Available as of v2.2.0

In the Rancher UI, etcd backup and recovery for Rancher launched Kubernetes clusters can be easily performed. Snapshots of the etcd database are taken and saved either locally onto the etcd nodes or to a S3 compatible target. The advantages of configuring S3 is that if all etcd nodes are lost, your snapshot is saved remotely and can be used to restore the cluster.

Rancher recommends configuring recurrent etcd snapshots for all production clusters. Additonally, one-time snapshots can easily be taken as well.

Note: If you have any Rancher launched Kubernetes clusters that were created prior to v2.2.0, after upgrading Rancher, you must edit the cluster and save it, in order to enable the updated snapshot features. Even if you were already creating snapshots prior to v2.2.0, you must do this step as the older snapshots will not be available to use to back up and restore etcd through the UI.

Snapshot Creation Period and Retention Count

Select how often you want recurring snapshots to be taken as well as how many snapshots to keep. The amount of time is measured in hours. With timestamped snapshots, the user has the ability to do a point-in-time recovery.

Configuring Recurring Snapshots for the Cluster

By default, Rancher launched Kubernetes clusters are configured to take recurring snapshots (saved to local disk). To protect against local disk failure, using the S3 Target or replicating the path on disk is advised.

During cluster provisioning or editing the cluster, the configuration for snapshots can be found in the advanced section for Cluster Options. Click on Show advanced options.

In the Advanced Cluster Options section, there are several options available to configure:

Option Description Default Value
etcd Snapshot Backup Target Select where you want the snapshots to be saved. Options are either local or in S3 local
Recurring etcd Snapshot Enabled Enable/Disable recurring snapshots Yes
Recurring etcd Snapshot Creation Period Time in hours between recurring snapshots 12 hours
Recurring etcd Snapshot Retention Count Number of snapshots to retain 6

One-Time Snapshots

In addition to recurring snapshots, you may want to take a “one-time” snapshot. For example, before upgrading the Kubernetes version of a cluster it’s best to backup the state of the cluster to protect against upgrade failure.

  1. In the Global view, navigate to the cluster that you want to take a one-time snapshot.

  2. Click the Vertical Ellipsis (…) > Snapshot Now.

Result: Based on your snapshot backup target, a one-time snapshot will be taken and saved in the selected backup target.

Snapshot Backup Targets

Rancher supports two different backup targets:

Local Backup Target

By default, the local backup target is selected. The benefits of this option is that there is no external configuration. Snapshots are automatically saved locally to the etcd nodes in the Rancher launched Kubernetes clusters in /opt/rke/etcd-snapshots. All recurring snapshots are taken at configured intervals. The downside of using the local backup target is that if there is a total disaster and all etcd nodes are lost, there is no ability to restore the cluster.

Safe Timestamps

Available as of v2.3.0

As of v2.2.6, snapshot files are timestamped to simplify processing the files using external tools and scripts, but in some S3 compatible backends, these timestamps were unusable. As of Rancher v2.3.0, the option safe_timestamp is added to support compatiable file names. When this flag is set to true, all special characters in the snapshot filename timestamp are replaced.

Note: This option is not available directly in the UI, and is only available through the Edit as Yaml interface.

S3 Backup Target

The S3 backup target allows users to configure a S3 compatible backend to store the snapshots. The primary benefit of this option is that if the cluster loses all the etcd nodes, the cluster can still be restored as the snapshots are stored externally. Rancher recommends external targets like S3 backup, however its configuration requirements do require additional effort that should be considered.

Option Description Required
S3 Bucket Name S3 bucket name where backups will be stored *
S3 Region S3 region for the backup bucket
S3 Region Endpoint S3 regions endpoint for the backup bucket *
S3 Access Key S3 access key with permission to access the backup bucket *
S3 Secret Key S3 secret key with permission to access the backup bucket *
Custom CA Certificate A custom certificate used to access private S3 backends Available as of v2.2.5

Using a custom CA certificate for S3

Available as of v2.2.5

The backup snapshot can be stored on a custom S3 backup like minio. If the S3 back end uses a self-signed or custom certificate, provide a custom certificate using the Custom CA Certificate option to connect to the S3 backend.

IAM Support for Storing Snapshots in S3

The S3 backup target supports using IAM authentication to AWS API in addition to using API credentials. An IAM role gives temporary permissions that an application can use when making API calls to S3 storage. To use IAM authentication, the following requirements must be met:

  • The cluster etcd nodes must have an instance role that has read/write access to the designated backup bucket.
  • The cluster etcd nodes must have network access to the specified S3 endpoint.
  • The Rancher Server worker node(s) must have an instance role that has read/write to the designated backup bucket.
  • The Rancher Server worker node(s) must have network access to the specified S3 endpoint.

To give an application access to S3, refer to the AWS documentation on Using an IAM Role to Grant Permissions to Applications Running on Amazon EC2 Instances.

Viewing Available Snapshots

The list of all available snapshots for the cluster is available.

  1. In the Global view, navigate to the cluster that you want to view snapshots.

  2. Click Tools > Snapshots from the navigation bar to view the list of saved snapshots. These snapshots include a timestamp of when they were created.