As you deploy workloads on the IBM Cloud via the IBM Cloud Console, Terraform, CLI or language SDKs, it can seem effortless. But backup and restore are required to protect your data and applications.

Cloud services are based on compute and disk resources that can fail — just like on-premises hardware. Software errors or bad actors can damage the current state of an application, and you may need to restore to a previous state. Shared responsibilities for using IBM Cloud products may help you get started, and this post will examine some of the backup strategies for your IBM Cloud applications.


  • Solution: Feature-rich backup application. The application can be installed on-premises or in the cloud.  A solution will provide a graphical user interface with a control center that manages the resources and backup schedule. The application will display restore points and provide the ability to provision or restore from the restore points. Some additional concepts:
    • Granular: Recover specific files
    • Application-aware: Some applications, like specific databases, can be managed
    • Restore: Restore to different region
    • Agent-based: An agent is installed in the compute environment
    • Agentless: Instead of an agent, the solution leverages functionality provided by cloud APIs
  • Cloud service: Fully managed cloud service solution that provides the solution capabilities mentioned above. In addition, you can provision it from the IBM Cloud catalog and integrate it into the IBM Cloud console. It is multi-tenant, highly available and scalable so that you pay for amount that you use with no upfront costs.
  • Scripting: Use cloud APIs via the command line interface with scripting languages (Bash, Powershell, etc.) or the language SDKs for programming languages (Python, Golang, etc.) to integrate cloud resources into an existing protection system.

A list of frameworks to consider for your workloads

IBM Cloud Backup cloud service

IBM Spectrum Protect solution

  • Agent-based
  • Application-aware
  • Rich end-to-end protection solution that protects workloads on-premises and in the cloud
  • Protects classic VSI and bare metal

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus solution

  • Agentless
  • Integrated into the VMware environment
  • Rich end-to-end protection solution 
  • Protects VMware

Veeam on IBM Cloud solution

  • Use your existing Veeam management environment solution
  • Agent-based
  • Application-aware
  • Integrated into the VMware environment 
  • Rich end-to-end protection solution for virtual environments on-premises and in the cloud
  • Protects classic VSI, classic mare metal and associated volumes
  • Protects VPC VSI (see Using the Veeam Agent)

Zerto on IBM Cloud solution

Portworx cloud service

Kubernetes persistent volumes backed by IBM Cloud Object Storage scripting

Block storage snapshot scripting


A workload backup/restore in the cloud can be more flexible than the on-premises equivalent. The IBM Cloud has regions spanning the world to host your applications, and it supports a variety of different compute environments. Summarizing the frameworks discussed earlier:

  • Classic VSI, bare metal and volumes: IBM Cloud Backup, IBM Spectrum Protect, Veeam, Zerto
  • VPC VSI and volumes: Veeam on IBM Cloud and snapshot scripting
  • VMware: IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, Veeam on IBM Cloud, Zerto on IBM Cloud
  • Kubernetes or Red Hat OpenShift Container Service: Portworks and Kubernetes persistent volumes backed by IBM Cloud Object Storage scripting

Feedback, questions and suggestions

If you have feedback, suggestions or questions about this post, please reach out to me on Twitter (@powellquiring).

More from Cloud

Clients can strengthen defenses for their data with IBM Storage Defender, now generally available

2 min read - We are excited to inform our clients and partners that IBM Storage Defender, part of our IBM Storage for Data Resilience portfolio, is now generally available. Enterprise clients worldwide continue to grapple with a threat landscape that is constantly evolving. Bad actors are moving faster than ever and are causing more lasting damage to data. According to an IBM report, cyberattacks like ransomware that used to take months to fully deploy can now take as little as four days. Cybercriminals…

2 min read

Integrating data center support: Lower costs and decrease downtime with your support strategy

3 min read - As organizations and their data centers embrace hybrid cloud deployments, they have a rapidly growing number of vendors and workloads in their IT environments. The proliferation of these vendors leads to numerous issues and challenges that overburden IT staff, impede clients’ core business innovations and development, and complicate the support and operation of these environments.  Couple that with the CIO’s priorities to improve IT environment availability, security and privacy posture, performance, and the TCO, and you now have a challenge…

3 min read

Using advanced scan settings in the IBM Cloud Security and Compliance Center

5 min read - Customers and users want the ability to schedule scans at the timing of their choice and receive alerts when issues arise, and we’re happy to make a few announcements in this area today: Scan frequency: Until recently, the IBM Cloud® Security and Compliance Center would scan resources every 24 hours, by default, on all of the attachments in an account. With this release, users can continue to run daily scans—which is the recommended option—but they also have the option for…

5 min read

Modernizing child support enforcement with IBM and AWS

7 min read - With 68% of child support enforcement (CSE) systems aging, most state agencies are currently modernizing them or preparing to modernize. More than 20% of families and children are supported by these systems, and with the current constituents of these systems becoming more consumer technology-centric, the use of antiquated technology systems is archaic and unsustainable. At this point, families expect state agencies to have a modern, efficient child support system. The following are some factors driving these states to pursue modernization:…

7 min read