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How to backup Amazon AWS? AWS S3 backup with Bacula Enterprise.

  • May 13, 2020, Rob Morrison

Using AWS Backup to create backups

Backing up your information is a big part of protecting it from any harm and also a big part of ensuring compliance. Even the most durable servers and storages are susceptible to bugs, human errors and other possible reasons for a disaster. But creating and managing all of your backup workflows might be a tough task in general. That’s why there’s a variety of methods that you can use to simplify the entire process of creating a backup while using AWS S3.

The obvious choice is Amazon’s own backup solution – AWS Backup. AWS backup is capable of providing a way to manage your backups both in the AWS Cloud and on premise, and it is capable of supporting a variety of other Amazon applications.

The backup process itself is rather easy, as well. A user would have to create a backup policy – their backup plan, specifying a number of parameters like backup frequency, the amount of time that these backups should be kept, etc. As soon as the policy is set up – AWS Backup should start backing up your data automatically. After that you’ll be able to use AWS Backup’s console to view your backed up resources, have the option to restore a specific backup or just monitor your backup and restore activity.

Other methods of backing up your Amazon S3 bucket

Using AWS Backup isn’t the only option when it comes to S3 backups, as well. There’s a variety of different options that can be both performed by an application within Amazon’s ecosystem as well as third-party solutions.

For example, here’s several more ways of creating an S3 backup without using AWS Backup application:

  • Create backups using Amazon Glacier;
  • Use AWS SDK to copy one S3 bucket to another;
  • Copy information to the production server that is itself backed up;
  • Use versioning as a backup service.

It is worth mentioning that most of these methods aren’t exactly fast or convenient. Amazon Glacier, for example, would be a good backup solution if it wasn’t a lot slower than your regular backup process, since Glacier is more about data archiving and less about ongoing data backups. On the other hand, using versioning as a backup solution might raise your storage costs a lot due to the amounts of data that need to be stored.

Speaking of third-party solutions, while there is a lot of different ones in the market, we’ll talk about one of the most promising ones – the one that’s provided by Bacula Enterprise.

Enterprise-grade AWS  S3 backup solutions  with minimal restore costs.

Bacula delivers natively integrated AWS S3 backup solutions as part of its extensive enterprise cloud-based backup and recovery options. It delivers native integration with public and private clouds via the Amazon S3 interface, with transparent support for S3-IA. AWS S3 backup is available for Linux, Windows and other platforms.  But there’s something else your company needs to know about Amazon S3 backup with Bacula Enterprise: the ability to enjoy unique control over your cloud backup, and bring significant cloud cost reduction for AWS backup solutions.

AWS S3 Backup with Bacula Enterprise

To begin the AWS backup process with Bacula, you’ll have to enter configuration mode first.

entering configuration mode

After that you will be able to see several new options available. You need the one titled “Add a New Storage Resource”.

configuration mode’s options

Adding a new S3 storage in Bacula Enterprise

In this specific example we’re adding a new Amazon S3 storage to an existing storage daemon. We’ll also choose the “Cloud Virtual Disk Changer” under the “Device Type” – this device type allows for several simultaneous backups to the same cloud storage.

choosing device type

Since our storage daemon already exists – all of the information at step 2 (Configuring a new storage resource) can be taken from the previously created devices.

configuring a new storage resource

Configuring your AWS S3 storage backup using Bacula Enterprise

The next step of AWS backup process is the cloud storage information configuration. In this example we’ll be storing our backup volumes in the cloud cache, which is usually used as a small temporary area in-between loading a backup to a cloud, but it can still hold a week or more’s worth of the data to allow local backups for that period, and cloud backups if the time period is longer than a week. You can always contact Bacula support experts to know more about cloud cache’s storage size, cache retention policy and cloud upload behaviour.

choosing cloud cache as a target upload location

Next we’ll choose a unique media type for our new storage device, to make it easier for Bacula to see this specific storage device’s files.

choosing a unique media type

One more part of this step is choosing your AWS S3 cloud driver from a list of supported cloud drivers.

choosing the cloud service provider

Next we’ll have to set up a list of arbitrary information like cloud hostname, account info, region and so on. You’ll also have a choice between choosing an existing bucket by connecting to your existing account or to enter a name in the corresponding line to confirm the creation of a new bucket.

Finishing the S3 storage setup process

After all that there are two possible options left: cloud link status and “upload to the cloud during the job”. Cloud link status button allows you to immediately check your current system’s connection to a cloud of your choosing. “Upload to the cloud during the job” is an option that is chosen as a part of default settings to upload your backed up data to the cloud as soon as it’s ready (even in the process of a backup job), but you can also disable this option if you wish to upload after a job is finished or with some other schedule in mind.

filling in the rest of the blank fields

Next step of this wizard would consist of simply typing in your preferred storage name and optional description.

typing in a preferred storage name

Saving your new S3 backup settings

After this step you can push the “Save” button to allow all of the previous changes to be committed to production. Keep in mind that in order to properly commit everything to production you’ll have to reload your storage daemon, meaning that any job that is running would fail in the process.

a list of changes not yet committed

restarting your storage daemon

confirming the restart process

A logical step after this would be to set up new backup pools for this specific cloud storage and to properly configure jobs to write data to the new pools. You can address Bacula’s documentation, contact our support or watch our YouTube channel to get help in regards to these steps.

Testing the AWS backup settings

To test that everything we’ve just done works properly, we’ll run a small full Amazon S3 backup job manually directly to the new storage device. Usually this process is automated using a job schedule and/or other configurations.

choosing a “defined job” section of BWeb

changing storage target and pool of the backup job

confirming the beginning of the “test” backup job

After the job is run we’ll be able to see the entire process’s logs, and this specific section (on the screenshot below) shows us that everything uploaded correctly.

backup job’s data logs


As you can see, Bacula Enterprise is a solid choice for managing your AWS S3 backups, including creating and configuring newer backup storages and setting up backup jobs to be performed automatically. Next we’ll list some of the AWS S3-specific features of Bacula Enterprise.

About the author

Rob Morrison

Rob Morrison is the marketing director at Bacula Systems. He started his IT marketing career with Silicon Graphics in Switzerland, performing strongly in various marketing management roles for almost 10 years. In the next 10 years Rob also held various marketing management positions in JBoss, Red Hat and Pentaho ensuring market share growth for these well-known companies. He is a graduate of Plymouth University and holds an Honours Digital Media and Communications degree, and completed an Overseas Studies Program.

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