Amazon AWS EC2 instance-level disaster recovery is now available in NAKIVO Backup & Replication. Learn how the feature works to protect against failure of your AWS infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) workloads.

Timothy Warner

Timothy Warner is a Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management Most Valuable Professional (MVP) who is based in Nashville, TN. Check out his Azure and Windows Server video training at Pluralsight, and feel free to reach out to Tim via Twitter.

Historically, you may have known that NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports disaster recovery for Hyper-V and VMware virtual machine (VM) workloads. Did you know the backup tool also allows you to back up Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) VM instances also? Let's learn all about it by diving into a demo.

Prepare the environment ^

First of all, you should be aware that NAKIVO (I'll call the product "NAKIVO" from now on instead of "NAKIVO Backup & Replication) supports the following EC2 backup scenarios:

  1. Backing up an EC2 instance from AWS to your on-premises environment
  2. Restoring an EC2 instance to AWS or your on-premises environment
  3. Replicating EC2 workloads to another AWS region or between on-premises and AWS
  4. Failing over/failing back those workloads between AWS regions or between on-premises and AWS

That is, indeed, a lot of power. Start the setup by firing up the NAKIVO management console, logging in as an administrator, and adding your AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) account credentials to the NAKIVO inventory as shown below.

Adding AWS credentials

Adding AWS credentials

NAKIVO will then automatically add any EC2 instances your account owns to the inventory, where they will be available for backup, restore, or replication policies later.

Next, you'll need to deploy a Transporter agent to the AWS cloud. You can get away with a micro instance here, but understand (a) you do need a Transporter if you plan to interact with EC2 instances in AWS, and (b) you may want a larger instance size depending on the scale of your instances and workloads in AWS. I show you the appropriate interface screen in the next screenshot.

Adding a Transporter to AWS

Adding a Transporter to AWS

Configure EC2 instance backup ^

Now that we've connected to AWS and deployed the Transporter agent, we can set up an Amazon EC2 backup job directly from the NAKIVO management console. If you've used NAKIVO before, you understand the five steps of creating a backup job:

  1. Select the EC2 instance(s) to back up.
  2. Choose a local backup storage repository or an AWS region target (the region can be different from the instance's home region).
  3. Define a schedule or run the job on demand.
  4. Set a data retention policy.
  5. Configure advanced options, such as encryption, network acceleration, or app-aware mode. This mode employs the Volume Shadow Copy service (VSS) to create application-consistent VM backups. I show you this screen next.
Configure advanced VM backup options

Configure advanced VM backup options

In terms of EC2 instance recovery, you have lots of options with NAKIVO. You can perform EC2 full instance recovery. Alternatively, you can perform granular recovery of individual files, SQL Server objects, Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) objects, or Exchange Server objects.

As you see below, you can restore an EC2 instance to its original AWS region or a different one.

Restore an EC2 instance

Restore an EC2 instance

Configure EC2 replication ^

VM-level backup is fine, but some businesses require a replication solution such that they can fail over their mission-critical workloads in seconds. NAKIVO has always had this capability, and we can now apply this type of high availability/disaster recovery solution to AWS instances.

As you can see in the following screenshot, the replication job wizard is largely the same as the backup wizard, with the exception that there are options specific to the replication scenario. For example, you can opt to truncate SQL Server or Exchange Server transaction logs to reduce your backup sets.

Configure replication for AWS workloads

Configure replication for AWS workloads

Wrap-up ^

You can download a full-featured trial of NAKIVO Backup & Replication by visiting the NAKIVO website. Check the pricing page to learn how they license the AWS EC2 feature.

Let's see—have I forgotten anything important? I told you that EC2 instance backup is application-aware and supports common line-of-business databases and applications like SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server, Oracle Database, and Active Directory.

I mentioned the network acceleration and heavy compression. There's also the deduplication backup archive encryption capabilities. Oh yeah, there's also the application programming interface (API) for automation and programmatic access to NAKIVO features.

We've discussed NAKIVO a lot on this website. It's a solid disaster recovery solution that is simple to use and almost a no-brainer purchase for current or future AWS customers.

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