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AWS Backup

AWS Backup and Restore: The Basics and a Quick Tutorial

What is AWS Backup and Restore?

There are several ways to backup and restore data on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

If you need to backup data on Amazon services, such as Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Elastic File System (EFS), DynamoDB, or the Relational Database Service (RDS), you can use AWS Backup. AWS Backup is a central interface that allows you to perform manual and automated backups for many Amazon services.

If you are backing up data from EC2 instances, you can leverage backup capabilities in EBS volumes and EFS file shares, which are commonly used to store data from EC2 instances.

If you need to back up data from on-premises systems to Amazon, you can save data directly to Amazon S3, an elastic object storage service that provides high durability, unlimited scale and low storage costs. For more advanced scenarios, you can use Storage Gateway, an Amazon appliance that can perform regular scheduled backups from on-premise systems to the Amazon cloud.

This is part of our series of articles about AWS backup.

In this article:

Backup and Restore Services Provided by AWS

Here are several Amazon services you can use to back up data, both for on-premise and cloud-based systems.

AWS Backup

AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service that automates and centralizes backup of data over AWS services, including:

  • Amazon RDS databases
  • Amazon EBS volumes
  • Amazon EFS file systems
  • Amazon DynamoDB tables
  • AWS Storage Gateway volumes

AWS Backup consolidates and automates backup tasks, avoiding the requirement to set up backup for each Amazon service separately via manual processes and custom scripts. AWS Backup is a managed solution, which simplifies backup processes and lets the organization fulfil its regulatory and compliance needs.

Object Storage

Amazon’s object storage solution is Amazon S3, which stores unlimited volumes of structured and unstructured data. It provides several data tiers, making it possible to move data that is accessed less frequently to an archive tier, to conserve costs.

Amazon S3 has query-in-place operations, which lets organizations run analytics straight on its data at rest. The service also allows for S3 Transfer Acceleration, which is designed to enable quick, secure data transfers over extended distances.

S3 provides two storage tiers that are useful for backup scenarios:

  • Amazon S3 Glacier - a durable, affordable storage class for long-term backup and data archiving. The S3 Glacier storage class may be good for archives when information is accessed often and when part of the information must be retrievable within minutes.
  • S3 Glacier Deep Archive - another storage tier that offers lower storage costs, for information that is likely to be accessed at most a couple of times a year.

Hybrid Storage

Storage Gateway is Amazon’s solution for hybrid storage management. This service allows on-premises applications to connect to AWS storage services including S3, S3 Glacier, and EBS.

An organization can use Storage Gateway to transfer information into the cloud via common storage interfaces, including iSCSI and NFS. The service provides support for three data formats: object storage and tape backup (via S3), and block storage (via EBS).

Block Storage

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) offers persistent block storage volumes, which can be used with Amazon EBS instances. Every volume is replicated automatically to safeguard from component malfunction. With Amazon EBS, organizations can scale usage within minutes, either up or down, and Amazon charges per storage provision. A snapshot feature enables organizations to backup and protect the information kept on Amazon EBS volumes (snapshots are stored on S3).

Related content: Read our guide for transferring data from EBS to S3

File Storage

Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) offers file storage that is scalable. EC2 instances attached to EFS can share files between them using traditional mounted folders. This makes it easier to move existing applications to the cloud, by mirroring the folder structure in the on-premise environment.

Amazon EFS provides built-in backup capabilities - it automatically generates file system backups according to a predefined schedule.

Related content: Read our guide to AWS backup pricing

Quick Tutorial: Creating and Restoring Backups with AWS Backup

Creating a Backup

In AWS Backup, you can initiate backups manually, using on-demand backups, or automatically by defining backup plans.

To perform an on-demand backup:

  1. Go to the Amazon console and navigate to AWS Backup.
  2. On the dashboard, click Create on-demand backup.

bk_on_demand_2Image Source: AWS

  1. Pick a type of resource type to back up, for instance, DynamoDB.
  2. Select the ID or name of the resource you wish to safeguard.
  3. Ensure you select the checkbox Create backup now. This starts a backup straight away.
  4. Take note of the Transition to cold storage field - it will be N/A if the type of resource you want to backup does not support cold storage.
  5. Select an Expire value—this indicates when the backup should be removed.
  6. Select a current Backup vault or make a new one. Select Create new vault.
  7. Under IAM role, select Default role or the role that will enable access to the resources you need to back up.
  8. If you wish to assign tags to the backup, fill in a Key and Value (Value is optional) and click Add tag.
  9. If the resource you are backing up is an EBS volume attached to a Windows-based EC2 instance, select Windows VSS via Advanced settings. This lets you to take an application-consistent backup of the Windows system.
  10. Select Create on-demand backup. This will direct you to the Jobs page.
  11. Select the relevant Backup job ID - you can see the status of the new backup job on the Job Details page.

Restoring a Backup

When you reinstate a backup in AWS Backup, it produces a new resource derived from the backup. For every restore, you should outline the restore parameters.

To restore an Amazon EBS volume using AWS Backup:

  1. Go to the AWS Backup console, select Protected resources, and click the ID of the EBS volume you wish to restore.
  2. Under Resource details, you will view recovery points for the selected EBS volume. To reinstate a resource, go to the Backups pane, and select the radio button for the recovery point you want to restore. In the upper-right section of the pane, select Restore.

step-4-restore-ebs-volume-using-aws-backup.22140a1c329a7743a9b1306981d7b0f5e58e9f3aImage Source: AWS

  1. Select the restore parameters in relation to your resource.
  1. Under EBS volume, enter Volume type, the Size of your volume, and select an Availability zone.

step-4a-restore-ebs-volume-using-aws-backup.094fa57735b8c260518fa21ec9e3269979ed34b9Image Source: AWS

  1. Under Restore role, select the IAM role AWS Backup should adopt for this restore operation.
  2. Select Restore backup.
    You will see the Restore jobs pane. A message on the page top offers details about the restore job.

AWS Backup and Restore with NetApp Cloud Backup

NetApp Cloud Backup is a backup and restore service that supports AWS and other public clouds, for NetApp Cloud Volumes deployments and on-premises ONTAP clusters. Integrated into NetApp Cloud Manager, Cloud Backup is easily enabled, automated, and scaled allowing you to keep your data safe and compliant, overcoming traditional industry challenges.

Leveraging NetApp’s SnapMirror Cloud replication technology, backups are transferred and stored in a highly durable cloud-based object storage. Backups are automatically generated and stored in an object store within your cloud account, independent of volume Snapshot copies used for near-term recovery or cloning, so that you can effortlessly restore data anytime and to anywhere you need it.

By preserving storage efficiencies and performing block level incremental updates forever, Cloud Backup guarantees minimal data footprint to transfer, leading to optimal bandwidth consumption, reduced performance impact on production and meeting SLA.

The highest level of security as backup copies are stored in your own object storage. As well, data is end-to-end encrypted with AES-256-bit encryption at-rest and with TLS 1.2 HTTPS connections when in-flight.

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Denisse Soker, Cloud Backup

Cloud Backup