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AWS expands backup, disaster recovery services

AWS adds new features and capabilities to its backup and disaster recovery services as third-party vendors look to secure hybrid and multi-cloud customers.

LAS VEGAS -- AWS expanded its Backup and Elastic Disaster Recovery services to include new features and services in lockstep with third-party data management partners at AWS re:Invent 2022.

Last year, AWS launched its Elastic Disaster Recovery Service, a native service for on-premises and cloud applications. This year the hyperscaler rounded out its DRS offering with failback functionality for applications running on AWS. It also added new capabilities to AWS Backup, a fully managed backup service, that focused on refining policy, account and data management. Despite the added features, third-party backup and disaster recovery vendors -- which also introduced new offerings at re:Invent -- continue to play a necessary role for customers, the company stated.

Mark Ryland, director of the office of the CISO at AWS, said security and backup targets for an individual customer can prove difficult to tailor.

"Frankly, the partners can stay ahead of us with the most sophisticated capabilities in a given space," he said. "It's hard to be best-in-class for every capability."

New AWS backup, DR features

DRS now supports cross-region and cross-availability zone failback, letting applications resynchronize EC2 instances to the primary AWS region or availability zone. The service enables frequently, non-disruptive recovery and failback drills for AWS-based applications, and it expands on its DRS Mass Failback Automation Client.

AWS also unveiled new capabilities for AWS Backup, a data snapshot management and automation service. Backup administrators can now create, monitor and manage backup policies and activities across accounts within the organization. Using AWS Backup Audit Manager, administrators can now generate reports showing backup policy compliance across the organization.

Frankly, the partners can stay ahead of us with the most sophisticated capabilities in a given space.
Mark RylandDirector in the office of the CISO, AWS

Administrators can also create a legal hold to preserve data despite the company's retention policies; the legal hold remains in place until it is manually released.

Additionally, AWS Backup now supports Amazon Redshift, a managed data warehouse service in AWS, as well as applications within AWS CloudFormation, an infrastructure-as-code service.

AWS will continue to focus on data backup and recovery services to improve security and continuity. But because customers are adopting hybrid or multi-cloud strategies, they'll need support from outside vendors as well, said Krista Macomber, an analyst at Evaluator Group.

"Although AWS will continue building up these services, additional tools from third parties are still needed for connectivity and interoperability," she said.

Third-party capabilities for AWS

Data backup and disaster recovery vendors are looking to provide support of their own and fill the gaps created by multi- or hybrid-cloud or environments.

Clumio, a cloud backup and data recovery vendor, added new capabilities for its Clumio Protect for Amazon S3. Features include air-gapped protection for up to 30 billion objects per Amazon S3 bucket with a recovery point objective of 15 minutes.

Additional Clumio capabilities include instant recovery for Amazon S3 data and new tools to view data environments within AWS to consolidate backups across multiple services.

Panzura, a storage vendor that enables a single namespace for hybrid storage environments, now supports Panzura Data Services (PDS) on AWS. PDS is the SaaS version of its file storage and namespace service, Panzura CloudFS, and was previously available only on Google Cloud Platform.

Panzura is also adding new functionality in AWS with Panzura Protect, a ransomware protection and intruder alert service. Panzura Protect also enables rollback to clean snapshots, both in the cloud and on premises, when combined with CloudFS.

Cohesity, a data management and cloud services vendor, also expanded the data protection capabilities within its AWS product portfolio. Cohesity FortKnox, a cloud cyber vault service, now supports Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval, a cold storage with a retention period of 90 days or longer. FortKnox now supports Amazon S3 Standard-Infrequent Access Storage Class, enabling a minimum retention period of 30 days.

Indefinite Hold

These three storage vendors are far from the only companies announcing new disaster recovery and data backup services for AWS and hybrid clouds -- a market Macomber expects only to grow.

Remote work policies due to COVID-19 are crystalizing into hybrid work arrangements that need to be protected, she said. Avoiding downtime and falling out of compliance are now recognized as important benefits of recovery service spending, especially given the shortage of in-house IT talent, she added.

"Backup and DR has always been heavily scrutinized. And that's because it's generally seen as an insurance policy that isn't directly driving the business bottom line," Macomber said. "Business leaders are becoming privy to the roles that data recoverability and disaster recovery play in keeping the business up and running."

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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