AWS, Cloud Computing

5 Mins Read

Simplify Data Protection using AWS Backup

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In this blog, we discuss how AWS Backup works, its use cases, and pricing. Before diving into AWS Backup, let us first review the importance of backup.

A backup may be a copy of necessary data that is stored in an alternate location so that it can be restored if it is deleted or corrupted. Data must be backed up at regular intervals determined by how often the data changes, and how valuable it is.

AWS provides a fully managed backup service called AWS Backup. It is designed to support the centralization and automation of data backup across AWS services in the cloud and on-premises. It helps to support regulatory compliance and business policies for data protection. Configure, manage, and run backup operations on AWS accounts and resources.

Working of AWS Backup

There are several options for backing up various resources in AWS. One alternative for backing up data which is dedicated to backing up and restoring resources in AWS is to use AWS Backup.

AWS Backup provides a central location to back up various AWS services such as Amazon RDS instances, Amazon EBS volumes, Amazon EFS file systems, Amazon S3, and Amazon DynamoDB tables. If you use AWS Storage Gateway, you can also use this service to back up your local data. AWS Backup works by defining policies that automate each backup schedule and data retention. AWS Backup gives you a central place to manage these backups and helps you stay compliant by enforcing the necessary policies.


Source: AWS

AWS Backup uses backup policies, “backup plans”, that help you define different requirements that may apply to your AWS resources. For example, you can create a backup plan to ensure a daily, weekly, monthly, 12-hour, or even custom backup schedule (cron job). You can then run this scheduler using the recommended default backup window or a custom window you prefer.

When you select a backup plan, you can also set the backup lifecycle. It can be sent to cold storage (this option is currently only available for Amazon EFS file systems), or it can be fully expired. These options help reduce backup storage costs.

You can create a backup plan from scratch by choosing one of the above options. Alternatively, you can start with an existing plan and choose a predefined template that works for you, such as daily backups with 35 days of retention or monthly backups with retention periods. a year.

You can also define plans from scratch using JSON. This can be used when you want to create a new plan based on an existing plan or when you want to share plans with your other AWS accounts.

AWS Backup only creates a full copy of your data when you first start backing up. Each subsequent backup is incremental, meaning only changes to your AWS resources will be backed up.

AWS Backup uses the following concepts:

Backup Rules: These rules define backups by specifying the backup schedule, frequency, and window. Backup policies can be applied to specific resources or groups of resources identified by tags.

Lifecycle Rule: Define what happens to old backups. For example, you can use lifecycle rules to move backups to less expensive storage tiers or delete them entirely after a certain period.

Vault: Backups are grouped into vaults, and each vault is encrypted with AWS Key Management Service (KMS) key.

Audit Manager: AWS Backup Audit Manager is used to verify compliance with your AWS Backup policies for the controls you define. Control is a process designed to check compliance with backup requirements, such as backup frequency or backup retention period.

Monitoring: AWS Backup works with other AWS tools to let you monitor its workload. These tools include Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon EventBridge, AWS CloudTrail, and Amazon Simple Notification Service.

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AWS Backup is costed for the backup storage being used and for the data being restored. The cost per service for backups and restores can be seen in the attached snapshots below for the North Virginia region (Cost may vary by region).



Source: AWS

* Currently Cold storage is only supported for backups of Amazon EFS, Amazon DynamoDB, and VMware Backup.

* Amazon DynamoDB Cold storage backup is only available when you go for Amazon DynamoDB advanced features.

* Backups are billed as 128KB backups for Amazon S3 objects smaller than 128 KB. You also will be charged for GET requests on your Amazon S3 objects, and in addition, you will also be charged for the Amazon EventBridge events required to create the backup.

* Includes VMware on AWS Outposts and on-premises VMware, VMware CloudTM on AWS.

* Backups moved to cold storage must be retained for a minimum of 90 days, and backups deleted before 90 days are subject to the same prorated rate as storage charges for the remaining days.

* When Amazon EFS, Amazon S3, VMware, and Amazon DynamoDB opt for advanced features, backups are billed on a GB-day basis instead of GB hour. This means that your backup storage will be billed for these resources throughout the day.



Source: AWS

* Currently Cold storage is only supported for backups of Amazon EFS, Amazon DynamoDB, and VMware Backup.

* Amazon DynamoDB Cold storage restore is only available when you go for Amazon DynamoDB advanced features.

* Supporting restore targets are on-premises VMware, VMware CloudTM on AWS, and VMware on AWS Outposts. If you restore data from an AWS source region to an on-premises gateway or a gateway in an AWS region other than the source region, you will be charged standard AWS Data Transfer Out charges in addition to the data recovery charges above.

* If you know the Amazon S3 URI, you can restore individual Amazon S3 objects.

Use Cases

Hybrid Cloud Backup:

You can use AWS Storage Gateway to integrate local storage resources with the Amazon Cloud. When you restore from a backup, data is automatically copied from Amazon to your on-premises storage device. Data is stored in one of Amazon S3’s storage tiers, depending on how fast or how frequently you need to access the data.

AWS Backup allows you to automate this process, creating a backup plan that defines the backup schedule and frequency from on-premises storage to Amazon S3.

Data Lifecycle Management:

Amazon S3 offers multiple storage tiers, allowing you to migrate less frequently used data to cold storage at a cost-effective rate. In Amazon S3, you can configure lifecycle policies that automatically migrate datasets to a less expensive storage class or delete them entirely based on predefined criteria.

AWS Backup allows you to do this centrally as part of your backup plan. Once you define backups, you can specify what happens to your backups after a few weeks, months, or years. You can automatically set an Amazon S3 lifecycle policy to move data to cold storage or delete it when it’s no longer needed.

Database Backup:

AWS allows you to back up your cloud-based database services, Amazon RDS and Amazon DynamoDB, using their built-in backup features.

AWS Backup allows you to automate all these backups in one place by defining one or more backup plans and specifying the database or database group you need to back up. You no longer need to configure specific backup settings in Amazon RDS or Amazon DynamoDB, which is done automatically by AWS Backup.


AWS Backup is a fully managed, low-cost, policy-based service that simplifies data protection. AWS Backup allows you to centrally deploy data backup policies to manage, configure, and perform backup activities across your organization’s AWS accounts and resources. AWS Backup also allows you to audit and report on your data protection compliance with AWS Backup Audit Manager.

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Drop a query if you have any questions regarding AWS Backup and I will get back to you quickly.

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1. Why use AWS Backup?

ANS: – Creating and managing backup workflows consistently across all applications can be complex and costly. AWS Backup eliminates the need for costly, custom solutions and manual processes by providing a fully managed, policy-based data protection solution.

2. Can AWS Backup, access backups created by services with existing backup capabilities?

ANS: – Yes. You can use AWS Backup to access backups created using services with existing backup capabilities, such as snapshots of the Amazon RDS database. Similarly, you can access backups created by AWS Backup using the source service.

WRITTEN BY Raghavendra Santosh Kulkarni

Raghavendra is a skilled Full Stack Developer with expertise in a wide range of technologies. He has a strong working knowledge of AWS and is always looking to learn about new and emerging technologies. In addition to his technical skills, Raghavendra is a highly motivated and dedicated professional, committed to delivering high quality work.



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