Re: Am I missing something?
Snapshots are optional. You can take them manually ( e.g. before doing some work ) - and you can also setup them to run automatically like this:
However that does not "clean them up" after e.g. 30 days - so if you took daily snapshots you end up with hundreds.
So you would end up doing things like this:
So one thing this backup service does do is smooth over a lot of the cracks - make it easy to configure/setup and verify ( in the sense of checking it has been done ).
At the end of the day one of the biggest differences between Cloud Providers and any sort of hosting previously is that AWS is targeting everyone. From simple updated twice a year static sites on S3 - to tiny wordpres installs - to large websites - to huge enterprise grade setups that could be using various things.
As a result not all services they offer are for meant or suitable for everyone - I would think this falls into this category.
Standardised easy to setup cheap backups that can be done correctly by semi-technical users ( or new to AWS techs - or just busy techs in small companies ) is a very welcome addition.
For example i've worked with a small-ish company previously where money was limited, so backup solutions and time invested were not approved. In that case the CTO ( who obviously had root access, his company, his aws account etc ) decided to "clean up" the AWS account - and deleted the Aurora Cluster running 30 or so sites AND declined the option to take a final snapshot ( which in AWS you have to purposefully NOT do ). So the cluster was gone, all previous snapshots and point in time recovery, and no final snapshot.
This kind of quick ready to go backup service for that company would of been perfect to have as an alternative running to protect against that insanity.