AWS S3 – a ShoreTel backup strategy!
January 4th, 2015
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a range of storage options that make them our first choice in cloud based storage solutions and an ideal location for our ShoreTel data backup. In fact, now that ShoreTel has moved to virtualized hardware for voice gateways, we have moved our entire ShoreTel deployment into the AWS EC2 environment, but that is the subject of a separate blog! AWS is an ideal solution for backing up your ShoreTel configuration. You can choose to back up to the Glacier storage service if you can stand a few hours of down time retrieving the backup files, but S3 (simple, scalable, storage) is the best solution for setting up a shared network drive to faciliate your ShoreTel Server backups. Backups should be a regular part of your IT hygene and should automate the process of securing data offsite. Enabling AWS S3 is a very simple, cost effective and can be fully automated. You can also take advantage of other AWS services like SNS push notification services to send verificaiton and administration alerts. Given the global foot print of AWS, the growing base of AWS data and availability centers, even your backup solution can have a backup solution! AWS is an infrastructure as a service so you will still need to manage the process.  The provide facilities, but you share responsbility. For example, you wil need to find a client side solution to enable your backup. You can use an AWS provided sample API if you want to write an interface into an exsiting backup solution but most deployments can more than benefit with a simple software solution installed directly on your ShoreTel server. We recommend either the TntDrive or the Cloudberry solution, both are excellent and even have freeware and trial versions! Opening an AWS account is very easy to accomplish and if you already have an Amazon book buying account you are already good to go! Just log into AWS, bring up the menu page and select S3 from the storage and content delivery options. It will take about two minutes to create a an S3 "bucket" and apply then apply a security profile! You will need to note your identity and security keys as they are used to "log into" your new bucket. Once the bucket is created, you can then go to your ShoreTel server and establish a shared drive using one of the client side solutions like TntDrive or Cloudberry.  (You might also want to check out the comparison of other backup solutions for Mac based computers). The ShoreTel Data file still contains all the information you need to rebuild your system from a bare metal server and you can also make use of the ShoreTel provided backup scripts to further assist your efforts. Our standard best practice is to include AWS cloud backup as part of our ShoreTel support agreements for all DrVoIP clients so there is no reason for any company, regardless of size, not to have a current backup of their ShoreTel deployment safely stored off line! DrVoIP will provide free ShoreTel backup for any ShoreTel system owner that asks us to do so! The DrVoIP Video walks you through the process of setting up backup using AWS S3, from bucket creation to client side install!