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Data Backups Design
After selecting Amazon's S3 as the backup medium, a number of other factors were weighed and considered for implementation as a part of our backup solution. Here are some of the items that have made their way into the final design:
Application-specific components
  • Duplicate prevention. Previously, changing IMAP message flags would cause a new copy of a message to be stored on the system. Message and folder information is now stored separately. This allows search indexes to be rebuilt very quickly after restoration.
Message backup
  • Separation of backup job creation and backup job processing
  • Running backup jobs during off-peak hours and with low system resources to prevent potential load issues
  • Encryption using the high-trust AES-128 algorithm
Message restoration
  • Restore all mail folders for a user, or just restore a specific folder
  • Preview folder listings for any user inside the 14-day window for which backups are stored
  • Obtain simple message counts for any user or for any individual folder
  • Restore data to the original mailbox or to an alternate mailbox, as determined by the customer email administrator

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