardware. Reinstall MAAS via the standard procedure (sudo apt install maas), then stop the following services (PostgreSQL needs to keep running):

Copy the backup file to the new machine and untar its contents (sudo tar xvzpf backup.tgz).

To restore the state of the database, enter the following from the backup directory:

sudo -u postgres psql -f dump.sql postgres

Next, copy across the old configuration files to their new locations, taking care to move the originals aside just in case:

sudo mv /etc/maas /etc/_maas; mv /var/lib/maas /var/lib/_maas
sudo cp -prf etc/maas /etc/; cp -prf var/lib/maas /var/lib/

[note] Take care to preserve the correct permissions when restoring files and directories. [/note]

If your restore process regenerated the /var/lib/maas/secret file, make sure update this secret on any additional rack controllers.

Recreating/updating the DB

When you restore a backup, you’ll have to “upgrade” the DB schema to re-create DB triggers or ensure that the schema matches the currently-running version.

MAAS relies on various DB triggers for multiple operations. As such, it is always required to re-create those after restoring from a backup. Similarly, newer versions of MAAS may have new or missing migrations, and merely restoring a backup may not be enough to restore normal operation.

As such, it is required to re-create the DB triggers (or upgrade the DB and run new/missing migrations) with the following command:

sudo maas-region dbupgrade

[note] Please note to run this command on one of the Region Controllers (if this is a multi-region MAAS cluster). [/note]

Now either restart your system(s) or the stopped services. You’ll find your MAAS deployment fully restored.