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WordPress on S3: no more backups

WordPress on S3: no more backups

How much trouble will it be if your webserver failed?  No trouble at all, if your website keeps its content on reliable Amazon S3 storage.

There are a lot of nuances in ensuring proper backups and restores of websites. When was the last backup taken? How much data might have been lost? How long will it take to recover it? When was the last time you tested restore? Do you even have an offsite backup?

Now that you can run dynamic websites off Amazon S3 storage, we’ll demonstrate why you no longer need to worry about backing up and restoring your website data. Losing the webserver is no longer a disaster. Cloud storage offers almost unsurpassable reliability a lot of website owners (small & large) would benefit from. In a way you get an "instantaneous backup" to the cloud. Your data is always safe with the cloud storage. The webserver can simply be replaced in minutes.

Contents

OblakSoft has released the 1st ever dynamic WordPress site running on top of Amazon S3: Yapixx.  Yapixx is ready-to-run WordPress on S3, it stores all its data (content and media) in Amazon S3 storage.  Yapixx stands for Yet Another Picture Sharing Site.


Yapixx taps into power of Amazon S3.  Amazon S3 is inexpensive, highly reliable, available and scalable storage service.  Using Amazon S3 to store Yapixx data has the following benefits:

  • No backup and recovery of the site data is needed
  • Storage is extremely reliable and durable by Amazon S3 design
  • Pictures are served by Amazon S3 directly, which makes Yapixx highly scalable
  • Storage cost scales with usage, no upfront reservation is needed
  • Storage consumption scales up and down with the amount of data stored

The crash test is going to illustrate the first point: no backup and recovery is needed.  The data for the web site is safely stored in Amazon S3, so the machine that Yapixx runs on can be replaced in minutes.

Crash test. Start the Webserver.

To get started with the crash test, follow the five steps to deploy Yapixx:

  1. Sign up for an AWS account.
  2. Create an S3 bucket.
  3. Start EC2 instance using read-only Yapixx AMI.
  4. Connect to the web application from a web browser.
  5. Enter the S3 data location and authentication information.

Refer to the complete step-by-step guide for extra pointers in setting up Yapixx.

Now Yapixx is up and running and you can upload pictures.  Upload some pictures to Yapixx.  Make sure the pictures are uploaded successfully.

Crash the Webserver – it is a crash test after all.

Then terminate the EC2 instance that is running Yapixx.  As a result the server should get completely destroyed.

Is all lost?  Not at all! 

Launch the replacement Webserver.

To get a new server running, repeat the steps 3-5 of the deployment instructions:

  1. Start EC2 instance using read-only Yapixx AMI.
  2. Connect to the web application from a web browser.
  3. Enter the S3 data location and authentication information.

The full step-by-step guide for Yapixx crash test is available here.

Make sure that you enter the same S3 data location information!   Yapixx is going to ask for a confirmation that this is the only instance that accesses the S3 data location: running multiple instances accessing the same S3 data location may lead to data corruption and data loss.

Feeling adventurous? Change the Webserver machine.

To add extra thrill, try using a different instance size: if you originally deployed a micro instance, try using a small instance, or vice versa.  This will get you a feeling of how easy it is to scale servers up and down.  Now, that’s truly elastic!

It’ll be even more fun if it was your WordPress site, will not it be? You can rely on Yapixx as the starting point to take your site to Amazon S3. Launch your own WordPress site to the cloud today!  It’s easy and FREE, no writing code is required.  Start at http://www.oblaksoft.com/downloads.

WordPress on Cloud

We hope you enjoyed the crash test!  Are you interested in making your site highly available with the help of cloud storage?

See also

WordPress on S3: run a beautiful website on Amazon cloud storage.

WordPress on S3: how it works.

WordPress on S3: the beauty of simplicity (blog).

Discussion

5 Responses to “WordPress on S3: no more backups”

  1. ‘No more backups’ is a bit misleading. It’s possible to have data loss on S3, both technically and nefarious…

    Posted by Justin Rovang | May 21, 2012, 12:54 pm
    • One can argue that backups don’t fully protect from data loss – instead backups merely reduce the probability of it.
      You are correct that there is a very small chance of loss of data is possible even on S3. For many the decision how to protect the data is based on a) probability b) affordability of the data loss.
      The probability of losing the data at Amazon S3 is similar to the probability of losing your primary storage, backup and offsite backup, all at the same time. Refer to official Amazon S3 documentation.
      Risk tolerance and the cost of data loss\recovery are more personal matters that each customer need to take into account on their own.
      P.S.
      I’d like to note that in case data protection supplied by S3 is insufficient for a particular customer, with ClouSE they are free to continue relying on any MySQL or S3 backup tools in order to supplement S3 protection.

      Posted by Artem Livshits | May 22, 2012, 11:25 am
  2. I’ve always thought that the main purpose of backups was the recovery from data corruption caused by “bad users” and bugs. That’s why data mirroring (through RAID and server replication) is not a substitute for backups. Luckily for me, I’ve never experienced hardware failures (touch wood), but users have made all sorts mess, voluntarily or not. How do you handle data corruption caused by users and bugs?

    Posted by Mar | May 22, 2012, 12:31 am
    • Correct, backup is used both for data protection and data archival, in case you need to recover from user errors.
      With ClouSE, data protection is provided by Amazon S3.
      On the application level, WordPress already provides data versioning for posts and pages. This significantly reduces possible damage from user errors. It allows a user to easily revert the content of a post to its previous more stable version.
      ClouSE v1 will support built-in point-in-time recovery. This will take care of accidental data mismanagement on the system level. You will be able to go back in time within the user-specified data retention period.

      Posted by Artem Livshits | May 22, 2012, 12:00 pm

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