There are many use cases when you need to migrate MySQL database between 2 servers, like cloning a database for testing, a separate database for running reports, or completely migrating a database system to a new server. On the broad level, you will take a backup of data on the first server, transfer it remotely to the destination server and finally restore the backup on the new MySQL instance.

This article will walk you through the steps to migrate MySQL Database between 2 Servers using 3 simple steps. It will also provide you with a brief overview of MySQL in further sections. Let’s get started.

Introduction to MySQL

MySQL Logo
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MySQL is a popular open-source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). MySQL uses a simple Client-Server Model to assist users in managing Relational Databases, or data stored in rows and columns across tables. It makes use of the well-known query language Structured Query Language (SQL), which enables users to execute all CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations.

MySQL was initially created in 1994 by MySQL AB, a Swedish business. Sun Microsystems bought the firm in 2008, and Sun Microsystems was eventually bought out by Oracle, a US IT behemoth. Oracle is currently in charge of MySQL’s development and expansion. Although MySQL is open-source and free to use for everyone, it has some premium features that Oracle exclusively offers to clients who are ready to pay for it.

MySQL is the database of choice for over 5000 businesses, including Uber, Netflix, Pinterest, Amazon, Airbnb, Twitter, and others.

To know more about MySQL, visit this link.

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Steps to Migrate MySQL Database Between 2 Servers

Migrate MySQL Database
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Now that you have a basic grasp of MySQL, let’s try to understand the steps to migrate MySQL database between 2 servers. Below are the steps you can follow to migrate MySQL database between 2 servers:

1) Backup the Data

The first step to migrate the MySQL database is to take a dump of the data that you want to transfer. To do that, you will have to use mysqldump command. The basic syntax of the command is:

mysqldump -u [username] -p [database] > dump.sql

If the database is on a remote server, either log in to that system using ssh or use -h and -P options to provide host and port respectively.

mysqldump -P [port] -h [host] -u [username] -p [database] > dump.sql

There are various options available for this command, let’s go through the major ones as per the use case.

A) Backing Up Specific Databases

mysqldump -u [username] -p [database] > dump.sql

This command dumps specified databases to the file.

You can specify multiple databases for the dump using the following command:

mysqldump -u [username] -p --databases [database1] [database2] > dump.sql

You can use the –all-databases option to backup all databases on the MySQL instance.

mysqldump -u [username] -p --all-databases > dump.sql

B) Backing Up Specific Tables

The above commands dump all the tables in the specified database, if you need to take backup of some specific tables, you can use the following command:

mysqldump -u [username] -p [database] [table1] [table2] > dump.sql

C) Custom Query

If you want to backup data using some custom query, you will need to use the where option provided by mysqldump.

mysqldump -u [username] -p [database] [table1] --where="WHERE CLAUSE" > dump.sql

Example: mysqldump -u root -p testdb table1 --where="mycolumn = myvalue" > dump.sql


  • By default, mysqldump command includes DROP TABLE and CREATE TABLE statements in the created dump. Hence, if you are using incremental backups or you specifically want to restore data without deleting previous data, make sure you use the –no-create-info option while creating a dump.
mysqldump -u [username] -p [database] --no-create-info > dump.sql
  • If you need to just copy the schema but not the data, you can use –no-data option while creating the dump.
mysqldump -u [username] -p [database] --no-data > dump.sql

2) Copy the Database Dump on the Destination Server

Once you have created the dump as per your specification, the next step is transferring the data dump file to the destination server. You will have to use scp command for that.

Scp -P [port] [dump_file].sql [username]@[servername]:[path on destination]


scp dump.sql root@
scp -P 3306 dump.sql root@

3) Restore the Dump

The last step is restoring the data on the destination server. MySQL command directly provides a way to restore to dump data to MySQL.

mysql -u [username] -p [database] < [dump_file].sql


mysql -u root -p testdb < dump.sql

If your dump includes multiple databases, don’t specify the database in the above command.

mysql -u root -p < dump.sql


Following the above-mentioned steps, you can migrate MySQL database between two servers easily, but it can be quite cumbersome if it is going to be a recurring task. An all-in-one solution like Hevo takes care of this effortlessly and helps manage all your data pipelines in an elegant and fault-tolerant manner.

Hevo will automatically catalog all your table schemas and do all the necessary transformations to migrate MySQL Database between these MySQL instances. Hevo will fetch the data from your source MySQL server in an incremental fashion and restore that seamlessly onto the destination MySQL instance. Hevo will also alert you if there are schema changes or network failures through email and Slack. All of this can be achieved from the Hevo UI, with no need to manage any servers or cron jobs.

Businesses can use automated platforms like Hevo Data to set the integration and handle the ETL process. It helps you directly transfer data from a source of your choice to a Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence tools, or any other desired destination in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write any code and will provide you a hassle-free experience.


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