Production Backup Strategy

Although Confluence provides a scheduled XML backup, this backup method is only suitable for small sites, test sites, or in addition to database and directory backups.

Establishing a production system backup solution

We recommend establishing a robust  database backup strategy:

On this page:

Related pages:

  • Create a backup or dump of your database using tools provided by your database.
    If your database doesn't support online backups, you will need to stop Confluence while you do this. 
  • Create a file system backup of your home directory (both local home and shared home for Data Center)

Once this is in place, you can disable the daily backup scheduled job.

Having a backup of your database and home directories is more reliable, and easier to restore than a large XML backup. 

Which files need to be backed up?

Backing up the whole home directory is the safest option, however most files and directories are populated on startup and can be ignored. At minimum, these files/directories must be backed up:

  • <conf-home>/confluence.cfg.xml
  • <conf-home>/attachments  (you can exclude extracted text files if space is an issue)

The rest of the directories will be auto-populated on start up. You may also like to backup these directories:

  • <conf-home>/config – if you have modified your ehcache.xml file.
  • <conf-home>/index – if your site is large or reindexing takes a long time – this will avoid the need for a full reindex when restoring.

The location of the home directory is configured on installation and is specified in the file. For installation created with the automatic installer the default locations are:

  • Windows    C:\Program Files\Atlassian\Application Data\Confluence
  • Linux     /var/atlassian/application-data/confluence

For Clustered instances only: Backing up the whole shared home directory is the safest option, however some files and directories are populated at runtime and can be ignored:

  • <conf-home>/thumbnails
  • <conf-home>/viewfile. 

How do I back up?

The commands to back up your database will vary depending on your database vendor, for example the command for PostgreSQL is pg_dump dbname > outfile.  

You should refer to the documentation for your particular database to find out more. 

How do I restore?

Our guide on Migrating Confluence Between Servers has instructions on restoring a backup using this technique.

Other processes

XML site backups can be used for other processes in Confluence, for example moving servers or switching to a different database. Using the backup strategy described above will work for those processes too.

  • Our migrate server procedure– used to set up a test server – can use a SQL dump as well.
  • The database migration procedure uses the XML backup for small data sets. Large data sets will require third party database migration tools.

Note: The XML export built into Confluence is not suited for the backup or migration of large data sets. There are a number of third party tools that may be able to assist you with the data migration. If you would like help in selecting the right tool, or help with the migration itself, we can put you in touch with one of the Atlassian Experts.

Last modified on Oct 11, 2021

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