One technical point to know about mydumper is that it locks tables, so it is not the ideal tool for performing backups during operating hours. Then again, professional data recovery costs hundreds of dollars per hour, and you always get a bill even if the data isn't recoverable. mydumper is free and well worth exploring for even basic backups.
mydumper also comes in handy when cloning servers. Other tools perform complete hard drive duplications, but when all you need is MySQL data, mydumper is the fastest way to get it. Servers provisioned in a cloud are particularly suited to cloning using mydumper. Just dump your MySQL data from an existing server and copy it to the new instance.
Cloning is worthwhile for creating slave servers, benchmarking, and profiling, but nowhere is it more vital than in testing and development. Being able to spin up a replica for quick testing before going live is essential for dynamic MySQL environments. With mydumper, you can quickly create a server that is nearly identical to your production server, enabling your test results to better mimic production results.
Essential MySQL tool No. 3: xtrabackup and xtrabackup-managerIf your databases are in use every day, all day, giving you no "overnight" during which tables can be locked for backup, xtrabackup is your solution. Also known as Percona XtraBackup, this tool performs nonblocking backups and is the only free, open source tool that can do this. By comparison, proprietary nonblocking backup software can cost more than $5,000 per server.
xtrabackup also offers incremental backups, allowing you to back up only the data that has changed since the last full backup. Adding incremental backups to your backup process is powerful, given the reduced performance hit of these tremendously smaller backups.
Furthermore, another project has grown up around xtrabackup that makes managing a full backup plan even easier: xtrabackup-manager. Although this tool is new and still in development, it holds a lot of potential because it offers advanced features like rotating backups with groups and backup set expiring. Together, xtrabackup and xtrabackup-manager are a formidable and free backup solution.