AWS RDS Backup Guide


We recommend taking manual backups of your AWS RDS databases. While backups are completed automatically for all RDS databases, there may be times where those backups do not complete as expected. Additionally, we can only keep 30 days of automatic backups due to restrictions within AWS, and all automated backups are deleted if the database is deleted. Users should prepare for all of these scenarios by taking manual backups.

RDS backups must be performed in the AWS RDS Console, or may be automated using a scheduled Lambda function, CLI call, etc. This article will walk you through the process of creating a manual backup using the AWS RDS Console.

Manual Backup Frequency

How often databases should be backed up manually depends on your organization and how much you depend on the data. Analyze a worst-case scenario and ask yourself, "if our database went down and all automated backups were gone, would we be able to resume business function with a backup from a week ago? Would a backup from a month ago suffice?" This will help you decide how often to take manual backups. We recommend taking a manual backup at least once a week.

Manual Backup Limitations

Here are some additional guidelines for creating backups from Amazon's Developer Guide:
  • Amazon RDS has a soft quota of 100 backups per AWS Region per account, and additional backups will fail when this quota is reached. If you reach this quota, you can delete excess backups or request a quota increase. For more information about requesting a quota increase, see AWS Service Quotas.

  • If you initiate a backup either through a backup plan or by creating an on-demand backup, it will fail if it is scheduled during the daily user-configurable 30-minute backup window. For more information about automated Amazon RDS backups, see Working With Backups in the Amazon RDS User Guide.

  • Backups that are initiated during a maintenance window will fail. For more information about Amazon RDS maintenance windows, see Maintaining a DB Instance in the Amazon RDS User Guide

Creating a Manual Backup

Amazon RDS refers to a backup as a "database snapshot." Creating a snapshot backs up your entire database instance and not just the individual database. Follow the steps below to create a database snapshot:

  1. Log into your AWS Management Console by clicking Projects, selecting your project, and clicking Account Access (if this section says No Account Access, contact an administrator for permission to access the account).
  2. Select the account > select the cloud access role > click Web Access.
  3. Click Services > RDS.
  4. In the left navigation pane, click Databases.
  5. Click on the database.
  6. Click Actions > Take Snapshot.
  7. Enter a name to identify the snapshot and click Take Snapshot.
  8. Upon successful completion of the snapshot, AWS will take you to the Snapshots page to view all manual backups. You can also find this page by clicking Snapshots in the left navigation pane.
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