Every organization requires a unique backup architecture. Amazon Web Services offers flexible backup and restore solutions to fit your data and regulatory needs. Your AWS backup strategy depends on the nature of your data, your current IT setup and industry requirements. Taking an umbrella approach to data backup and restore exposes your organization to potential failed backups and data loss.
In this post, we’ll cover best practices for data backup and archiving to develop a successful AWS backup strategy.
Using AWS EC2 Backup for Disaster Recovery
You likely have a single master backup server and a single or multiple-storage servers located on-premises. By moving your master backup server to an Amazon EC2 instance, you protect it from potential on-premises disasters and improve availability.
When backing up to Amazon Glacier or Amazon S3, create one or several media servers on AWS EC2 instances to save money on Internet transfers and increase overall backup and recovery performance.
AWS Backup in a Hybrid Scenario
Let’s assume your organization manages a hybrid environment that consists of Amazon EC2 instances, standalone servers, databases and virtual machines. It’s a large environment consisting of 1,000 servers and a mixture of more than 20 databases including MySQL, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.
In this case, your third-party backup software likely has agents that back up operating systems, virtual machine images, data volumes and various databases. The backup software might lack agents that can backup your MySQL database. In this case you can use the mysqldump client utility to create a file your agents can easily back up.
Your backup software likely has a master server or global catalog server that controls the backup, restore and archive activities and several media servers connected to AWS storage or Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tape drives.
AWS Backup Solution: The simplest way to protect the environment described above is to augment your third-party backup solution with AWS. This allows you to take advantage of your vendor’s support for AWS storage. It’s best to work closely with your vendor to understand the backup and connector options available.
You can choose from many third-party gateways on AWS to do this. You can also use AWS Storage Gateways virtual appliances that employ techniques such as virtual tape libraries and iSCSI-based volumes. For this configuration to work, you’ll need a local storage and a supported hypervisor (Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware).
If your existing backup software doesn’t natively support cloud storage for data backup or archiving, use a storage gateway device between your backup software and Amazon Glacier backup or Amazon S3.
Archiving Data with AWS
You should also use data archiving to maintain all copies of your data until the retention policy expires.
Immutable data storage is often required for compliance or regulatory purposes. When you need to archive and not just store your data, you have two main AWS options:
- Amazon Glacier: You can use Amazon S3 to archive all your data at a low cost, with high availability and no capacity limits. You can archive your data in Amazon Glacier either using S3 lifecycle rules or the Amazon Glacier API. Amazon Glacier Vault Lock feature allows you to easily deploy and enforce your compliance controls.
- Amazon S3 Standard: Amazon S3 backup is a good choice for archiving data you access infrequently. If you need quick data retrieval at infrequent intervals, use Amazon S3 over Amazon Glacier.
Don’t Leave Your AWS Backup Strategy to Chance
As the largest public cloud, AWS is an ideal platform for protecting and backing up your company data. At Agile IT, we have more than a decade of experience in the transformative cloud computing and cloud engineering industries. We’re experts in every facet of AWS implementations including AWS backup and storage.
If you need help developing a complex storage and AWS backup strategy, our cloud experts can help. Contact us today to discuss your cloud backup needs.