Tag Archives: AWS

Using THE CLOUD(TM) For Off-Site Backup Media Storage

Recently, a client of mine asked me an excellent question about whether they could use AWS as an off-site storage location for their backup media files.

As I may have previously suggested, I have quite a long list of reasons why I think that running important databases from the cloud is a terrible idea, though if a client does really want to pursue this route, I will naturally oblige and make it work as best as I can.

This particular client’s suggestion, however – which, surprisingly, isn’t something that I’d heard made before – was to move at-rest backup media files to Amazon’s S3 storage instead of putting them on tape and shipping them off-site.

I asked around and did some digging but I couldn’t find anyone who was using THE CLOUD(TM) in this manner. Others are migrating their live database to THE CLOUD(TM) – or, at least, attempting to and becoming very frustrated with it – while others have stood up standby databases in AWS as a “DR-of-last-resort”.

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AWS Customer Service

A couple of weeks ago, I explained why I was not impressed with the cloud as a game-changing, magical, revolutionary, outstanding, groud-breaking panacea for IT expenditure after I’d spent some time with Amazon Web Services.

I contacted their support about a technical issue I was having and, to their credit, their customer service seems to be just as good for AWS as it is for their .com site.

I made a(n attempt at a) joke about time travel and how they meter usage for their RDS service and, to my surprise, they played along:

Me: Thanks for the resolution. I’ll keep you updated with my time travel travails. Do you happen to have a spare DeLorean car that can hit 88mph?

CSR: I’m glad to hear there was a resolution to your case. Currently, our DeLorean, as well as our Tardis, our Phone Booth, and our HG Well’s Special are all being used to try to prevent bad Fantasy Football drafts, as well as preventing from eating too much for Thanksgiving.

Got to love it when customer service has a sense of humor, especially considering the dog’s abuse they often get.

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The Road to Damascus?

So, last month I decided to bow to peer (well, “industry”) pressure and check out Amazon Web Services for myself.

That’s right, before the year 2014 was out, I finally started my own personal “journey” to THE CLOUD(TM).

I wish I could say that I experienced a “Road to Damascus” moment and that all the major (i.e. “showstopper”) concerns I had with actually having to migrate databases to THE CLOUD(TM) magically disappeared once I had actually used it myself. Maybe I had been wrong this whole time?

“Just try it and you’ll see”…

Unfortunately, like a cigarette to a teenager, it was exactly what I had expected. No more, no less.

There is no real benefit to using it aside from looking cool.

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