I have an EBS-based EC2 instance (ebs_vol_1) which mounts and extra EBS volume (ebs_vol_2), and DB in RDS.

Is tacking a snapshot of ebs_vol_1 & ebs_vol_2, enough for preventing data-loss? Is there a way to set it up, so it automatically takes the snapshots in regilar intervals?

Should I also be taking snapshots of my RDS DB or is Amazon taking care of backup? I currently don't have Multi-AZ.

I wouldn't like to wake up one morning and realize that I've lost all my hard work because of a hardware failure :/


Snapshots are effective against data loss for EBS volumes. If a volume is lost, you can create another one based on the snapshot very easily.

By default, RDS is not replicated. It's backed up and you can take snapshots, but if data is lost, you have to restore from a backup or snapshot.

Having your RDS database Multi-AZ definitely helps. This should actually replicate between the availability zones. So if one goes down, the other is still there.

It is possible to make a read-replica of an RDS database, but I don't know if it's possible to switch it to a master in the event the original master is lost.

You can automate the creation of EBS snapshots and RDS snapshots either using your own tools (crontab, etc.) along with the AWS command line tools, or by using a tool like Skeddly (Disclosure: I'm the CEO of Eleven41 Software, the company behind Skeddly).

In any case, no matter what you do, snapshots are better than no snapshots. So snapshot early and snapshot often.

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You may find helpful the link [1]

[1] http://tiger-fish.com/blog/automated-ebs-backup-solution-using-amazon-ec2

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  • Just noticed you've linked to our blog post! Do ask any questions over on the blog if anything's not clear! – Chris Cohen May 22 '12 at 9:21

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