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I have a mysql database with size 2.4TB which has lots of reads and writes happening continuously. I want to replicate this database as a backup. But it's almost impossible to get a dump from this database with it's size. Is it possible to create a slave replica without a dump of the master?

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Plan B: Stop MySQL; copy the disk.

But first, turn on binlogging so that you will be able to sync up after you get the Slave going.

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You have two options:

1) Take a snapshot (if your data is in LVM or ZFS) and copy that across.

2) Use xtrabackup.

Both of those approaches will be much faster, too.

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