15. Backup, Recovery and Database Maintenance

15.1. Sipwise C5 Backup

For any service provider it is important to maintain a reliable backup policy as it enables prompt services restoration after any force majeure event. Although the design of Sipwise C5 implies data duplication and high availability of services, we still strongly suggest you to configure a backup procedure. The Sipwise C5 has a built-in solution that can help you back up the most crucial data. Alternatively, it can be integrated with any Debian compatible backup software.

15.1.1. What data to back up

  • The database

This is the most important data in the system. All subscriber and billing information, CDRs, user preferences, etc. are stored in the MySQL server. It is strongly recommended to have up-to-date dumps of all the databases on corresponding Sipwise C5 nodes.

  • System configuration

The system configuration folder /etc/ngcp-config/ must be included in the backup as well. It contains the system specific configuration (like SSL keys). Also you might have some local modifications. We suggest backing up the whole /etc folder to preserve the etckeeper history to be able to answer when and who changed particular configuration files in the past.

  • Exported CDRs (optional)

The /home/jail/home/cdrexport directory contains the exported CDRs. It depends on your call data retention policy whether or not to remove these files after exporting them to an external system.

15.1.2. The built-in backup solution

The Sipwise C5 comes with an easy-to-use solution that creates everyday backups of the most important data:

  • The system configuration files. The whole /etc directory is backed up.
  • Exported CDRs. The /home/jail/home/cdrexport directory with csv files.
  • All required databases on corresponding servers.

This functionality is disabled by default and can be enabled and configured in the backuptools subsection in the config.yml file. Please, refer to the “C.1.3 backup tools” section of the “Sipwise C5 configs overview” chapter for the backup configuration options.

Once you set the required configuration options, apply the changes:

ngcpcfg apply 'enable the backup feature'
ngcpcfg push all

Once you activate the feature, Sipwise C5 will create backups in the off-peak time on the standby nodes and put them to the /ngcp-data/backup/ngcp_backup directory. You can copy these files to your backup server using scp or ftp.


make sure that you have enough free disk space to store the backups for the specified number of days.

15.2. Recovery

In the worst case scenario, when the system needs to be recovered from a total loss, you only need 4 steps to get the services back online:

  • Install Sipwise C5 as explained in chapter 2.
  • Restore the /etc/ngcp-config/ directory from the backup, overwriting your local files.
  • Restore mysql.encryption.key in constants.yml if new MariaDB instance/binlogs were encrypted (DB is encrypted by default). See the detailed information in MariaDB data restoration remarks.
  • Restore the database from the latest MySQL dump.
  • Apply the changes to bring the original configuration into effect:
ngcpcfg apply 'restored the system from the backup'
ngcpcfg push all

15.3. Reset Database


All existing data will be wiped out! Use this script only if you want to clear all previously configured services and start configuration from scratch.

To reset database to its original state you can use a script provided by CE: * Execute ngcp-reset-db. It will assign new unique passwords for Sipwise C5 services and reset all services. The script will also create dumps for all Sipwise C5 databases.

15.4. Synchronize database

In case of unresolvable database replication issues or to copy mysql data between a pair of hosts (usually a pair of sp1 and sp2 nodes).

There is a script for that: ngcp-sync-db.

To synchronize databases you need to run the script on your target host.

  • Definitions:

    • master - remote/master host (the database is dumped from there)
    • local - target/local host (the database is imported onto)
  • Usage:

Your existing database on local will be completely wiped. The script provides a possibility to backup both master and local databases during the procedure.

You can run the script with -h or --help to check its options or use man ngcp-sync_db

If you run it without any options it automatically calculates master hostname (e.g. if you run it on sp2 then sp2==local and sp1==master).

The script also requires mysql credentials and if none is provided it uses the ones from the file /etc/mysql/sipwise_extra.cnf. You can specify user and/or password for both master and local.

Before the actual start it produces a summary with settings used to the procedure and a confirmation prompt to prevent accidental usage. Making use of --force option" however suppresses the confirmation prompt. By default no messages are printed on STDOUT (compliant to be integrated into another tools) and with -v or --verbose options you enable debugging where all the ongoing steps will be printed to STDOUT.

There are 2 modes available for synchronization, online and backup. By default online is used where the procedure does not create any backups and everything goes on the fly. That is useful for large databases where creating backups would require solid amounts of available free disk space. With the backup mode master db is dumped into a backup file on local first (default directory: /ngcp-data/backup/ngcp-sync-db) and imported upon the backup completion.

Mysql database connection to the master db and the local db is the essential part and by default the script tries to establish direct mysql connection however that may not be possible due to the access restrictions. To overcome that you can use --ssh-tunnel option and specifying there a local custom free port (e.g. --ssh-tunnel=33125) in this case an ssh tunnel will be created to master and used to establish the db connection on the localhost behalf (NOTE: Public key based ssh negotiation is required for the tunnel as the script does not suppot ssh credentials for security reasons).

Backups may be a subject to create during synchornization for possible rollbacks. To create the local db backup you should add --local-backup. The master db backup is automatically created only using --sync-mode=backup. Upon completion all those created backups are deleted and if you need to keep them please use --keep-backups option (NOTE: In case of errors during synchronization and when backups are created they are NOT automatically deleted. Therefore, if the script had failed with an error and afterwards completed successfully you may want to manually remove the remaining backups from /ngcp-data/backup/ngcp-sync-db).

  • Examples:

Normal online mode synchronization sp1sp2.

sp2> ngcp-sync-db

Normal backup mode synchronization sp1sp2.

sp2> ngcp-sync-db --sync-mode=backup

Forced online mode synchronization sp1sp2. USE WITH CARE as there will be no confirmation prompts.

sp2> ngcp-sync-db --force

Direct mysql db access is not possible. SSH tunnel is initialised to local port 33125 and forwards all connections → sp1:3306.

sp2> ngcp-sync-db --ssh-tunnel=33125

Custom mysql credentials for the master db connection (by default: /etc/mysql/sipwise_extra.cnf)

sp2> ngcp-sync-db --master-user=frank --master-pass=dbconnect

Normal online mode synchronization sp1sp2 with the local db backup and retaining the backup. (no master backup in this case as it is only available with --sync-mode=backup).

sp2> ngcp-sync-db --local-backup --keep-backups

Normal online mode synchronization custom-nodesp2 with ssh tunnel

sp2> ngcp-sync-db --master-host=custom-node --ssh-tunnel=45001

Forced syncrhonization custom-nodesp2 with ssh tunnel, backup sync mode, local backup, custom master and local db credentials and ports as well as a different backup dir

sp2> ngcp-sync-db --force --sync-mode=backup --master-host=custom-node --master-port=3308 --ssh-tunnel=45001 --master-user=frank --master-pass=dbconnect --local-user=john --local-pass=dblocal --local-backup --keep-backups --backup-dir=/home/barry/backups

15.5. Accounting Data (CDR) Cleanup

Sipwise Sipwise C5 offers an easy way to cleanup, backup or archive old accounting data — i.e. CDRs — that is not necessary for further processing any more, or must be deleted according to the law. There are some Sipwise C5 components designed for this purpose and they are commonly called cleanuptools. These are basically configurable scripts that interact with NGCP’s accounting and kamailio databases, or remove exported CDR files in order to clean or archive the unnecessary data.

15.5.1. Cleanuptools Configuration

The configuration parameters of cleanuptools are located in the main Sipwise C5 configuration file: /etc/ngcp-config/config.yml. Please refer to the config.yml file description: Cleanuptools Configuration Data for configuration parameter details.

In case the system administrator needs to modify some configuration value, the new configuration must be activated in the usual way, by running the following commands:

> ngcpcfg apply 'Modified cleanuptools config'
> ngcpcfg push all

As a result new configuration files will be generated for the accounting database and the exported CDR cleanup tools. Please read detailed description of those tools in subsequent sections of the handbook.

The Sipwise C5 system administrator can also select the time when cleanup scripts are run, by modifying the schedule here: /etc/cron.d/cleanup-tools

15.5.2. Accounting Database Cleanup

The script responsible for cleaning up the database is: ngcp-cleanup-acc

The configuration file used by the script is: /etc/ngcp-cleanup-tools/acc-cleanup.conf

An extract from a sample configuration file is provided here:


batch = 10000
archive-target = /ngcp-data/backup/cdr
compress = gzip

username = dbcleaner
password = rcKamRdHhx7saYRbkJfP
host = localhost

connect accounting
time-column = from_unixtime(start_time)
backup-months = 2
backup-retro = 2
backup cdr

connect accounting
archive-months = 2
archive cdr

connect kamailio
time-column = time
cleanup-days = 90
cleanup acc

# Clean up after ngcp-mediator by deleting old leftover acc entries and
# deleting old entries out of acc_trash and acc_backup
connect kamailio
time-column = time
cleanup-days = 30
cleanup acc_trash
cleanup acc_backup

The configuration file itself contains a detailed description of how database cleanup script works. It consists of a series of statements, one per line, which are going to be executed in sequence. A statement can either just set a variable to some value, or perform an action.

There are 3 types of actions the database cleanup script can take:

  • backup CDRs
  • archive CDRs
  • cleanup CDRs

These actions are discussed in following sections.

A generic action is connecting to the proper database: connect <database name> Backup CDRs

The database cleanup tool can create monthly backups of CDRs in the accounting database and store those data records in separate tables named: cdr_YYYYMM. The instruction in the configuration file looks like: backup <table name>, by default and typically it is: backup cdr

Configuration values that govern the backup procedure are:

  • time-column: Which column in cdr table shows the month which a CDR belongs to.
  • batch: How many records to process within a single SQL statement. If unset, less than or equals 0, all of them are processed at once.
  • backup-months: How many months worth of records to keep in the cdr table — where current CDRs are stored — and not move into the monthly backup tables.


    Months are always processed as a whole, thus the value specifies how many months to keep AT MOST. In other words, if the script is started on December 15th and this value is set to "2", then all of December and November is kept, and all of October will be backed up.

  • backup-retro: How many months to process for backups, going backwards in time. Using the example above, with this value set to "3", the months October, September and August would be backed up, while any older records would be left untouched. Archive CDRs

The database cleanup tool can archive (dump) old monthly backup tables. The statement used for this purpose is: archive <table name>, by default and typically it is: archive cdr

This creates an SQL dump out of too old tables created by the backup statement and drop them afterwards from database. Archiving uses the following configuration values:

  • archive-months: Uses the same logic as the backup-months variable above. If set to "12" and the script was started on December 15th, it will start archiving with the December table of the previous year.


    Note that the sum of backup-retro + backup-months values cannot be larger than archive-months value for the same table. Otherwise you end up creating empty monthly backup tables, only to dump and delete them right afterwards.

  • archive-target: Target directory for writing the SQL dump files into. If explicitly specified as "/dev/null", then no actual archiving will be performed, but instead the tables will only be dropped from database.
  • compress: If set to "gzip", then gzip the dump files after creation. If unset, do not compress.
  • host, username and password: As dumping is performed by an external command, those variables are reused from the connect statement. Cleanup CDRs

The database cleanup tool may do database table cleanup without performing backup. In order to do that, the statement: cleanup <table name> is used. Typically this has to be done in kamailio database, examples:

  • cleanup acc
  • cleanup acc_trash
  • cleanup acc_backup

Basically the cleanup statement works just like the backup statement, but doesn’t actually backup anything, but rather just deletes old records. Configuration values used by the procedure:

  • time-column: Gives the database column name that shows the time of CDR creation.
  • batch: The same as with backup statement.
  • cleanup-days: Any record older than this many days will be deleted.

15.5.3. Exported CDR Cleanup

The script responsible for cleaning up exported CDR files is: ngcp-cleanup-cdr-files

The configuration file used by exported CDR cleanup script is: /etc/ngcp-cleanup-tools/cdr-files-cleanup.yml

A sample configuration file is provided here:

enable: no
max_age_days: 30
    path: /home/jail/home/*/20[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]/[0-9][0-9]
    wildcard: yes
    remove_empty_directories: yes
    max_age_days: ~
    path: /home/jail/home/cdrexport/resellers/*/20[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]/[0-9][0-9]
    wildcard: yes
    remove_empty_directories: yes
    max_age_days: ~
    path: /home/jail/home/cdrexport/system/20[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]/[0-9][0-9]
    wildcard: yes
    remove_empty_directories: yes
    max_age_days: ~

The exported CDR cleanup tool simply deletes CDR files in the directories provided in the configuration file, if those have already expired.

Configuration values that define the files to be deleted:

  • enable: Enable (yes) or disable (no) exported CDR cleanup.
  • max_age_days: Gives the expiration time of the exported CDR files in days. There is a general value which may be overridden by a local value provided at a specific path. The local value is valid for the particular path only.
  • paths: an array of path definitions

    • path: a path where CDR files are to be found and deleted; this may contain wildcard characters
    • wildcard: Enable (yes) or disable (no) using wildcards in the path
    • remove_empty_directories: Enable (yes) or disable (no) removing empty directories if those are found in the given path
    • max_age_days: the local expiration time value for files in the particular path