Kubernetes Cluster Backup/Migration using Velero

July 23, 2021

Kubernetes Cluster Backup/Migration using Velero

Table of Contents

  1. Overview: Velero
  2. Architecture: 
  3. Usecases: 
  4. How Velero works: 

Overview: Velero

Velero is an open source tool for safely backing up and restoring resources in a Kubernetes cluster, performing disaster recovery, and migrating resources and persistent volumes to another Kubernetes cluster.

Velero offers key data protection features, such as scheduled backups, retention schedules, and pre or post backup hooks for custom actions. Velero can help protect data stored in persistent volumes and makes your entire Kubernetes cluster more resilient.



  1. Back up your cluster and restore it in case of loss.
  2. Recover from disaster.
  3. Copy cluster resources to other clusters.
  4. Replicate your production environment to create development and testing environments.
  5. Take a snapshot of your application’s state before upgrading a cluster.

How Velero works:

Each Velero operation–on-demand backup, scheduled backup, restoration–is a custom resource that is defined with a Kubernetes custom resource definition, or CRD, and stored in etcd. Velero includes controllers that process the CRD’s to back up and restore resources. You can back up or restore all objects in your cluster, or you can filter objects by type, namespace, or label.

Data protection is a chief concern for application owners who want to make sure that they can restore a cluster to a known good state, recover from a crashed cluster, or migrate to a new environment. Velero provides those capabilities.

Procedure for Backup and Restore of Kubernetes cluster in AWS:

Step 1: Create an S3 bucket and set the following permissions

  1. Create a bucket with custom name.
  2. Go to Permissions section in S3 and attach the below given bucket policy.












Step 2: Download & Install Velero

mkdir velero

cd velero
wget https://github.com/vmware-tanzu/velero/releases/download/v1.5.3/velero-v1.5.3-linux-amd64.tar.gz
tar xzvf velero-v1.5.3-linux-amd64.tar.gz

cd velero-v1.5.3-linux-amd64

sudo cp -r velero-v1.5.3-linux-amd64/velero /usr/local/bin/

Step 3: Setup Velero credentials

Create a credentials file with name “credentials-velero”.  (You can give any name of your choice)

vi credentials-velero
aws_access_key_id = <aws_access_key_id>
aws_secret_access_key = <aws_secret_access_key>

aws_access_key_id = <aws_access_key_id> aws_secret_access_key = <aws_secret_access_key>

Step 4: Install Velero

velero install \\

--provider aws \\

--plugins velero/velero-plugin-for-aws:v1.1.0 \\

--bucket <BUCKET> \\

--backup-location-config region=ca-central-1 \\

--use-volume-snapshots=false \\

--secret-file ./credentials-velero \\


Step 5: Taking backup

We can backup entire cluster or backup a specific name space or objects like pod, deployment, etc using Velero backup command.Here for the demo we are going to back up a name space in k8’s cluster.

Step 1: To list all the name spaces created in the cluster type the following command.

kubectl get ns

The above command will list out all the name spaces so that you can choose the once you want to backup

Step 2: Create a backup for a name space in Kubernetes

velero backup create firstbackup  --include-namespace test-name-space

This will create a backup in the s3 bucket.

Step 3 : To get the list of backup files type the following command

velero backup get

Step 4: To get the detailed view of backup use the following command

velero backup describe firstbackup

Step 6: Restoring the Backup

Now that we have created our backup. We shall now delete the name space “test-name-space” and restore it from s3 using velero

Step 1: To delete the name space

kubectl delete ns test-name-space

Wait for the name space to be deleted

Step 2: Then restore the namespace from the backup we have just crated

velero restore create --from-backup firstbackup

Now let the restoration to be completed.

Step 3: After success restoration we can now check the name space which we deleted

kubectl get ns

This will list all namespaces in Kubernetes including our deleted one

By following the above-mentioned steps, we can create a smooth Backup and Restore of kubernetes cluster to AWS

Anusha Ravindra – DevOps Trainee

Sai Krishna Sirigiri – DevOps Engineer

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