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ebs-backup - a small program to snapshot EBS volumes by tag


  • Keeps up to N snapshots
  • Copies tags from volumes to snapshots
  • Safeguards against "pending" snapshots
  • Available both as a command-line program and Lambda function

Command-line example

Back up attached volumes tagged with Name=db-* and attached to /dev/xvdf, retaining up to 3 snapshots per volume.

$ ebs-backup --name 'db-*' --device /dev/xvdf --limit 3

The program will back up all volumes that match the following criteria:

  • tagged with Name = "db-*"
  • attachment state is "attached"
  • attachment device is "/dev/xvdf"
  • have no "pending" snapshots being created


A full end-to-end test suite is located in test/aws subdirectory. See the test_aws target in the Makefile.


The Lambda function is automatically uploaded by CircleCI to S3 at each build. The filename pattern is as follows: s3://${BUCKET_NAME}/ebs-backup/ebs-backup-lambda-${VERSION}.zip

Terraform module

A useful Terraform module for deploying ebs-backup on AWS is located in the terraform/scheduled_backup subdirectory. See the file for supported variables.

Locating the S3 Lambda function

S3 bucket and key locations for the most recent release can be found in Parameter Store in the segment-ops AWS account. These can be useful for provisioning. See the update_parameter_store target in the Makefile.

  • S3 bucket: segment/ebs_backup/lambda_s3_bucket
  • S3 key: segment/ebs_backup/lambda_s3_key