Skip to main content
Version: v0.3

VM Backup & Restore

Available as of v0.3.0

VM backups are created from the Virtual Machines page. The VM backup volumes will be stored in the Backup Target (an NFS or S3 server), and they can be used to either restore a new VM or replace an existing VM. vm-backup.png


A backup target must be set up. For more information, see Configure Backup Target. If the backup target has not been set, you’ll be prompted with a message to do so.

Configure Backup Target

A backup target is an endpoint used to access a backup store in Harvester. A backup store is an NFS server or S3 compatible server that stores the backups of VM volumes. The backup target can be set at Settings > backup-target.

TypestringChoose S3 or NFS
EndpointstringA hostname or an IP address. It can be left empty for AWS S3.
BucketNamestringName of the bucket
BucketRegionstringRegion of the bucket
AccessKeyIDstringA user-id that uniquely identifies your account
SecretAccessKeystringThe password to your account
CertificatestringPaste to use a self-signed SSL certificate of your S3 server
VirtualHostedStyleboolUse VirtualHostedStyle access only; e.g., Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun) OSS

Create a VM backup

  1. Once the backup target is set, go to the Virtual Machines page.
  2. Click Take Backup of the VM actions to create a new VM backup.
  3. Set a custom backup name and click Create to create a new VM backup. create-backup.png

Result: The backup is created. You will receive a notification message, and you can also go to the Advanced > Backups page to view all VM backups.

The ReadyToUse status will be set to true once the Backup is complete.

Users can either choose to restore a new VM or replace an existing VM using this backup.

Restore a new VM using a backup

To restore a new VM from a backup, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Backups page.
  2. Specify the new VM name and click Create.
  3. A new VM will be restored using the backup volumes and metadata, and you can access it from the Virtual Machines page. restore-vm.png

Replace an Existing VM using a backup

You can replace an existing VM using the backup with the same VM backup target.

You can choose to either delete or retain the previous volumes. By default, all previous volumes are deleted.

Requirements: The VM must exist and is required to be in the powered-off status.

  1. Go to the Backups page.
  2. Click Create.

The restore process can be viewed from the Virtual Machines page.

Restore a new VM on another Harvester cluster

Available as of v1.0.0

Users can now restore a new VM on another cluster by leveraging the VM metadata & content backup feature.


You must manually configure the virtual machine images with the same name on the new cluster first, otherwise the virtual machines will be failed to recover.

Upload the same VM images to a new cluster

  1. Check the existing image name (normally starts with image-) and create the same one on the new cluster.
$ kubectl get vmimages -A
default image-79hdq focal-server-cloudimg-amd64.img 566886400 5h36m
default image-l7924 harvester-v1.0.0-rc2-amd64.iso 3964551168 137m
default image-lvqxn opensuse-leap-15.3.x86_64-nocloud.qcow2 568524800 5h35m
  1. Apply a VM image YAML with the same name and content in the new cluster.
$ cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
kind: VirtualMachineImage
name: image-lvqxn
namespace: default
displayName: opensuse-leap-15.3.x86_64-nocloud.qcow2
pvcName: ""
pvcNamespace: ""
sourceType: download

Restore a new VM in a new cluster

  1. Setup the same backup target in a new cluster. And the backup controller will automatically sync the backup metadata to the new cluster.
  2. Go to the Backups page.
  3. Select the synced VM backup metadata and choose to restore a new VM with a specified VM name.
  4. A new VM will be restored using the backup volumes and metadata. You can access it from the Virtual Machines page.