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Disaster Recovery

This document details disaster recovery procedures for Compliant Kubernetes. These procedures must be executed by the operator.

Compliant Need

Disaster recovery is mandated by several regulations and information security standards. For example, in ISO 27001:2013, the annexes that mostly concerns disaster recovery are:

Object storage providers

Feature matrix

Provider Write-only credentials
AWS S3 Yes
Citycloud S3 No
Exoscale S3 Yes
Safespring S3 Yes



Elasticsearch is set up to to store backups in an S3 bucket. There is a CronJob called elasticsearch-backup in the cluster that is invoking the snapshot process in elasticsearch.

To take a snapshot on-demand, execute

./bin/ck8s ops kubectl sc -n elastic-system create job --from=cronjob/elasticsearch-backup <name-of-job>


Set the following variables

  • user - Eelasticsearch user with permissions to manage snapshots, usually snapshotter
  • password - password for the above user
  • es_url - url to Elasticsearch

List snapshot repositories

# Simple
❯ curl -k -u "${user}:${password}" "${es_url}/_cat/repositories?v"
id              type
s3_exoscale_7.x   s3

# Detailed
❯ curl -k -u "${user}:${password}" "${es_url}/_snapshot/?pretty"
  "s3_exoscale_7.x" : {
    "type" : "s3",
    "settings" : {
      "bucket" : "es-backup",
      "client" : "default"

List available snapshots

snapshot_repo=<name/id from previous step>

# Simple
❯ curl -k -u "${user}:${password}" "${es_url}/_cat/snapshots/${snapshot_repo}?v&s=id"
id                         status start_epoch start_time end_epoch  end_time duration indices successful_shards failed_shards total_shards
snapshot-20200929_093941z SUCCESS 1601372382  09:39:42   1601372390 09:39:50     8.4s       6                 6             0            6
snapshot-20200930_000008z SUCCESS 1601424008  00:00:08   1601424035 00:00:35    27.4s      20                20             0           20
snapshot-20201001_000006z SUCCESS 1601510407  00:00:07   1601510530 00:02:10       2m      75                75             0           75

# Detailed list of all snapshots
curl -k -u "${user}:${password}" "${es_url}/_snapshot/${snapshot_repo}/_all?pretty"

# Detailed list of specific snapshot
❯ curl -k -u "${user}:${password}" "${es_url}/_snapshot/${snapshot_repo}/snapshot-20201001_000006z?pretty"
  "snapshots" : [
      "snapshot" : "snapshot-20201001_000006z",
      "uuid" : "Fq0EusFYRV2nI9G9F1DX1A",
      "version_id" : 7080099,
      "version" : "7.8.0",
      "indices" : [
      "include_global_state" : false,
      "state" : "SUCCESS",
      "start_time" : "2020-10-01T00:00:07.344Z",
      "start_time_in_millis" : 1601510407344,
      "end_time" : "2020-10-01T00:02:10.828Z",
      "end_time_in_millis" : 1601510530828,
      "duration_in_millis" : 123484,
      "failures" : [ ],
      "shards" : {
        "total" : 75,
        "failed" : 0,
        "successful" : 75

You usually select the latest snapshot containing the indices you want to restore. Restore one or multiple indices from a snapshot

snapshot_name=<Snapshot name from previous step>
indices="<list of comma separated indices/index patterns>"

curl -k -u "${user}:${password}" -X POST "${es_url}/_snapshot/${snapshot_repo}/${snapshot_name}/_restore?pretty" -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d'
  "indices": "'${indices}'"

Read the API to see all parameters and their explanations.

Start new cluster from snapshot

This process is very similar to the one described above, but there are a few extra steps to carry out.

Before you install Elasticsearch you can preferably disable the initial index creation by setting

configurer.createIndices: false

in the values file for opendistro. This will make the restore process leaner.

Install the Elasticsearch suite:

./bin/ck8s ops helmfile sc -l app=opendistro apply

Wait for the the installation to complete.

After the installation, go back up to the Restore section to proceed with the restore. If you want to restore all indices, use the following indices variable



This process assumes that you are using the same S3 bucket as your previous cluster. If you aren't:

  • Register a new S3 snapshot repository to the old bucket as described here
  • Use the newly registered snapshot repository in the restore process