Procedurally, you get an appliance and set up an account (with a link to Amazon's services if desired). The appliance is downloaded and deployed, and backups are started; a wise installer tests a restore. We obtained the WordPress appliance from TurnKeyLinux.org, and placed it on the host we use for extremelabs.com. During this process, we filled in the billing and configuration profile to be used for Amazon Web Services cloud storage charges, and for restoration purposes.
TKLBAM downloads the profile from the TurnKey Linux hub (more like an app store) for whatever appliance version is desired. This profile can be used to detect changes made after installation, such as new packages installed or files added/edited/deleted/etc. Some organizations will use a fresh appliance and populate it afterward progressively, while others will use static pages, and still others will migrate an existing equivalent running host.
After this we could use the site to restore the backup to a cloud image on EC2.
We wanted to try upgrading to the latest version using the backup that we had created, so we downloaded the WordPress appliance ISO and loaded it up in XenServer 5.6, performing the basic WordPress install.
This worked quite well; almost all of our settings, our database, our WordPress files, customizations, etc., were restored to the new instance of the blog site. The only issue we had was restoring our manual IP address settings. A reboot later, we were almost all good to go. The last thing we had to do was just an apt-get update/apt-get upgrade to make sure we were up to date.
Next we made a new backup with our upgraded appliance. By default, we had to manually backup the instance for the first time using tklbam-backup. After that, monthly full backups are enabled by default. To enable daily incremental backups all we had to do was run: chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/tklbam-backup. Our incremental backups so far have ranged from 158.5 KB up to 489.6 KB for 10 days after the original backup. The total cost so far for our site is $0.04 per month!
For TurnKey appliances using the MySQL database, database backup is also taken care of transparently. The full contents of the database are serialized and encoded in a file structure that is made specifically for optimized incremental backups. After TKLBAM calculates the delta, it uses Duplicity to encode backup contents in a chain of encrypted backup volumes, which are then uploaded to Amazon S3.