Skeddly: Automate Amazon EC2 backups, snapshots, sizing and more

Posted on December 06, 2012
skeddly

Skeddly is an amazing online tool which will save you money and time by streamlining and automating your backup tasks, start/stop/resize instances, automatically create EC2 snapshots of individual EBS volumes and much more. Admittedly, I only use Skeddly to automate the backup and rotation of my AWS/EBS backups.

What You can Do with Skeddly

I’m going to share seven of the most popular tasks. Those popular tasks are to:

  • Automatically Start / Stop EC2 instances
  • Create / Delete EC2 snapshot backups
  • Create / Delete AMI images
  • Create / Delete RDS Snapshot
  • Registering / de-register instances with load balancers
  • Grow EBS Volumes action to simulate the growing of an EBS volume.
  • Generate Resource Report to create a regular report of Amazon AWS resources that may be costing them money.
  • Automatically Change EC2 Instance Type to increase/decrease EC2 power as the server load changes.

The Two Sides of Skeddly

Skeddly provides users with two ways to deal with backups; either by setting up your own backup schedule, or by completely automating the process through a ‘managed instance’. Let’s take a look at both and let’s start with actions.

Individual Actions to automate backups

Your first option for automating backups of an Amazon EC2 web server is to create individual Actions to set up your backup schedule. There are five ways to do this:

  1. Create an EBS snapshot of an individual EBS volume.
  2. “Backup” an entire EC2 instance, which creates EBS snapshots of all EBS volumes attached to an EC2 instance.
  3. Create AMI images of an EC2 instance.
  4. Create RDS snapshots.
  5. Delete EBS snapshots, RDS snapshots and AMI images as they get old, keeping only the newer ones.

Don’t think the above list is all the performance you’ll get out of Skeddly. The above Actions also allow for multiple options such as dealing with AWS resource tags. These options, along with a range of scheduling options, makes Skeddly highly customizable. In other words, you can create the backup strategy that suits you needs and saves your business time and money.

Managed Instances for rapid automation

An easy way for me to describe managed instances is to compare them to the automatic setting on a digital SLR camera. You push the button and get a great picture while the camera automates all the settings and does all the heavy lifting. Managed instances are an “easy button” for EC2 starts and stops and backups. A user creates a Managed Instance and Skeddly manages all the individual actions behind the scenes. This is the perfect option for beginners to start benefiting from the features of Skeddly while learning the basics of the software.

A note on Skeddly’s security

Most users like myself are very cautious about their security keys. The folks at Skeddly understand this and make it a point to encourage their customers to use very restricted Amazon access keys with Skeddly. A great feature that will help you do this is the built-in IAM policy generator. This tool examines the actions that you have defined for a particular access key and creates an IAM policy that is restricted to only the Amazon AWS functions needed to perform your Skeddly actions.

Summary

So there you have it; my brief introduction to Skeddly. The bottom line? It saves me a great deal of time, of which I never seem to have enough. I love the simplicity of the features of the software and the complexity of the benefits its offers to i. Skeddly is the SaaS solution I would recommend for anyone needing to automate Amazon server backups.

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