Kubernetes ETCD Database server.

Khemnath chauhan
4 min readFeb 6, 2021



ETCD is a distributed key/value store that provides a reliable way to store data across a cluster of machines. It’s open-source and available on GitHub. etcd gracefully handles leader elections during network partitions and will tolerate machine failure, including the leader.

Each control plane node creates a local etcd member and this etcd member communicates only with the kube-apiserver of this node.

etcd Stack ( Image source Kubernetes.io)


Two ways we can perform the backup and restoration.

  1. Query kubeapi server or using kubectl and save the resources configuration

e.g:- $ kubectl get all — all-namespaces -o yaml > /tmp/All_resource.yaml

2. Backup etcd and restore.

To make use of etcdctl for tasks such as back up and restore, make sure that you set the ETCDCTL_API to 3.

This can be achieve by exporting the variable ETCDCTL_API prior to using the etcdctl client. sample command as below.

export ETCDCTL_API=3.

etcdctl snapshot save -h and keep a note of the mandatory global options.

If the ETCD database is TLS-Enabled, the below options are mandatory:

— cacert verify certificates of TLS-enabled secure servers using this CA bundle

— cert identify secure client using this TLS certificate file

— endpoints=[] This is the default as ETCD is running on master node and exposed on localhost 2379.

— key identify secure client using this TLS key file

On the Master Node:

etcd version
## TAKE A BACKUP OF ETCD Database using Etcdctl command. save the snapshot in path - /opt/XX.....

$ETCDCTL_API=3 etcdctl --endpoints=
--key=/etc/kubernetes/pki/etcd/server.key snapshot save /opt/snapshot-pre-boot.db
## Check the etcd backup status.
$ ETCDCTL_API=3 Etcdctl snapshot status <snapshot name>
## Stop the Api server before restoring.
## RESTORE THE ETCD Database BACKUP using the etcdctl command. Restore from the backup path /opt/snapshot*
$ ETCDCTL_API=3 etcdctl --data-dir /var/lib/etcd-from-backup \
snapshot restore /opt/snapshot-pre-boot.db
/opt/snapshot-pre-boot.db --> This will be the new data directory.## After restore is completed- restart the Kube api service.** Now the cluster should be back to Original state.


Take backup


Restore the OLD backup etcd from /opt/snapshot-pre-boot.db. Here, we are restoring to new dir — /var/lib/etcd-from-backup

Now, we need to update the /etc/kubernetes/manifests/etcd.yaml:

We have now restored the etcd snapshot to a new path on the controlplane — /var/lib/etcd-from-backup. Therefore, the only change to be made in the YAML file, is to change the hostPath for the volume called etcd-data from old directory (/var/lib/etcd) to the new directory /var/lib/etcd-from-backup.

BEFORE IMAGE (etcd.yaml)-

Before Image.

AFTER IMAGE (etcd.yaml):

After Path update.

With this change, /var/lib/etcd on the container points to /var/lib/etcd-from-backup on the controlplane.

When this file is updated, the ETCD pod is automatically re-created as this is a static pod placed under the /etc/kubernetes/manifests directory.

1. ETCD pod has changed it will automatically restart, and also kube-controller-manager and kube-scheduler. Wait 1–2 to mins for this pods to restart. You can run a watch “docker ps | grep etcd” command to see when the ETCD pod is restarted.

2. If the etcd pod is not getting Ready 1/1, then restart it by kubectl delete pod -n kube-system etcd-controlplane and wait 1 minute.

At what address can you reach the ETCD cluster from the controlplane node?

Etcd client URL.
etcd logs