Backing up Microsoft SQL Server Databases to Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3

Why would you want to back up your Microsoft SQL databases to the cloud like Amazon Web Services (AWS)? It is because there are several benefits here that are critical for any organization in today’s data-driven environment. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) not only makes recovery very easy where databases have to be restored using a cloud-based server but also offers almost unlimited storage space in the cloud.

Benefits of Amazon S3

These are some of the advantages you get by backing up databases from Microsoft SQL Server to S3.

  • Affordable storage options – With Amazon S3, you get various access levels at proportionate rates. For example, with S3 Storage Class Analysis, you can discover data that, based on access patterns, can be loaded to lower-cost storage sections. The transfer is executed through the S3 Lifecycle policy.
  • Matchless scalability and durability – You can scale up or down storage resources as per your requirements paying only for the quantum used. This will help you take care of fluctuating demands of storage without having to invest additionally in resource procurement cycles. Data durability too is ensured as S3 auto-creates and stores all objects over multiple systems.
  • Optimized cloud storage service – A massive benefit that you get while loading databases from Microsoft SQL Server to S3 is that you avail Amazon S3 data storage and protection capabilities in collaboration with the AWS Partner Network. It is the biggest in the community of technology and consulting cloud service providers. Encryption features and other management access tools ensure protection from unauthorized access and stringent security once data is stored in S3.
  • Quick data and access controls – S3 provides robust capabilities for access management, cost, protection to data, and replication. The replication process is good within the region as well as with other regions. Further, the Batch Operations of S3 manages large-scale changes across billions of objects.

Manual Back up of SQL Server Databases to S3

One of the ways to backup databases from Microsoft SQL Server to S3 is to perform it manually. Follow these steps to do so quickly and effectively.

  • On Amazon Web Services (AWS) create an S3 storage bucket.
  • Constitute a user account and necessary permissions so that by using IAM you can access the storage bucket.
  • Export the database in SQL Server that you want to backup into a file
  • Finally, the file with the exported data is to be uploaded to S3. You can either do it through the S3 interface or with a tool like the PowerShell or MSP360Explorer. Both will let you easily move data between SQL Server and S3.

In all processes, there are pros and cons, and moving databases manually from SQL Server to S3 is no exception.

The main advantage is that the method is quite simple and easy if you want to perform a one-off backup from SQL Server to S3. Also, it can be done using only SQL Server and native Windows tools.

However, there are several downsides too. The most important is that exporting the databases and uploading it manually are often long-drawn-out and tedious affairs. Even though it is possible to write a scheduled task in Windows to have the backups done automatically at scheduled intervals through PowerShell, it cannot be automated using SQL Server alone. Another disadvantage is that recovering the backed up database file from S3 has to be done manually too after which only it can be imported back into SQL Server. This requires considerable time and effort.

Continual Backups from SQL Server to S3 with MSP360

MSP360 enables backup of SQL Server databases to S3 automatically on a routine basis. All that you have to do is run the wizard and select S3 as the target backup storage. Not only does MSP360 allow you to run SQL Server databases to AWS S3 regularly, it also ensures quick recovery of databases if required.

Image-Based Backup from SQL Server to S3 with MSP360

You can also run a cloud disaster recovery solution by performing an image-based backup with MSP360. You need to back up your database to a virtual EC2 machine instance in the AWS cloud. Whenever you need to recover data, it can be restored immediately by starting an instance with a few clicks within the MSP360 Backup.

You can see that there are several methodologies to backup databases from Microsoft SQL Server to S3. The main difference is in the time taken to complete the process and restore data.







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