Our secure, offsite data backup system, custom built using Amazon.com's Amazon Web Services, avoids the performance pitfalls of transportable media backups (e.g., tape, optical) without needing to rely on a local storage area network that would sacrifice the advantages of offsite data. It is also faster than traditional file-based backup systems because it is application aware and able to more efficiently determine which files and attributes need to be stored and which do not. This makes restoring data as fast as possible.
Every night, new emails and attachments on the mail storage servers are compressed and encrypted. These copies are then transmitted to Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3). The backup proceeds in parallel, with each mail server connecting directly to S3, backing up messages that have arrived since the previous night's backup. Amazon's S3 automatically distributes copies of backup data to multiple data centers, thus ensuring high availability of backup and restoration services.