Data loss can be an insurmountable challenge for firms and unfortunately it is a common problem. Disasters come in many forms, such as power interruption, corrupted database, hardware failures, software glitches, or network outages. In a cost-cutting environment with intense global competition, you need a solid plan that is cost-efficient, yet ensures that backups are performed regularly and recovery from any disaster quickly.
Many companies have outsourced the data backup and recovery component of the IT function to the cloud, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage solutions. AWS provides secure, scalable and robust storage in a more efficient and scalable data backup and recovery environment – eliminating the need for in-house infrastructure dedicated to this purpose.
Conventional Data Backup and Recovery
Even for IT departments, the data backup and recovery environment can be complex. Typically, most companies rely on a very heavy-handed agent strategy for their backup and recovery. They backup the content on their servers over the storage area network (SAN) or over the local area network (LAN).
With the constantly evolving dynamics of data growth, data center consolidation and virtualization, traditional legacy backup and recovery approaches have become overwhelmed.
Backing Up Your Servers in the Cloud
AWS simplifies the data backup and recovery by automating the entire process. The backup and recovery process has now been reduced to a point-and-click web-based interface as software performs labor intensive and complex tasks.
Simply sign up for an AWS account and complete the setup process, including obtaining receiving root account credentials, which allow full access to all resources in the account and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM).
IAM allows you to control access to AWS services as well as the resources for users to link to their accounts. You can create unique user credentials to define who has access to which resources for daily interaction with AWS.
Now you can begin the process of backing up your standard server, such as an application server or web server:
- Build Your Amazon Machine Image (AMI): AMI serves as a template that contains the operating system and relevant web server applications such as Apache or IIS, and other software. Choose an AMI provider by AWS, the AWS marketplace, the AWS community, or create your own
- Launch Instance: Click “Launch Instance” to create a new instance of your web server. You can create as many or few virtual servers you need from the AMI
- Region and Availability Zones: Place and replicate resources – instances and data – across multiple “regions,” and within each region, specific isolated locations or “availability zones”
- Networking and Security: Create the key pair – public to encrypt data and private key to decrypt data – to log into an instance
- Create a security group (virtual firewall) and rules to control network access to one or more instances: Amazon EC2 provides the instances with IP addresses and DNS hostnames
Benefits of Data Backup and Recovery in the Cloud
The AWS platform provides IT departments with an easier, faster and more cost-effective approach to data backup and recovery. The advantages for companies include:
- Eliminate hardware-based infrastructure in favor of virtual abstract resources instantiated by code
- Scalable infrastructure, and the ability to pay for capacity incrementally, driven by demand and as resources are needed with no upfront outlay
- Gain the ability to deploy resources, in minutes, and perform configurations in real-time
- On-demand availability of server images, the ability to maintain them, and activate them without delay.
For many small companies, data is at the core of their operations. AWS provides a reliable, scalable and cost-effective solution, which improves your company’s abilities to optimize resources for data backup and recovery.