The EBS snapshots capture incremental block-level changes to EBS volumes, eliminating the need to repeatedly perform a complete backup. Generally speaking, this method is faster, cheaper, and more flexible than its counterpart, the Amazon Machine Image (AMI), which involves a more traditional and extensive backup process. That said, EBS snapshots can still leave a lot to be desired when it comes to file-level recovery. File-level recovery for EBS snapshots can still be a difficult, time-consuming process, especially for non-IT professionals. However, it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll take a look at how Phoenix simplifies the file-level recovery for AWS EBS snapshots.
With the File-level recovery option, you start a temporary recovery instance and can pick the files you want to recover. This process launches an instance in your environment, attaches your volume and hosts it as a web server. The files on this instance will only be accessible by your IP. The ability to recover a single image file or database file rather than an entire volume or instance is important, especially if a user is simply trying to confirm that a volume contains the files they wish to restore. Let's see the steps to do this.
- Log in to the Phoenix Management Console.
- Select an organization from the top menu.
- On the top menu, click Protect > AWS Resources.
- On the AWS Accounts page, select an account from the left menu or click on the account name.
- On the left pane, click Resources > Compute.
- On the Compute page, click on the resource name of the EC2 instance that you want to restore.
- On the instance page, click on the Backups tab.
- Under the Backups tab, select a backup with the type as Snapshot.
- After you select a snapshot that you want to use, click Restore. The Restore Snapshot window appears.
- Select File Level Recovery.
- On the Restore Snapshot window, provide the details in the following sections:
Field Description Make instance available for
Provide the duration in minutes for which you want the instance to be available to restore the files.
Supercharged Select this option to ensure a very fast restore process. The Supercharged option will ensure a faster restore process by using an m4.large instance. By using this option, you will incur the costs associated with this resource. Instance Type Choose an instance type of the restored EC2 instance. By default, Phoenix selects the original EC2 instance type. Not all instance types are supported in all regions. Before you restore an EC2 instance, check with AWS on the instance types and the regions in which the instances are supported if you run into issues with the restore. For more information, see Amazon EC2 instance types [External link to an AWS web page]. Subnet Choose a subnet of the VPC where you want the restored EC2 instance to run.
If you are happy with the settings and the details on the Restore Snapshot window, then click Launch File Level Restore.
This process would launch an instance in your environment, attach your volume and host it as a web server. The files on this instance are only accessible through your IP. There are two ways to access these files. You can choose one depending on your preference and comfort.
Through web browser
- Navigate to the Resource > Restores page. It may take a few seconds to list the restore job that you run click on the refresh icon .
- Click the link to the destination. It takes you to the Druva page with partitions on your instance listed.
- When the temporary instance becomes available, you can then browse through the folder structure and select the archived files for downloading.
You can search for a file using the search box at the top-right corner. This search supports glob patterns. This means that the asterisk wild-card can be used to specify any characters in a search pattern. For example, ‘*.js’ means any file with a .js extension. You can also download a directory in one click using the download icons on the right. This will come down as an archive with a .zip extension.
Through Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client
The temporary resource (EC2 instance) that you generate by using the file-level recovery functionality is SFTP enabled, which allows you to connect to the instance and access your files a little easier by using different SFTP clients. You can access the snapshot data and transfer by using this protocol. It opens up a lot of possibilities depending on the implementation and use cases. The following steps can help you understand this process a bit better.
- Navigate to the Resource > Restores page. Copy the origin and destination and keep them handy. We'd be using them in the next step.
- Open an FTP client, such as FileZilla. Enter the following details:
- Host: Enter the destination that you noted in Step 1 prefixed by "sftp://". This is the public DNS (IPv4) of your temporary EC2 instance.
- Username: Enter "root".
- Password: Enter the origin that you noted in Step1. This is nothing but your snapshot ID.
- Click Quickconnect. This step connects the temporary EC2 instance to your system.
You can browse through your files on the Remote site pane (the files on your EC2 instance) on the right-hand side and simply right-click and click Download to download them on your system. Alternatively, you can drag-and-drop these files from the right pane to the left. This is pretty much it!
In this article, we gave you insight into the file-level restore capability of Phoenix by using snapshots and the steps to restore these files through your browser and through an SFTP client.