I need to safely store some encrypted information in EC2. For this purpose, I'd like to encrypt a filesystem on my EBS drives to ensure that third-parties won't be able to poke around in my data. However, I have an inherent fear of encrypting partitions due to total, colossal failure of the entire filesystem when a single block fails.

To overcome this, I thought of simply using two EBS volumes in RAID-1 using mdadm. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if this mitigates the problem. I know that doing RAID-1 will cut my write speeds in half (or worse), but will it protect me in the case of a block failure, enabling me to still be able to restore my information from the other EBS volume?

What's the best way to store data in an encrypted filesystem in the cloud, specifically Amazon's cloud?

  • Amazon already keeps multiple redundant copies. You don't gain any "safety" by doing this. – Michael Hampton Jun 24 '13 at 23:35
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    @MichaelHampton Suppose their "bulletproof" redundant copies fail. If you had mission-critical information on that hard drive, would you rather have a RAID-1 array in the event of such a failure? Or am I being overly paranoid? – Naftuli Kay Jun 24 '13 at 23:37
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    No, I would rather have backups. If Amazon had such a catastrophic failure, it's very likely that both such "disks" would have failed. Remember, RAID is not backup. – Michael Hampton Jun 24 '13 at 23:38
  • So is it better to automate EBS snapshots of an encrypted disk than to RAID-1 it? – Naftuli Kay Jun 24 '13 at 23:40
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    You could do that, but I'd personally keep the backups outside of Amazon entirely, if I were worried about their reliability. – Michael Hampton Jun 24 '13 at 23:40

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