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Etcd's backup/restore tooling is good for recovering from data loss in a single etcd cluster. For example, it is a good idea to take a backup of etcd prior to upgrading etcd istelf. For more sophisticated management of your Kubernetes cluster backups and restores, we feel that Ark is generally a better approach. It gives you the ability to throw away an unstable cluster and restore your Kubernetes resources and data into a new cluster, which you can't do easily just by backing up and restoring etcd.
Examples of cases where Ark is useful:
Yes, with some exceptions. For example, when Ark restores pods it deletes the
nodeName from the
pod so that it can be scheduled onto a new node. You can see some more examples of the differences