Do you really need an EC2 backup solution? Many users assume that since they get their servers as a service means that all is taken care of. If you try to make the comparison to the traditional data center, we can say that AWS will take care of all your hardware concerns, meaning they will make sure that a hardware failure will not result in data loss (up to a point). However, they will not take care of other data loss scenarios:
- Have an EC2 Backup solution just in case: There were cases that EBS volumes remained corrupted after an outage. This is a very rare case, but if you store important production data in EBS volumes, you will not want to take this risk.
- EC2 Backup Solution to minimize downtime: When a cloud outage occurs, it may take time until the outage is fixed and normal operations resume. If you want to be able to minimize downtime by resuming operations at another availability zone or even another region, an EC2 backup solution can help. It’s true that the optimal answer to this is a high availability solution. However, a snapshot based EC2 backup solution like CPM, can help you recover your EC2 instances and data at another location within minutes.
- EC2 Backup Solution will deal with software malfunction: Logical data loss as a result of software malfunction can be permanent. A bug in a script of software product somewhere can delete data from your EBS volumes. In a case like this, an EC2 backup solution can allow you to roll back to the most recent consistent image of those volumes.
- EC2 Backup Solution in case of human errors: Human error can sometimes cause permanent data loss. A poor IT guy had to perform an update operation and oops, a disk is deleted, or database corrupted etc… It can happen to the best of us, on our on-premise or cloud servers. An EC2 backup solution is necessary if you want to be able to fall back to a point in time before the data loss occurred.
- EC2 Backup Solution in case of malicious attacks: Many of the applications running on EC2 are Internet facing. Be it a SaaS offering, Internet hosting or game hosting. We all try to take measures to prevent any type of attack. However, nothing is 100% bulletproof. We always need a way to go back to the last known working state.
- EC2 Backup Solution for regulatory Purposes: Many times you have regulations that compel you to save the history of your data for a certain length of time. Although a snapshot based solution is not the typical tool for such a purpose, some backup solution is needed.
To summarize, even though EC2 ensures high data resiliency and a very high uptime, you still need an EC2 backup solution to ensure you cover all scenarios of data loss and down time.