How do you perform Docker backup?

Few backup software providers offer Docker container backup support, but is there a way to back up Docker containers with any backup software?

There are backup vendors, such as Asigra, that specifically address Docker containers. However, I suspect it will be a while before native support for Docker backup and recovery becomes a universal feature.

That is because Docker can be backed up without the need for any specialized software. The company's website explains how to back up a Docker container using the following command:

$ sudo docker run --volumes-from dbdata -v $(pwd):/backup ubuntu tar cvf /backup/backup.tar /dbdata

This command launches a new container and mounts the volume from the dbdata container. It then mounts a local directory /backup and backs up the contents of the dbdata volume to a .TAR file within the /backup directory.

Although some might argue this is a somewhat primitive form of Docker backup, the command listed on the website can be used as a starting point rather than a complete backup solution. For example, an administrator might configure the system to run a similar command on a scheduled basis and then use their existing backup application to back up the resulting .TAR file.

More backup vendors might add native support for Docker in the future. I think a Docker-specific feature would probably be relatively easy for backup vendors to create. Even so, I don’t think we will see widespread implementation of such features until Docker adoption reaches critical mass.

Next Steps

The advantages of using Docker with virtualization

Will Docker make virtual machines obsolete?

Veritas NetBackup adds container backup

Dig Deeper on Data backup and recovery software

Disaster Recovery