The traditional backup procedure associated with data sets would potentially throw up several issues along the way, like version skew which could result in data corruption. Also, the resources required to carry out the task, and the time it would take to complete could present significant problems. This is where snapshot automation technology can be of great benefit. A snapshot, in basic terms, is a copy of a data set at a particular moment in time, in other words, you don’t need to back up your entire data set to get full data protection which may be essential for mission critical businesses. In this blog post, we will look in more detail at the benefits of AWS snapshot and backup automation.
Snapshots are a much more efficient way of carrying out these type of tasks as it works like a photograph of the state of a particular volume of storage, a database or a virtual machine at a particular moment in time. This technology has enabled businesses to carry out efficient backing up of data and assets with a fraction of the infrastructure and resource utilization and storage required.
For customers who leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS) for data storage as a way of protecting critical information on virtual machines, snapshot technology is an important part of the process whether for compliance or governance reasons, such as complying with strict regulation rules where data must be saved for several years.
The Importance of Snapshots
As an organisation grows over time, the underlying infrastructure that the organisation relies upon will also grow and tasks like snapshotting of system states can grow exponentially. As a result of this growth, in cases like this, the process of snapshot automation will become increasingly important and increasingly time-consuming which could hinder productivity, as Enterprise customers of AWS will have to go through a very manual and time-consuming process of managing hardware-based backups such as snapshots.
The automation of such processes as system snapshotting is a good solution to the problem. Being able to automate can resolve many time-consuming tasks when it comes to computing and free up businesses to concentrate on delivering services to their customers and growing their brand. The automation process can be set up using a specific set of parameters and business rules to make sure that all relevant compliance and regulatory standards are met. However, there is still the problem of managing and updating the scripts that carry out these tasks on your behalf and although snapshot automation will remove some of the heavy lifting associated with the procedure it does not eradicate it altogether.
AWS Storage Gateway
AWS do provide automation tools through the AWS Storage Gateway. However, it does require some human interaction and thus could potentially be prone to human error. Also, if you are storing your scripts to automate system snapshots on a particular instance, it would create a single point of failure for those scripts. If the instance became corrupted the scripts could potentially be lost putting you in a situation where they would have to be created again, and if your infrastructure has grown then the automation scripts will have grown also, and trying to recreate all the scripts for each sub-system could be a huge problem.
There is, however, a solution to these issues in the form of third-party software solutions, such as CloudRanger, which will take care of the automation process for you in relation to your AWS resources, as mentioned in a previous blog discussing how to automate snapshots of your EBS volumes. This service will take care of this task on your behalf leaving you to concentrate on gaining traction for your brand in the marketplace.
For more information about snapshots and the benefits of automation and scheduling click here.
CloudRanger can help to fully automate your AWS backup process in minutes.
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