Creating an Amazon EBS Snapshot
After writing data to an EBS volume, you can periodically create a snapshot of the volume to use as a baseline for new volumes or for data backup. If you make periodic snapshots of a volume, the snapshots are incremental so that only the blocks on the device that have changed after your last snapshot are saved in the new snapshot. Even though snapshots are saved incrementally, the snapshot deletion process is designed so that you need to retain only the most recent snapshot in order to restore the volume.
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.
Although you can take a snapshot of a volume while a previous snapshot of that volume is
pending status, having multiple
snapshots of a volume may result in reduced volume performance until the snapshots
There is a limit of 5
pending snapshots for a single
Magnetic volume, and 1
pending snapshot for a single
volume. If you receive a
ConcurrentSnapshotLimitExceeded error while
trying to create multiple concurrent snapshots of the same volume, wait for one or more of
pending snapshots to complete before creating another snapshot of
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 AWS accounts, or you can share them with the entire AWS community by making them public. For more information, see Sharing an Amazon EBS Snapshot.
You can share an encrypted snapshot only with specific AWS 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 to restore the volume. Your copy of a shared, encrypted snapshot can also be re-encrypted with a different key. For more information, see Sharing an Amazon EBS Snapshot.
When a snapshot is created from a volume with an AWS Marketplace product code, the product code is propagated to the snapshot.
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
To create a snapshot for Amazon EBS volumes that serve as root devices, you should stop the instance before taking the snapshot.
To unmount the volume in Linux, use the following command:
umount -d device_name
Where device_name is the device name (for example,
After you've created a snapshot, you can tag it to help you manage it later. For example, you can add 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 Tagging Your Amazon EC2 Resources.
To create a snapshot using the console
Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/.
Choose Snapshots in the navigation pane.
Choose Create Snapshot.
In the Create Snapshot dialog box, select the volume to create a snapshot for, and then choose Create.