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// 22 May 2023

Introducing Clumio Protect for Microsoft SQL on Amazon EC2

Chandan Agarwal, Director of Product Management

Updated May 22, 2023 to reflect latest information

With various services and innovations present in the cloud, many enterprises are accelerating their digital transformation and experimenting with database architectures as they move mission critical workloads and applications into the cloud. The challenge becomes a decision between building your Microsoft SQL server database on EC2 as IaaS, or running the Relational Database Service (RDS) inside of AWS as a PaaS Server.

While RDS has gained popularity, (mentions have increased 40% year-over-year from 2017-2018 according to Stack-Overflow) many enterprises choose to go with Microsoft SQL Server on EC2 due to the benefits of having full access to native tools, the ability to bring your own license, and support for third party solutions.

Flowchart showing Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2 (IaaS)

Challenges with Protecting Microsoft SQL Server in AWS

While deploying SQL Server on Amazon EC2 is a logical choice for many customers, it has several gaps when it comes to data protection. Today, the only data protection options available for SQL on EC2 in AWS are native EC2/EBS snapshots, legacy agent-based backups, or native scripting.

AWS Native vs. Legacy Backup vs. SQL Native

AWS Native vs Legacy Backup vs SQL Native

Let’s dig into each of these backup options:

  • Native AWS EC2/EBS Snapshots: Native data protection provides instance-level only recovery with VSS integration, which is not great for databases. This method results in a recovery point objective that could be longer than desired because it doesn’t include transaction logs. It also creates snapshots in the same account as the primary data and therefore doesn’t provide any ransomware protection.
  • Legacy Agent-Based: While your legacy backup solution might sound like a good option in the cloud, dragging your backup solution is never a good idea as it results in high costs, complexity, a rigid architecture, and performance-impacting agents.

Flow chart showing Microsoft SQL Server on EC2 backups to Amazon S3

  • SQL Native Custom Scripting: Database administrators love custom scripts, and while they are great for quick recovery, it is not a comprehensive data protection solution that delivers compliance consistency and visibility, policy based long-term data retention, and doesn’t provide ransomware protection. Manual script based solutions also tend to be complex and require ongoing maintenance and management that puts a strain on IT resources.

All of these options are missing key data protection capabilities including ransomware protection, compliance visibility, and rapid recovery while impacting database performance and increasing costs. To help with these challenges, we are excited to announce the newest innovation in the Clumio family – Clumio Protect for Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2. It provides SecureVault ransomware protection, low RPO and RTO with rapid recovery, agentless deployment with no performance impact, and lower total cost of ownership.

Let’s dive into all the advantages Clumio Protect for  MSQL Server on Amazon EC2 provides enterprises.

Clumio Protect for SQL Server Benefits

SecureVault Ransomware Protection

Clumio Protect features

Clumio Protect’s air-gapped backups are stored outside the customers’ AWS account in immutable storage with data-at-rest and in-flight encryption with the ability to bring your own keys. Clumio provides multi-factor authentication with SSO integration, access controls for assets and roles, and no delete button so there is no vulnerability for hackers to get access or delete customers’ data.

Low RPO and RTO with Rapid Recovery

Screenshot of Clumio's calendar view interface

Forever incremental point-in-time recovery at 15-min log granularity reduces recovery time to your choice of instances or AWS accounts. Clumio backs up not only your database volumes, but also does transaction log backups to achieve this low RPO. Clumio Protect’s calendar view provides quick visibility into each day of backups and all the recovery points for both point in time and database backups, allowing for rapid recovery. Clumio Protect always enables a flexible restore option where databases can be restored to any AWS account, region, host, and instance.

Agentless with No Performance Impact

How Clumio Securevault can help protect SQL Server on Amazon EC2

All deployments of Clumio Protect starts with a simple on-boarding experience that is infrastructure-less and agentless via a Cloud Formation Template (CFT) or Terraform. The onboarding deploys an IAM role in the customer’s account to perform the necessary API calls to perform backups and restores without performance impact. All of the integrations are provided natively via the VSS framework enabling application consistent backups through Windows Change Journal technology to perform incremental forever backups. Clumio’s SaaS simplicity and no agent design eliminates performance impact and lowers the possibility of security vulnerabilities.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Clumio Broad Database Engine Support

Clumio Protect provides a single platform and service for operational recovery, ransomware protection, and long-term compliance without the need for multiple copies for ransomware protection. Instead of having a different solution for cloud native and legacy database deploy options, Clumio provides broad database backup support for Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2 and RDS as well as PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Amazon Aurora, and SQL Server on VMC.

And one more thing……..

Protect Your Database Dumps with Clumio Protect for Amazon S3

Many DBAs still like to keep their own operational backups in an Amazon S3 bucket in parallel to an enterprise wide backup solution, and the last thing we want to do is get in the way of this. With Clumio Protect for S3, our customers can protect this valuable data by creating a protection group across all their accounts to protect database backups in S3 to ensure all the values of Clumio can be provided in the event they are compromised.

About the author

Chandan Agarwal, a Data Security Product Leader, has extensive experience at Palo Alto Networks and Clumio as a Director of Product Management. He also worked at Cisco, focusing on SD-WAN integration and capacity planning. With a background in telecommunications, Chandan excelled in cloud security at Zscaler and is a multilingual expert, fluent in Hindi and English, with certifications in finance and competitive strategy.