Skip to main content

How to Manage EBS Volumes Snapshots in AWS

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) Volumes are highly available and reliable storage volumes that can be attached to any running EC2 instance that is in the same Availability Zone. When we attach the EBS volumes to EC2 instances they act as physical drive disks that we can format and use to install our operating system, our files and so on.

EBS Snapshot is one of the most useful tools offered by Amazon to make a copy of your volume. There are several reasons to do snapshots:

  • Point-in-time recovery of your volumes when you delete the data or volumes accidentally
  • Create an identical Volume in another Zone or Region
  • Create a Disaster Recovery environment in another Region
  • Remove the unused volumes for cost saving, but data needs to preserved for future use
  • Using the same kind of volumes for Dev and Staging environments
  • When AWS Zones or Regions are down

Amazon is providing various interfaces to create a snapshot of a Volume like Amazon AWS console, Command-line, APIs and SDKs. From AWS Console, you can create snapshots for any volume from either Volumes tab or from the Snapshots tab.

Unfortunately, AWS doesn’t have the scheduling feature with already set times like daily, hourly, weekly and etc.
You need to automate snapshots of volumes by yourself, using either command-line or APIs or SDKs. Here I am showing a script where you can automate the snapshot operations of volumes on regular intervals using AWS command-line tools.

A script to automate your Snapshots with EBS (Elastic Block Storage)

This script needs mainly 3 parameters:

  • Volumes-list: Get all the volumes list in a file called “volumes-list” line by line as VolumeID: VolumeName
  • Retention Period: How many latest snapshots you want to keep for a volume. Beyond that, you can purge the volumes.
  • AWS Keys/ IAM Role: Use IAM role of EC2 Instance or AWS Keys. It would be good, if you use the IAM role for your EC2 instances to avoid the specifying keys, if not use the AWS Keys with EBS privileges and update them in the script.

Let’s see how it works:

  • Creation of the snapshot for each Volume reading it from the volume-list file.

aws ec2 create-snapshot –volume-id $VOL_ID –description “$DESCRIPTION” –region $REGION &>> $SNAP_CREATION

  • Describe the list of completed snapshots for each Volume by excluding AMI snapshots.

aws ec2 describe-snapshots –query Snapshots[*].[SnapshotId,VolumeId,Description,StartTime] –output text –filters “Name=status,Values=completed” “Name=volume-id,Values=$VOL_ID” | grep -v “CreateImage” > $SNAPSHOT_INFO

  • Delete the snapshots of a Volume which exceeds the Retention period time.

aws ec2 delete-snapshot –snapshot-id $SNAP_ID –region $REGION –output text
Here is the complete script  (Evernote) and sample volume-list file for your reference.

When you take the snapshots of your volumes, it would be a good idea to ignore the Auto Scaling instances volumes, because those instances are stateless. Remember that auto-scaling machines will have an AMI to store their required config and data.

The sample script is to give you an idea of we can do the snapshots management, but you can always extend it to meet your needs.

Avatar

Written by

Praveen Kumar Muppala

I have strong experience on Multiple Unix/Linux flavours, LAMP Stack, Monitoring Systems, Database, NoSQL. I love to explore the new concepts/services in Cloud Computing World. I have written 4 certifications in different flavours of Linux/Unix.

Related Posts

Avatar
John Chell
— June 13, 2019

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

The AWS Solutions Architect - Associate Certification (or Sol Arch Associate for short) offers some clear benefits: Increases marketability to employers Provides solid credentials in a growing industry (with projected growth of as much as 70 percent in five years) Market anal...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
— June 11, 2019

Moving Data to S3 with Apache NiFi

Moving data to the cloud is one of the cornerstones of any cloud migration. Apache NiFi is an open source tool that enables you to easily move and process data using a graphical user interface (GUI).  In this blog post, we will examine a simple way to move data to the cloud using NiFi c...

Read more
  • AWS
  • S3
Avatar
Chandan Patra
— June 11, 2019

Amazon DynamoDB: 10 Things You Should Know

Amazon DynamoDB is a managed NoSQL service with strong consistency and predictable performance that shields users from the complexities of manual setup.Whether or not you've actually used a NoSQL data store yourself, it's probably a good idea to make sure you fully understand the key ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • DynamoDB
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— June 6, 2019

The 11 AWS Certifications: Which is Right for You and Your Team?

As companies increasingly shift workloads to the public cloud, cloud computing has moved from a nice-to-have to a core competency in the enterprise. This shift requires a new set of skills to design, deploy, and manage applications in cloud computing.As the market leader and most ma...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Sam Ghardashem
Sam Ghardashem
— May 15, 2019

Aviatrix Integration of a NextGen Firewall in AWS Transit Gateway

Learn how Aviatrix’s intelligent orchestration and control eliminates unwanted tradeoffs encountered when deploying Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Firewalls with AWS Transit Gateway.Deploying any next generation firewall in a public cloud environment is challenging, not because of the f...

Read more
  • AWS
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— May 3, 2019

AWS Config Best Practices for Compliance

Use AWS Config the Right Way for Successful ComplianceIt’s well-known that AWS Config is a powerful service for monitoring all changes across your resources. As AWS Config has constantly evolved and improved over the years, it has transformed into a true powerhouse for monitoring your...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Compliance
Avatar
Francesca Vigliani
— April 30, 2019

Cloud Academy is Coming to the AWS Summits in Atlanta, London, and Chicago

Cloud Academy is a proud sponsor of the 2019 AWS Summits in Atlanta, London, and Chicago. We hope you plan to attend these free events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. These events are all about learning. You can learn how t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Summits
Paul Hortop
Paul Hortop
— April 2, 2019

How to Monitor Your AWS Infrastructure

The AWS cloud platform has made it easier than ever to be flexible, efficient, and cost-effective. However, monitoring your AWS infrastructure is the key to getting all of these benefits. Realizing these benefits requires that you follow AWS best practices which constantly change as AWS...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Monitoring
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— April 1, 2019

AWS EC2 Instance Types Explained

Amazon Web Services’ resource offerings are constantly changing, and staying on top of their evolution can be a challenge. Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances are one of their core resource offerings, and they form the backbone of most cloud deployments. EC2 instances provide you with...

Read more
  • AWS
  • EC2
Avatar
Nitheesh Poojary
— March 26, 2019

How DNS Works – the Domain Name System (Part One)

Before migrating domains to Amazon's Route53, we should first make sure we properly understand how DNS worksWhile we'll get to AWS's Route53 Domain Name System (DNS) service in the second part of this series, I thought it would be helpful to first make sure that we properly understand...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— March 14, 2019

Multiple AWS Account Management using AWS Organizations

As businesses expand their footprint on AWS and utilize more services to build and deploy their applications, it becomes apparent that multiple AWS accounts are required to manage the environment and infrastructure.  A multi-account strategy is beneficial for a number of reasons as ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Identity Access Management
Avatar
Sanket Dangi
— February 11, 2019

WaitCondition Controls the Pace of AWS CloudFormation Templates

AWS's WaitCondition can be used with CloudFormation templates to ensure required resources are running.As you may already be aware, AWS CloudFormation is used for infrastructure automation by allowing you to write JSON templates to automatically install, configure, and bootstrap your ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • CloudFormation