Tag Archives: snapshot

AWS volume snapshots across multiple regions

So I needed a script to backup volumes each day from multiple regions. I’m sure there are lots of scripts out there but why not add another.

By default this script sets a UTC expiry date tag on snapshots. After the expiry is reached it removes old snapshots.
1st day of month = default expiry 90 days
Sunday = default expiry 21 days
Others = default expiry 1 day


Install python 2.7 and python boto library

$ sudo apt-get install python python-pip
$ sudo pip install boto

IAM Policy

Setup a user in AWS IAM with the following policy, keep a copy of credentials you’ll need that for script

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [

Snapshot script

Don’t forget to replace the credentials in the script with your own, you may also want to specify different regions.

#!/usr/bin/env python
from datetime import datetime, timedelta
import boto.ec2, sys

# snapshot.py used to backup volumes across AWS regions
# author: Matt Weston

# Using backup-account in IAM
aws_key = 'AWS_ACCESS_KEY'
aws_secret = 'AWS_SECRET_KEY'
regions = ['us-east-1','us-west-2','ap-southeast-2']

# snaphot date information
current_time = datetime.utcnow()
day_of_month = current_time.day
day_of_week = current_time.weekday()
week_of_year = current_time.isocalendar()[1]
month_of_year = current_time.month
snapshot_date = current_time.strftime('%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S.000Z')

# determine type and expiry based on current day, week or month
snapshot_type = 'daily'
snapshot_expires = current_time + timedelta(days=1)
if day_of_week == 6:
  snapshot_type = 'weekly'
  snapshot_expires = current_time + timedelta(days=21)
if day_of_month == 1:
  snapshot_type = 'monthly'
  snapshot_expires = current_time + timedelta(days=90)
snapshot_expiry = snapshot_expires.strftime('%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S.000Z')

# Get all Regions
for region in regions:
  print "connecting to", region
    connection = boto.ec2.connect_to_region(region, aws_access_key_id=aws_key, aws_secret_access_key=aws_secret)
    volumes = connection.get_all_volumes()
    print 'creating snapshots for all attached volumes'
    for volume in volumes:
      attached = volume.attachment_state()
      if attached:
        # create snapshots
        attach_data = volume.attach_data
        snapshot_name = 'snapshot: '+attach_data.instance_id+":"+attach_data.device
        snapshot = volume.create_snapshot(snapshot_name)
        snapshot.add_tag("snapshot-by", 'snapshot.py')
        snapshot.add_tag("snapshot-type", snapshot_type)
        snapshot.add_tag("snapshot-expiry", snapshot_expiry)
        snapshot.add_tag("snapshot-instance-id", attach_data.instance_id)
        snapshot.add_tag("snapshot-device", attach_data.device)
        print 'created', snapshot 
    print 'deleting expired snapshots for all attached volumes'
    volumes = connection.get_all_volumes()
    for volume in volumes:
      attached = volume.attachment_state()
      if attached:
        # cleanup snapshots
        existing =  volume.snapshots()
        for snapshot in existing:
          if snapshot.status == 'completed' and 'snapshot-expiry' in snapshot.tags:
            snapshot_expiry = snapshot.tags['snapshot-expiry']
            expiry_time = datetime.strptime(snapshot_expiry, '%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S.000Z')
            if expiry_time < current_time:
              print 'expired snapshot', snapshot.id, snapshot.status, snapshot.description

  except Exception, e:
    print "Unexpected error:", sys.exc_info()[0]

Schedule the script using cron

Easy enough to run it as often as needed via cron.

$ chmod +x /path/to/script/snapshot.py
$ crontab -e
# Snapshot attached volumes each day and cleanup expired
30 01 * * * /path/to/script/snapshot.py > /path/to/script/snapshot.log 2>&1