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Amazon RDS – Working with Backups

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This article aims to make you aware of “Working with Backups” on Amazon RDS. The prime objective of backups is to create a copy of our data that can be recovered in situations like data failure, data theft, and so on. As we all know, RDS deals with a lot of crucial data and there can be chances of data loss. To avoid such losses RDS has incorporated several backup strategies in RDS for the clients as per their requirements. Let us discuss all of them. 

Automated Backups :

As the name suggests, it is the default backup strategy by RDS, from the time period you created the database instance till the time it gets deleted, “Automated Backups” remain in action. This backup facility allows the user to recover data from any point in time i.e. automated backups keep track of data every second and the users can track back it whenever they need it. The backup retention period is specified by the user during creating the instance, they can alter it whenever they want to, by default it is one day. Automated backups are applied to those instances only which are in the “Available” state, other states like “Stopped”, “Storage Full” do not support automated backups. And when the instances which already have an automated backup running are copied in the same region then automated backups do not apply to these copied instances as this will only increase the bill amount. 

You can check whether the automated backup is enabled or not, if enabled then what is the retention period. Just select the instance and click on it. And under “Availability & Durability” you will find the details. Here is the image attached to refer to.

Now, let us look at the steps involved in “Enabling” automated backups for any desired DB instance.

After logging into your account go to the RDS management console. From the navigation pane, select “Databases” and then choose the database you want to enable automated backups for. And click on “Modify”. Here is the image to refer to for any confusion.

After a while “Modify DB Instance” page appears, for the backup retention period select a value other than zero (0). Choose to continue and select “Apply Immediately”. The image is attached ahead for reference. 

Let us look at another backup strategy in Amazon RDS.


Snapshots are another backing-up privilege by Amazon RDS for their users. Snapshots are “non-editable” backups of entire database instances, not individual databases. It is not automatic, but the final snapshot is created automatically without the user’s permission while deleting that instance. A snapshot does not come with a retention period, and they never expire. Snapshots are an efficient method for storing backups within the same region or a different region.  We can export the snapshot’s data to Amazon S3 for storing. Snapshots come with multiple sub-services like creating, deleting, exporting, and so on. For knowing about all these services follow these articles. 

For creating a DB Snapshot follow this process. 

After logging into your account go to the RDS management console. From the navigation pane select “Databases” and then choose the database you want to take snapshot for. And click on “Actions” from the listed options choose “Take Snapshot”. Please refer to the image attached ahead. 

In a while, you will see the “Take DB Snapshot” window. Fill in the name you wish to give to the snapshot and then finally click on “Take Snapshot”. The image is attached ahead for better understanding.

In this way, we can easily take a snapshot of any DB instance in RDS. Both the backup strategies are distinctive to each other in terms of their architecture. And if you also use a free tier account then make sure you delete all the services and instances before logging out of your AWS account.  

Last Updated : 27 Mar, 2023
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