How to Automate EBS Snapshots: A Step-by-Step Guide on How Do You Automate EBS Snapshots

If you’re an AWS user, you know that taking snapshots of your Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes is an important task. However, manually taking EBS snapshots can be quite time-consuming and cumbersome, especially if you have multiple volumes and need to take snapshots regularly. But what if I told you that you could automate this process and save yourself hours of manual work every week?

Yes, automating EBS snapshots is possible, and it’s a great way to ensure that you always have a backup of your data in case of any unexpected disasters. By automating this process, you can schedule regular snapshots, set retention policies, and even automate the deletion of old snapshots. This means that you can focus on other tasks, knowing that your data is safe and secure.

Automating EBS snapshots is an easy process that can be achieved through AWS’ simple yet powerful automation tools. You don’t need any specialized knowledge or coding skills to set up an automated backup system for your EBS volumes. All you need is a few clicks, and you’ll be up and running in no time. So, if you’re tired of manually taking EBS snapshots and want to save time and effort, automation is the way to go.

Automating EBS Snapshots via AWS CLI

If you use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to store data, then it is essential to make sure that your data is secure and backed up. One way to back up your data is to take automatic snapshots of your Elastic Block Store volumes (EBS), which can be achieved through the use of AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) commands. With AWS CLI, you can quickly create and manage snapshots in Amazon EBS, and its automation allows for a seamless backup experience.

  • Prerequisites: To automate EBS snapshots via AWS CLI, you need to install and configure the AWS CLI client on your computer or instance. You also require an IAM policy with the necessary permissions to execute the automation workflow.
  • Creating a snapshot: To take a snapshot of your EBS volume, you can use the following command: aws ec2 create-snapshot --volume-id vol-0123456789abcdef0 --description "example snapshot". Replace the Volume ID and description with your desired values.
  • Scheduling automated snapshots: Creating snapshots can be time-consuming and tiresome, especially when you have many volumes. Automating this process is made possible by using AWS Lambda and CloudWatch Events. First, you create a Lambda function to perform the snapshot creation, then configure CloudWatch Events to trigger the Lambda function at your preferred intervals.

Here is an example of the snapshot automation script:

import boto3
import datetime

ec2 = boto3.client(‘ec2’)

def lambda_handler(event, context):

# Define variables
volumes = [‘vol-0123456789abcdef0’, ‘vol-0123456789abcdef1’]
retention_days = 10

# Create snapshots
for volume in volumes:
description = ‘AutoSnapshot of ‘ + volume + ‘ from ‘ +‘%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S’)

# Exclude old snapshots
filters = [
{‘Name’: ‘tag:AutoSnapshot’, ‘Values’: [‘true’]},
{‘Name’: ‘status’, ‘Values’: [‘completed’]},
{‘Name’: ‘start-time’, ‘Values’: [str(( – datetime.timedelta(days=retention_days)).strftime(‘%Y-%m-%d’))]}
snapshots = ec2.describe_snapshots(Filters=filters)

# Delete old snapshots
for snapshot in snapshots[‘Snapshots’]:


This script creates a snapshot of two volumes and deletes any snapshots that are more than ten days old with the “AutoSnapshot” tag. You can customize this script by setting different retention periods, including more EBS volumes.

In conclusion, automating EBS snapshots via AWS CLI is an effective way of ensuring the security and safety of your data. It frees up your time by automating the backup process, which provides peace of mind knowing that you have reliable backup should anything go wrong.

Scheduling EBS Snapshots using AWS Lambda

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a convenient method for automating the process of taking snapshots of your Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes using AWS Lambda. Lambda is a service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers.

  • Create an AWS Lambda function: To start, you need to create a new Lambda function in the AWS Management Console. You can use any programming language supported by AWS Lambda, but for this example, we will use Python.
  • Set permission: Next, you need to set permissions for your function to access other AWS resources. To do this, create an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role with permissions to create snapshots of EBS volumes.
  • Add code: Now, you can add code to your function that specifies which EBS volumes to snapshot and how often to take snapshots.

Here is an example Python code to schedule EBS snapshots:

import boto3
import datetime

def lambda_handler(event, context):
ec2 = boto3.resource(‘ec2’)
instances = ec2.instances.all()
for i in instances:
for v in i.volumes.all():
description = ‘Scheduled snapshot ‘ +‘%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S’)
return ‘Snapshots created for volumes: %s’ % (

This code creates a snapshot for all EBS volumes in each instance and adds a timestamp to the description to keep track of when the snapshot was taken.

Finally, you can set the frequency of snapshot creation by either scheduling the Lambda function to run regularly using the AWS CloudWatch Events or by manually invoking the function as needed.

By setting up EBS snapshot scheduling with AWS Lambda, you can save time and maintain a regular backup schedule for your data.

Using AWS CloudFormation for EBS Snapshot Automation

If you are looking for a way to automate your EBS snapshots comfortably and efficiently, then AWS CloudFormation is your go-to solution. AWS CloudFormation is a service that helps you perform operations in a more automated manner while reducing the workload. Deploying stacks and containers, managing permissions, and automating snapshots are some of the many tasks you can automate with AWS CloudFormation. To automate EBS snapshots using AWS CloudFormation, follow these steps:

  • Create a template: Creating a template that defines the desired state of the resources in your infrastructure is the first step in automating your EBS snapshots. Define the stack to use as a reference and identify the instance to be backed up.
  • Create a stack: Create a stack for the template you created, specifying the instance ID from which you want to automate EBS backups.
  • Deploy the stack: Once you have created the stack, immediately deploy it to start the automation process. AWS CloudFormation starts running the snapshot script you have deployed and automates your EBS snapshots.

To obtain an in-depth view of the AWS CloudFormation process for backing up your EBS resources, consult the following table below:

Step Description
Create a Template Use AWS CloudFormation to create a template that defines the resources required for your stack, including the instance that you will automate EBS backups from.
Create a Stack Create the stack and specify the name of your template and the parameters, including the instance ID.
Deploy the Stack Once you have completed the stack entry, deploy it using AWS CloudFormation to initiate the automated EBS snapshot process.

By following these steps, you’ll have fully automated your EBS snapshot process using AWS CloudFormation – a simpler, more efficient solution for creating backups and reducing the workload on your system.

EBS Snapshot Automation using AWS Data Pipeline

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a powerful service called Data Pipeline which enables you to automate the process of taking EBS snapshots. AWS Data Pipeline is a web service that enables you to process and move data between different AWS services and on-premises data sources. It allows you to create, schedule, and manage data pipelines that run on a specified schedule. This subsection will discuss how you can use AWS Data Pipeline to automate EBS snapshot creation.

  • Step 1: Set Up the EBS Snapshot Creation Pipeline: Firstly, you need to create a pipeline in AWS Data Pipeline that will create EBS snapshots of your EC2 instances. You can create this pipeline using the AWS Management Console.
  • Step 2: Define the Data Nodes: Once you have created the pipeline, the next step is to define the data nodes. In this step, you need to specify the source EC2 instances and the destination S3 bucket where the EBS snapshots will be stored.
  • Step 3: Define the Activity: After defining the data nodes, you need to define the activity that will trigger the EBS snapshot creation. In AWS Data Pipeline, you can use the ShellCommandActivity to execute shell commands on your EC2 instances. You can use this activity to run the commands that will create the EBS snapshots.

In addition to the above steps, there are some important considerations when setting up EBS Snapshot Automation using AWS Data Pipeline:

  • You need to ensure that your EC2 instances have the necessary permissions to create EBS snapshots.
  • You should schedule the pipeline to run at a time when the EC2 instances are idle to avoid any interruption of service.
  • You need to monitor the EBS snapshot creation process to ensure that it completes successfully. AWS CloudWatch is a useful tool for monitoring AWS resources and services.

Overall, AWS Data Pipeline provides a convenient and reliable way to automate EBS snapshot creation for your EC2 instances. It allows you to set up a pipeline that will create EBS snapshots at a specified interval without requiring manual intervention, thereby simplifying the process and reducing the risk of human error.

Advantages Disadvantages
Automated EBS snapshot creation reduces the risk of human error. Setting up the pipeline can be complex and time-consuming.
The pipeline can be scheduled to run when EC2 instances are idle, avoiding service interruption. You need to monitor the pipeline to ensure that it completes successfully.
Allows you to specify the source EC2 instances and destination S3 bucket. EC2 instances must have the necessary permissions to create EBS snapshots.

Writing custom scripts for EBS Snapshot Automation

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a user-friendly interface for creating EBS snapshots manually. However, managing EBS snapshots manually can be time-consuming, especially in large-scale environments where managing multiple EBS volumes and snapshots is required. Hence, automating EBS snapshot creation is necessary to streamline the process and minimize human errors.

One way to automate EBS snapshot creation is by writing custom scripts. AWS provides several APIs and SDKs (Software Development Kits) to interact with their services programmatically, including EBS. Writing custom scripts for EBS snapshot automation isn’t as complicated as it might first appear. In just a few simple steps, you can write a script to create EBS snapshots and schedule them to run automatically at regular intervals.

Steps to write custom scripts for EBS snapshot automation

  • Install the AWS SDK for your preferred programming language.
  • Configure the SDK with your AWS credentials.
  • Write a script to create EBS snapshots based on a desired schedule (e.g., every 24 hours).
  • Ensure that the script is executable, and test it by running it manually.
  • Create a scheduled task to run the script automatically at the desired intervals.

Sample Script for EBS Snapshot Automation

The following is a sample script in Python that creates a snapshot of an EBS volume:

import boto3
client = boto3.client(‘ec2′, region_name=’us-east-1’)

volumeId = ‘vol-0123456789abcdefg’

snapshotResponse = client.create_snapshot(
Description=’This is my snapshot’

The code above creates a snapshot of the EBS volume with ID ‘vol-0123456789abcdefg’. The description for the snapshot is set to ‘This is my snapshot’. You can substitute this ID with your own EBS volume ID and modify the description accordingly.

Argument Description
VolumeId The ID of the EBS volume to create a snapshot of.
Description The description for the snapshot.

Once you have written and tested your script, you can set it up to run automatically using AWS Lambda, AWS EC2 Scheduled instances or other scheduler you prefer.

Writing custom scripts for EBS snapshot automation is an easy solution to streamline the process of creating and managing EBS snapshots in AWS. Custom scripts allow for automation, reducing manual work and errors, and making the entire process more efficient.

Using third-party tools for EBS Snapshot Automation

Automating EBS snapshots can greatly benefit businesses by reducing time and effort required for backup and recovery tasks. While Amazon Web Services provides a number of tools for snapshot automation, third-party tools offer additional features and customizations to enhance the process. Here are a few third-party options for EBS snapshot automation:

  • N2WS Backup and Recovery: This third-party tool offers comprehensive snapshot automation capabilities for AWS environments. With N2WS, users can create custom schedules for snapshots, enable lifecycle management policies, and monitor backup activity through a user-friendly console.
  • Cloudberry Backup: Cloudberry Backup provides a simple and affordable solution for EBS snapshot automation. The tool offers flexible scheduling options and unlimited storage capacity for snapshots. In addition, Cloudberry Backup features easy restore capabilities and supports multiple AWS regions.
  • Veeam Backup and Replication: Veeam is a popular backup and disaster recovery solution for virtualized environments. With its AWS-specific features, Veeam enables users to automate EBS snapshots, replicate data between regions, and create backup policies based on workload type.

The use of third-party tools for EBS snapshot automation can greatly improve backup and recovery processes in AWS environments. These tools offer additional features and customizations that AWS native solutions may not provide. To choose the right tool, businesses should consider their specific needs and use case requirements.

Below is a comparison table of the three aforementioned third-party tools for EBS snapshot automation:

Tool Name Features Pricing Model
N2WS Backup and Recovery Custom snapshot schedules, lifecycle management policies, user-friendly console Pricing based on instance type and usage
Cloudberry Backup Flexible scheduling options, unlimited storage capacity, multi-region support One-time purchase fee with optional yearly support and maintenance costs
Veeam Backup and Replication Replication between regions, backup policies based on workload type, AWS-specific features Perpetual licensing based on number of instances and usage

Overall, businesses should weigh their options and choose the best third-party tool for their EBS snapshot automation needs. These tools offer advanced features and customizations that can make backup and recovery tasks more efficient and effective.

Selecting the Right EBS Snapshot Retention Policy

When it comes to automating EBS snapshots, selecting the right retention policy is crucial. A retention policy is a rule that determines how long an EBS snapshot is kept before it’s deleted. There are different retention policies to choose from, and selecting the right one depends on your specific needs.

Here are 7 factors to consider when selecting the right EBS snapshot retention policy:

  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO): Determine how much data loss your organization is willing to tolerate in the event of a failure. A shorter retention policy will provide less data loss but will also increase storage cost.
  • Compliance Requirements: Different industries have different compliance requirements for data retention. Be sure to check your industry’s regulations and determine how long you need to retain your EBS snapshots.
  • Budget: Shorter retention policies require more storage space, which translates to higher costs. Determine how much you’re willing to spend on storage and choose a retention policy accordingly.
  • Frequency of Changes: How often do you make changes to your EBS volumes? The more frequent your changes, the shorter your retention policy should be.
  • Criticality of Data: How critical is your data to your organization? The more critical, the shorter your retention policy should be to minimize data loss in case of a failure.
  • Backup Location: It’s always a good practice to have a backup of your backups. Determine if you need to keep a copy of your EBS snapshots in a different region or account to protect against region or account-level failures.
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO): Determine how quickly you need to recover your data in case of a failure. A shorter retention policy provides faster recovery times but also increases storage cost.

Here’s a table summarizing the different retention policies and their pros and cons:

Retention Policy Pros Cons
Daily Short recovery times and low data loss Higher storage cost
Weekly Lower storage cost and longer retention Higher data loss and longer recovery times
Monthly Even lower storage cost and longer retention Higher data loss and longer recovery times

By considering these 7 factors, you can choose the right EBS snapshot retention policy that works best for your organization.

FAQs: How Do You Automate EBS Snapshots?

Q: What is an EBS snapshot?
A: An EBS snapshot is a backup of your EBS volume at a specific point in time. It allows you to restore the volume to a previous state if something goes wrong.

Q: How can I automate EBS snapshots?
A: You can automate EBS snapshots by using AWS Lambda, a serverless computing platform that can run scripts on a schedule. You can write a script that uses the AWS CLI to create snapshots of your EBS volumes.

Q: Do I need to stop my EC2 instance to create an EBS snapshot?
A: No, you do not need to stop your EC2 instance to create an EBS snapshot. However, taking a snapshot can cause some performance impact on your instance, so it’s best to schedule snapshots during off-peak hours.

Q: How often should I take EBS snapshots?
A: The frequency of EBS snapshots depends on your workload and how often your data changes. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to take a snapshot at least once a day.

Q: How long should I retain EBS snapshots?
A: The retention period for EBS snapshots depends on your company’s backup policy and compliance requirements. AWS recommends retaining snapshots for at least 90 days.

Q: Can I automate deletion of old EBS snapshots?
A: Yes, you can automate deletion of old EBS snapshots by writing a script that uses the AWS CLI to identify and delete snapshots that are older than a certain number of days.

Q: How do I monitor the success of EBS snapshot automation?
A: You can set up alerts in AWS CloudWatch to monitor the success of your EBS snapshot automation. You can configure alerts to notify you via email or text message if there is a problem.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks For Reading!

Automating EBS snapshots is an essential part of data backup and disaster recovery for companies that use AWS. By using AWS Lambda and the AWS CLI, you can easily schedule and manage snapshots of your EBS volumes. Remember to take snapshots frequently, retain them for at least 90 days, and automate deletion of old snapshots. And if you need help monitoring your automation, set up alerts in AWS CloudWatch. Thanks for reading, and visit us again later for more tech tips and tricks.