Scheduling database backups

Backup schedules allow you to back up your hosted databases whenever you want. Every time a backup schedule runs, FileMaker Server checks whether the selected databases have changed since the last time that schedule ran. For each schedule, FileMaker Server creates a full copy of the databases that have changed and creates hard links to the backed-up databases that have not changed for that schedule.

Note  When backing up a hosted database to a Windows Resilient File System (ReFS) volume or other file system that doesn't support hard links, making the copy is slower because FileMaker Server must create a full copy of every file during every backup.

When running the backup schedule, FileMaker Server copies databases while they are active. Users can continue to make changes to data. When the copy is complete, database hosting pauses to sync backup files with the current database, and then database hosting resumes.

In the backup schedule, you can specify the maximum number of backups to keep and whether to perform a consistency check on the backup file.

While a schedule is running, the Scheduled Time column changes to Running. Immediately after the schedule completes, the column temporarily changes to either Succeeded or Failed to indicate the result. For detailed information about the schedule, review the Event.log messages that have been logged. See Event log.

Database backups are saved in the folder that you specify on the Configuration > Schedules tab. The disk that stores your hosted files and backups must have plenty of free space. If the disk runs out of space while a file is being modified or if a database file reaches the 8 TB size limit, the file will be compressed. Compression may take some time to complete.

If the disk runs out of space during a backup, the backup stops, the backup file is deleted, and FileMaker Server logs an error in Event.log. To avoid running out of disk space when backing up files, choose a different hard disk as your backup destination, or move completed backups to offline storage.

FileMaker Server puts tasks and file-related commands from Admin Console and the CLI into the following separate queues:

  • Backup, verify, and file-related commands (for example, open, close, pause, and resume): Only one task or command runs at one time from this queue. The remaining tasks or commands are delayed until the current one is complete.

  • Send message and run script schedules (FileMaker scripts and system script files): Multiple tasks can run at the same time from this queue.

FileMaker Server runs tasks from both queues at the same time. For example, the first queue has a backup command and a pause command. The second queue has a script schedule. FileMaker Server runs the backup command and script schedule at the same time. The pause command is not run until the backup command completes.