1. ec2 Micro type instance comes with only EBS storage - Should I backup everything critical from there?
  2. other ec2 instances come with local storage - Should I backup everything critical from there?
  3. s3 - Amazon does backups for me(somewhere deep inside), right?

My only fear in this particular case is possible hardware failure.

  • what does "other ec2 instances come with local storage" means? If you means EBS -- it is backup automatically. Some "local storage" would vanish on shutdown.
    – J-16 SDiZ
    Nov 17, 2010 at 2:22
  • J-16 SDiZ: "other ec2 instances" means Standard, High-Memory, High-CPU, Cluster Compute, Cluster GPU instance types aws.amazon.com/ec2 (all except Micro type). I suppose that these instance types come with builtin storage(not EBS), am I right?
    – user45286
    Nov 17, 2010 at 2:25

2 Answers 2


Do you want to protect from user error?
Backup always, for you don't know when will your user do something silly.

  • There is some basic security built in the app/environment. The question is only about possible hardware/amazon fails. What do you think about that?
    – user45286
    Nov 17, 2010 at 2:11
  • Amazon always backup your data (unless you use the Reduced Redundancy one). But you should still take backup, to protect yourself from the "drunk sysadmin type the wrong rm -fr" case.
    – J-16 SDiZ
    Nov 17, 2010 at 2:20
  • 1
    see aws.amazon.com/ebs , EBS is replicated as well.
    – J-16 SDiZ
    Nov 17, 2010 at 2:21
  • 16 - even with RRS, your data is still stored in a redundant fashion, just not as redundant as standard buckets.
    – EEAA
    Nov 17, 2010 at 2:24

With EC2 using EBS, you'll want to use EBS Snapshots to protect your data - you send those snapshots to S3 for long-term storage.

With EC2 using ephemeral storage, you'll lose everything when your instance is lost, so you'll want to figure out some solution to put anything critical somewhere safe, probably S3. Simply tag + gzip your stuff then send it to S3.

Finally, S3's backup policy is opaque - we don't know exactly what they're doing - but they've talked about having a minimum of 3 copies, plus having 99.999999999% durability (if you store 10,000 files, they'll lose one on average every 10 million years). Pretty dang good. :)


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