September 1, 2021 By Powell Quiring 3 min read

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).

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