Druva's Long-Term Retention Reduces the Storage Cost of Infrequently-Accessed Amazon EC2 Backups

Akshay Panchmukh, Product Manager

Managing data has always played an essential role in technological innovation, and with the advent of AI and analytics, it has become even more critical. Data empowers innovation and helps businesses measure key metrics, enabling them to make data-driven decisions. However, managing data can be expensive and difficult, especially when dealing with an unimaginable amount of data in the AWS cloud. This is where Druva's solution for long-term retention of Amazon EC2 backups comes in, helping enterprises to store their data safely and cost-effectively.

The main focus of this post is the benefits of Druva's solution for the long-term retention of Amazon EC2 backups. This solution addresses the challenges of managing data in the AWS cloud allowing businesses to achieve a reduction in storage costs for the secure air-gapped Amazon EC2 backups for the long term.

Why Long-Term Retention (LTR) is crucial for Amazon EC2 Backups

After talking to our customers and industry experts who are heavy cloud adopters and rely strongly on Cloud infrastructure, we have identified six significant reasons to have a long-term retention (LTR) strategy for Amazon EC2 backups:


Retaining EBS snapshots incurs additional costs, such as storage and retrieval fees, which increase as the size and number of snapshots grow. Carefully considering the frequency and duration of retaining data is essential to minimize costs.


Depending on your industry or business and organizational data retention policies, you may be required to retain data backups for a certain period of time to comply with legal or regulatory requirements.

Disaster recovery

Long-term retention ensures that you have access to data backups from an earlier point in time, which can be critical for disaster recovery scenarios.

Data retention policies

Your organization may have policies in place that require you to retain data and backups for a certain period of time, such as for statutory and auditing purposes or simply to ensure access to historical data.

Business continuity

In the event of a system failure or other disruption, having long-term backups can help you quickly restore critical systems and minimize downtime, which is especially important for businesses that rely heavily on technology to operate.

Historical analysis

Retaining backups over a longer period can allow you to perform historical analysis on your data, identifying trends, understanding patterns, and making data-driven decisions.

The Lifecycle of Amazon EC2 Snapshots and the Impacts of Druva's Solution

Flow chart

EC2 backups help drive your RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) strategy. RTO is the maximum amount of time that an organization is willing to wait for its IT systems to be restored after a disaster and RPO is the maximum amount of data loss that an organization is willing to accept in the event of a disaster.

The EC2 snapshot contains data from the EBS volumes attached to that instance, and Druva's solution creates EC2 snapshots using Amazon Web Services (AWS) native snapshot functionality. When a snapshot is created, Druva will first request to freeze the file system to ensure data consistency. Druva requests the AWS native snapshot service to create an Amazon EBS snapshot, which is stored in your Amazon S3 for the number of days you want. Initially, the snapshot is in the hot storage tier, optimized for frequent and fast access to data.

Druva also provides the ability to create EC2 backups in an air-gapped environment provided by Druva Cloud to protect your data from ransomware. This warm storage tier is optimized for less frequent access to data but still offers fast retrieval times. In Druva's case, it can lead to up to 50% more storage savings.

New! A third tier can be defined once data exceeds a certain age threshold. EC2 backups can be moved to Druva’s infrequent access and cold tier for it to stay as long as required as part of your backup strategy. All EC2 backups are still deduped and air-gapped, available whenever needed, and providing more storage-cost benefits.

Why you shouldn’t always keep your data in the Hot Storage tier (AWS S3 storage)

You might be thinking, if the hot tier gives you the least RPO and RTO and the highest availability performances then you should always keep EC2 snapshots in the hot storage tier in the AWS environment. We have done some approximate cost impact analysis based on some assumptions in case you think of keeping your Amazon EC2 snapshots in the hot storage tier always. 

Cost analysis

Let's understand how, using an example of 100TB of source volume with 80% utilization, when stored in S3 storage for a long time may impact your cloud budget.

Stage 1: Enterprise identifies the Amazon EC2 and EBS resources that need to be protected.

Stage 2: Enterprise automates the backup configuration using policies and selects the frequency at which the Amazon EC2 snapshots are to be created, sets the retention as 180 days per their compliance requirements, and decides to keep an original copy in US-EAST-1 and an additional copy in US-WEST-2 for ransomware protection and availability when disaster strikes. When the backup policy runs, it creates the first full EC2 snapshot with 80TB (As only 80% volume utilization) and later it’s incremental.

Stage 3: Assuming a 1% daily change rate of the 100TB original EBS volume size, this will add an additional 180TB as 1% of 100TB is 1TB and the Amazon EC2 snapshot is retained for 180 days. This makes for a total of 260TB of AWS EBS volume stored in the Amazon S3 bucket. 

Stage 4: To store an Amazon EC2 snapshot in an Amazon S3 bucket in US-EAST-1, it is charged $0.05 per GB/Month. So, to store 260TB of EBS volume size will lead to $13,000/Month. The enterprise also wanted to maintain an additional copy in US-WEST-2.

Stage 5: They will be charged to transfer data from one AWS region to another AWS region, depending on the region it is transferred to. In this case, copying from US-EAST-1 to US-WEST-2 will be charged $0.02 per GB, a one-time cost. This means, the enterprise will pay $5,200 as a one-time charge to transfer 260TB of Amazon EBS volume.

Since they are storing the exact same snapshots in the US-WEST-2, they will be charged an additional $13,000/month.

Stage 6: Finally, your total AWS bill for 260TB volume source data will be approximately $26,000 monthly and $5,200 one-time per our assumptions of certain factors.

The best course is to have a backup storage plan that adapts to the needs of the data you are storing. Aging out older infrequently-accessed data to more cost-effective storage tiers helps solve this while maintaining the same convenient access methods in a seamless restore process that doesn't change regardless of where the backups are kept.

Druva’s solution for Long-Term Retention of EC2 backups in Cold Tier

With EC2 backup to Druva Cloud’s warm tier, you already achieve savings up to 50% on storage costs with best-in-class deduplication along with air-gapped solutions for ransomware protection.

Now, with Druva’s latest solution for Long Term Retention (LTR), you can leverage Druva’s infrequent access tier (Cold) for EC2 backups using a simplified, policy-based solution to automatically move EC2 backed-up data to the cold tier for an additional as well as optimize TCO and avail up to additional 20% of reduced storage costs for the EC2 backups that are part of your backup strategy and are required to have infrequent access.

With the latest release from Druva for EC2 backups you can now enable Long Term Retention (LTR), monitor your savings via LTR, and restore snapshots from the cold tier. Long Term Retention (LTR) is available only for the backup policies with the LTR-eligible retention period for all Enterprise and Elite customers.

For more details, please checkout out Druva’s documentation for LTR or contact Druva Support.

Final Words

As more enterprises move their workloads to the cloud, the demand for reliable and scalable backup solutions continues to increase. EC2 backups in Druva Cloud offer a convenient and cost-effective way to manage backups in the cloud, which is likely to increase their adoption by enterprises. When your data protection strategy for EC2 backup requires you to store backups for a long time for cost, compliance, audit, or disaster recovery purposes, you can always look to storing your EC2 backups in safe air-gapped, and low-cost storage. Druva’s long-term retention (LTR) for air-gapped EC2 backups will not only provide increased ransomware resilience but also reduce storage costs by a further 20% to provide you with the best of all worlds, with zero compromises.