Protection Plugins Development Guide


Protection plugins are one of the core components of Karbor’s protection service. During protect, restore, and delete operations, Karbor is activating the protection plugins for the relevant resources in a certain order. Each protection plugin can handle one or more protectables (resource types) and specifices the actual implementation for them.


Plugins are responsible for the implementation of the following operations, for each protectable (resource type) they cover:

  1. Protect - creating a checkpoint from an existing resource

  2. Restore - creating a resource from an existing checkpoint

  3. Delete - delete the resource from a checkpoint

Plugins can and should use the bank in order to store protection metadata (and sometimes the data itself) as part of a protect operations, consume the metadata from the bank during a restore operation, and delete it the data from the bank during a delete operation.

Each plugin must implement the following interface:

class ProtectionPlugin(object):
    def get_protect_operation(self, resource):

    def get_restore_operation(self, resource):

    def get_verify_operation(self, resource):

    def get_copy_operation(self, resource):

    def get_delete_operation(self, resource):

    def get_supported_resources_types(cls):

    def get_options_schema(cls, resource_type):

    def get_saved_info_schema(cls, resource_type):

    def get_restore_schema(cls, resource_type):

    def get_saved_info(cls, metadata_store, resource):

    def get_verify_schema(cls, resource_type):
  1. get_supported_resources_types: this method should return a list of resource types this plugin handles. The plugin’s methods will be called for each resource of these types. For example: OS::Nova::Instance, OS::Cinder::Volume.

  2. get_options_schema: returns a schema of options and parameters for a protect operation.

  3. get_saved_info_schema: returns a schema of data relevant to a protected resource in a checkpoint

  4. get_saved_info: returns the actual data relevant to a protected resource in a checkpoint

  5. get_restore_schema: returns a schema of parameters available for restore operation.

  6. get_verify_schema: returns a schema of parameters available for verify operation.

  7. get_protect_operation, get_restore_operation, get_delete_operation: each returns an Operation instance to be used for the protect, restore, and delete operations respectively. This instance may be created for each resource, or shared between multiple resources. The details of the Operation instance will be covered in the following sections.

Order of Execution

Karbor’s protection service orchestrate the execution of plugin operations, in relation to the resources the operation is activated on. This is important, because the order might be very important for some resources in specific operations. On the other hand, some operations can happen concurrently in order to speed up the operation. The get_parent_resource_types and get_dependent_resources methods from the protectable plugins, define the relation between two resources.


  1. In protect operation, a server plugin might want to quiesce the server before protecting the volume in order to achieve a certain level of consistency for the protected volume. After protecting the volume, we would like to unquiesce the server again. However, once the server the volumes are attached to is quiesced, multiple volumes can be protected concurrently.

  2. In restore operation, we would like to restore the server’s base image or volume, prior to creating the server itself. However, multiple images and volumes can be restored concurrently, as there is no relation between them.

Three phases are defined for each operation:

  1. Preparation Phase: This phase is for performing actions in relation to a resource’s dependencies. It’s called the “Preparation Phase” because it where a plugin should do all the preparation required for the next phase. Operation in this phase should be as short as possible since they are not parraralized as much as in the following phases. As an example, taking snapshots of all the volumes should happen in relation to the owning VMs and also happen in a narrower time frame. Copying those snapshots can happen later and is much more parallizable.

  2. Main Phase: This phase is for doing work that has no dependencies or time sensitivity. This will be mainly used for transferring the large amount of information generated in the backup to different sites.

  3. Completion Phase: This phase is for performing work once all the work, not just preparation, was completed on a resource and all of it’s dependencies. This is a good place to attach resources (in case of restore) or close transactions.

As a Protection Plugin developer you would like to minimize the work needed to be done in the preparation and completion phases and do the bulk of the work in the main phase since will allow for the most efficient execution of the operation.

Implementing Plugin Operation

In order to specify the detailed flow of each operation, a Protection Plugin needs to return an Operation instance implementing ‘hooks’. These hooks, differ from one another by their time of execution in respect to other hooks, either of the same resource, or other resources. The Operation interface:

class Operation(object):
    def on_prepare_begin(self, checkpoint, resource, context, parameters,

    def on_prepare_finish(self, checkpoint, resource, context, parameters,

    def on_main(self, checkpoint, resource, context, parameters, **kwargs):

    def on_complete(self, checkpoint, resource, context, parameters,

It’s important to note that it is not necessary to implement every hook. It’s completely valid to only use the main or preparation phase. In fact, only complex protection plugins are believed to require to do work in all of the phases.

For each operation the plugin can implement each of the hooks:

  1. Preparation hooks: as noted, preparation is for running tasks in relation to other resources in the graph. This is why two hooks exist, one for running before dependent resources’ preparation and one for after.

    1. Prepare begin hook: invoked before any hook of this resource and dependent resources has begun.

      For tasks that need to happen before any dependent resource’s operations begin

      Hook method name: on_prepare_begin

    2. Prepare finish hook: invoked after any prepare hooks of dependent resources are complete.

      For tasks that finish the work began in prepare begin hook, for tasks that require that the dependent resource’s prepare phase finished

      Hook method name: on_prepare_finish

  2. Main hook: invoked after the resource prepare hooks are complete.

    For tasks that do heavy lifting and can run in parallel to dependent or dependee resources main hooks

    Hook method name: on_main

  3. Complete hook: invoked once the resource’s main hook is complete, and the dependent resources’ complete hooks are complete

    For tasks that require that the dependent resource’s operations are complete, and finalize the operation on the resource.

    Hook method name: on_complete

For example: a Protection Plugin for Nova servers, might implement a protect operation by using prepare begin hook to quiesce the Server and/or contact a guest agent to complete transactions. A protection plugin for Cinder volumes can implement prepare finish hook to take a snapshot of the volume. The server’s prepare finish hook unquiesces the server and/or contacts a guest agent. Both the server’s and the volume’s main hook do the heavy lifting of copying the data.


  • Unimplemented methods are practically no-op

  • Each such method receives as parameters: checkpoint, context, resource, and parameters objects

Protection Plugin Hooks

Protection Plugin Hooks

Green: Child resource Prepare_begin depends on its parent resource Prepare_begin

Indigo: The resource Prepare_finish depends on the resource Prepare_begin

Purple: Parent resource Prepare_finish depends on the child resource Prepare_finish

Yellow: The resource Main depends on the resource Prepare_finish

Red: The resource Complete depends on the resource Main

Black: Parent resource Complete depends on the child resource’s Complete