Clumio Protect for SQL on EC2

Protect your SQL Server on Amazon EC2

Ensure resilience and compliance for your critical databases
Insights from David Klee: Finally, a SQL Server Backup that DBAs Won’t Hate
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Resilient applications stand on resilient databases

If you're running applications on EC2, chances are you're using a SQL database. What’s your plan to ensure their uptime, resilience, and recoverability in case of an unforeseen event? Ensure application-consistent restores and uninterrupted performance with an agentless backup solution.

Product Facts at a Glance

Maintain database performance

Clumio uses no external agents, so you have nothing to install or update. In addition, Clumio is Availability Group-aware, eliminating the potential performance impacts of taking backups.

Secure your data with AirGap protection! This diagram shows how a physical barrier keeps your sensitive information safe from digital threats.

Add air-gapped security

Air-gapped SQL Server backups are stored outside the customers’ AWS account in an immutable, encrypted format, inside Clumio’s highly secure platform. Clumio backups are secured with composite key management, multi-factor authentication, access controls, and no delete option, safeguarding against accidental or malicious deletion of backups.

Clumio Solution for S3 Data Protection

Get fast, flexible restores

Clumio takes database-level backups along with transaction log backups. In tandem, these deliver rapid, application-consistent, point-in-time restores. Clumio’s serverless architecture ensures RPO as low as 15 minutes, along with exceptional RTO performance. Restore back to production instances, or to any instance in a connected AWS account.

Stay compliant with Clumio! This diagram showcases our comprehensive approach to data protection, ensuring your organization meets all regulations.

Automate your compliance

Comply with long-term retention requirements across multiple databases and accounts with simple policy management. Verify compliance status with automated or on-demand reports.

Here’s What Our Customers Say

  • “After we saw what Clumio could do in the cloud, the decision was easy.”
    Dennis Yang Chief Information Officer
  • "A critical selling point was the air gap. Unlike snapshot managers, the stored data is not in danger if the production account is compromised."
    Brian Cahill Head of IT
  • “The fact that we can unify our backup and retention policies across all of the various different technologies that we use is amazing. I am keenly looking out for the next thing that Clumio adds to the platform.”
    Joe Alcorn Manager of Infrastructure Services and Architecture
Clumio Testimonial - MPA


  • Why use SQL Server on EC2 (aka SQL on EC2) and why back it up?

    Many businesses that migrate their storage, compute and database resources from on-premises to AWS want to continue using their same SQL Server database. Running SQL on EC2 allows for this simpler way of migrating, and allows for continued use of long-term licenses. It’s important to note that while this is one use case, some cloud-native users also choose SQL on EC2 out of all the available tools, seeking full control rather than use a managed database service like RDS.

    Users frequently question why backup data when AWS’s infrastructure is so resilient. While it is true that AWS is highly resilient, it is still the users’ responsibility to secure and protect their data from loss due to ransomware, insider threats, accidental deletions and unintentional overwrites. Further, doing this may be an aspect of compliance with certain regulations. For these reasons, companies should be doing database backups, as well as implementing security best practices like frequently checking user permissions, using multi-factor authentication, encryption, and regularly training employees on security.

  • What are some of the challenges with backing up SQL Server on EC2 and how can I get past them?

    Backing up your SQL on EC2 database can come with some challenges, but many of them can be avoided by using the right solution.

    • Performance impacts: SQL on EC2 databases are often critical components of applications, and it’s important to avoid operations that would impact their performance. One operation to consider is backup, because differences in the method can make a big difference in the outcome. Clumio is Availability Group aware, so your backup can be taken from a secondary replica to avoid impacting the primary database. Always On Availability Groups help not only with this function, but are also helpful in disaster recovery.
    • Agent installation and maintenance: Many backup solutions for SQL on EC2 require installation of external backup agents to function. This adds an extra step in the setup process, and can require ongoing maintenance when agents require updating.
    • Incomplete transactions: MSSQL databases run two-sided transactions, and trouble could occur if a snapshot or backup were to be taken before both sides had been completed. For that reason, Clumio utilizes Microsoft’s VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service), which ensures that the system is paused at a time when transactions are complete, allowing the database backup job to process correctly.
    • Excessive RPO: Databases change frequently, and if all those changes are not captured between backups, it can result in excessively long RPOs. For example, if snapshots are taken daily, this results in a 24 hour RPO (recovery point objective) which could result in excess data loss that doesn’t meet your SLAs. It’s important to not just schedule backups or snapshots, but ensure transaction logs are also backed up frequently. Clumio combines incremental forever backups with transaction log backups to provide users with an RPO as low as 15 minutes, for application-consistent point-in-time recovery.
  • What are the backup options for SQL Server on EC2?

    There are a few typical ways data protection is handled for SQL on EC2:

    • Snapshots: You can take snapshots within the AWS console. These snapshots are at the instance level, rather than at the level of databases or volumes, and do not include transaction logs. This means your RPO is limited to the snapshot frequency options offered by AWS. Snapshots can be stored in Amazon S3 to save cost, but that requires additional steps.
    • Legacy backup solutions: You can run legacy backup solutions designed for on-premises infrastructure, but this limits the versions of MSSQL Server supported, carries a need to install agents, and generally aren’t designed for the cloud, leaving a lot of functionality on the table.
    • Clumio is cloud-native and customer-centric, providing performant, application-consistent, secure backups for SQL on EC2. You can restore your backup database to any connected account and region. Clumio backups are held in air gapped, always encrypted, and immutable Amazon S3 buckets, keeping them cost-efficient.
  • What is the difference between database-level backup and server-level backup?

    • Server-level snapshots take full copies of the whole instance on which your database is running. This results in the snapshots being “heavy”. Because they contain a large amount of data, they can require a lot of compute bandwidth and time to complete. When restoring, point-in-time restore is not an option as transaction logs are not available.
    • Database-level backups start with one full copy, and after that, scheduled incremental backups of the database are added. Additionally, transaction logs can be backed up, which enables point-in-time recovery. This overall process is much lighter weight and increases performance and retrievability.
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