AWS, Cloud Computing

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A Beginner’s Guide to Create AWS Snapshots for Amazon EBS Volumes


In today’s growing businesses, data security is a crucial factor. In case of accidental data loss, traditionally, a copy of data was made in the local systems to maintain the backup. Keeping a copy of the data does not suffice the need for real-time applications where vast sets of information are ingested into applications periodically.

Data is stored on the same storage array in a typical on-premises storage snapshot. As a result, if the storage array fails, you risk losing both the source data and the snapshots. 

Introducing Amazon EBS Snapshots

EBS snapshots avoid data loss by storing snapshots of EBS volumes on AWS S3, a different storage tier. By taking point-in-time snapshots, you can back up the data on your Amazon EBS volumes to Amazon S3. Snapshots are incremental backups, which implies that they only preserve the blocks on the device that have changed since the last snapshot. It reduces the time it takes to build the snapshot and reduces storage expenses by avoiding data duplication. Each snapshot contains all the information needed to restore your data to a fresh EBS volume.

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AWS EBS Snapshots Use Cases

  • Data backup: Amazon EBS snapshots are the AWS-recommended method for backing up Amazon EC2 instances and their data volumes off-site, off-AZ, or off-region. Amazon EBS snapshots make it easy to take a snapshot of a running EC2 instance and its data, which is then automatically relocated from the EBS volume to Amazon S3 for long-term storage. Various third-party backup solutions also use these snapshots to secure EC2 instances throughout the backup process. 
  • Disaster Recovery: Amazon EBS snapshots can be used to provide data replication to several additional AWS regions, providing a DR capability for Amazon EC2 instances that use the snapshot copy feature.

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An EBS snapshot can be created using the console or the create-snapshot command AWS CLI.

Steps by Step Guide to Create a Snapshot

  1. Sign in to the AWS console and select Amazon EC2 service
  2. In the navigation pane, click Snapshots under Elastic Block Store
  3. Click on Create Snapshot


4. Choose Volume as the resource type

5. Select the volume for Volume ID

6. Provide the appropriate name and a description for the snapshot. (Optional)

7. Add tag. Provide a tag key and a tag value for each tag. (Optional)

Click on Create snapshot.

How to copy an Amazon EBS Snapshot?

You can create point-in-time snapshots of volumes with Amazon EBS, which we will store for you in Amazon S3. You can copy a snapshot from one AWS Region to another or within the same Region when it has finished copying to Amazon S3 (when the snapshot status is completed). The ID assigned to the snapshot copy differs from the ID assigned to the original snapshot.

Steps to copy a Snapshot

  1. In the navigation pane, choose Snapshots
  2. Select the snapshot to be copied, and then choose Copy from the Actions list


3. Provide the appropriate description for the snapshot

4. In Destination Region, select the region where you want the snapshot to be copied

5. If your account is enabled for encryption by default, or if the original snapshot is encrypted the snapshot copy is encrypted by default, and you cannot change the encryption state. If the source snapshot is unencrypted and your account is not enabled for encryption by default, encryption is optional. To encrypt the snapshot copy, checkbox the Encrypt this snapshot option. Then, for the KMS key, select the appropriate KMS key.

6. Choose Copy snapshot


Sharing the Snapshot created

You can change permissions if you want to share a snapshot with additional AWS accounts. You can share snapshots publicly with all other AWS accounts or privately with only the AWS accounts you want.

Steps to share a Snapshot

  1. Select Snapshots from the navigation window
  2. Choose Actions, modify permissions after selecting the snapshot to share


3. Set the permissions for the snapshot

4. Choose Public to share the snapshot with all AWS accounts

5. Choose Private to share the snapshot only with particular AWS accounts. Select Add account and enter the 12-digit account ID of the account you want to share with

6. Click on Save changes





We can use AWS snapshots for EBS volumes to protect and efficiently store their Amazon EC2 instances and the data. API-driven capabilities offer a variety of DevOps skills, including data protection and modification actions that may be orchestrated on demand or in response to events.

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Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Amazon EBS Snapshots, Data backup, or Data Security and I will get back to you quickly.

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1. What tasks can be performed using an EBS volume snapshot?

ANS: – You can perform all snapshot operations, such as ‘restore’, ‘delete’, and copy across regions or accounts.

2. Where are EBS snapshots most commonly stored?

ANS: – Amazon EBS Snapshots are a convenient way to back up your EBS volumes. The snapshots are automatically saved to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for long-term retention.

3. Can we continue working on EBS while creating a snapshot of it?

ANS: – An in-progress snapshot is not affected by ongoing reads and writes to the Volume.



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