What Amazon Web Services (AWS) Can Add to Your Backup as a Service Offering

Author: CloudBerry Lab Director of Marketing Alexander Negrash

Amazon Web Services has become the major platform for everything cloud-related. However, many MSPs are still not aware of the scope of AWS and its solutions. These solutions can help define new offers and redefine old ones, as well as help businesses reach new clients and grow existing contracts. In this article, we will provide an overview of solutions you can put to good use within your Backup-as-a-Service offering.

Endpoint Storage — Amazon S3 Storage Classes

Amazon S3 was built for storage, and it’s been widely used for data backup. But why store data via only one source when you can create a flexible retention policy and lower expenses? Your client won’t need most of the data you store for them, so the overhead is an unnecessary expense.

Amazon has introduced several different storage classes which can reduce your storage costs significantly. These are:

  • Amazon S3 Infrequent Access.This storage class was created for data that does not need to be accessed often. It is cheaper than the standard Amazon S3 for storing data, but is more expensive for recovery. (It also has a 30-day early deletion fee.)
  • Amazon Glacier. Amazon Glacier was introduced as a rival to tape archives. It’s far cheaper than Amazon S3 and Amazon S3IA for storing data. It is, however, more expensive for data recovery. Simply put, Glacier is an archival storage for files that you won’t need for at least 90 days.

The recovery prices and early deletion fees attached to the various Amazon S3 storage classes requires prioritizing the planning of a retention strategy for your future offerings.

Cloud Compute and Cloud Backup Management

Amazon EC2 is widely used for running virtual infrastructures and applications, but you can still apply it to the expansion of your BaaS offering.

Recovery to the Cloud

To achieve lower recovery time/recovery point objectives, consider using Amazon EC2 instances as a target for backup recovery and instances replication. In the event of a malware attack or a physical disaster, it may be much faster to spin all damaged pieces of infrastructure in the cloud (whether these are endpoints or servers with mission-critical applications) and create a fully operational replica of the client’s production site. Given the fact that images stored on Amazon S3 can be run directly on Amazon EC2 with no time and effort, this becomes a must-have. This approach allows for business operations to continue with low RTO/RPO and provides extra time to recreate on-prem infrastructure.

Backup of Cloud Infrastructure

It’s 2018, and it’s quite likely that your clients already use Amazon EC2 for their infrastructure and applications. The EC2 infrastructure can be quite complex, but there are two basic approaches for Amazon EC2 instances backup:

  1. Amazon EBS Snapshots. Amazon Elastic Block Service is the hard drive for your Amazon EC2 virtual machine. EBS snapshots allow you to save the state of an EBS volume at a given point in time, then restore it when needed.
  2. Amazon Machine Images (AMI). AMI contains all of the operating system code, configuration settings and data that you need to create a virtual server on EC2. With AMI, you can create an exact clone of the given EC2 instance and restore it when necessary.

This requires some automation, which can be achieved via running custom scripts in the AWS Command Line Interface.


AWS is the largest public cloud and an ideal platform for protecting and backing up your customers’ valuable data. AWS offers tools and capabilities to migrate data into the cloud and build backup and restore solutions that are compatible with your customers’  IT environment.

Alexander Negrash is director of marketing at CloudBerry Lab. Read more CloudBerry Lab blogs here.

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    Thomas Fox:

    We’ve been very interested in CloudBerry’s solutions, as their product seems a perfect fit as part of an MSP’s solution stack.

    Unfortunately, while they court the MSP market, they don’t understand the MSP financial model. Instead of offering a monthly billing option, they require a large deposit on account, against which services are billed. Then, when that deposit is mostly consumed, they require another large deposit.

    I’d love to learn more about their solution and how we can use it in our client’s environments, but we immediately discounted them as an option when they explained their non-MSP billing practice.

      Den from CloudBerry:

      Hi, Thomas.
      We implemented monthly payment last year to answer the MSP business model approach. We decided to tailor it to a minimum deposit of 500$. We are really sorry if you consider that as a large amount to deposit and get access to our service but we think it is a fair amount. Most of the MSPs we work with see no issue in making a deposit.

        Thomas Fox:

        Hi Den,

        Thanks for taking the time to reply.

        Requiring a $500 advance deposit, and then billing monthly against it, and then requiring another $500 deposit, really isn’t monthly billing, is it? It’s billing $500 at a time.

        All of the other players in your market, and in the MSP space generally, don’t have any problem billing a credit card or ACH every month. Even AWS, the service CloudBerry is tied to, bills me monthly.

    C.J. Ezell:

    I agree with this 100%. It’s exactly the reason we discounted Cloudberry and went with another provider. They truly don’t get the MSP model. They say they do, but their actions don’t back it up. This is just the prepaid calling card model redressed.

    Alan Simpson:

    The initial deposit might not break most MSP’s — but requiring another $500 dollar payment each time is absolutely excessive and seems designed to eventually leave unearned money in Cloudberry’s pocket at exit time, no matter how far out that is. Considering that when an MSP uses up the initial deposit they are obviously using the service, the high renewal seems like a slap in the face. I could understand requiring a minimum monthly usage to access free support (and requiring paid support if minimum is not met) — but the MSP should certainly have the option configure each reload to $100 or less if they desire. It should be an option. — BUT really, until you get to actually charging monthly for consumed services, you’re not really servicing the MSP model.

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