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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.

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