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I have two instances of MySQL running one a server, set up as master and slave. It's all working smoothly together and I'm only using the slave instance for backups to avoid locking up the live databases.

What settings would be ideal to lower the Slave instance requirements as much as possible, that aren't important for replication performance. For example, would setting the innodb buffer to the minimal amount make sense? Are there any other bits of MySQL that could be lowered or turned off?

Alternative backup solutions may not be an option due to having to run on Windows.

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Just a suggestion, but maybe you could look at Percona's hot backup solution here? It's free and open source. It allows for the hot backing up of InnoDB tables. HTH, Paul...

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Valid suggestion, unfortunately I'm required to run on top of Windows. From what I understand Percona were working on a Windows version of XtraBackup but it was only at an Alpha stage of development. – Mister Dai Feb 17 '14 at 10:16
Long shot maybe, but could you try cygwin? – Vérace Feb 21 '14 at 14:39

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