Amazon CloudWatch Events
User Guide

Tutorial: Schedule Automated Amazon EBS Snapshots Using CloudWatch Events

You can run CloudWatch Events rules according to a schedule. In this tutorial, you create an automated snapshot of an existing Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume on a schedule. You can choose a fixed rate to create a snapshot every few minutes or use a cron expression to specify that the snapshot is made at a specific time of day.


Creating rules with built-in targets is supported only in the AWS Management Console.

Step 1: Create a Rule

Create a rule that takes snapshots on a schedule. You can use a rate expression or a cron expression to specify the schedule. For more information, see Schedule Expressions for Rules.

To create a rule

  1. Open the CloudWatch console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Events, Create rule.

  3. For Event Source, do the following:

    1. Choose Schedule.

    2. Choose Fixed rate of and specify the schedule interval (for example, 5 minutes). Alternatively, choose Cron expression and specify a cron expression (for example, every 15 minutes Monday through Friday, starting at the current time).

  4. For Targets, choose Add target and then select EC2 CreateSnapshot API call. You may have to scroll up in the list of possible targets to find EC2 CreateSnapshot API call.

  5. For Volume ID, type the volume ID of the targeted Amazon EBS volume.

  6. Choose Create a new role for this specific resource. The new role grants the target permissions to access resources on your behalf.

  7. Choose Configure details.

  8. For Rule definition, type a name and description for the rule.

  9. Choose Create rule.

Step 2: Test the Rule

You can verify your rule by viewing your first snapshot after it is taken.

To test your rule

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Elastic Block Store, Snapshots.

  3. Verify that the first snapshot appears in the list.

  4. (Optional) When you are finished, you can disable the rule to prevent additional snapshots from being taken.

    1. Open the CloudWatch console at

    2. In the navigation pane, choose Events, Rules.

    3. Select the rule and choose Actions, Disable.

    4. When prompted for confirmation, choose Disable.