Architecture and Backup of MS SQL Server Databases on AWS

May 10, 2017 |

All the solutions that REAN Cloud architects follow the AWS Security and Architecture Best Practices. A part of those practices suggests the deployment of applications using the 3-Tier design – Web Server, Application Server, and Database Server. By doing this, we enable our customers and partners to build highly scalable and available applications, that are optimized to run in the AWS cloud. In this blog, we will look specifically at the Database Tier, how to design it, and how to back it up on AWS S3.

The Architecture

REAN Cloud has devised a secure virtual private cloud (S-VPC) framework that provides assurance of information protection with additional security controls to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. The S-VPC wraps your application in a secure shell to meet the internal governance and ensure compliance.

REAN Cloud Secure - VPC
REAN Cloud S-VPC

Our solution architectures allow users to deploy critical components of their application across multiple Availability Zones and help replicate their data appropriately. Also, applications are designed to handle dynamic IP addressing when the instance restarts, and there are continuous monitoring and response to events in place. Failover clusters and the AlwaysOn Availability Groups make for a Highly Available and Robust application environment.

REAN Cloud HA Architecture
REAN Cloud HA Architecture

A Sophos UTM server provides for enhanced security, that easily secures their data, applications, and servers in the Cloud. This also enables faster deployments without compromising the performance.

Backing Up to Amazon S3

To have a robust backup plan in place, REAN Cloud advises its customers to regularly backup their instance using Amazon EBS snapshots or a backup tool. As a partner solution, REAN Cloud works with CloudBerry Labs for helping our customers backup to Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier.

AWS offers us the flexibility to run Microsoft SQL Server for as much or as little time as we need. We can select from a number of versions and editions, as well as choose between running it on Amazon EC2 or Amazon RDS.

The CloudBerry Backup for Microsoft SQL Server is designed to create, compress, encrypt and upload your SQL Server database backups to Amazon S3. You can choose what databases to backup and whether to use full, differential, or transaction log backup. The functionality is easy to use. The backup software connects directly to your Amazon S3 account and securely transfers backups to the cloud. To start backing up to Amazon S3, just connect your AWS account to CloudBerry Backup.

Backup Process

  1. Create an S3 bucket to store database backups.
  2. Create a backup job on the CloudBerry tool to take a backup of databases running on the instance.
  3. Establish connectivity between the CloudBerry tool and the AWS account.
  4. Select the S3 bucket created to store backups.
  5. Select the databases to backup.
  6. Compress the backup, if needed.
  7. Select type of backup – Full, Differential, or Transaction Logs Backup.
  8. Turn on notifications. It will send an email to the specified email addresses about the Success/Failure of backup job.

Using the tool we can perform both block level and file backups. Files that have been backed up with CloudBerry Backup can be restored to a specified point in time. The master password helps you to protect your backup from unauthorized access. The tool supports multi-part upload, that you to break large files into smaller parts (chunks) and upload them in any sequence, making the process more reliable and faster. Finally, the tool supports encryption algorithms including AES 128-256 bit and it does encrypt/decrypt on the fly. There is no way to decrypt the files outside of CloudBerry Backup.

The Benefits

One of our customers, OZY Media, a news and information site, is a daily digital magazine custom built for the Change Generation and has over 10 million unique visitors to their website. REAN Cloud worked with OZY Media to launch their new website.  We designed and implemented a next generation web application architecture to scale to millions of users daily. the new environment was architected in an AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) using Microsoft (MS) technologies such as SQL Server, MS Distributed File System, and Active Directory services.

With the CloudBerry Managed Backup solution in place, REAN Cloud helped OZY Media achieve an important goal of ensuring valuable data is backed up all the time. The solution did not require purchase of any additional hardware, as the The backup client was loaded and setup to backup data on Amazon cloud storage. Amazon allows for costs to be minimal and data security to be far better with encryption and strong passwords being implemented.

End Note

REAN Cloud, a Premier Consulting Partner in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) and AWS Managed Services Partner, is a cloud-native firm with deep experience in supporting enterprise IT infrastructures and implementing continuous integration, continuous delivery pipelines. To learn more about building such scalable and secure solutions, please reach out to us at info@reancloud.com.

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