How incremental backups work for Amazon EBS snapshots

amazon ebs snapshots

Regardless of what type of platform you are using, the need to make regular backups of your business’s data is self-evident. But a major benefit of working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the ability to easily and efficiently make incremental backups of your company’s data by utilizing Amazon EBS snapshots.

Despite their popularity, not everyone is familiar with how Amazon EBS snapshots work. So in the following article, we’ll take a more in-depth look at native EBS snapshots, and how they are able to save your company time and money with incremental backups. We’ll also take a look at how using a third-party service like CloudRanger can further simplify the process and lower costs.

Amazon EBS Snapshots And Incremental Backups

The major benefit Amazon EBS snapshots is that they eliminate the need to constantly make a complete backup of your business’s data. That’s because EBS snapshots utilize a process known as incremental backups.

For incremental backups to work, all of your Amazon EBS volumes must first be saved to Amazon Simple Storage Service (also known as Amazon S3). Depending on the amount of data your company has saved, this can be a time-consuming process. However, after the initial volume-level backups are made, the incremental backup process kicks in, and the next Amazon EBS snapshot only records the block-level changes to your data. Going forward, all subsequent backups will continue to record only block-level changes, leaving unchanged data unaffected. Should your data need to be retrieved, your saved EBS snapshots act as a sort of information daisychain, mapping changes in your data all the way back to the original backup copy.

Amazon EBS Snapshots: Benefits And Drawbacks

There are many benefits to utilizing EBS snapshots, such as the ability to quickly and easily copy/save snapshot data across different regions and accounts. But at the end of the day, the biggest benefit for most businesses is the amount of time and money they could potentially save thanks to EBS snapshots.

Because EBS snapshots only record block-level changes after the initial backup, the process is much quicker than running a full backup. And because the incremental backups created by EBS snapshots eliminate the redundancy caused by saving unchanged data, your company will also save money on the storage costs of Amazon S3. This is especially true for companies with relatively static data.

However, as Chris Moyer of ACI Information Group points out, the downside of implementing EBS snapshots is the fact that incremental backups often take much longer to recover in the event of a disaster. Given the “information daisychain” we previously discussed, EBS snapshots must work all the way back to the original backup copy before recovery can be completed. However, Moyer also points out that the length of this recovery time can be reduced by periodically performing a full data backup, and utilizing snapshots in more short-term increments such as daily backups. By taking steps to mitigate this issue, you can ensure that the benefits of Amazon EBS snapshots far outweigh the drawbacks.

Amazon EBS Snapshots And CloudRanger

As mentioned above, Amazon EBS snapshots can save your company both time and money. And thanks to CloudRanger, the process of performing these snapshots is simpler than ever. With our intuitive, user-friendly dashboard, you can quickly schedule regular data backups at predetermined intervals. Our program also makes it easy to save and copy snapshots across various accounts and geographic regions, ensuring your data is safe from various threats such as hackers and natural disasters. And should your data be compromised, CloudRanger makes it simple to retrieve and restore your backups. Best of all, CloudRanger does all this and more without the need for scripting.

Try CloudRanger For Free

Whether you are a small business, a medium business, or an enterprise user of Amazon Web Services, CloudRanger has features that will meet your specific needs. Our AWS cloud management system is easy to install, which means your business can be up and running with CloudRanger in no time. And best of all, you can even try CloudRanger for free for 14 days. So why not experience all the money-saving features and time-saving benefits CloudRanger has to offer?

Steven

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