How to back up MAAS (snap/2.9/UI)

About MAAS backup

MAAS currently does not provide 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 should be sufficient to 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.

This article will tell you:

How to choose configuration files for backup

The following three 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 /snap/maas/current/etc/maas
  3. The configuration files in /var/snap/maas/common/maas/

/var/snap/maas/common/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.

How to prepare PostgreSQL data for backup

Prior to stopping services (as described in the next section), export your PostgreSQL database with a database dump. This process is described in the following procedure, which involves three assumptions:

  1. you have installed region and rack controllers on the same machine.
  2. you have installed MAAS on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic).
  3. you are restoring software an identical hardware and network configuration.

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.

How to stop specific services before backing up

After you have dumped your PostgreSQL database, and verified that the dump has finished, you should stop the following four services with the sudo systemctl stop <service> command:

  1. postgresql.service
  2. maas-dhcpd.service
  3. maas-rackd.service
  4. maas-regiond.service

Stopping these services will avoid conflicting updates during the remaining backup steps.

How to archive files to make the backup more efficient

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

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

Make sure you move the resulting backup.tgz to some external storage you can access when restoring the system. Also, make sure to restart the services you stopped prior to completing the backup.

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

How to restore the system when needed

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 three services (PostgreSQL needs to keep running):

  1. maas-dhcpd.service
  2. maas-rackd.service
  3. maas-regiond.service

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 /snap/maas/current/etc/maas /snap/maas/current/etc/_maas
sudo mv /var/snap/maas/common/maas /var/snap/maas/common/_maas
sudo cp -prf /snap/maas/current/etc/maas /snap/maas/current/etc/
sudo cp -prf /var/snap/maas/common/maas /var/snap/maas/common/

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

Take care to preserve the correct permissions when restoring files and directories.

How to restore the database to normal operation

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

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

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