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What is better depends on your environment and workflows. A volume backup is simple, but it doesn't provide a list of the files that were backed up, and their version. Running a backup application on the VM requires more work, I guess, but it's easier to find out what exactly is on that backup. It's probably more flexible, too.

For example, consider the case of restoring a file that was deleted by accident. If you backed up your files with tar, you can easily generate lists of all backed-up files and find the backup where the latest version of that file exists. With Cinder's backup, it's not quite that easy.

On the other hand, some work is required to copy your tar archive to a safe place (or rather, several safe places for redundancy). Cinder sticks the backup into Swift by default, where it is probably safe.

I don't think Cinder's backup allows you to fully implement the 3-2-1 rule: Three copies (yes - by default Swift makes three copies), in two formats (no), one copy off-site (depends on where your Swift cluster is located).

There are certainly many other factors to consider. Again, you have to evaluate what fits your way of running the datacenter.

Obviously, the ephemeral disk can't be backed up by Cinder, though you could create an image from the instance.

What is better depends on your environment and workflows. A volume backup is simple, but it doesn't provide a list of the files that were backed up, and their version. Running a backup application on the VM requires more work, I guess, but it's easier to find out what exactly is on that backup. It's probably more flexible, too.

For example, consider the case of restoring a file that was deleted by accident. If you backed up your files with tar, you can easily generate lists of all backed-up files and find the backup where the latest version of that file exists. With Cinder's backup, it's not quite that easy.

On the other hand, some work is required to copy your tar archive to a safe place (or rather, several safe places for redundancy). Cinder sticks the backup into Swift by default, where it is probably safe.

I don't think Cinder's backup allows you to fully implement the 3-2-1 rule: Three copies (yes - by default Swift makes three copies), in two formats (no), one copy off-site (depends on where your Swift cluster is located).

There are certainly many other factors to consider. Again, you have to evaluate what fits your way of running the datacenter.