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gdemaria
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AWS EC2 Instance File Backup?

I have a windows EC2 server that I need to implement file level backup.  I have the product Backup Assist.   In my previous server, I used to backup to a NAS RAID system.    Now, we are using Amazon EC2 instance and I am wondering where I can backup to?   I feel if I attach an S3 (?) storage drive that I could backup to this drive.   If the server fails, wouldn't I be able to detach the S3 drive and attach it to another server to recover files?   Any suggestions appreciated, but please be very clear, I am not an expert with servers or Amazon.
Thanks!
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gdemaria

8/22/2022 - Mon
Shalom Carmel

S3 is not a drive. There is no native NAS support. Using S3 directly as a mounted file system is possible, although not recommended, as there are very little 3rd party stable drivers for windows.

You have 3 options.

1. Mount EBS volumes and use them for backup. EBS volumes work like SAN storage and must be unmounted and remounted to use the backup,

2. Use EFS volumes. Amazon EFS is NAS as a service.

3. Use a complete backup cloud service, like JungleDisk or Cloudberry.
Stuart Scott

Hi,

If you are just looking to backup the data then store your data on EBS Volume.  You can then backup these volumes using the Snapshot feature which will take a copy of the volume and store it on AWS S3 for high durability backup (99.999999999%).  If you drive fails you can restore from this snapshot onto another EBS volume and re-attach to your EC2 instance.  

It would be worth you creating an AMI of your server once it has been built too.  That way if your EC2 instance fails completely you can restore it from your AMI (Amazon Machine Image) quickly and easily.

Please see links below for more information on EBS Volumes, Snapshots, and AMIs.

EBS Volumes: https://aws.amazon.com/ebs/details/
Creating a snapshot: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/ebs-creating-snapshot.html
Restoring a snapshot to an EBS Volume: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/storagegateway/latest/userguide/RestoringSnapshotEBS.html
AWS AMIs: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/AMIs.html

hope this helps,

Cheers,

Stu...
gdemaria

ASKER
Thank you both for your responses!

My goal is two-fold.  To recover from a failed server  and to recover an individual file in case of corruption or needing to rollback to an earlier version.   I think combination of your suggestions would work well...

@shalomc  I will look into EBS and EFS.   I think I would want to be able to unmount and remount the drive in case of failure, right?   That way I could move to another server.

@Stu - thanks.  I did create an AMI and will do so after significant changes to our server.  But how often can I take a snapshot?   Can a snapshot be schedule to be created every night and keep the most 5 current (or something like that).    It seems that an AMI is more useful than a snapshot as the AMI will recreate the entire server and a snapshot only the XXX?  

It's all a bit new to me... I appreciate the help!
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Stuart Scott

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gdemaria

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Thanks again Stu.

My data is in SQL Server on a separate server using the managed database option, so that's not an issue.   I am only focused on the OS and files.   The files are the code of the website and user files that are uploaded (PDF files, Logos, Images).

So, if I understand correctly, I would use my backup AMI to recreate the server (in the event of a failure) and then apply the latest snapshot to bring it up to date.  Do I have that right?

On a side note, could you peak at the attached image.  Should I have any concern that the AMI that I originally used to create my server is now no longer available or restricted or something?   I have since created several AMIs from my own server, these should be completely usable right?

Thanks again!
AMI.png
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Shalom Carmel

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gdemaria

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Great information - thanks so much!