Diary of a re:Invent newbie

Wow, so the end of the year has quickly run up and I’ve finally found some time to write this up. While re:Invent was a few weeks ago, I took a few days vacation on my way home and then it’s been busy busy busy since. So, in the lead up, I’d watched the “How to re:Invent” videos and had advice from our senior AWS guy, Matt. I’d say the advice was pretty good and I made the most of my time.… [Keep reading] “Diary of a re:Invent newbie”

SSM Endpoints – A How To

AWS Simple Systems Manager (SSM or Systems Manager) is an AWS service for bulk management of EC2 instances, and on-premises servers too. Like many AWS services though, it is accessed via the internet. This means that:

  1. you need some way to access the service
  2. the control data is going out over the internet

Getting around statement a. is pretty easy, either have a direct internet connection or you can configure the SSM agent to use a proxy.  … [Keep reading] “SSM Endpoints – A How To”

AWS Data Lifecycle Manager Update

This one slipped a bit under the radar, but the other week there was a big change for people running Date Lifecycle Manager (DLM). In my colleague Matt’s weekly AWS update on May 31st, he mentioned the “snapshot across multiple EBS volumes” update. On first glance this didn’t seem to be a big deal. Yep, you can now take multi-volume snapshots in a consistent manner. As a backup person, this is good news, but not much more than a footnote.… [Keep reading] “AWS Data Lifecycle Manager Update”

Backups in AWS

In a previous blog (HERE) I discussed why backups were needed in AWS and about RPO, RTO and other TLAs. This blog will compare some of the different backup options available for your infrastructure in AWS.

Roll your own

AWS has really good options for managing your environment your way, whether this be scripts using CLIs, other software using APIs, or Lambda scripts. Managing your backup environment is no different. Lambda scripts can look for tags on your instances or volumes and create a snapshot.… [Keep reading] “Backups in AWS”

A tale of two products (don’t expect Dickens)

At Re:Invent and just after, AWS released several new products. Included in those were AWS FSx Windows and AWS Backup. Both of these products had a lot of interest for me, for various reasons, so I thought I’d give them a try. None of my experience was under work conditions, but the following are my experiences. Note: Both are only in a small number of regions, currently.

AWS FSx Windows


  • Easy setup (by itself)
  • Fully compatible Windows file server
  • DFS support
  • Has backups
  • Works as expected


  • Requires AWS Microsoft AD in each VPC
  • Can’t change file share size
  • Some features can only be changed from CLI
  • Throughput can only be changed through restore
  • Minimum share size is 300GB

First out of the box, and released at Re:Invent is AWS FSx Windows.… [Keep reading] “A tale of two products (don’t expect Dickens)”

Backups? Doesn’t Amazon handle that?

For many, the cloud is a magical place where servers just appear and your cloud provider looks after everything, or, if they at least have a concept of the servers, they just assume that the provider will also back them up. Lots of people never bothered to think about protection in a VMware environment, so why start now?

Unfortunately, while your cloud provider probably supplies the tools, you still need to do the configuration and management.… [Keep reading] “Backups? Doesn’t Amazon handle that?”