AWS EBS-Backed Instance Backup &Restore


Starting with the 2009-10-31 API, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a new type of Amazon Machine Image(AMI) that stores its root device as an Amazon Elastic Block Store(EBS) volume. They refer to these AMIs as Amazon EBS-backed. When an instance of this type of AMI launches, an Amazon EBS volume is created from the associated snapshot, and that volume becomes the root device. You can create an AMI that uses an Amazon EBS volume as its root device with Windows or Linux/UNIX operating systems.These instances can be easily backed-up. You can modify the original instance to suit your particular needs and then save it as an EBS-backed AMI. Hence, if in future you need the the modified version of instance, you can simply launch multiple new instances from the backed-up AMI and are ready to-go.

Following are the steps to be performed for backup/restoring of AWS EBS instance into/from an AWS AMI. Also brief steps for deletion of AMI backup are noted for reference.
 

EBS-instance to EBS-backed AMI

  • Go to AWS Management Console and in the My Instances Pane, select the instance which has to be backed up.
  • Right click the instance and select option Create Image (EBS AMI).
  • In the Create Image dialog box, give proper AMI Name and Description. Click on Create This Image button.
  • The image creation will be in progress. This will take sometime depending upon the number & size of volumes attached to the instance. Click on View pending image link. It will take you to the AMIs pane.
  • The AMI will be in pending state. It is important to note that this AMI is private to the account and not available for AWS public use.
  • If you select Snapshots from the Navigation Pane, then you can see that EBS volumes attached to the instance will be backed up as too.
  • Once the backup is done, the AMI will be in available state.

 

Restore from backup AMI into instance

In case, the running instance needs to be restored, use the latest backup AMI. To launch an instance from this AMI, right-click the AMI and select Launch Instance option. The Launch Instance Wizard will be displayed, perform the usual configurations and a new instance will be created containing all the data & configurations done before backup.

 

Delete AMI & Snapshots:

  • To delete any AMI, Right-click it and select De-register AMI.
  • Remember, deleting AMI doesn’t delete the EBS volume snapshots. Click on Snapshots from Navigation pane, search & select the snapshot(s) to be deleted. Right-click on the snapshot(s) and select delete snapshot option.
 

References:

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