Backup to Amazon S3 with NAKIVO Backup & Replication

With seamless protection of your data across platforms, NAKIVO Backup & Replication allows you to back up your workloads to Amazon S3, a highly scalable cloud storage service for terabytes of data. NAKIVO Backup & Replication sends backups and backup copies of VMs, physical machines, and Amazon EC2 instances directly to Amazon S3 and ensures that they can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.

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Backup to Amazon S3 at a Glance

Direct Backup

Direct Backup

Send backups of your production machines directly to Amazon S3

Backup Copy

Backup Copy

Keep a copy of your primary backup in Amazon S3 to guarantee data availability

Instant VM Boot

Instant VM Boot

Boot your VMs directly from backups in Amazon S3 for near-instant recovery

Ransomware Protection

Ransomware Protection

Apply S3 Object Lock to ensure backup data immutability for as long as you need

File Recovery

File Recovery

Restore individual files and folders without starting a full backup recovery

Object Recovery

Object Recovery

Restore objects of apps like Exchange, Active Directory, and SQL Server


  • Improved Data Availability
    With a copy of your backups stored in Amazon S3, your data is safe and accessible even if your primary backup is unavailable or you’re dealing with hardware failure in your production environment.
  • Uninterrupted Operations
    In the event of an emergency, you can swiftly boot your business-critical VM or physical server directly from the backup in Amazon S3 to a VMware virtual machine to avoid disruption to your operations.
  • Greater Efficiency
    Set policies and backup schedules to simplify and automate the management of routine and error-prone tasks. This way you improve productivity and boost efficiency.
  • Ransomware Protection
    Apply S3 Object Lock to keep your data immutable using the WORM model and protect your backups from accidental deletions, overwriting and ransomware.

Get the Most Out of Backup to Amazon S3 with NAKIVO Backup & Replication

Watch this short video to learn about the benefits of using NAKIVO Backup & Replication for backups to Amazon S3 to protect your VMs, app data and physical machines.

Why back up to Amazon S3 with NAKIVO Backup & Replication

Back Up Directly to Amazon S3

By using NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can send backups and backup copies of your production machines, e.g., a Windows server backup, to Amazon S3. After an initial full backup, you can choose to perform incremental backups to send only new data to Amazon S3. This way you get faster and smaller backups and save on cloud storage costs. Backup to Amazon S3 with NAKIVO Backup & Replication simplifies the management of daily backups of terabytes of data that can be accessed at any time and from anywhere. You can also use Amazon S3 to store an additional copy of your backups, thus ensuring continuous availability of your data.

Recover Full VMs and Servers

With your backups in Amazon S3, you can respond to a VM or physical machine failure with the multiple recovery options in NAKIVO Backup & Replication. For the fastest recovery, boot VMs directly from compressed backups with Flash VM Boot and resume your workflow in seconds. Or perform a full recovery of your VMs and physical servers directly from Amazon S3. You can also near instantly recover Windows and Linux physical servers and workstations from backups to VMware VMs while preserving data consistency. Even if you are running an infrastructure with hundreds of servers, you can have them running in minutes in the event of a failure.

Advanced Backup Copy

Using different types of backup media and locations is your best bet against a single point of failure. To avoid losing access to your data during a failure, send a copy of your backups to Amazon S3 or copy your backups from the cloud to tape or disk. To save storage space, copy only the most important backups and their recovery points. NAKIVO Backup & Replication allows you to manage both on-site and remote backup storage locations from one centralized dashboard. This means simpler and more efficient administration and improved visibility into data protection activities.

Recover Individual Files and Objects

With Backup to Amazon S3, you can instantly recover individual files and folders to their original location or to a different machine or folder without initiating a full-scale recovery of a source machine. You can also restore objects of Microsoft applications such as Exchange, Active Directory, and SQL Server. Recover the files and objects you need directly from compressed backups. Just find the backup, choose the recovery point and start the recovery process. Use the advanced search functionality in NAKIVO Backup & Replication to search and browse for the items you need.


Ransomware-Proof Backups

NAKIVO Backup & Replication allows you to use the S3 Object Lock functionality to protect your backups in Amazon S3 from ransomware and other malicious or accidental deletions. By enabling S3 Object Lock for a specified retention period, you specify how long you want your recovery points in Amazon S3 to remain immutable. This means that objects are stored in Compliance Mode using the write-once-read-many (WORM) model. No authorized user or third party can overwrite or modify objects until the expiration of this retention period nor can they modify or shorten this period.

Policy-Based Data Protection

You can improve productivity and save time by automating some of the routine backup management tasks. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can automate sending backups and backup copies to Amazon S3 by assigning backup policies to your protected machines and workloads. This means that you would no longer need to monitor your environment for changes and manage the newly added machines manually. You can also schedule your routine backup activities, thus saving even more time and preventing job overlaps. With tasks automated, you can focus your resources on other core work activities and minimize the risk of human error.

Backup Data Size Reduction

NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides built-in data compression for maximum space savings in the cloud. Choose from three compression levels: lower compression levels are faster with a smaller CPU load while maximal space savings are more resource-intensive. Alternatively, compression can be disabled for backups and backup copies sent to Amazon S3. Whichever option you choose, when it comes to recovery, you can restore entire machines or individual items right from a compressed backup, without decompressing it first. Reducing the size of your backups saves cloud storage space and hence the associated costs, which is especially important for expanding infrastructures.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication Licensing

Choose the pricing model that works best for your business

You can use NAKIVO Backup & Replication by purchasing either a perpetual license or a subscription license. The Backup for Amazon S3 functionality is available in the following editions of NAKIVO Backup & Replication: Pro Essentials, Enterprise Essentials, Pro, Enterprise, or Enterprise Plus. You can also download the 15-day free trial edition to try sending backups of your workloads to Amazon S3.

Perpetual licenses are charged per CPU socket for indefinite use and include 1 year of free Standard Support. Standard Support gives you access to technical support via phone, chat and email during business hours.

Subscription licenses are charged per workload and include 24/7 Support. A workload can be a single VM, an Amazon EC2 instance, 1 Oracle database, 1 server or 3 workstations. 24/7 Support gives you round-the-clock technical support.

For more details on pricing and editions, see NAKIVO Backup & Replication Pricing and Editions.

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  • Fast deployment. Install NAKIVO Backup & Replication and run your first backup job in just two minutes.
  • Protect virtual, physical, cloud and SaaS environments. Perform backups for VMware, Hyper-V, Amazon EC2, Nutanix AHV VMs; physical servers and workstations; Microsoft 365 application data; and Oracle databases via RMAN.
  • Back up directly to NAS appliances, cloud or tape. Send backups to NAS appliances, the cloud (Amazon S3, Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure) or tape.
  • Instant recovery. Recover VMs, files and application objects back to original or custom locations. Boot VMs on target hosts directly from virtual or physical machine backups.
  • Site Recovery. Automate disaster recovery with unique failback and failover workflows for different disaster scenarios. Perform non-disruptive test recoveries for guaranteed disaster recovery.
  • Backup size reduction. Save storage space with incremental backups, global deduplication, multiple compression levels and swap data exclusion.
  • Backup speed boost. Shrink backup windows with LAN-free data transfer and network acceleration. Cut backup times to NAS appliances by up to half.
  • For more details on pricing and editions, see NAKIVO Backup & Replication Pricing and Editions.

What You Get from Backup to Amazon S3 with NAKIVO Backup & Replication

Ransomware Protection

Protecting backup data from a ransomware attack is always a challenge. With Amazon S3 Object Lock support in NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can ensure that your backup data is protected from ransomware and other malicious or accidental changes. Once you enable S3 Object Lock for a recovery point, no one, not even users with admin rights, can delete, modify or encrypt the data for a user-defined retention period. This functionality ensures that your data is immutable for as long as you need to ensure better ransomware protection and ransomware recovery, and to meet your industry’s governance and compliance standards.

Automated Data Protection

NAKIVO Backup & Replication makes it easy to manage and protect a growing virtual infrastructure. Use Policy-Based Data Protection to save time and minimize retention gaps. Instead of searching for each VM, instance or physical machine that you need to protect, you can set policies to schedule backups for multiple production machines from a centralized dashboard. Policies can be set according to several parameters, such as name, size and tag. This way, if you want only certain production machines to be backed up to Amazon S3, simply create a policy with unique parameters and let NAKIVO Backup & Replication take care of the rest.

Optimized Storage Space

You pay for each GB of data stored in Amazon S3. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can use incremental backups and compression to minimize backup sizes and hence pay less for storage. After an initial full backup, incremental backups only transfer changed blocks of data to the Amazon S3 backup repository. Use compression to shrink backup sizes even further, earning additional savings on storage. NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers three compression levels: fast, medium and best. Choose the balance between speed and size that best fits your needs.

Web-Based Centralized Management

Switching between different data protection interfaces for each environment raises the chance for mistakes to happen and retention policy gaps to emerge. Instead, use NAKIVO Backup & Replication to send your backups to AWS S3, local devices and off-site storage locations. The intuitive, web-based UI lets you run backups and recoveries on any device, at any time, to any supported destination. All you have to do is create an Amazon S3 backup repository, choose the data you want to back up, select the backup destinations and run the backups.

Improved Operational Efficiency

During peak office hours, sending backups to AWS S3 may cause network congestion, preventing your business applications from running smoothly and affecting user experience. NAKIVO Backup & Replication includes advanced bandwidth throttling so that you can protect your data without sacrificing operational efficiency. This advanced feature lets you choose exactly how much bandwidth backups use on a per-job or global basis. Backups do not take more bandwidth than the limit you assign. If more bandwidth becomes available, you can speed up the backup job by raising the limit at any time.

Instant Recovery

Store VM backups and backup copies in Amazon S3 to ensure that your virtual infrastructure is protected. NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports full VM recoveries for VMware, Hyper-V, Nutanix AHV and Amazon EC2. If you need to rapidly resume operations after a disruption, use Instant VM Recovery to boot VMware and Hyper-V VMs on target hosts directly from backups stored in Amazon S3. You do not have to restore the source machine first, significantly reducing RTOs. This recovery type also provides a quick and reliable method for creating testing and development environments.

Granular Recovery Flexibility

Files and objects can be lost, deleted or corrupted at any time. Object and file level recoveries give you the capacity to quickly restore exactly what you need back to the original or custom location. Both recovery types restore items directly from compressed backups in Amazon S3 without running a full recovery, saving you time and resources. You can easily locate items by searching and browsing through backups using the Global Search feature. NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports granular recoveries for Microsoft Exchange, SQL and Active Directory objects and common file system types.

Follow the Golden Rule for Backups

To keep your data safe in any failure scenario, there’s nothing more reliable than the 3-2-1 backup rule. First, you should keep at least three copies of your data: your production data plus two backups. Second, store your data on at least two different storage media. Third, keep at least one copy of your data off-site, for example, in the cloud or on tape cartridges. NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a perfect backup- to-Amazon-S3 software for implementing this three-pronged approach. This way you rest assured that your data remains available and recoverable even if you lose the other copies.

Create a Schedule for Backups

When performing multiple backups on a daily basis, schedule your backup jobs to avoid job overlaps and prevent network congestion. You can easily manage your schedule via Calendar Dashboard, the built-in functionality of NAKIVO Backup & Replication. Calendar Dashboard provides you with a calendar view of all your past (including completed and stopped), running and planned jobs, which helps you easily find windows for scheduling your next jobs. Having set your backup jobs to start automatically at a specific time, you can minimize the need for manual intervention.

Compress Your Backup Data

When compressing your backup data, you can decrease the space required for storing your backups, hence the associated cloud storage costs. NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers three compression levels. Fast offers the lowest compression capabilities and it is the fastest to perform. Fast doesn’t consume much CPU and provides sufficient space savings. Medium requires more CPU and saves more space than the Fast level. The Best compression level offers maximal space savings and requires more CPU resources and more time to run than the other levels.

Create a Comprehensive Retention Policy

Retention policy gaps are a common reason for data loss, which is why it is important to have both fresh backups for instant restores and data archives for regulatory and compliance purposes. Each successful backup session creates a recovery point you can roll back to, and the retention policy defines the number of recovery points you want to retain. NAKIVO Backup & Replication relies on the grandfather-father-son (GFS) retention scheme. This scheme allows you to save storage space while retaining the recovery points for any period that you need.


Automate the Protection of Your VMs

Create policy-based rules to automate backup jobs for your VMware and Hyper-V VMs and Amazon EC2 instances and save time on routine backup management. Policies can be based on the machine’s name, size, tag, location, etc. or a combination of these parameters. For example, you can create and run a backup job for VMs that are larger than 4 GB, have more than 2 CPUs and their names contain “Windows”. NAKIVO Backup & Replication regularly scans your infrastructure for changes. When a new VM matches the policies, it is automatically added to the corresponding job.

Always Verify Your Backups

Always test your backups to make sure they are valid and you can use them for safe recoveries. The mere fact you have a backup does not guarantee that your data is recoverable. And the worst time to discover that a backup is corrupted is when it’s most needed. NAKIVO Backup & Replication allows you to instantly verify VMware and Hyper-V backups once the Backup to Amazon S3 job has completed by automatically launching the VM from the newly created backup, waiting for the OS to boot and taking a screenshot before discarding the test-recovered VM.

Ensure Data Integrity and Consistency

When it comes to meeting industry-specific retention requirements or implementing legal holds, your number one priority is ensuring that your backup data integrity and consistency is uncompromised during that period. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can meet the strictest compliance and governance retention standards by applying S3 Object Lock to your recovery points. This way your data is immutable and protected from ransomware and accidental deletion or modification. No third party or authorized user, not even a user with admin permissions, can shorten or modify the retention period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need Backup to Amazon S3?

With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can send backups and backup copies of your VMs and physical machines to on-site and off-site backup storage destinations, including to Amazon S3, from a single centralized dashboard. You also benefit from features that boost performance and simplify management. In addition, recoveries, whether full or granular, are flexible and fast.

Are there backup size reduction features in NAKIVO Backup & Replication for Backup to Amazon S3?

With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can use incremental backups after the initial full backup to send only new data to Amazon S3. In addition, you can enable compression to further reduce the size of backup data. Recovery is performed directly from compressed backups. These methods help you save storage space and associated costs in Amazon S3.

Does NAKIVO Backup & Replication offer granular recovery?

Yes. NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides multiple recovery options. In addition to full recoveries for VMs and physical machines, you can restore individual files and objects back to source or custom locations without running a full recovery first. Instant recovery includes restoring objects of applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory and Microsoft SQL.

How much data can I back up to Amazon S3 with NAKIVO Backup & Replication?

Amazon S3 does not impose a limit on the amount of data you can store. However, each Amazon S3 backup repository in NAKIVO Backup & Replication can store up to 10 PB of data. Backup repositories are folders created by NAKIVO Backup & Replication to store your new and existing backups. Once you exceed the 10-PB limit, you can create another Amazon S3 backup repository.

What data can I back up to Amazon S3?

You can back up all the virtual, physical and cloud environments supported by NAKIVO Backup & Replication. This includes VMware, Hyper-V, Nutanix AHV virtual machines; Amazon EC2 instances; Windows-based and Linux-based servers and workstations; and Oracle databases via RMAN.

What are the benefits of Amazon S3?

Amazon S3 offers cost-effective, scalable and highly available cloud storage. You pay only for the storage capacity you use, which means no wasted storage costs. You can scale up or down the amount of backup data you store in Amazon S3 without paying minimum or overage fees. Plus, Amazon S3 is designed to provide 99.99% data availability and durability.

How can I protect my backup data in Amazon S3 from ransomware?

You can use the S3 Object Lock feature to ensure that your backups and backup copies stored in Amazon S3 buckets are immutable. With S3 Object Lock, objects are stored using a write-once-read-many (WORM) model, which prevents your backup data from being deleted, altered or encrypted for a specified period.

Does NAKIVO Backup & Replication include administrative and management tools?

Yes. Increase security with Role-Based Access Controls (RBAC). Automate data protection activities by scheduling jobs to run daily, weekly or monthly or create a custom schedule. Assign policies to your data protection tasks to further improve productivity and boost efficiency. Track completed and future tasks on the Calendar Dashboard.

How often can I run backups to Amazon S3?

You can run backups to Amazon S3 as frequently as you like. You can choose to perform a backup at any time or automate backups to run hourly, daily, weekly or monthly or create a custom schedule. Businesses should evaluate storage costs and network bandwidth availability before determining their data protection schedules.

Which Amazon S3 storage classes does NAKIVO Backup & Replication support?

NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports S3 Standard objects and buckets. S3 Standard is the “general purpose” Amazon S3 storage class for frequently accessed data. It provides high availability and durability, allowing you to retrieve the data you need when you need it.

Can I try Backup to Amazon S3 for free?

Yes. The full-featured Free Trial does not have any feature or capacity limitations. It contains all the tools you need to protect your virtual, physical, cloud and SaaS environments. You can try all the supported backup destinations and other performance features. NAKIVO Backup & Replication is designed to combine enterprise-grade functionality with remarkable ease of use. You need mere minutes to install, configure and run your first backup.

Ransomware Protection with NAKIVO Backup & Replication in Amazon S3

Send backups and backup copies to Amazon S3 for swift recovery after a ransomware attack

Follow the 3-2-1 rule and keep one backup in the cloud to avoid a single point of failure. Use NAKIVO Backup & Replication to send backups and backup copies to Amazon S3 for easy access and fast recovery after a ransomware attack. Use Job Chaining to automate backup copies after a successful backup to onsite storage and to save production resources when sending backups to a public cloud. If your production environment is unavailable due to a ransomware attack, use the backups in the cloud to ensure availability and business continuity without paying the ransom.

Make cloud backups ransomware-proof with S3 Object Lock

Backup data can also be targeted by ransomware. To protect backups against ransomware, NAKIVO Backup & Replication integrates with the S3 Object Lock functionality, which allows making backups stored in Amazon S3 immutable for a specified period. The immutability feature uses the write-once-read-many (WORM) model to prevent backups from accidental or malicious deletion, modification or encryption. Once set, the immutability period cannot be modified or lifted by anyone, not even the root user.

Prevent unauthorized access to Amazon S3 backups with 2FA and RBAC

The basis for any solid anti-ransomware strategy starts with preventing unauthorized access to your backups and other data protection activities. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an additional security layer for access to NAKIVO Backup & Replication. With 2FA enabled, a unique code provided by the Google Authenticator mobile app or sent by email is needed to access the solution and backups. Use role-based access control (RBAC) to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your data protection activities. RBAC and 2FA help you restrict access to data protection activities and help prevent unauthorized access and ransomware infection using stolen credentials.

Recover after ransomware attacks with backups stored in Amazon S3

To restore data after a ransomware attack, NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers a set of flexible recovery options. Recover files and application objects from backups stored in Amazon S3. Supported apps include Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server and Active Directory. Recover full VMs to production or use the Flash VM Boot feature to boot a VM directly from Amazon S3 backups for fast recovery. The Instant Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) feature allows you to restore Windows/Linux physical servers and workstations as VMware vSphere VMs if the source machine is infected with ransomware.

“With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, the university saved time and money, while gaining peace of mind. I now spend the majority of my time not on backup administration, but on other IT-related tasks.”.
Edwardson A. Pedragosa Jr., Network Administrator at the Asia-Pacific International University
Boise Cascade
“NAKIVO’s fast VM backup and VM replication keep our critical VMs running at all times. If our VMware VMs failed, we would only need a couple of minutes to recover with VM failover and failback.”
Noel Peden, Applications Development Supervisor at Boise Cascade
“With NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on QNAP NAS, the backup is 2.5X faster! We found a professional solution that covers all our needs, saves money, and provides reliability.”
Mickaël Masquelin, IT Department Manager at the IEMN
“With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, every hour that we save on VM backup administration can be translated into cost savings. NAKIVO Backup & Replication is resource-efficient in terms of installation and configuration. NAKIVO Backup & Replication is just what we needed.”
Samuel Riley, IT Manager at MyoKardia
One World Direct
“In NAKIVO Backup & Replication, we found a stable VM backup solution that lets us back up VMs faster and recover VMs in minutes, which is extremely helpful in order to keep our business operations available at all times.”
Steven Schmidt, System Administrator at One World Direct

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