AWS Backup Best Practices

Implementing AWS Backup best practices can help you safeguard your critical resources in the cloud using AWS Backup, a fully managed backup service.

In today’s digital era, data is the backbone of any organization. Data protection and recovery is paramount for businesses to maintain continuity and minimize downtime.

This article will discuss best practices to follow when using AWS Backup, and includes actionable steps to implement and leverage them effectively.

Backup Strategy Best Practices

Define clear backup and retention policies

Having well-defined backup and retention policies ensures that your data is protected and stored for an appropriate duration based on your specific needs. Consider factors like regulatory requirements, data sensitivity, and the desired recovery point objective (RPO) when defining these policies.

Actionable Steps:

  • Identify the critical resources that require regular backups.
  • Determine the desired RPO and recovery time objective (RTO) for each resource.
  • Establish retention periods based on compliance requirements and data lifecycle management.

Perform regular backups for critical resources

Regularly backing up your critical resources helps prevent data loss and ensures that you can quickly recover from any unforeseen events or disasters. Schedule backups according to your defined backup policies.

Actionable Steps:

Implement a multi-tiered backup strategy

A multi-tiered backup strategy uses different storage classes and locations for storing backups, providing additional redundancy and cost optimization.

Actionable Steps:

Security Best Practices for AWS Backup

Use IAM roles and policies to control access to AWS Backup

Controlling access to your AWS Backup resources is essential for maintaining security and preventing unauthorized access. Use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) best practices to create roles and policies that grant the necessary permissions.

Actionable Steps:

  • Create IAM roles and policies following the principle of least privilege.
  • Assign IAM roles to users or groups based on their job responsibilities.
  • Regularly review and update IAM roles and policies as needed.

Encrypt backups at rest and in transit

Encrypting your backups ensures data confidentiality and prevents unauthorized access. AWS Backup supports encryption using AWS Key Management Service (KMS) keys.

Actionable Steps:

  • Enable encryption for your backups by selecting a KMS key during backup plan creation.
  • Monitor and manage your KMS keys using the AWS KMS console.

Enable Amazon S3 object lock for additional protection

Amazon S3 Object Lock provides an additional layer of protection by preventing objects from being deleted or overwritten during a specified retention period.

Actionable Steps:

  • Enable Object Lock for your Amazon S3 bucket during bucket creation or update the bucket properties.
  • Apply retention periods and legal holds to your backup objects as needed.

Monitoring and Automation Best Practices for AWS Backup

Monitor backup jobs and events using CloudWatch

Monitoring your backup jobs helps identify potential issues and ensures that backups are running as expected. Amazon CloudWatch collects metrics and logs from AWS Backup, allowing you to track the performance and status of your backup jobs.

Actionable Steps:

Set up notifications with SNS for backup status updates

Using Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) in conjunction with AWS Backup allows you to receive real-time notifications about backup job statuses and events.

Actionable Steps:

  • Create an SNS topic and subscribe to it using your preferred notification method (email, SMS, etc.).
  • Configure AWS Backup to send notifications to your SNS topic by specifying the topic ARN during backup plan creation.

Automate backup scheduling using AWS Backup Plans

Automation reduces the risk of human error and ensures that backups are executed consistently and on schedule. AWS Backup Plans allow you to automate the scheduling of backups for your resources.

Actionable Steps:

  • Create a backup plan with the desired backup frequency, retention period, and other settings.
  • Assign your resources to the backup plan by creating resource assignments.

AWS Backup Cost Optimization Best Practices

Utilize lifecycle policies for automatic transition and deletion

Lifecycle policies help optimize storage costs by automatically transitioning objects between storage classes or deleting them when they are no longer needed.

Actionable Steps:

  • Configure Amazon S3 lifecycle policies to transition backups to lower-cost storage classes or delete them after a specified period.
  • Regularly review and update your lifecycle policies based on changing business requirements.

Choose the right storage class for your backup needs

Selecting the appropriate storage class can significantly impact storage costs. AWS offers several storage classes, each with different performance characteristics and pricing.

Actionable Steps:

Leverage cross-region replication for cost-effective disaster recovery

Cross-region replication (CRR) allows you to store copies of your backups in different AWS regions, providing a cost-effective solution for disaster recovery while ensuring data durability and availability.

Actionable Steps:

  • Enable CRR for your Amazon S3 bucket by creating a replication configuration.
  • Choose destination regions that offer lower storage costs or meet specific compliance requirements.

Do’s and Don’ts for AWS Backup


  1. Plan and design your backup strategy before implementation.
  2. Use multiple AWS services for a comprehensive backup solution, such as AWS Storage Gateway and AWS Snowball.
  3. Implement security measures like encryption and access control.
  4. Enable monitoring and alerting for backup jobs.
  5. Regularly review and update your backup configurations.


  1. Don’t rely solely on manual backups.
  2. Avoid using a single storage type for all backups.
  3. Don’t store all backups in the same region or account.
  4. Avoid creating overly permissive IAM policies for backup management.
  5. Don’t forget to delete unused backups to minimize costs.


Following AWS Backup best practices is crucial for ensuring data protection, cost optimization, and maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements. By implementing the strategies discussed in this article, you can effectively manage your backups and safeguard your critical resources in the cloud. Remember to regularly review and update your backup configurations to adapt to changing business needs and continuously improve your backup strategy.

For more information on AWS services and best practices, explore articles on AWS GlueAWS EC2 Security, and IAM Best Practices.