Questions related to database backups, database dumps, and connections

My database server doesn't allow external connections. Can I back it up?

Yes, you can!

SimpleBackups supports SSH tunneling, meaning you can leverage another server (tunnel) that has access to the server you want to back up. You may also, instead, use our Tailscale integration to easily access your private resources without exposing them to the internet and without having a jump/bastion server.

How to back up private and internal databases?

Back up privately/internally-accessible databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis) behind firewalls.

It is possible to use SimpleBackups to back up private resources. You will need an intermediate server within your network that has access to the private network, and use that intermediate server during the backup.

Using this method, the private host is never accessible or exposed to the Internet, and at the same time no agents are run on the private server to take the backup. The private host stays as a blackbox.


  1. Private database, or server you need to back up (ex.: private-resource-01)
  1. Any SSH-accessible intermediate server, that has access to the resources in step 1 (ex.: tunnel-server-01)

Backup Internal or Private Databases (database backups)

Expose the private database that resides on private-resource-01 to an intermediate SSH-accessible server tunnel-server-01, then:

  1. Create a serverless database backup on SimpleBackups
  1. Use the tunnel option to tunnel SimpleBackups' connection through tunnel-server-01 which has access to your privately accessible database

Database size is smaller after restore

A backup could certainly be much smaller than the actual size of the database.

The trusted way to confirm the consistency of a backup is in fact restoring and inspecting the backup.

Note: it is also normal to see that a restored database is actually smaller than an already existing database (this is very true for Postgres). Reasons that would result in the size different include rebuilding all the indexes, defragmentation, etc.

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Last updated on August 6, 2021