EC2 backups and snapshots

Clumio supports Amazon EC2 instance backups and Snaps. EC2 backups and Snaps are configured through the Policies window. For more information about backups and Snaps and how they are configured through the Policies window, see Policies.

EC2 backups

EC2 backups represent full, standalone copies of your EC2 instances. An EC2 backup protects the following assets of an EC2 instance:

  • EBS storage volumes that are attached to the instance.
  • Root volumes of EC2 instances, including ones that are launched from AWS Marketplace Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).
  • The EC2 instance configuration, including the EBS volumes specification, the paid AWS Marketplace AMIs, and the Snap configurations. If the instance only contains instance store volumes, Clumio backs up the instance store configuration, but not the instance store volumes. If the instance contains a mix of EBS and instance store volumes, Clumio backs up the EBS volumes only.

Each backup is saved remotely to Clumio and retained for the length of time set by the Clumio unified policy. During the retention period, you can restore an EBS volume from any unexpired EBS backup. After the retention period expires, the backup is destroyed. Clumio offers two tiers of SecureVault backup: SecureVault Lite and SecureVault Standard. SecureVault Lite backups provide the same air-gap ransomware protection as the SecureVault Standard tier, but must be retained for a minimum of 30 days. For a comparison of the two tiers, refer to the following table:

FeatureSecureVault Backup Standard TierSecureVault Backup Lite Tier
File Level IndexingYesNo
File system browsing for restoreYesNo
File Level RestoreYesNo
Restore start timeInstantlyInstantly
Minimum retention period0 days7 days
Incremental or Full backupIncrementalIncremental

For more information, see SecureVault Backup Tier Options.

There are two ways to generate EC2 backups:

  • Recurring backups
  • On-demand backups

Recurring backups

Configure a policy to automatically generate recurring backups at the configured intervals and keep those backups for the configured retention periods.

When an EC2 instance is protected, Clumio starts the backup seeding process to synchronize the data between the resource and Clumio. The initial backup seeding process creates a full backup of the EC2 instance and saves it to Clumio. After that, backups are generated based on the policy’s configured schedule.

Recurring backups can be configured to occur at various frequencies throughout the year, with yearly backups retained for up to 7 years.

Optionally enable a backup window to specify the time zone and start and end times of the backup window. When a backup window is enabled, backups will only occur between the stated start and end times. Note that recurring backups usually start about 5 minutes after the start time. Backups that are still in progress by the end of the backup window will be aborted. You cannot define a backup window if you enable backups to occur in hourly increments. Backup windows do not impact on-demand backups.

On-demand backups represent single backups that are manually generated at any point in time and retained in Clumio. You can take SecureVault backups or Snaps on-demand. Each on-demand Snap can be retained for up to 1 year. Each on-demand SecureVault backup is retained for 7 days if you select the Standard Tier and for 30 days if you select the Lite Tier. For more information see On-demand Backup.

Backups and Snaps are configured through the Policies window. For more information about backups and Snaps, see Policies.

EC2 Snaps

EC2 Snaps capture instantaneous pictures of your EC2 data at a certain point in time. An EC2 Snap protects the following assets:

  • EBS storage volumes that are attached to the instance.
  • Root volumes of EC2 instances, including ones that are launched from AWS Marketplace Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).

Each Snap is stored in the same location as the EC2 instance - that is, your AWS account – and retained for the length of time set by the Clumio unified policy. During the retention period, you can restore an EBS volume from any unexpired EBS backup. After the retention period expires, the backup is destroyed.

There are two ways to generate EC2 Snaps:

  • Recurring Snaps
  • On-demand Snaps

Configure the policy to automatically generate recurring Snaps at the configured intervals and keep those Snaps for the configured retention periods. Snaps can be scheduled to occur at various frequencies throughout the year, with yearly Snaps retained for up to 7 years. If multiple Snaps are generated on the same day, only one copy is retained. For example, if monthly and yearly Snaps are generated on January 1st, only one copy is saved. The Snap scheduling and retention behavior is similar to SecureVault backup scheduling and retention behavior.

On-demand Snaps represent single Snaps that are manually generated at any point  in time. Each on-demand Snap can be kept for up to 1 year. By default, on-demand Snaps are kept for 7 days.

Backups and Snaps are configured through the Policies window. For more information about backups and Snaps, see Policies.

Note: Additionally, if you have existing EC2 Snapshots in your AWS accounts that you must retain for long-term compliance, we can move a copy of those snapshots to our SecureVault storage, allowing for faster and easier recovery, at a lower cost. Please contact [email protected]) for more information.

Protect EC2 instances

After you have created an EC2 backup and Snap policy, you are ready to protect your EC2 instances. Clumio uses a tag-based approach to protect Amazon EC2 assets. To protect an EC2 instance, log in to the AWS Management Console and tag all of the EC2 instances you want to protect, and then apply the policy to the tag. Once an EC2 instance is protected, Clumio generates backups and Snaps of the instance according to the rules configured in policy.

An EC2 instance can only be protected by one policy at a time.

EC2 instances and EBS volumes

Protecting an EC2 instance protects all of the EBS volumes that are attached to the instance, so when you generate an EC2 backup or snapshot, the attached EBS volumes are included in the respective backup or snapshot.

If an EBS volume is attached to an EC2 instance, you can protect just the EBS volume, just the EC2 instance (which protects all of its attached EBS volumes), or both the EBS volume and the EC2 instance. If both the EBS volume and its EC2 instance are protected, the EBS volume is protected as part of the EBS policy and the EC2 policy, respectively.

Note: File Level Indexing (FLI) for EC2 backups does not fully support international character sets for POSIX file systems (ext4/ext3/btrfs/xfs). This may result in a garbled display of some characters while browsing file indexes.

Generate an EC2 SecureVault Backup on demand

  1. Select AWS > Environments > [Account Number] > EC2 Instances. The Active EC2 Instances window displays with a list of EC2 instances that have been inventoried into Clumio.
  2. Click the instance ID of the EC2 instance you want to back up on demand. A calendar view of the current month displays along with a detailed view of the volume.
  3. In the upper right corner of the details screen, click Take Backup > SecureVault Backup. The Take On-Demand Backup dialog displays.
  4. Select a SecureVault Backup tier and a retention period, the default is 7 days if you select the Standard Tier and 30 days if you select the Lite Tier.
  5. Select a destination to save the backup, the default is In-region.
  6. Click Take Backup. Clumio starts the EC2 On-Demand Backup task. When the backup job is complete, it appears in the Protection History calendar of the EC2 instance, ready to be restored at any time.