Enable Maintenance and Backups for RDS

How to Configure Maintenance and Backups for RDS
For business continuity and disaster recovery purposes, it’s extremely important to have the maintenance and backup settings in your Amazon RDS correctly configured. If configured properly, your RDS can easily manage your backups, patching, failure detection, and more. In this demo, AWS expert Mike Wise will walk through how to evaluate your maintenance and backup settings for RDS. 

  1. Navigate to the Amazon RDS Dashboard, then the Databases section. 
  2. Select a database to analyze, which will bring up a summary and details about that particular database. 
  3. Open the Maintenance & Backups tab, which will show you several important details in the Backup section: automated backups, copy tags to snapshots, latest restore time, backup window, replicate to region, and replicated automated backup. Modify these settings appropriately – especially your backup retention period. 

For a visual guide on how to modify or enable maintenance and backups for RDS, watch the full demo. To learn more about working with automated backups in RDS, read here

Hello everyone! Welcome to today’s presentation. Today, we’re going to talk about Amazon’s Relational Database Service and backups. Amazon’s Relational Database Service is basically a managed data store that uses many different types of database engines including MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc. Because it is a data store and a part of your disaster recovery processes, it’s going to be really important that you have good, valid backups of your database. To ensure that you have databases configured, we’re going to be talking about the steps to look at that and how to make sure you have the databases configured in the way that you want as you go through the RDS environment. 

When you first log into your AWS Management Console, you’re going to be presented with this screen and we’re going to go and search for “RDS” at the top. We’re going to click on “Managed Relational Database Service.” This is going to take us to the RDS Management Console. Once you get to the RDS Management Console, you’re going to want to click on “Databases” and, as you can see, we have one database set up for this demo. We’re going to click on that. The important thing to look at here in this context, when we’re talking about backups, is this “Maintenance and Backups” tab. There are a couple of different things here that are being displayed that we can talk about. When we’re looking at the backups, you have the latest restore time that you can restore back to, you have the backup window that’s going to be executed, you have the replication to region if that’s enabled, and you also have how long the backups are going to be retained. This allows you to plan out, as part of your disaster recovery environment, where you want your backups to go. Do you want them to stay only in the same region that you’re in, or do you want those backups to go to another region? It allows you to set the maintenance window. For a lot of people, you can only do backups at certain times of day because it could potentially reduce performance impacts. It also tells you how long you’re going to retain those backups. 

I want to key in on how long the backups are retained for because if you don’t have a backup retention period set and it’s above a certain number, the Amazon RDS service will not create backups. So, let’s go look at what I mean. We’re going to hit the “Modify” button and go look at the backup settings. Once this comes up, I want to go down and look at these backup configurations. It’s really important that two things happen here. One, not only are backups enabled but, two, you have an actual retention period. Per the Amazon documentation, if you have a retention period of zero days, the Amazon RDS service will not execute backups. It’s very important that you look at not only are backups enabled, but also, is the retention period set for those backups to make sure that we’re actually getting valid backups. No matter what your retention period is, it has to be something greater than zero. If it’s set to zero, it disables the backups for that particular RDS database. 

You can also go over here and bring up this “Automated Backups” screen. This will give us some other good information. It will tell us some additional pieces about the database. It will give us the earliest restorable time, the latest restorable time, some different VPC information, some other database information. It will also show you the backups that have been completed for your systems, which is going to be an important piece in making sure that you have valid backups available. As with anything, you’re going to want to check your databases to make sure that you have valid backups configured and that they do have a retention time so that you’re getting those backups in case you need them in the case of a disaster recovery scenario. Thank you for joining and have a great day! 

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