Amazon S3 Backup

This is the third tier of a backup system, the last resort if everything has been destroyed or corrupted. This script can run on a local machine or elsewhere. I chose to run it locally because the credentials are not on a publicly accessible server. The local machine copies the data from the publicly accessible servers, stores it, then sends it to S3.

The first step is to sign up at Amazon for an S3 account, create a bucket and a user. Limit the privileges for the user as much as possible, for this script, the user needs only the putObject privilege.

The script is written in Ruby. It reads JSON configuration file which contains all the servers, files and databases to be backed up.

JSON file syntax:

"email": "user@localhost",
"servers": {
"": {
"login": "username",
"password" : "password",
"databases": [ { "name": "database_name", "dbuser": "user", "dbpass": "password"} ],
"files": ["backup.tgz"] }
"s3": {
"bucket": "",
"username": "user",
"accesskeyid": "-- S3 Access Key Id --",
"secretaccesskey": "-- S3 Secret Access Key --"

Each server can include multiple databases and files. Be sure to limit the privileges for this database user to SELECT and LOCK TABLES, which makes them effectively read only. Be sure to grant remote access to the database for the backup server.

The files are to be placed in a directory where they can be retrieved with wget - in the example above it would be The intent of these files is that they contain content already publicly available. This is NOT a place to put the application configuration settings.

Each server will have a hierarchy like this:
|-- initial.tgz
`-- 20140101093022
|-- backup.tgz
`-- database_name.sql.tgz

Create initial.tgz manually - run the tar command at the top of the account, download it to your local machine, then upload it to S3. If you want to get it to S3 from the server, that's fine, just be careful not to ever leave your S3 credentials on the source server.

This is the backup script. It uses wget to get the files (you can use scp, but then you may have a credential issue), and dumps the database.


#!/usr/bin/env ruby
require 'json'
require 'net/smtp'
require 'rubygems'
require 'aws-sdk'
class ItemStatus
  def initialize(item_name, exit_status, ls_file)
    @item_name, @exit_status, @ls_file = item_name, exit_status, ls_file
  def name
    return @item_name
  def error
    return @download_exit_status != 0
json ='config/.json')
parms = JSON.load(json)
if parms["email"].nil? || parms["email"].empty?
  to_email = "user@localhost"
  to_email = parms["email"]
s3 =
  :access_key_id => parms['s3']['accesskeyid'],
  :secret_access_key => parms['s3']['secretaccesskey']
backup_dir = "servers"
bucket = s3.buckets[parms['s3']['bucket']]
backup =
parms["servers"].each_pair {|server_name, server|
  puts "Server: #{server_name}"
  if !server.empty?
    date = `date "+%Y%m%d%H%M"|tr -d "\n"`
    dir = backup_dir + "/" + server_name + "/" + date
    mkdir = `mkdir -p "#{dir}"`
    if $?.exitstatus === 0
      dir_created = true
      if !server["files"].nil? && !server["files"].empty?
        files = server["files"]
                                if (files.length > 0)
                if !server["login"].nil? && !server["password"].nil?
            files.each {|file_name|
              dir_file_name = "#{dir}/#{file_name}"
              Net::SSH.start("#{server_name}", "#{server["login"]}", :password => "#{server["password"]}") do |ssh|
      ! "#{file_name}", "#{dir_file_name}"
              `ls -l "#{dir_file_name}"`
              backup.push("#{file_name}", $?.exitstatus, `ls -l "#{dir_file_name}"`))    
            files.each {|file_name|
              dir_file_name = "#{dir}/#{file_name}"
              `wget -q http://"#{server_name}"/"#{file_name}" -O "#{dir_file_name}"`
              backup.push("#{file_name}", $?.exitstatus, `ls -l "#{dir_file_name}"`))    
      if !server["databases"].nil? && !server["databases"].empty?
        databases = server["databases"]
        if (databases.length > 0)
          databases.each {|db|
            dbvalues = db.values_at("name", "dbuser", "dbpass").delete_if {|v| v.nil? || v.empty?}
            if dbvalues.length === 3
              dir_file_name = "#{dir}/#{db["name"]}.sql"
              dump = `mysqldump -C #{db["name"]} -u"#{db["dbuser"]}" -p"#{db["dbpass"]}" -h"#{server_name}" > "#{dir_file_name}"`
              backup.push(["name"], $?.exitstatus, `ls -l "#{dir_file_name}"`))
              tar_file_name = dir_file_name + ".tgz"
              tar = `tar czf #{tar_file_name} #{dir_file_name}`
              backup.push(, $?.exitstatus, `ls -l "#{tar_file_name}"`))
      dir_created = false
  error ={|item| item.error}
  if error.length == 0
    `find -mindepth 1 -mtime +8 | xargs --no-run-if-empty rm -rf`
  msg = <<END_OF_MESSAGE
To: Me #{to_email}
Subject: #{server_name} backup status
  if !server.empty?
    if dir_created
      msg = msg + "Created #{dir} okay\n\n"
      if backup.length > 0
        msg = msg + "Files\n"
        backup.each {|v|
          msg = msg + "\t" + v.to_s
        msg = msg + "\nColumns\n\t1. Source\n\t2. Exit Status\n\t3. File Information\n"
      msg = msg + "mkdir #{dir} failed"
    msg = msg + "No backup configuration"
  msg = msg + "\n\n\n"
    Net::SMTP.start('localhost', 25) do |smtp|
      smtp.send_message msg,'amazon@localhost', to_email
    puts "Mail send failed"

Finally, create a cron job to run the script as needed.

It is assumed that version control for the code is handled elsewhere. This backup is for data, with an emergency copy of the code. If the code is updated, it must be manually updated.

A note about leaving the password in the config file. I understand it is a security issue. That's why this is running on a local machine. Is it completely secure? No. But it isn't on a publicly accessible server either. Could I spend more time making it secure? Absolutely. Am I going to? Probably not.