About volume snapshots

In Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), you can use the Kubernetes volume snapshot feature for persistent volumes in your GKE clusters.

  • Kubernetes volume snapshots let you create a copy of your volume at a specific point in time. You can use this copy to bring a volume back to a prior state or to provision a new volume.

  • A volume snapshot in Kubernetes is equivalent to taking a backup of your data in other storage systems. For example, creating a Kubernetes volume snapshot is equivalent to creating a Filestore backup.

  • You can use snapshots to protect your workloads and achieve business-critical recovery point objectives in your disaster recovery plan, or if you have compliance needs to periodically save data.

GKE supports two ways to create volume snapshots:

  • Container storage interface (CSI) volume snapshot API: This is a manual process that lets you create and manage volume snapshots through the Compute Engine Persistent Disk CSI driver or the Filestore CSI driver, applying configuration conventions commonly used in open source Kubernetes programming.

  • Backup for GKE: This is a fully-managed service that automates the creation and management of volume snapshots. Backup for GKE supports both the configuration and volume backup for stateful workloads with persistent disks. For workloads with Filestore, only the configuration backup is supported. To back up data in your Filestore basic tier instances, you should continue to use the volume snapshot API through the Filestore CSI driver.

From GKE version 1.17 or later, you can provision and attach volume snapshots with the following components:

The following documentation covers how to use the volume snapshot API with a GKE CSI driver:

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