Utilizing Amazon S3 to Enhance Your Data Backup and Recovery Strategy
In our previous blogs, we’ve explored why immutable backups are a good idea for your disaster recovery plan. We’ve also taken a deeper dive into the solutions of top tier providers like Veeam and Cohesity. Now we are exploring a different approach to immutability, and that’s what Amazon Web Services (AWS) has to offer. AWS covers a wide range of services provided by Amazon’s cloud computing platform. In this blog, we’ll discuss Amazon Simple Storage Services (S3). These services can enhance existing technologies to create better backup, data protection, and disaster recovery solutions.
We’re going to cover the following:
- Amazon S3 and AWS Overview
- Immutability in AWS Backup Solutions
- How Do AWS Solutions Integrate with Other Data Backup Vendors
- How do I Get the most value out of Amazon S3
Amazon S3 and AWS Overview
Amazon Web Services is Amazon’s cloud computing platform, and it offers services including storage, computing, networking, and more. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is one of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) storage service offerings, designed to store and retrieve large amounts of data from anywhere on the web. Amazon S3 is also scalable. It can accommodate your data and grow with your business.
In addition, Amazon S3 is not bound to just AWS environments, meaning it works well with popular data protection vendors. This makes Amazon S3 another key player in the disaster recovery/ data protection game.
Now that we know how Amazon S3 fits into the wider umbrella that is AWS, let’s take a deeper look at its capabilities, and the role they play in disaster recovery and data protection.
Immutability in AWS Backup Solutions
Immutability is just one piece of an overall data protection strategy, but it is an important one. Immutability refers to the ability to make backups unchangeable. This is useful for compliance, disaster recovery, data recovery in the event of a ransomware attack, and for other purposes. By default, Amazon S3 does not offer immutability. However, it does offer a feature called Object Lock which you can use to make data immutable indefinitely or for a pre-determined length of time. You can configure this feature in two modes: Governance mode or Compliance mode.
Object Lock Feature
In Governance Mode, your specified bucket owners can grant specific users' permission to delete and overwrite locked objects or specify a retention period. On the other hand, Compliance mode is more restrictive, allowing no changes so that you can provide stronger protection against deletion, modification, or overwriting.
Now that we understand how Amazon S3 utilizes immutability, let’s dive into how it integrates with common data protection solutions like Veeam and Cohesity.
How Do AWS Solutions Integrate with Other Data Backup Vendors?
Amazon S3 works with a variety of dedicated data backup, recovery, and storage vendors including Veeam and Cohesity.
Amazon S3 Integration with Veeam
Amazon S3 and AWS integrate with Veeam through their Veeam Backup & Replication software. In our recent blog, we discussed how Veeam Backup & Replication software supports backup and recovery for physical, virtual, and cloud-based workloads (revisit the discussion here).
VEEAM BACKUP FOR AWS
You can integrate Amazon S3 with Veeam via the Veeam Cloud Tier feature. You can achieve immutability this way via the Object Lock feature mentioned above. Moving your Veeam backups to Amazon S3 can reduce the cost of long-term data archiving and retention while freeing up space on your local storage.
Amazon S3 is not the only method for integrating with Veeam and expanding backup and recovery capabilities. Amazon EBS, RDS, and EC2 are a few other Amazon Web Services to which Veeam can integrate. These additional integrations enable you to leverage Veeam’s data protection features within those respective environments. With this you have native data protection for all your AWS data, near-zero Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs), from entire instances to individual files, and low-cost backup to hit retention and compliance objectives. 
Cohesity Backup for AWS
Cohesity can also integrate with Amazon S3 and AWS. You can learn more about their specific data protection and recovery features in our recent blog.
Before we dive in, see figure 1 below.
Cohesity offers flexible deployment and consumption options for AWS cloud services including Amazon S3. Let’s see how you can achieve immutability of your data with this integration.
How Amazon S3 Integrates with Cohesity to Achieve Immutability
Amazon S3 and AWS integrate with Cohesity through Cohesity’s DataPlatform.
Here are a few steps to achieve immutability for your data backup using Amazon S3 and Cohesity DataPlatform’s CloudArchive feature.
- Set up your S3 bucket on AWS and configure it for object locking
- Configure a new backup target in Cohesity and choose the S3 bucket as the destination
- Enable the immutability feature in Cohesity for the backup, ensuring that the data within the S3 bucket cannot be deleted or modified for the specified retention period you choose. Additionally, with CloudArchive you can archive data from your Cohesity cluster to Amazon S3 for long-term retention
- Configure retention policies for the backup data with Cohesity. You can also use these policies to define which data to archive and when, then access it all from the Cohesity platform.
Cohesity also offers various other integrations with AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and Amazon EBS. These integrations allow you to perform backup and recovery tasks directly within these services, while leveraging Cohesity's data protection features.
While we’ve only provided 2 vendors that integrate with Amazon S3, there are many more so it could effectively work with your Data Protection vendor of choice.
How do I Get the most value out of Amazon S3?
Amazon S3’s flexibility can help you enhance your disaster recovery plan. If you’re interested in learning more about how Amazon S3 can supplement your existing vendors, contact our disaster recovery experts today! If you’d like to get notified whenever we release immutable backup and DR focused content, subscribe to our immutable backups content subscription.