Backup EC2 Instance

To build a snapshot job for an EC2 instance you create a new job by clicking the plus-sign on the toolbar.

Backing up by selecting an instance volume

① With the “Action” combo box you choose the job type. To add a job that creates a snapshot of an EBS volume please select “Create Volume Snapshot”

② The “Job Name” defines the name of a job. This name is shown in the job list, the job log and in mail notifications. Put a short description of the job in here.

③ Select the “Instance” radio button to create a snapshot by choosing the instance and volume. You could also select volumes you want to have backed up by entering a tag. We will explain this later.

Select the EC2 instance where your volume is attached to from the “Instances” combo box.

④ The volume combo box shows you all volumes that are attached to the selected EC2 instance. Choose the one you want to back up.

AutomatiCloud will store the volume-id of the selected volume in its job parameters.

⑤ You can define the retention period for your backups by selecting the number of days in the “Delete after x days” combo box.  All snapshots that are older than the selected number of days will be deleted by the job. To achieve this AutomatiCloud tags all the snapshots it creates with a tag that has the unique JOBID of the Job in its key field. This JOBID is used for the deletion of snapshots that are older than the configured rentention period.

AutomatiCloud will only delete snapshots that have a matching JOBID. It will never delete snapshots not created by itself.

The cleanup procedure is an integrated part of the snapshot job. This means that a weekly backup job will only look once a week for outdated snapshot and delete them when needed.

Backing up by TAG

③ Alternatively you can create a job that is creating one or multiple snapshots for all volumes that have a certain tag associated.

Select the “Tag” Radio button and enter the name of the tag in the “tag” field. Example “MyTag”

Open AWS Console and tag all the volumes you want to back up with a key named “MyTag”. Please make sure that you have the tag(s) associated with the volume(s) you want to snapshot and not the instances.

You can tag one or many volumes with the tag “MyTag”. AutomatiCloud will create snapshots for all of them. Even if the are attached to different EC2 instances.

⑥ The “Copy to Region” combo box allows you to define a second region where snapshots are copied to. This gives you an additional level of security in case of a complete AWS region failure.

⑦ After snapshot creation is finished AutomatiCloud can assign one or more tags to the snapshot. The Key and Value of the tags can be controlled by filling out the “Set Tag” field.

You can add up to nine pairs of “key=value” separated by semicolon. Each “key=value” pair creates one snapshot tag. And you can use macros in your tag Definition that are expanded during Job execution.


“Name=AC Snapshot;Cust=Comtoso;SET=$DOW” will result in three tags:

  • Tag 1: Key=Name, Value=AC Snapshot
  • Tag 2: Key=Cust, Value=Comtoso
  • Tag 3: Key=Set, Value=TUE (weekday of Job execution)

Available Macros:

  • $DOW: Three letter day of week  (MON)
  • $DATE: Date (24.08.2015)
  • $TIME: Time (22:00)
  • $DAYOFWEEK: Day of week (Monday)
  • $MOY: Month of year (JAN)
  • $MONTHOFYEAR: Month of year (March)
  • $MON: Month of year (03)
  • $DOM: Day of month (24)
  • $YEAR: Year (2015)
  • $VOLID: Volume ID (vol-2343DEF)
  • $VOLNAME: Name of the volume (Drive-C)

Macros are case-sensitve. “$TIME” is valid “$Time” is invalid. All macros are expanded during job execution not job definition.

⑧ Now you can set up the schedule for your snapshot job. Tick the check box for every day you want to execute your job and enter the time to run your job.

⑨ The “Comment field” allows you to enter free text describing your job (date/time you created the job or last edit).

⑩ By ticking the “Pause” check box you can temporarily stop the execution of a job without deleting it.

⑪ The “Setting” combo box allows you to control under which set of parameters the job is executed. You will always have one “Default” setting. The Settings dialog allows you to create additional settings controlling AWS credentials, region and notification parameters.

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