What are block storage VPC snapshots?
A block storage VPC snapshot is an on-demand, optimized copy where only the initial snapshot copies the entire content of the volume — the subsequent snapshots of the same volume capture only the recent changes. The snapshots are regional resources and can be accessed from any availability zone in that region — this is possible because the snapshots are uploaded to IBM Cloud Object Storage for a persistent backup copy. A snapshot can be restored by simply creating a new volume and providing the snapshot.
A snapshot is a basic building block for any backup and data protection solution, and it plays a major role in addressing business continuity and disaster recovery. To build an effective solution, some level of snapshot management is required, including which volumes should have a snapshot taken, how frequently, and how long they should be retained. Until last year, the way to do it was by automating the steps (as described in this blog post).
IBM Cloud Backup for VPC
In 2022, IBM introduced a new cloud service called IBM Cloud Backup for VPC that helps manage the automation and retention of snapshot creation. IBM Cloud Backup for VPC provides a policy-driven approach to snapshot lifecycle management. It lets you create backup policies for VPC block storage volumes and supports up to four plans to automate your backups on daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. One can also configure the retention of backups based on its age or total count. The backup plan contains a schedule and frequency of the backup.
The block storage volumes you want to back up are identified by using tags configured in backup policy. These then match target block storage volumes with user-provided tags. To learn about how to apply tags to block storage volumes, refer to the procedure for applying tags.
To make use of the VPC Backup service, you must set up service-to-service authorizations and specify user roles. This authorization enables the IBM Cloud Backup for VPC service to interact with volume and snapshot service on behalf of the customer and create restorable backups in the account. For details on how to set up service-to-service authorizations, please refer to VPC Backup service-to-service authorizations.
For more details on IBM Cloud Backup for VPC, please refer to the cloud documentation.