Creating Windows VSS backups - AWS Backup

Creating Windows VSS backups

With AWS Backup, you can back up and restore VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service)-enabled Windows applications running on Amazon EC2 instances. If the application has VSS writer registered with Windows VSS, then AWS Backup creates a snapshot that will be consistent for that application. You can perform consistent restores, while using the same managed backup service that is used to protect other AWS resources. With application-consistent Windows backups on EC2, you get the same consistency settings and application awareness as traditional backup tools.


AWS Backup currently only supports application-consistent backups of resources running on Amazon EC2. Not all instance types or applications are supported for Windows VSS backups.

For more information, see Creating a VSS Application-Consistent Snapshot in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Windows Instances.

To back up and restore VSS-enabled Windows resources running Amazon EC2, follow these steps:

  • Complete the required prerequisite tasks. For instructions, see Before You Begin in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Windows Instances.

  • Download, install, and configure the VSS agent in AWS Systems Manager. This step is required. For instructions, see Update SSM Agent by using Run Command in the AWS Systems Manager User Guide.

  • Add an IAM policy to the IAM role and attach the role to the Amazon EC2 instance before you take the Windows VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) backup. For instructions, see Create an IAM Role for VSS-Enabled Snapshots in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Windows Instances. For an example of the IAM policy, see Managed policies.

  • Enable VSS in AWS Backup.

    To enable Windows VSS backup in AWS Backup
    1. Open the AWS Backup console at

    2. On the dashboard, choose the type of backup you want to create, either Create an on-demand backup or Manage Backup plans. Provide the information needed for your backup type.

    3. When you're assigning resources, choose EC2. Windows VSS backup is currently supported for EC2 instances only.

    4. In the Advanced settings section, choose Windows VSS. This enables you to take application-consistent Windows VSS backups.

    5. Create your backup.

Unsupported Amazon EC2 instances

The following Amazon EC2 instance types are not supported for VSS-enabled Windows backups because they are small instances and might not take the backup successfully.

  • t3.nano

  • t3.micro

  • t3a.nano

  • t3a.micro

  • t2.nano

  • t2.micro