Where and how should I backup my EC2 / EBS based snapshots OUTSIDE of EC2?

EC2 provides a great product with their EBS based snapshots. However it is also a high risk point that someone could obtain our credentials and delete all the snapshots. How can we backup our backups external to EC2?

EDIT: Linux box, usually with an Ubuntu distro

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    Create a separate AWS account and push backups to its S3. Allow creation of files but not deletion by your main AWS account via IAM rules. – ceejayoz Jul 10 '13 at 15:51
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    I use snapshots, keeping the last few days and backup using Glacier. – Sirch Jul 10 '13 at 15:55
  • take a look forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.jspa?messageID=151285 – Lluís Jul 10 '13 at 16:59
  • Would be nice to know OS/platform... – gravyface Jul 21 '13 at 11:15
  • Have any of us sufficiently answered your question? – Drew Khoury Aug 3 '13 at 0:58

Unfortunately you cannot backup the EBS volume outside AWS as-is, so you have to go for traditional backup strategies for that depending on what you are hosting on the EC2 instance. For example, if you are running mysql you have to mysqldump it and upload the result file on another server outside AWS.

  • mysql-zrm is a good mysql backup doing hourly partials and daily full backups. combined with maybe rsync on your important, and changing folders would provide a decent start to a backup/disaster recovery solution. syslog-ng for writing logs to a secondary server never hurts either. – Kevin Jul 11 '13 at 23:24

Backing Up

There are a number of utilities you can use to preform backups.


fwbackups, Bacula, Rsync etc


AWS have some great security measures available to keep access to your AWS account safe.


AWS Multi-Factor Authentication (AWS MFA) provides an extra level of security that you can apply to your AWS environment. With AWS MFA enabled, when a user signs in to an AWS website, they will be prompted for their username and password (the first factor – what they know), as well as for an authentication code from their AWS MFA device (the second factor – what they have). Taken together, these multiple factors provide increased security for your AWS account settings and resources.

Server Architecture

If you're looking to build a scalable solution with AWS it's often a good idea to keep unique data (like your source code, website assets, server logs, uploads) outside of the EC2.

Furthermore, if you decide to go down the DevOps route and configure your EC2 through code you can do away with the need to backup an EC2 completely.

Everything from server configuration, server logs, code, uploads etc would live outside of the EC2s themselves.

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