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AWS for Disaster Recovery

Any kind of failure can negatively impact a business value and when designing an application we need to proactively design for events like that. The preparation of recovering from a failure is Disaster Recovery(DR). In this blog, we’re going to list down the disaster recovery recommendations provided by AWS. We’re going to keep the subject brief and will include diagrams as a picture is worth a thousand words.

Disaster Recovery Options

Backup and Restore

This is the traditional method where data is sent for backup regularly. This method takes a long time to restore as we would need to spin up the required components. S3 is typically used to store data or storing snapshots of EBS, RDS and Redshift. Also, we can restore the cached volumes to EC2 or to another site.

Preparation Phase:

Backup and Restore Preparation

Recovery Phase:

Backup and Restore Recovery

Pilot Light for Quick Recovery into AWS

Pilot light is a DR scenario where a minimal version of environment is always running. We can configure pilot light by running critical components in AWS. This method is faster than Backup and Restore method as core components are already running and are up to date.

Preparation Phase:

Pilot Light Preparation

Recovery Phase:

Pilot Light Recovery

Warm Standy Solution in AWS

In this DR scenario we keep a scaled-down version of the fully functional environment always running in the cloud. It provides a faster recovery than the Pilot light method as some services are always running. All we would need to do is scale up the components.

Preparation Phase:

Warm Standy Preparation

Recovery Phase:

Warm Standy Recovery

Multi-Site Solution Deployed on AWS and On-Site

In this method we route the production traffic to different sites that deliver the same application of service. A proportion of traffic will go to AWS and remainder to the on-site infrastructure. We can use weighted routing to distribute the traffic.

Preparation Phase:

Multi-Site Preparation

Recovery Phase:

Multi-Site Recovery

AWS Production to an AWS DR Solution Using Multiple AWS Regions

Each region has multiple isolated locations known as Availability Zones(AZ). We can deploy applications on multiple AZ. Basically make an application multi-site. This way if the application fails on one availability zone, it’ll be still up in different AZs and we can route traffic accordingly.

Reference: AWS Disaster Recovery Whitepaper

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