Create Amazon EBS snapshots - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
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Create Amazon EBS snapshots

You can create a point-in-time snapshot of an EBS volume and use it as a baseline for new volumes or for data backup. If you make periodic snapshots of a volume, the snapshots are incremental—the new snapshot saves only the blocks that have changed since your last snapshot.

Snapshots occur asynchronously; the point-in-time snapshot is created immediately, but the status of the snapshot is pending until the snapshot is complete (when all of the modified blocks have been transferred to Amazon S3), which can take several hours for large initial snapshots or subsequent snapshots where many blocks have changed. While it is completing, an in-progress snapshot is not affected by ongoing reads and writes to the volume.

You can take a snapshot of an attached volume that is in use. However, snapshots only capture data that has been written to your Amazon EBS volume at the time the snapshot command is issued. This might exclude any data that has been cached by any applications or the operating system. If you can pause any file writes to the volume long enough to take a snapshot, your snapshot should be complete. However, if you can't pause all file writes to the volume, you should unmount the volume from within the instance, issue the snapshot command, and then remount the volume to ensure a consistent and complete snapshot. You can remount and use your volume while the snapshot status is pending.

To make snapshot management easier, you can tag your snapshots during creation or add tags afterward. For example, you can apply tags describing the original volume from which the snapshot was created, or the device name that was used to attach the original volume to an instance. For more information, see Tag your Amazon EC2 resources.

Snapshot encryption

Snapshots that are taken from encrypted volumes are automatically encrypted. Volumes that are created from encrypted snapshots are also automatically encrypted. The data in your encrypted volumes and any associated snapshots is protected both at rest and in motion. For more information, see Amazon EBS encryption.

By default, only you can create volumes from snapshots that you own. However, you can share your unencrypted snapshots with specific Amazon accounts, or you can share them with the entire Amazon community by making them public. For more information, see Share an Amazon EBS snapshot.

You can share an encrypted snapshot only with specific Amazon accounts. For others to use your shared, encrypted snapshot, you must also share the CMK key that was used to encrypt it. Users with access to your encrypted snapshot must create their own personal copy of it and then use that copy. Your copy of a shared, encrypted snapshot can also be re-encrypted using a different key. For more information, see Share an Amazon EBS snapshot.

Multi-volume snapshots

You can create multi-volume snapshots, which are point-in-time snapshots for all, or some, of the volumes attached to an instance.

By default, when you create multi-volume snapshots from an instance, Amazon EBS creates snapshots of all the volumes (root and data (non-root)) that are attached to the instance. However, you can choose to create snapshots of a subset of the volumes that are attached to the instance.

You can tag your multi-volume snapshots as you would a single volume snapshot. We recommend you tag your multiple volume snapshots to manage them collectively during restore, copy, or retention. You can also choose to automatically copy tags from the source volume to the corresponding snapshots. This helps you to set the snapshot metadata, such as access policies, attachment information, and cost allocation, to match the source volume.

After the snapshots are created, each snapshot is treated as an individual snapshot. You can perform all snapshot operations, such as restore, delete, and copy across Regions or accounts, just as you would with a single volume snapshot.

Multi-volume, crash-consistent snapshots are typically restored as a set. It is helpful to identify the snapshots that are in a crash-consistent set by tagging your set with the instance ID, name, or other relevant details.

After creating your snapshots, they appear in your EC2 console created at the exact point-in-time.

If any one snapshot for the multi-volume snapshot set fails, all of the other snapshots display an error status and a createSnapshots CloudWatch event with a result of failed is sent to your Amazon account. For more information, see Create snapshots (createSnapshots).

Amazon Data Lifecycle Manager

You can create snapshot lifecycle policies to automate the creation and retention of snapshots of individual volumes and multi-volume snapshots of instances. For more information, see Amazon Data Lifecycle Manager.

Considerations

The following considerations apply to creating snapshots:

  • When you create a snapshot for an EBS volume that serves as a root device, you should stop the instance before taking the snapshot.

  • You cannot create snapshots from instances for which hibernation is enabled, or from hibernated instances. If you create a snapshot or AMI from an instance that is hibernated or has hibernation enabled, you might not be able to connect to a new instance that is launched from the AMI, or from an AMI that was created from the snapshot.

  • Although you can take a snapshot of a volume while a previous snapshot of that volume is in the pending status, having multiple pending snapshots of a volume can result in reduced volume performance until the snapshots complete.

  • There is a limit of one pending snapshot for a single st1 or sc1 volume, or five pending snapshots for a single volume of the other volume types. If you receive a ConcurrentSnapshotLimitExceeded error while trying to create multiple concurrent snapshots of the same volume, wait for one or more of the pending snapshots to complete before creating another snapshot of that volume.

  • When a snapshot is created from a volume with an Amazon Web Services Marketplace product code, the product code is propagated to the snapshot.

  • When creating multi-volume snapshot sets from instances, you can specify up to 40 data (non-root) volumes to exclude.

Create a snapshot

To create a snapshot from the specified volume, use one of the following methods.

Console

To create a snapshot using the console

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/ec2/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Snapshots, Create snapshot.

  3. For Resource type, choose Volume.

  4. For Volume ID, select the volume from which to create the snapshot.

    The Encryption field indicates the selected volume's encryption status. If the selected volume is encrypted, the snapshot is automatically encrypted using the same KMS key. If the selected volume is unencrypted, the snapshot is not encrypted.

  5. (Optional) For Description, enter a brief description for the snapshot.

  6. (Optional) To assign custom tags to the snapshot, in the Tags section, choose Add tag, and then enter the key-value pair. You can add up to 50 tags.

  7. Choose Create snapshot.

Amazon CLI

To create a snapshot using the command line

You can use one of the following commands. For more information about these command line interfaces, see Access Amazon EC2.

Create a multi-volume snapshot

When you create a multi-volume snapshot set from an instance, you can choose whether to copy the tags from the source volume to the corresponding snapshot. You can specify whether to create a snapshot of the root volume. You can also specify whether to create snapshots of all the data (non-root) volumes that are attached to the instance, or whether to create snapshots of a subset of those volumes.

Considerations

  • Multi-volume snapshots support up to 40 EBS volumes for each instance.

To create a snapshot from the volumes of an instance, use one of the following methods.

Console

To create multi-volume snapshots using the console

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/ec2/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Snapshots, Create snapshot.

  3. For Resource type, choose Instance.

  4. For Description, enter a brief description for the snapshots. This description is applied to all of the snapshots.

  5. (Optional) By default, Amazon EBS creates a snapshot of the instance's root volume. If you do not want to create a snapshot of the instance's root volume, select Exclude root volume.

  6. (Optional) By default, Amazon EBS creates snapshots of all the data (non-root) volumes attached to the instance. If you want to create snapshots of a subset of the data (non-root) volumes attached to the instance, select Exclude specific data volumes. The Attached data volumes section lists all of the data volumes that are currently attached to the selected instance.

    In the Attached data volumes section, select the data volumes for which you do not want to create snapshots. Only the volumes that remain unselected will be included in the multi-volume snapshot set. You can exclude up to 40 volumes.

  7. (Optional) To automatically copy tags from the source volumes to the corresponding snapshots, for Copy tags from source volume, select Copy tags. This sets snapshot metadata—such as access policies, attachment information, and cost allocation—to match the source volume.

  8. (Optional) To assign additional custom tags to the snapshots, in the Tags section, choose Add tag, and then enter the key-value pair. You can add up to 50 tags.

  9. Choose Create snapshot.

    During snapshot creation, the snapshots are managed together. If one of the snapshots in the volume set fails, the other snapshots are moved to error status for the volume set. You can monitor the progress of your snapshots using CloudWatch Events. After the snapshot creation process completes, CloudWatch generates an event that contains the status and all of the relevant snapshot details for the affected instance.

Command line

Amazon CLI

To create multi-volume snapshots using the Amazon CLI, use the create-snapshots command.

If you do not want to create a snapshot of the root volume, for --instance-specification ExcludeBootVolume, specify true. If you do not want to create snapshots of all the data (non-root) volumes attached to the instance, for --instance-specification ExcludeDataVolumes, specify the IDs of the data volumes for which you do not want to create snapshots. You can specify up to 40 volumes to exclude.

Amazon Tools for Windows PowerShell

To create multi-volume snapshots using the Tools for Windows PowerShell, use the New-EC2SnapshotBatch command.

If you do not want to create a snapshot of the root volume, for -InstanceSpecification_ExcludeBootVolume, specify 1. If you do not want to create snapshots of all the data (non-root) volumes attached to the instance, for -InstanceSpecification_ExcludeDataVolumes, specify the IDs of the data volumes for which you do not want to create snapshots. You can specify up to 40 volumes to exclude.

If all of the snapshots complete successfully, a createSnapshots CloudWatch event with a result of succeeded is sent to your Amazon account. If any one snapshot for the multi-volume snapshot set fails, all of the other snapshots display an error status and a createSnapshots CloudWatch event with a result of failed is sent to your Amazon account. For more information, see Create snapshots (createSnapshots).

Work with EBS snapshots

You can copy snapshots, share snapshots, and create volumes from snapshots. For more information, see the following: