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I'm a web developer and I use primarily my own laptop at work. We use an SVN repository for our project codebases, and deploy our changes to an internal development server for testing.

Our system administrator has also implemented an on-site NAS backup, onto which we mirror our most up-to-date sources every few hours automatically.

Given this scenario, is it appropriate for me to simply copy the binary database files from my filesystem to the backup media, rather than to create mysql dumps for each database? The most likely restore scenario would be a complete (rather than partial) reconstruction of my local development environment, anyway.

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I would also recommend MySQL dump with an additional twist, place the dump file under version control, at regular intervals, I would recommend when a change is complete. That way you can also track the changes to the database and make reconstruction easier

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IMHO it is much cleaner to put the original SQL scripts to create the database under version control. –  a_horse_with_no_name Apr 4 '12 at 6:52

I would suggest to backup mysql dump, because if you have to rebuild your development environment, are you sure that the exact same version of MySql will be re-install?

I know that mysql dump take more disk space, but IMHO disk space is a lot cheaper, than take the risk.

I must say I'm not a DBA, so maybe binary database are compatible between mysql version. And with mysql dump it'll be easier if you want to change database platform.

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