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To restore the cluster to a previous state, you must have previously backed up etcd data by creating a snapshot. You will use this snapshot to restore the cluster state.

About restoring cluster state

You can use an etcd backup to restore your cluster to a previous state. This can be used to recover from the following situations:

  • The cluster has lost the majority of control plane hosts (quorum loss).

  • An administrator has deleted something critical and must restore to recover the cluster.

Restoring to a previous cluster state is a destructive and destablizing action to take on a running cluster. This should only be used as a last resort.

If you are able to retrieve data using the Kubernetes API server, then etcd is available and you should not restore using an etcd backup.

Restoring etcd effectively takes a cluster back in time and all clients will experience a conflicting, parallel history. This can impact the behavior of watching components like kubelets, Kubernetes controller managers, SDN controllers, and persistent volume controllers.

It can cause Operator churn when the content in etcd does not match the actual content on disk, causing Operators for the Kubernetes API server, Kubernetes controller manager, Kubernetes scheduler, and etcd to get stuck when files on disk conflict with content in etcd. This can require manual actions to resolve the issues.

In extreme cases, the cluster can lose track of persistent volumes, delete critical workloads that no longer exist, reimage machines, and rewrite CA bundles with expired certificates.

Restoring to a previous cluster state

You can use a saved etcd backup to restore a previous cluster state or restore a cluster that has lost the majority of control plane hosts (also known as the master hosts).

When you restore your cluster, you must use an etcd backup that was taken from the same z-stream release. For example, an OpenShift Container Platform 4.7.2 cluster must use an etcd backup that was taken from 4.7.2.

Prerequisites
  • Access to the cluster as a user with the cluster-admin role.

  • A healthy control plane host to use as the recovery host.

  • SSH access to control plane hosts.

  • A backup directory containing both the etcd snapshot and the resources for the static pods, which were from the same backup. The file names in the directory must be in the following formats: snapshot_<datetimestamp>.db and static_kuberesources_<datetimestamp>.tar.gz.

Procedure
  1. Select a control plane host to use as the recovery host. This is the host that you will run the restore operation on.

  2. Establish SSH connectivity to each of the control plane nodes, including the recovery host.

    The Kubernetes API server becomes inaccessible after the restore process starts, so you cannot access the control plane nodes. For this reason, it is recommended to establish SSH connectivity to each control plane host in a separate terminal.

    If you do not complete this step, you will not be able to access the control plane hosts to complete the restore procedure, and you will be unable to recover your cluster from this state.

  3. Copy the etcd backup directory to the recovery control plane host.

    This procedure assumes that you copied the backup directory containing the etcd snapshot and the resources for the static pods to the /home/core/ directory of your recovery control plane host.

  4. Stop the static pods on any other control plane nodes.

    It is not required to manually stop the pods on the recovery host. The recovery script will stop the pods on the recovery host.

    1. Access a control plane host that is not the recovery host.

    2. Move the existing etcd pod file out of the kubelet manifest directory:

      [core@ip-10-0-154-194 ~]$ sudo mv /etc/kubernetes/manifests/etcd-pod.yaml /tmp
    3. Verify that the etcd pods are stopped.

      [core@ip-10-0-154-194 ~]$ sudo crictl ps | grep etcd | grep -v operator

      The output of this command should be empty. If it is not empty, wait a few minutes and check again.

    4. Move the existing Kubernetes API server pod file out of the kubelet manifest directory:

      [core@ip-10-0-154-194 ~]$ sudo mv /etc/kubernetes/manifests/kube-apiserver-pod.yaml /tmp
    5. Verify that the Kubernetes API server pods are stopped.

      [core@ip-10-0-154-194 ~]$ sudo crictl ps | grep kube-apiserver | grep -v operator

      The output of this command should be empty. If it is not empty, wait a few minutes and check again.

    6. Move the etcd data directory to a different location:

      [core@ip-10-0-154-194 ~]$ sudo mv /var/lib/etcd/ /tmp
    7. Repeat this step on each of the other control plane hosts that is not the recovery host.

  5. Access the recovery control plane host.

  6. If the cluster-wide proxy is enabled, be sure that you have exported the NO_PROXY, HTTP_PROXY, and HTTPS_PROXY environment variables.

    You can check whether the proxy is enabled by reviewing the output of oc get proxy cluster -o yaml. The proxy is enabled if the httpProxy, httpsProxy, and noProxy fields have values set.

  7. Run the restore script on the recovery control plane host and pass in the path to the etcd backup directory:

    [core@ip-10-0-143-125 ~]$ sudo -E /usr/local/bin/cluster-restore.sh /home/core/backup
    Example script output
    ...stopping kube-scheduler-pod.yaml
    ...stopping kube-controller-manager-pod.yaml
    ...stopping etcd-pod.yaml
    ...stopping kube-apiserver-pod.yaml
    Waiting for container etcd to stop
    .complete
    Waiting for container etcdctl to stop
    .............................complete
    Waiting for container etcd-metrics to stop
    complete
    Waiting for container kube-controller-manager to stop
    complete
    Waiting for container kube-apiserver to stop
    ..........................................................................................complete
    Waiting for container kube-scheduler to stop
    complete
    Moving etcd data-dir /var/lib/etcd/member to /var/lib/etcd-backup
    starting restore-etcd static pod
    starting kube-apiserver-pod.yaml
    static-pod-resources/kube-apiserver-pod-7/kube-apiserver-pod.yaml
    starting kube-controller-manager-pod.yaml
    static-pod-resources/kube-controller-manager-pod-7/kube-controller-manager-pod.yaml
    starting kube-scheduler-pod.yaml
    static-pod-resources/kube-scheduler-pod-8/kube-scheduler-pod.yaml
  8. Restart the kubelet service on all control plane hosts.

    1. From the recovery host, run the following command:

      [core@ip-10-0-143-125 ~]$ sudo systemctl restart kubelet.service
    2. Repeat this step on all other control plane hosts.

  9. Approve the pending CSRs:

    1. Get the list of current CSRs:

      $ oc get csr
      Example output
      NAME        AGE    SIGNERNAME                                    REQUESTOR                                                                   CONDITION
      csr-2s94x   8m3s   kubernetes.io/kubelet-serving                 system:node:<node_name>                                                     Pending (1)
      csr-4bd6t   8m3s   kubernetes.io/kubelet-serving                 system:node:<node_name>                                                     Pending (1)
      csr-4hl85   13m    kubernetes.io/kube-apiserver-client-kubelet   system:serviceaccount:openshift-machine-config-operator:node-bootstrapper   Pending (2)
      csr-zhhhp   3m8s   kubernetes.io/kube-apiserver-client-kubelet   system:serviceaccount:openshift-machine-config-operator:node-bootstrapper   Pending (2)
      ...
      1 A pending kubelet service CSR (for user-provisioned installations).
      2 A pending node-bootstrapper CSR.
    2. Review the details of a CSR to verify that it is valid:

      $ oc describe csr <csr_name> (1)
      1 <csr_name> is the name of a CSR from the list of current CSRs.
    3. Approve each valid node-bootstrapper CSR:

      $ oc adm certificate approve <csr_name>
    4. For user-provisioned installations, approve each valid kubelet service CSR:

      $ oc adm certificate approve <csr_name>
  10. Verify that the single member control plane has started successfully.

    1. From the recovery host, verify that the etcd container is running.

      [core@ip-10-0-143-125 ~]$ sudo crictl ps | grep etcd | grep -v operator
      Example output
      3ad41b7908e32       36f86e2eeaaffe662df0d21041eb22b8198e0e58abeeae8c743c3e6e977e8009                                                         About a minute ago   Running             etcd                                          0                   7c05f8af362f0
    2. From the recovery host, verify that the etcd pod is running.

      [core@ip-10-0-143-125 ~]$ oc get pods -n openshift-etcd | grep -v etcd-quorum-guard | grep etcd

      If you attempt to run oc login prior to running this command and receive the following error, wait a few moments for the authentication controllers to start and try again.

      Unable to connect to the server: EOF
      Example output
      NAME                                             READY   STATUS      RESTARTS   AGE
      etcd-ip-10-0-143-125.ec2.internal                1/1     Running     1          2m47s

      If the status is Pending, or the output lists more than one running etcd pod, wait a few minutes and check again.

    3. Repeat this step for each lost control plane host that is not the recovery host.

  11. Delete and recreate other non-recovery, control plane machines, one by one. After these machines are recreated, a new revision is forced and etcd scales up automatically.

    If you are running installer-provisioned infrastructure, or you used the Machine API to create your machines, follow these steps. Otherwise, you must create the new master node using the same method that was used to originally create it.

    Do not delete and recreate the machine for the recovery host.

    1. Obtain the machine for one of the lost control plane hosts.

      In a terminal that has access to the cluster as a cluster-admin user, run the following command:

      $ oc get machines -n openshift-machine-api -o wide

      Example output:

      NAME                                        PHASE     TYPE        REGION      ZONE         AGE     NODE                           PROVIDERID                              STATE
      clustername-8qw5l-master-0                  Running   m4.xlarge   us-east-1   us-east-1a   3h37m   ip-10-0-131-183.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1a/i-0ec2782f8287dfb7e   stopped (1)
      clustername-8qw5l-master-1                  Running   m4.xlarge   us-east-1   us-east-1b   3h37m   ip-10-0-143-125.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1b/i-096c349b700a19631   running
      clustername-8qw5l-master-2                  Running   m4.xlarge   us-east-1   us-east-1c   3h37m   ip-10-0-154-194.ec2.internal    aws:///us-east-1c/i-02626f1dba9ed5bba  running
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1a-wbtgd   Running   m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1a   3h28m   ip-10-0-129-226.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1a/i-010ef6279b4662ced   running
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1b-lrdxb   Running   m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1b   3h28m   ip-10-0-144-248.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1b/i-0cb45ac45a166173b   running
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1c-pkg26   Running   m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1c   3h28m   ip-10-0-170-181.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1c/i-06861c00007751b0a   running
      1 This is the control plane machine for the lost control plane host, ip-10-0-131-183.ec2.internal.
    2. Save the machine configuration to a file on your file system:

      $ oc get machine clustername-8qw5l-master-0 \ (1)
          -n openshift-machine-api \
          -o yaml \
          > new-master-machine.yaml
      1 Specify the name of the control plane machine for the lost control plane host.
    3. Edit the new-master-machine.yaml file that was created in the previous step to assign a new name and remove unnecessary fields.

      1. Remove the entire status section:

        status:
          addresses:
          - address: 10.0.131.183
            type: InternalIP
          - address: ip-10-0-131-183.ec2.internal
            type: InternalDNS
          - address: ip-10-0-131-183.ec2.internal
            type: Hostname
          lastUpdated: "2020-04-20T17:44:29Z"
          nodeRef:
            kind: Node
            name: ip-10-0-131-183.ec2.internal
            uid: acca4411-af0d-4387-b73e-52b2484295ad
          phase: Running
          providerStatus:
            apiVersion: awsproviderconfig.openshift.io/v1beta1
            conditions:
            - lastProbeTime: "2020-04-20T16:53:50Z"
              lastTransitionTime: "2020-04-20T16:53:50Z"
              message: machine successfully created
              reason: MachineCreationSucceeded
              status: "True"
              type: MachineCreation
            instanceId: i-0fdb85790d76d0c3f
            instanceState: stopped
            kind: AWSMachineProviderStatus
      2. Change the metadata.name field to a new name.

        It is recommended to keep the same base name as the old machine and change the ending number to the next available number. In this example, clustername-8qw5l-master-0 is changed to clustername-8qw5l-master-3:

        apiVersion: machine.openshift.io/v1beta1
        kind: Machine
        metadata:
          ...
          name: clustername-8qw5l-master-3
          ...
      3. Update the metadata.selfLink field to use the new machine name from the previous step:

        apiVersion: machine.openshift.io/v1beta1
        kind: Machine
        metadata:
          ...
          selfLink: /apis/machine.openshift.io/v1beta1/namespaces/openshift-machine-api/machines/clustername-8qw5l-master-3
          ...
      4. Remove the spec.providerID field:

        providerID: aws:///us-east-1a/i-0fdb85790d76d0c3f
      5. Remove the metadata.annotations and metadata.generation fields:

        annotations:
          machine.openshift.io/instance-state: running
        ...
        generation: 2
      6. Remove the metadata.resourceVersion and metadata.uid fields:

        resourceVersion: "13291"
        uid: a282eb70-40a2-4e89-8009-d05dd420d31a
    4. Delete the machine of the lost control plane host:

      $ oc delete machine -n openshift-machine-api clustername-8qw5l-master-0 (1)
      1 Specify the name of the control plane machine for the lost control plane host.
    5. Verify that the machine was deleted:

      $ oc get machines -n openshift-machine-api -o wide

      Example output:

      NAME                                        PHASE     TYPE        REGION      ZONE         AGE     NODE                           PROVIDERID                              STATE
      clustername-8qw5l-master-1                  Running   m4.xlarge   us-east-1   us-east-1b   3h37m   ip-10-0-143-125.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1b/i-096c349b700a19631   running
      clustername-8qw5l-master-2                  Running   m4.xlarge   us-east-1   us-east-1c   3h37m   ip-10-0-154-194.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1c/i-02626f1dba9ed5bba  running
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1a-wbtgd   Running   m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1a   3h28m   ip-10-0-129-226.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1a/i-010ef6279b4662ced   running
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1b-lrdxb   Running   m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1b   3h28m   ip-10-0-144-248.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1b/i-0cb45ac45a166173b   running
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1c-pkg26   Running   m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1c   3h28m   ip-10-0-170-181.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1c/i-06861c00007751b0a   running
    6. Create the new machine using the new-master-machine.yaml file:

      $ oc apply -f new-master-machine.yaml
    7. Verify that the new machine has been created:

      $ oc get machines -n openshift-machine-api -o wide

      Example output:

      NAME                                        PHASE          TYPE        REGION      ZONE         AGE     NODE                           PROVIDERID                              STATE
      clustername-8qw5l-master-1                  Running        m4.xlarge   us-east-1   us-east-1b   3h37m   ip-10-0-143-125.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1b/i-096c349b700a19631   running
      clustername-8qw5l-master-2                  Running        m4.xlarge   us-east-1   us-east-1c   3h37m   ip-10-0-154-194.ec2.internal    aws:///us-east-1c/i-02626f1dba9ed5bba  running
      clustername-8qw5l-master-3                  Provisioning   m4.xlarge   us-east-1   us-east-1a   85s     ip-10-0-173-171.ec2.internal    aws:///us-east-1a/i-015b0888fe17bc2c8  running (1)
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1a-wbtgd   Running        m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1a   3h28m   ip-10-0-129-226.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1a/i-010ef6279b4662ced   running
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1b-lrdxb   Running        m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1b   3h28m   ip-10-0-144-248.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1b/i-0cb45ac45a166173b   running
      clustername-8qw5l-worker-us-east-1c-pkg26   Running        m4.large    us-east-1   us-east-1c   3h28m   ip-10-0-170-181.ec2.internal   aws:///us-east-1c/i-06861c00007751b0a   running
      1 The new machine, clustername-8qw5l-master-3 is being created and is ready after the phase changes from Provisioning to Running.

      It might take a few minutes for the new machine to be created. The etcd cluster Operator will automatically sync when the machine or node returns to a healthy state.

    8. Repeat these steps for each lost control plane host that is not the recovery host.

  12. In a separate terminal window, log in to the cluster as a user with the cluster-admin role by using the following command:

    $ oc login -u <cluster_admin> (1)
    1 For <cluster_admin>, specify a user name with the cluster-admin role.
  13. Force etcd redeployment.

    In a terminal that has access to the cluster as a cluster-admin user, run the following command:

    $ oc patch etcd cluster -p='{"spec": {"forceRedeploymentReason": "recovery-'"$( date --rfc-3339=ns )"'"}}' --type=merge (1)
    1 The forceRedeploymentReason value must be unique, which is why a timestamp is appended.

    When the etcd cluster Operator performs a redeployment, the existing nodes are started with new pods similar to the initial bootstrap scale up.

  14. Verify all nodes are updated to the latest revision.

    In a terminal that has access to the cluster as a cluster-admin user, run the following command:

    $ oc get etcd -o=jsonpath='{range .items[0].status.conditions[?(@.type=="NodeInstallerProgressing")]}{.reason}{"\n"}{.message}{"\n"}'

    Review the NodeInstallerProgressing status condition for etcd to verify that all nodes are at the latest revision. The output shows AllNodesAtLatestRevision upon successful update:

    AllNodesAtLatestRevision
    3 nodes are at revision 7 (1)
    
    1 In this example, the latest revision number is 7.

    If the output includes multiple revision numbers, such as 2 nodes are at revision 6; 1 nodes are at revision 7, this means that the update is still in progress. Wait a few minutes and try again.

  15. After etcd is redeployed, force new rollouts for the control plane. The Kubernetes API server will reinstall itself on the other nodes because the kubelet is connected to API servers using an internal load balancer.

    In a terminal that has access to the cluster as a cluster-admin user, run the following commands.

    1. Force a new rollout for the Kubernetes API server:

      $ oc patch kubeapiserver cluster -p='{"spec": {"forceRedeploymentReason": "recovery-'"$( date --rfc-3339=ns )"'"}}' --type=merge

      Verify all nodes are updated to the latest revision.

      $ oc get kubeapiserver -o=jsonpath='{range .items[0].status.conditions[?(@.type=="NodeInstallerProgressing")]}{.reason}{"\n"}{.message}{"\n"}'

      Review the NodeInstallerProgressing status condition to verify that all nodes are at the latest revision. The output shows AllNodesAtLatestRevision upon successful update:

      AllNodesAtLatestRevision
      3 nodes are at revision 7 (1)
      
      1 In this example, the latest revision number is 7.

      If the output includes multiple revision numbers, such as 2 nodes are at revision 6; 1 nodes are at revision 7, this means that the update is still in progress. Wait a few minutes and try again.

    2. Force a new rollout for the Kubernetes controller manager:

      $ oc patch kubecontrollermanager cluster -p='{"spec": {"forceRedeploymentReason": "recovery-'"$( date --rfc-3339=ns )"'"}}' --type=merge

      Verify all nodes are updated to the latest revision.

      $ oc get kubecontrollermanager -o=jsonpath='{range .items[0].status.conditions[?(@.type=="NodeInstallerProgressing")]}{.reason}{"\n"}{.message}{"\n"}'

      Review the NodeInstallerProgressing status condition to verify that all nodes are at the latest revision. The output shows AllNodesAtLatestRevision upon successful update:

      AllNodesAtLatestRevision
      3 nodes are at revision 7 (1)
      
      1 In this example, the latest revision number is 7.

      If the output includes multiple revision numbers, such as 2 nodes are at revision 6; 1 nodes are at revision 7, this means that the update is still in progress. Wait a few minutes and try again.

    3. Force a new rollout for the Kubernetes scheduler:

      $ oc patch kubescheduler cluster -p='{"spec": {"forceRedeploymentReason": "recovery-'"$( date --rfc-3339=ns )"'"}}' --type=merge

      Verify all nodes are updated to the latest revision.

      $ oc get kubescheduler -o=jsonpath='{range .items[0].status.conditions[?(@.type=="NodeInstallerProgressing")]}{.reason}{"\n"}{.message}{"\n"}'

      Review the NodeInstallerProgressing status condition to verify that all nodes are at the latest revision. The output shows AllNodesAtLatestRevision upon successful update:

      AllNodesAtLatestRevision
      3 nodes are at revision 7 (1)
      
      1 In this example, the latest revision number is 7.

      If the output includes multiple revision numbers, such as 2 nodes are at revision 6; 1 nodes are at revision 7, this means that the update is still in progress. Wait a few minutes and try again.

  16. Verify that all control plane hosts have started and joined the cluster.

    In a terminal that has access to the cluster as a cluster-admin user, run the following command:

    $ oc get pods -n openshift-etcd | grep -v etcd-quorum-guard | grep etcd
    Example output
    etcd-ip-10-0-143-125.ec2.internal                2/2     Running     0          9h
    etcd-ip-10-0-154-194.ec2.internal                2/2     Running     0          9h
    etcd-ip-10-0-173-171.ec2.internal                2/2     Running     0          9h

To ensure that all workloads return to normal operation following a recovery procedure, restart each pod that stores Kubernetes API information. This includes OpenShift Container Platform components such as routers, Operators, and third-party components.

Note that it might take several minutes after completing this procedure for all services to be restored. For example, authentication by using oc login might not immediately work until the OAuth server pods are restarted.

Issues and workarounds for restoring a persistent storage state

If your OpenShift Container Platform cluster uses persistent storage of any form, a state of the cluster is typically stored outside etcd. It might be an Elasticsearch cluster running in a pod or a database running in a StatefulSet object. When you restore from an etcd backup, the status of the workloads in OpenShift Container Platform is also restored. However, if the etcd snapshot is old, the status might be invalid or outdated.

The contents of persistent volumes (PVs) are never part of the etcd snapshot. When you restore an OpenShift Container Platform cluster from an etcd snapshot, non-critical workloads might gain access to critical data, or vice-versa.

The following are some example scenarios that produce an out-of-date status:

  • MySQL database is running in a pod backed up by a PV object. Restoring OpenShift Container Platform from an etcd snapshot does not bring back the volume on the storage provider, and does not produce a running MySQL pod, despite the pod repeatedly attempting to start. You must manually restore this pod by restoring the volume on the storage provider, and then editing the PV to point to the new volume.

  • Pod P1 is using volume A, which is attached to node X. If the etcd snapshot is taken while another pod uses the same volume on node Y, then when the etcd restore is performed, pod P1 might not be able to start correctly due to the volume still being attached to node Y. OpenShift Container Platform is not aware of the attachment, and does not automatically detach it. When this occurs, the volume must be manually detached from node Y so that the volume can attach on node X, and then pod P1 can start.

  • Cloud provider or storage provider credentials were updated after the etcd snapshot was taken. This causes any CSI drivers or Operators that depend on the those credentials to not work. You might have to manually update the credentials required by those drivers or Operators.

  • A device is removed or renamed from OpenShift Container Platform nodes after the etcd snapshot is taken. The Local Storage Operator creates symlinks for each PV that it manages from /dev/disk/by-id or /dev directories. This situation might cause the local PVs to refer to devices that no longer exist.

    To fix this problem, an administrator must:

    1. Manually remove the PVs with invalid devices.

    2. Remove symlinks from respective nodes.

    3. Delete LocalVolume or LocalVolumeSet objects (see StorageConfiguring persistent storagePersistent storage using local volumesDeleting the Local Storage Operator Resources).