Backup and Restore Data Storages

This section is all about backup and restore of the FindFace Security data storages, which are the following:

  • Tarantool-based biometric database that stores biometric samples (feature vectors) and face identification events.
  • Main system database based on PostgreSQL, that stores internal system data, dossiers, user accounts, and camera settings.
  • Directory /var/lib/ffsecurity/uploads that stores uploaded dossier photos, video files, and such event artifacts as full frames, face thumbnails, and normalized face images.
  • Directory /var/lib/ffupload/ that stores only such event artifacts as face thumbnails.

In this section:

Biometric Database Backup and Restore

There are 3 galleries in the Tarantool-based biometric database:

  • ffsec_dossier_face: biometric samples extracted from dossier photos.
  • ffsec_events: biometric samples extracted from faces detected in the video.
  • ffsec_monitoring: biometrics samples from the active dossiers under watch.

The database backup/restore functionality allows you to fully restore all the galleries when needed.

To avoid data loss, we recommend you to create a biometric database backup at least once a week. Overall, the frequency of backups depends on the number of dossiers and face recognition events, as well as available disk space.

Be sure to backup the database before migrating your system to another biometric model.


To backup and restore the FindFace Security biometric database, the following utilities are needed:

  1. backup: findface-storage-api-dump,
  2. restore: findface-storage-api-restore.

These utilities are automatically installed along with findface-sf-api.

Backup Database

To backup the biometric database, use the findface-storage-api-dump utility as follows:


The following services have to be active: findface-tarantool-server, findface-sf-api.


The backup functionality can be applied to a distributed database. In this case, the findface-storage-api-dump utility will backup galleries on all the shards specified in /etc/findface-sf-api.ini.

  1. On the server with findface-sf-api, create a directory to store the backup files.

  2. From this directory, launch the findface-storage-api-dump utility by executing:

    sudo findface-storage-api-dump -config /etc/findface-sf-api.ini

    The utility will backup at once all the galleries into the files with corresponding names ffsec_dossier_face.json, ffsec_events.json, ffsec_monitoring.json, and save them into the directory. These files contain all the data needed to restore the entire database.

Restore Database

To restore the biometric database from the backup, do the following:

  1. Use HTTP API to create initial galleries in the database: ffsec_dossier_face, ffsec_events, ffsec_monitoring.


    See HTTP API.

    curl -D - -X POST -s 'http://localhost:8101/v2/galleries/add/ffsec_dossier_face'
    curl -D - -X POST -s 'http://localhost:8101/v2/galleries/add/ffsec_events'
    curl -D - -X POST -s 'http://localhost:8101/v2/galleries/add/ffsec_monitoring'
  2. From the directory with the backup files, launch the findface-storage-api-restore utility for each gallery at a time:

    sudo findface-storage-api-restore -config /etc/findface-sf-api.ini < ffsec_dossier_face.json
    sudo findface-storage-api-restore -config /etc/findface-sf-api.ini < ffsec_events.json
    sudo findface-storage-api-restore -config /etc/findface-sf-api.ini < ffsec_monitoring.json

    The restore process can be interrupted and resumed when necessary. To resume the process after interruption, simply launch the findface-storage-api-restore utility again.

Main Database Backup

To backup the PostgreSQL database, execute:

sudo -u postgres pg_dump ffsecurity > ffsecurity_postgres_backup.sql

Artifacts Backup

The FindFace Security artifacts, such as uploaded dossier photos, video files, and such event artifacts as full frames, face thumbnails, and normalized face images, are stored in the following directories:

  • /var/lib/ffsecurity/uploads
  • /var/lib/ffupload/

To backup the artifacts, execute:

tar -cvzf var_lib_ffsecurity_uploads.tar.gz /var/lib/ffsecurity/uploads
tar -cvzf var_lib_ffupload.tar.gz /var/lib/ffupload/