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I've been trying to get my head around Amazon Web Services as a VPS provider. My understanding is a EC2 instance running Windows is basically a Windows VM, very similar to renting a VPS from a more traditional hosting provider.

I don't want to have complex backups, either to administer or to restore - if my restore involves installing SVN, MySQL, Jira, etc on a new box before I can even try to restore the backup then it's not great to me.

What I really want is a service which backs up my entire VM... if the PC running the VPS dies then the VM image is installed on a new PC and off we go again.

With Amazon being all about flexibility and elasticity, I wondered if they have this service? I can't figure it out from reading their docs.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you use EBS volumes then you don't can create backups via snapshots which is very easy to do (just a single API call or via the aws console). You can also use an EBS-based windows AMI so the whole system would be stored on EBS.

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How does a snapshot cope with 'hot' files, that are changing a lot? Like databases and so on? –  John Jan 14 '10 at 21:05
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You can flush the data and lock the database while creating a snapshot. Here's an article about it: alestic.com/2009/09/ec2-consistent-snapshot –  Tomas Markauskas Jan 15 '10 at 11:16
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