Hi everyone. Welcome back to our “What’s New” series on Amazon Web Services, where we translate their critical updates into meaningful language that we can all understand.

Today we talk about a new service released by Amazon Web Services called ‘AWS Backup’. Backup has been around for a long time and every business knows they need to have it. But on the cloud, it’s not so straightforward to implement. That’s why this update is so important and meaningful.

When your business sets up new I.T. systems and software, you have an expectation that your I.T. team will ensure that there’s a backup solution in place and that it’s going to retain your data for the length of time that it needs to.

Simple right? Well not so much.

Why do you need AWS Backup?

Good question. But before we dive into the benefits of the AWS Backup service, it might be valuable peek under the covers and take a look at some of the challenges that we (Tekspace) see when we audit small to medium-sized businesses.

This is because, fundamentally, while businesses have unique needs, they share common problems. With this in mind, you might find yourself relating to these issues in your business too.

No visibility over the data that is (or isn’t) protected by backup

The most common issue we come across is that key stakeholders don’t know what data is or is not being backed up and – more often than not – they have critical data that they think is being protected, but it’s not.

Backups have never been tested

The backups that are in place have never been tested. This is a huge problem, because backups may not actually work when they are called upon in a disaster scenario – invalidating the existence of the backup service entirely.

Backup data isn’t encrypted

At a high-level, encryption makes data impossible to interpret without a special key. When data isn’t encrypted, anyone who gains access to it can do whatever they want; sell that data, share it or use it for their own advantage.

Non-compliance with ATO data retention requirements

One of the most critical pieces of a backup plan is setting a ‘retention policy’. The retention policy determines the amount of time that the backup system will hold your data.

Often, many businesses have not configured their backup system to retain data such that they are compliant with the Australian Tax Office’s requirement to hold their business data for five years.

Backups stored at a single physical location

There are a number of risks associated with keeping backup data at a single physical location. Should there be any issue at all (such as a natural disaster or severe power outage), a business could potentially experience absolute data loss.

What are the benefits of AWS Backup?

So let’s look at the benefits of the backup service itself.

Easily integrates with your other AWS services

Well, firstly it’s cloud-native integrated. That means it’s a piece of software that’s been built by Amazon Web Services, that natively integrates with all of their systems. That makes it really simple to just turn on and go for internal or external I.T. teams that need to get this going for the business.

AWS Backup is free (only pay for storage)

It’s economical. When you buy backup software, normally it costs some kind of monthly or annual fee that you have to pay, year in, year out. Amazon Web Services have no cost for this software is included as part of their default platform. So that’s a huge win for you as a business.

Simple to use

It’s incredibly simple to use. You can turn it on, there are pre-scripted configurations that you can just choose and select from and you can be up and running in minutes.

No on-going security updates to manage

Also, there are no Windows updates to maintain or manage. So that’s another piece of heavy lifting that your IT team doesn’t need to worry about, and that your business doesn’t need to spend money on. So it’s always secure and always up to date.

Automatically drops the cost of storing backup data

Probably one of our favourite benefits is Automated Lifecycle Management. But what does this actually mean? This means that you can have data that you back-up in month one, month two and three, and four, and five, and over a period of time you’re going to have a very large data set that’s going to consume a lot of storage space and start to consume money to back up and maintain. What Amazon Backup service does this automatically migrates pieces of that data (according to a policy you set) from expensive storage to long-term, archived, low-cost storage. And that’s a huge win and there’s no human intervention required to do that.

Compliance and data encryption as standard

This product is compliant with all the usual compliance standards that you might expect:

Check out AWS’ ISO Certified page for more information on certifications across all AWS products and services.

Critically, your data is encrypted in transit (as it is moving within AWS) and at rest (when it is stored within AWS). Whilst encryption won’t protect your data against unauthorised access, it will make it effectively useless to anyone without the key to decrypt it. With this in mind, encryption ensures your data can’t be held hostage and used against you, sold or distributed across the internet. It also means that sensitive information (e.g.: customer or billing data) can remain sensitive.

Keep up to date with the latest in AWS

If you found this video helpful valuable please share this with your friends and colleagues. And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook where we regularly post and share these updates. Equally, if you’re looking for a Melbourne-based partner to help manage your IT, get to the cloud or make use of technologies like AWS Backup, then please reach out.