How Lumsden McCormick Uses Resilio Sync to Replicate Data Between Onsite Server and EC2 Instance

Matthew Bartle, Director of IT at Lumsden & McCormick, shares how he uses Resilio Sync (formerly BitTorrent Sync) to replicate database files between an onsite backup server and an Amazon EC2 instance:

Lumsden McCormick is one of the leading certified public accounting and consulting firms in Upstate New York. We serve corporate and privately held businesses, exempt organizations including nonprofits and governmental entities, and individuals. In addition to traditional audit and tax services, our Firm provides non-traditional services including business consulting, litigation support, accounting software implementation and forensic accounting services.

We chose to store a database server running a CRM app using MSSQL Express in the cloud so that the data would be accessible to users from outside the office. We use an Amazon EC2 T2.micro instance. These instances are designed by Amazon for workloads that do not use the full CPU consistently and are very cost-effective.
The desired workflow was to back up our SQL database files every night to a file on the EC2 server, and use a backup solution to replicate those files to the onsite backup server.

Using the EC2 T2.micro instance presented two challenges. Firstly, because the instance is not on our network, I was unable to use the current backup software we use within our own organization, which is limited to the LAN. Secondly, because the T2.micro instances have a low CPU allowance, they need to run at low utilization. Our cost to store data in EC2 could ramp suddenly if we burned processor credits beyond our initial Amazon plan.

The initial software we used for this workflow was chosen because it could sync files into the EC2 cloud, but we had constant issues with CPU utilization on our instances being too high and frequently ran out of credits.

My search for a solution lead me to Resilio Sync – I was hopeful that Sync’s architecture would reduce the processor load on EC2. Sync was simple to set up and once running, just worked – the load on the T2.micro instance was almost unnoticeable unless Sync was actually moving data.

Using Sync I can transfer data offsite in real-time, and with the history view I can verify every day that data is being moved. Sync’s flexibility and efficiency makes it a tool I’m excited to be using.