Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Documentation

Overview of Boot Volume Backups

The backups feature of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volume service lets you make a point-in-time crash-consistent backup of a boot volume without application interruption or downtime. Boot volume backup capabilities are the same as block volume backup capabilities. See Overview of Block Volume Backups for more information.

There are two ways you can initiate a boot volume backup, the same as block volume backups. You can either manually start the backup, or assign a policy which defines a set backup schedule. See Manual Backups and Policy-Based Backups for more information.

Boot Volume Backup Types

The Block Volume service supports the same backups types for boot volumes as for block volumes:

  • Incremental: This backup type includes only the changes since the last backup.

  • Full: This backup type includes all changes since the volume was created.

Backing Up a Boot Volume

You can create boot volume backups using the Console or the REST APIs/command line interface (CLI). See Backing Up a Boot Volume and the BootVolumeBackup API for more information.

Restoring a Boot Volume

Before you can use a boot volume backup, you need to restore it. For steps, see Restoring a Boot Volume.

Making a boot volume backup while an instance is running creates a crash-consistent backup, meaning the data is in the identical state it was in at the time the backup was made. This is the same state it would be in the case of a loss of power or hard crash. In most cases, you can restore a boot volume backup and use it to create an instance. Alternatively you can attach it to an instance as a data volume to repair it or recover data, see Attaching a Volume. To ensure a bootable image, you should create a custom image from your instance. For information about creating custom images, see Managing Custom Images.

Differences Between Boot Volume Backups and Clones

Consider the following criteria when you decide whether to create a backup or a clone of a volume.

  Volume Backup Volume Clone
Description Creates a point-in-time backup of data on a volume. You can restore multiple new volumes from the backup later in the future. Creates a single point-in-time copy of a volume without having to go through the backup and restore process.
Use case

Retain a backup of the data in a volume, so that you can duplicate an environment later or preserve the data for future use.

Meet compliance and regulatory requirements, because the data in a backup remains unchanged over time.

Support business continuity requirements.

Reduce the risk of outages or data mutation over time.

Rapidly duplicate an existing environment. For example, you can use a clone to test configuration changes without impacting your production environment.

Speed Slower (minutes or hours) Faster (seconds)
Cost Lower cost Higher cost
Storage location Object Storage Block Volume
Retention policy Policy-based backups expire, manual backups do not expire No expiration
Volume groups Supported. You can back up a volume group. Supported. You can clone a volume group.