AWS Database Backup Guide


AWS Database Backup Guide

We recommend taking manual backups of your AWS databases. The default database is configured to automatically take daily snapshots between 1am UTC and 2am UTC; however, we can only keep 30 days of automatic backups due to restrictions within AWS. If the database is deleted, all of the automatic snapshots will be deleted as well. A final automatic snapshot is taken at deletion, but we recommend you schedule your own database snapshots for more control.

Backups can be performed in the AWS Console or automated using a scheduled AWS Lambda function, CLI call, etc. This article will walk you through the process of creating a manual backup using the AWS Console.

Manual Backup Frequency

How often databases should be backed up manually depends on your organization and how much you depend on the data. Analyze a worst-case scenario and ask yourself, "If our database went down and all automated backups were gone, would we be able to resume business function with a backup from a week ago? Would a backup from a month ago suffice?" This will help you decide how often to take manual backups. We recommend taking a manual backup at least once a week.

Manual Backup Limitations

Here are some additional guidelines for creating backups from Amazon's Developer Guide:

  • Amazon has a soft quota of 100 backups per AWS region per account, and additional backups will fail when this quota is reached. If you reach this quota, you can delete excess backups or request a quota increase. For more information about requesting a quota increase, see AWS Service Quotas.
  • Backups that are initiated during a maintenance window will fail. For more information about Amazon maintenance windows, see Maintaining a DB Instance in the Amazon User Guide.

Creating a Manual Backup

Amazon refers to a backup as a database snapshot. Creating a snapshot backs up your entire database instance, not just the individual database.

To create a database snapshot:

  1. Log in to your AWS Management Console.
  2. Select the account.
  3. Select the cloud access role.
  4. Click Web Access.
  5. Click Services > RDS.
  6. In the left navigation pane, click Databases.
  7. Click on the database.
  8. Click Actions > Take Snapshot.
  9. Enter a name to identify the snapshot.
  10. Click Take Snapshot.

Upon successful completion of the snapshot, AWS will take you to the Snapshots page to view all manual backups. You can also find this page by clicking Snapshots in the left navigation pane.