old mysql machine - migration, best practices, and other questions

Have a situation where a small company has an old desktop computer that's running Debian Linux, with a MySQL database that I believe a Microsoft Access front end is connecting to (I may be wrong on the Access part).  I'm trying to implement a 'best practices' solution for them.  This is not a case of moving to the cloud, or investing tens of thousands of $ - it's a small company, but they need some best practices implemented.

I have 0 experience with MySQL - all my experience is on the MS sql server side.

Was thinking - could they set up a (physical or virtual) windows 2008 or 2012 machine and run mysql on it?  That way it could be included as part of their backup plans.

Is it possible to go from a Linux MySQL database to a windows MySQL database?  What's the easiest method to create a daily backup of a MySQL database?  Is there a script I can run to export it to a file share somewhere (perhaps with the date in the filename)?

Just looking for overall best practices to go from a 10 year old debian server running the MySQL database, to '?'
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
MySQL can be installed on almost all operating systems.  And there is generally no problem in transferring from one to the other, I do it all the time.   However, I am using essentially the same version of MySQL in both places.   A 10 year version may have some small incompatibilites with a current version.  That may be more of a problem with the language or program they are using to access it.

It's definitely a doable project but you may want to gather some more details before you try moving the data.  Are they actually using Access and if so, what version and what version of the MySQL ODBC driver are they using?  Are they using any programming languages like ASP, VBScript, or PHP to access the database?
ste5anSenior DeveloperCommented:
What is the long term plan with that application? When there is no further development, then I would simply migrate/clone that machine to a VM.
Mystical_IceAuthor Commented:
I am still going to gather additional information like the version of mysql, etc.
My understanding is they are planning to keep using this applicaton although apparently it requires using an old version of access. That part I'm not going to be responsible for handling. Mainly I just need to make a best practice recommendation on getting the database running on a real server instead of an old desktop, and get a good backup practice in place
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Mystical_IceAuthor Commented:
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Anyone what?  You haven't given us the additional detailed information.  At least I was waiting for it.
All the things you are asking for are possible, however, if your experience is with MSSQL, then I think the best solution is to migrate the whole database to MSSQL because that is something you can handle easily. The MSSQL Migration assistant is very smart, even translates stored procedures pretty well.

The next best solution is to install MySQL on windows. It's very easy and comes with its own installer. You can use mysql workbench on the source machine to produce SQL commands to export the database. On the target machine, you can import the tables and set up regular backups. Workbench will help you with that. Worst case scenario, you can set up a scheduled task which runs mysqldump (the data dumper program for mysql). Remember that you would also have to make log rotation, as that could quickly fill up a disk.

Another option for backup and high availability is to install mysql cluster, which will accomplish both tasks, although it does not allow the same point-in-time recovery.

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