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EBS Snapshot - Retention complance & Export

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One of our customer asked us the following questions. I am not sure about the answer. Could you provide some guidance?

1- Does AWS maintain hypervisor backward compatibility for the backup? If yes how many years. This is to ensure we are able to meet our data retention compliance with APRA (7 years)

My understanding is that a customer should be able to restore EBS snapshot. Do we have an official response for that?

2- Can VMs be exported to standard format and moved to an alternate platform. This is also as part of business continuity

I believe that EBS snapshot cant be used for that purpose. I understand VM export can be used to export an AWS EC2 instance but there are some limitations (e.g. instance’s AMI must have been previously imported with VM import).

Thanks for your help in advance,

asked 5 years ago30 views
1 Answer
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Accepted Answer

For #1 (Does AWS maintain hypervisor backward compatibility for the backup? )

In terms of EBS Snapshots - any snapshot created using one of our APIs (CreateSnapshot/CopySnapshot) can be used to create a new EBS volume for the life of the snapshot. We ensure that as we launch new volume types, or keep updating our software, new volumes can be created from old snapshots. If the customer does not want the snapshot anymore (either after 1 minute or after any number of years), they can delete the snapshot. We do not expire snapshots. Snapshots do not go end of life.

For #2 (Can VMs be exported to standard format and moved to an alternate platform. This is also as part of business continuity)

Your understanding about lack of exportability of snapshots is correct. We currently do not have a way to export snapshots directly. Customer have to create volumes (either EBS Volumes or Storage Gateway volumes) and read the data off of them, or they can use VM Export service to export images. For DR, they can also keep copies of their snapshots in different regions and spin up EBS volumes in one of those regions in case of DR.

answered 5 years ago

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