I have heard a lot of good things about N2WS Backup & Recovery for AWS and I thought it was about time I tested it out. N2WS leverages native snapshot technology to provide that extra layer of security within your AWS environment. This cloud native backup tool lets you create backup policies for your EC2 instances and utilizes block level and incremental EBS snapshots. There is also the ability to run a secondary copy to S3 job within the same policy. The copy to S3 option will not only will reduce storage costs but it will also provide you with additional cloud mobility options. Along with fast 1 click restore it also enables you to setup a DR copy of your instance backup to a different region.

N2WS also provides application consistent backups for MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint and also supports VSS on Windows Systems. If you check on their website NASA even use it which is impressive if you ask me!

With all that said let’s get started!

Log into your AWS Console and go to IAM, then click on the user account that we are going to modify and click Add Permissions

Then click on Attach existing policies directly

Then click on Create Policy

Then in the new window select the JSON tab and highlight and delete the entries located in there by default. Then paste in the JSON policy settings which are available for download from the N2WS support site.

Then click Review Policy

Then enter a Name and Description for the new policy and click Create Policy

You should then see the following box appear

Now jump back over to your user settings page and click on the Add Permissions Tab

Then click Attach existing Policies directly

Then use the search box to find the policy we just created, select the tick box and click Review

Then when prompted click Add Permissions

Next lets create a new Role. Select Roles from the left hand menu and then click on Create role

Click on EC2 and then click Next to move onto the permissions section

Use the search box to locate the policy we created earlier and then click on the tick box. Then click Next

On the Add Tags screen just click Next

Give the new role a Name and click Create role

Then you should see the following box appear

Next click Services and select EC2, then click on Running Instances

Then click on Launch Instance

Next click on AWS Marketplace in the left hand menu and then search for N2WS. For this example we will be using the Free Trial version but find the version that suits your use case and click Select

You will then be presented with the following screen, click Continue

Now it’s time to select the Instance Type. For this trial run I am just going to use the t2.micro version which is part of the free tier. Select the Instance Type that suits your use case and click Next: Configure Instance Details

On the Configure Instance Details page select a VPC that is able to route to the internet and is able to contact each of the other AWS endpoints. For our example I am just using the default as this is part of my free tier account. Then for the IAM Role, select the N2WS_Role we created earlier. If this is in a production environment it’s also a good idea to select Protect against accidental termination.

Then click Next: Add Storage

The default storage size that comes with our instance will be fine for this example so click Next: Add Tags

Click on Add Tag then set the Key to be Name and the Value to be N2WS, then click Next: Configure Security Group

For the Security Group I am going to use the default settings and allow it to create a new security group. You can also lock down access to your instance from your static IP. Then click Review and Launch

Review your settings and click Launch

Then select Create a new key pair from the drop down menu and enter a name for the key pair. Then click Download Key Pair. Once complete click Launch Instances

Your new N2WS instance will now be created

Now if we switch back over to our Running Instances in the EC2 section you will see the newly created N2WS instance there and the instance state should be running

Now it’s time for us to try and access our newly deployed N2WS instance. From the same screen copy the IPv4 Public IP Address and paste that into your browser https://PublicIPAddress

Accept the certificate error as we are currently only using a self-signed cert and then you should be presented with the following screen

From the EC2 Running Instances page copy your Instance ID and paste it into the box provided on the N2WS screen

Then click Next

Accept the License Agreement and click Next

Then select I’m starting a free trial from the drop down box and then enter a username and password to get started with our free trial. Then click Next

Select the time zone and click Next

Select your usage report preference and click Next

Fill out the fields below to register the system and once complete click Configure System

Then wait while N2WS aka Cloud Protection Manager is configured

Once complete you will see the following screen. Click on the link to get started

Enter the user account details from the admin user we created earlier and click Sign In

You will now be logged into the N2WS Console. Notice the text in the middle of the screen which will let you know how many days you have left of your free trial

Next we need to create an account, click on the Accounts tab on the top menu

Then click Add New Account

Enter a Name for the account and ensure that Authentication is set to CPM Instance IAM Role and click Add

The newly created account will now be displayed. Click Home

Next we need to create a Schedule. Click on the Schedules Tab and then click New Schedule

Enter a Name for the schedule and then select Repeats Every 1 Days and enter a Start Time. You can also enter an end time and select which days you would like this schedule to run. Once complete click Apply

Then new Schedule will now be displayed

Now let’s create a policy to backup one of the EC2 Instances we have running at the moment. Select the Policies Tab and click on New Policy

Enter a Policy Name and select the account we just created. Then select how many Generations to Save and click Apply. I have reduced the number of Generations to save as this is running on my free tier account

The policy will now be displayed

Now it’s time to select what we would like to backup with this Policy. From the same screen click on the Backup Targets button under the Configure column on the newly created policy

As you can see numerous options are available to you here for how you would target different areas within your AWS environment. For this example I am going to target one of my EC2 instances so click on Add Instances

Select the Instance you would like to backup (you can switch between regions here also) and click Add Selected. Then click Close

Once your instance has been added click on Back to policies

That’s it your instance has now been setup to use the newly created backup policy. You can also create a backup copy in another region by click on DR from the Configure column

Configure the following options and select the region and click Apply

I am not going to enable this feature for this example so just an fyi. You can then kick off the backup by clicking on Run ASAP from the Operations column

Then switch back over to the Backup Monitor and you will see the Status has changed to In Progress

There we go the backup was successful

Then next thing I will test out is how to restore from backup. From the same Backup Monitor window click on Recover from the Actions column

Then the Recovery Panel window will appear. From here you have the following options for recovery, Instance, Volumes Only or Explore. In this example I am going to recover the entire Instance

First I am going to switch back to my AWS console and remove the Instance we just took a backup of. If you are following along at home select the Instance, click Actions, Instance State and then Terminate. Then click on the Yes Terminate prompt

The Windows instance that I took a backup of has now been deleted. Let’s now switch back over to our N2WS console and in the Recovery Panel click on Instance in the Recover column

The Instance Recovery page will then launch, from here you can use the default entries to recovery the entire Instance. There is also an Advanced Options section which allows you to change any of the following settings for your recovered Instance

Once you have selected the options you would like, click Recover Instance

The recovery process has now started, click on Open Recovery Monitor to check the status

The EC2 Instance has been recovered successfully

Now let’s switch over to our AWS console to see if the Instance is there. As you can see below the old Instance that I terminated to simulate someone accidentally deleting is still present and will disappear on its own shortly. Then below it you can see the same Instance that I recovered from the N2WS backup and it is showing a new instance id

Now let’s connect to our restored EC2 Instance to show that it is actually available!

I hope this has helped you get started with N2WS Backup & Recovery 2.5 and stay tuned for a follow up post!

As always use the subscribe box above for new post notifications and follow me on twitter @steveonofaro

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s