EBS Backups on AWS
Bubacarr Jallow
August 13, 2020

 In this blog post, we are going to discuss how to effectively backup and restore your Data on SoftNAS running in AWS. Backups have always been a significant daily activity on every organization’s plan to protect against missioncritical data loss due to unforeseen circumstances like failed hardware or accidental deletion. 

There are two types of Backups that one can use to accomplish this goal in AWS.

 

1. EBS Backup & Restore: 

By utilizing the native EBS snapshots feature on AWS, SoftNAS has made it relatively easy to take consistent backups of your ZFS pool(s) from the SoftNAS UI by just a click of a button!  

This type of backup allows you to periodically take backups of your entire ZFS pool(s) by taking snapshots of the underlying EBS Volume(s) that made up the SoftNAS pool(s)  either by going through the UI or running  a cron job from CLI (more on this below) to automate the process

To access this tool, you can head over to the SoftNAS UI under Settings >> Administrator >> EBS Backup and Restore >> Create, to create your first backup. From the screen below, notice that we created our first backup on pool1 using the steps above 

To create a cron job to automate the process, you can follow the instructions here.

2. AMI backups:

This type of backup allows an entire system backup with all its current configuration and data volumes. It is especially useful when you have a failed/unrecoverable instance, and you need to replace it as quickly as possible with all its data and configuration in place.

To create this type of backup, you can head over to the AWS Console >> EC2 Dashboard >> Instances >> Select the instance you want to make a backup of >> Actions >> Image >>  Create Image to get started. Here you can define the Name of your Image (Image Name), A brief description of the Image (Image Description), No reboot, this option is significant to ensure that the backup Image is free of IO errors. Therefore, we recommend not to check this box to allow the system to be shut down before the backup is taken

To restore to the AMI backup, we can navigate to Ec2 Dashboard >> Expand Images >> AMIs >> Select your AMI and click Launch. Please refer to the screenshots below for visual

Once the deployment process is complete, you should have a new SoftNAS instance will all your data at the time of the AMI backup!

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