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AWS AMI Automated Creation & Deletion System

A simple AWS lambda project to help automate creation and deletion of AMIs. The scripts are written in JavaScript and will run on the the serverless AWS Lambda platform.


Creating an AMI automatically snapshots all the associated EBS volumes for that instance. This makes instance recovery much more reliable and faster. A daily or weekly backup schedule is recommended for instances and to make sure you have a backup if ever needed. The system also removes the automatically created AMIs and any associated snapshots as per the settings.

Update 31 March 2017 - Added feature to prevent reboot while creating AMI. Add a tag BackupNoReboot with value true if want to avoid rebooting that instance.
Update December 2018 - Replaced screenshots to reflect AWS Console changes.

Setup / Installation of the Lambda script

  1. Go to the AWS Lambda Console and click Create function.

  2. Name the function and select Create a custom role.

  3. Give the custom role a name and paste the contents of roles.json into the edit box.

  4. Now the function has been created, and you'll be presented with the lambda configuration screen.

  5. Scroll down to the code editor, and remove the stub code you see in the editor.

  6. Paste the contents of createAMI.js into the edit box.

  7. Scroll down further and modify the Basic Settings.
    Provide a description and set the timeout to 5 minutes.

  8. Scroll back to the top and click Save.
    Add a trigger by selecting CloudWatch Event.

  9. To set up the trigger select Create a new rule.

  10. Configure the Rule:

  • Provide a rule name and description.
  • Set the event pattern or schedule.
    • The cron expression showed below will run at 2AM every day.
  • Finish by clicking Add at the bottom.
  1. Success!

  2. Create a second function named deleteAMI.
    Follow the same basic steps as above, but this time:

  • Use deleteAMI.js
  • Use the existing lambda Role.
  • Use the existing CloudWatch Rule.

Setting the tags for EC2 instances

Set the tags on the instances you want backed up.

  • Backup: yes
  • BackupRetentionDays: a positive integer
  • BackupNoReboot: true (this tag is optional - reboot will happen unless the tag is present and value is true)

For multiple instances it is easiest to use the Tag Editor.



Automated AMI creation & deletion using serverless AWS Lambda




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