Working with backups - FSx for OpenZFS

Working with backups

With FSx for OpenZFS, backups are file-system-consistent, highly durable, and incremental. To ensure file system consistency, Amazon FSx uses OpenZFS snapshots to get and store a point-in-time consistent image of the file system as a backup. To ensure high durability, Amazon FSx stores backups in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Amazon FSx backups are incremental, whether they are generated using the automatic daily backup or the user-initiated backup feature. This means that only the data on the file system that has changed after your most recent backup is saved. This minimizes the time required to create the backup and saves on storage costs by not duplicating data. When you delete a backup, only the data unique to that backup is removed. Each FSx for OpenZFS backup contains all of the information that is needed to create a new file system from the backup, effectively restoring a point-in-time snapshot of the file system.

Creating regular backups for your file system is a best practice that complements the replication that FSx for OpenZFS performs for your file system. Amazon FSx backups help support your backup retention and compliance needs. Working with Amazon FSx backups is easy, whether it's creating backups, copying a backup, restoring a file system from a backup, or deleting a backup.

Working with automatic daily backups

By default, Amazon FSx takes an automatic daily backup of your file system. These automatic daily backups occur during the daily backup window that was established when you created the file system. At some point during the daily backup window, storage I/O might be suspended briefly while the backup process initializes (typically for less than a few seconds). When you choose your daily backup window, we recommend that you choose a convenient time of the day. This time ideally is outside of the normal operating hours for the applications that use the file system.

Automatic daily backups are kept for a certain period of time, known as a retention period. The default retention period for automatic daily backups is 7 days. You can set the retention period to be between 1–90 days. Automatic daily backups are deleted when the file system is deleted.


While automatic daily backups have a maximum retention period of 90 days, user-initiated backups are kept forever, unless you delete them. For more information about user-initiated backups, see Working with user-initiated backups..

You can use the AWS CLI or one of the AWS SDKs to change the backup window and backup retention period for your file systems. Use the UpdateFileSystem API operation or the update-file-system CLI command.

Working with user-initiated backups

With Amazon FSx, you can manually take backups of your file systems at any time. You can do so using the Amazon FSx console, API, or the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI). Your user-initiated backups of Amazon FSx file systems never expire, and they are available for as long as you want to keep them. User-initiated backups are retained even after you delete the file system that was backed up. You can delete user-initiated backups only by using the Amazon FSx console, API, or CLI. They are never automatically deleted by Amazon FSx. For more information, see Deleting backups.

Creating user-initiated backups

The following procedure guides you through how to create a user-initiated backup in the Amazon FSx console for an existing file system.

To create a user-initiated file system backup

  1. Open the Amazon FSx console at

  2. From the console dashboard, choose the name of the file system that you want to back up.

  3. From Actions, choose Create backup.

  4. In the Create backup dialog box that opens, provide a name for your backup. Backup names can be a maximum of 256 Unicode characters, including letters, white space, numbers, and the special characters . + - = _ : /

  5. Choose Create backup.

You have now created your file system backup. You can find a table of all your backups in the Amazon FSx console by choosing Backups in the left side navigation. You can search for the name you gave your backup, and the table filters to only show matching results.

When you create a user-initiated backup as this procedure described, it has the type User-Initiated, and it has the Creating status until it is fully available.

Copying backups

You can use Amazon FSx to manually copy backups within the same AWS account to another AWS Region (cross-Region copies) or within the same AWS Region (in-Region copies). You can make cross-Region copies only within the same AWS partition. You can create user-initiated backup copies using the Amazon FSx console, AWS CLI, or API. When you create a user-initiated backup copy, it has the type USER_INITIATED.

Cross-Region backup copies are particularly valuable for cross-Region disaster recovery. You take backups and copy them to another AWS Region so that in the event of a disaster in the primary AWS Region, you can restore from backup and recover availability quickly in the other AWS Region. You can also use backup copies to clone your file dataset to another AWS Region or within the same AWS Region. You make backup copies within the same AWS account (cross-Region or in-Region) by using the Amazon FSx console, AWS CLI, or Amazon FSx API.

Backup copy limitations

The following are some limitations when you copy backups:

  • Cross-Region backup copies are supported only between any two commercial AWS Regions, between the China (Beijing) and China (Ningxia) Regions, and between the AWS GovCloud (US-East) and AWS GovCloud (US-West) Regions, but not across those sets of Regions.

  • Cross-Region backup copies are not supported in opt-in Regions.

  • You can make in-Region backup copies within any AWS Region.

  • Cross-account backup copies are not supported.

  • The source backup must have a status of AVAILABLE before you can copy it.

  • You cannot delete a source backup if it is being copied. There might be a short delay between when the destination backup becomes available and when you are allowed to delete the source backup. You should keep this delay in mind if you retry deleting a source backup.

  • You can have up to five backup copy requests in progress to a single destination AWS Region per account.

Permissions for cross-Region backup copies

You use an IAM policy statement to grant permissions to perform a backup copy operation. To communicate with the source AWS Region to request a cross-Region backup copy, the requester (IAM role or IAM user) must have access to the source backup and the source AWS Region.

You use the policy to grant permissions to the CopyBackup action for the backup copy operation. You specify the action in the policy's Action field, and you specify the resource value in the policy's Resource field, as in the following example.

{ "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "fsx:CopyBackup", "Resource": "arn:aws:fsx:*:111111111111:backup/*" } ] }

For more information on IAM policies, see Policies and permissions in IAM in the IAM User Guide.

Full and incremental copies

When you copy a backup to a different AWS Region from the source backup, the first copy is a full backup copy. After the first backup copy, all subsequent backup copies to the same destination Region within the same AWS account are incremental, provided that you haven't deleted all previously-copied backups in that Region and have been using the same AWS KMS key. If both conditions aren't met, the copy operation results in a full (not incremental) backup copy.

  1. Open the Amazon FSx console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Backups.

  3. In the Backups table, choose the backup that you want to copy, and then choose Copy backup.

  4. In the Settings section, do the following:

    • In the Destination Region list, choose a destination AWS Region to copy the backup to. The destination can be in another AWS Region (cross-Region copy) or within the same AWS Region (in-Region copy).

    • (Optional) Select Copy Tags to copy tags from the source backup to the destination backup. If you select Copy Tags and also add tags at step 6, all the tags are merged.

  5. For Encryption, choose the AWS KMS encryption key to encrypt the copied backup.

  6. For Tags - optional, enter a key and value to add tags for your copied backup. If you add tags here and also selected Copy Tags at step 4, all the tags are merged.

  7. Choose Copy backup.

Your backup is copied within the same AWS account to the selected AWS Region.

  • Use the copy-backup CLI command or the CopyBackup API operation to copy a backup within the same AWS account, either across an AWS Region or within an AWS Region.

    The following command copies a backup with an ID of backup-0abc123456789cba7 from the us-east-1 Region.

    aws fsx copy-backup \ --source-backup-id backup-0abc123456789cba7 \ --source-region us-east-1

    The response shows the description of the copied backup.

    You can view your backups on the Amazon FSx console or programmatically using the describe-backups CLI command or the DescribeBackups API operation.

Restoring backups

You can use an available backup to create a new file system, effectively restoring a point-in-time snapshot of another file system. You can restore a backup using the console, AWS CLI, or one of the AWS SDKs. Restoring a backup to a new file system takes the same amount of time as creating a new file system. The data restored from the backup is lazy-loaded onto the file system, during which time you will experience slightly higher latency.

The following procedure guides you through how to restore a backup using the console to create a new file system.


You can only restore your backup to a file system of the same deployment type and storage capacity as the original.

To restore a file system from a backup

  1. Open the Amazon FSx console at

  2. From the console dashboard, choose Backups from the left side navigation.

  3. Choose the backup that you want to restore from the Backups table, and then choose Restore backup.

    Doing so opens the file system creation wizard. This wizard is identical to the standard file system creation wizard, except the Deployment type and Storage capacity are already set and can't be changed. However, you can change the throughput capacity, associated VPC, and other settings.

  4. Complete the wizard as you do when you create a new file system.

  5. Choose Review and create.

  6. Review the settings you chose for your Amazon FSx file system, and then choose Create file system.

You have restored from a backup, and a new file system is now being created. When its status changes to Available, you can use the file system as normal.

Deleting backups

Deleting a backup is a permanent, unrecoverable action. Any data in a deleted backup is also deleted. Do not delete a backup unless you're sure you won't need that backup again in the future.

To delete a backup

  1. Open the Amazon FSx console at

  2. From the console dashboard, choose Backups from the left side navigation.

  3. From the Backups table, choose the backup that you want to delete.

  4. For Actions, choose Delete backup.

  5. In the Delete backups dialog box that opens, confirm that the ID of the backup identifies the backup that you want to delete.

  6. Confirm that the check box is checked for the backup that you want to delete.

  7. Choose Delete backups.

Your backup and all included data are now permanently and unrecoverably deleted.