# Chapter 3: Getting ready for production

This chapter will help you get ready to use Meilisearch in production by covering topics such as instance-wide options, data backup, and security.

# Instance options

Meilisearch allows you to configure your entire instance through environment variables before launch or command-line options at launch.

Meilisearch has configuration options for many critical actions, such as:

  • Changing the database path
  • Starting Meilisearch in a development or production environment
  • Setting a master key to protect API endpoints
  • Disabling telemetry (enabled by default)

You can read about all of them in our configuration guide.

# Data backup

Meilisearch offers two options for backing up your data: dumps and snapshots.

Dumps export data in a raw unprocessed form and can be used to migrate your database between Meilisearch versions. A dump isn't an exact copy of your databaseβ€”it is closer to a blueprint that allows you to rebuild an identical database.

Snapshots, on the other hand, are an exact copy of your database. The documents in a snapshot are already "indexed" and ready to go, therefore they import faster than dumps. However, as a result, snapshots are not compatible between different versions of Meilisearch. You can schedule snapshots at regular intervals and use them for rolling back data.

You can read more about dumps and snapshots in their dedicated guides.

# Protecting Meilisearch

Meilisearch allows you to restrict access to API endpoints. You can protect your Meilisearch instance by supplying it with an alphanumeric string representing your master key:

Once this has been done, you must supply an API key with sufficient permissions whenever you make an API request. For example:

curl -X POST 'http://127.0.0.1:7700/indexes/movies/search' \
  -H 'Authorization: Bearer apiKey'

You can customize all API keys, including altering their expiration dates and updating their permissions. Read more about Meilisearch and security in our dedicated guide.

# What's next

Hopefully these chapters have given you a basic introduction to Meilisearch and some of the things it can do. Once you get a hang of the basics, the possibilities are endless. To continue exploring Meilisearch, check out: