How to Backup Amazon EC2 Instance

By   Alex Tray
Cybersecurity Consultant , NAKIVO | Aug 11, 2023 04:44 am PST


The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, popularly known as EC2, is used to run applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The amount of data available since the invention of the Internet has increased a great deal. This has increased the need to backup data in order to prevent its loss.

A major question you might be asking is, what is an Amazon EC2 instance? An Amazon EC2 is a virtual server that provides an unlimited set of virtual machines (VMs). There are various EC2 instance types available on the AWS network. Each type of EC2 instance is modified according to workload requirements.

Instances are created from Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). AMIs can serve as templates to create instances. You can decide to use an AMI provided by AWS or create your own AMI. AMIs can also be shared by users on the platform.

AWS is a major software service, and most users find it very important to back up the data they have on this web service. AWS backup is a new addition to the tools and services available on the AWS network.

There are many Amazon EC2 instance types and there are also a lot of ways to perform backups depending on the amount of data you want to transfer. Let’s dive into the various methods used for backing up Amazon EC2.

Different methods of backing up Amazon EC2

Your choice of a backup method depends on the amount and type of data you need to back up. The EC2 instance types should also be considered when choosing a backup method.

Elastic Block Storage (EBS) snapshot

Every EC2 instance ideally has a drive with its system information. The system information is backed up with this method by following these instructions:

  • Stop the running EC2 instance
  • Choose your preferable snapshot tool in the AWS web console

Create a new AMI

This is a relatively more complicated method of EC2 backup than using the EBS snapshot. The process is longer, but it is more preferable to use this method. The steps are:

  • Stop your Amazon EC2
  • Start the AWS web console
  • Select the instance you want to backup
  • Go to actions > image > create > image

AWS Backup

You can create both the AMI and EBS volumes at the same time with this process, which is relatively simple. You just have to go to AWS Backup on your console, click on Protected resources, and select either Backup plan or On-Demand Backup plan.

Data backup alone

If you prefer to back up just the data in your EC2 instance instead of backing up the entire instance, this is the option for you. The only downside is that you have to build a new instance in order to recover the files or data.

Automate AWS data backup

It is essential to automate your data backup. According to NAKIVO experts, “If the backup isn’t done with enough expertise, it could corrupt your data. Automating the backup process helps to prevent failed backups”.

After a lot of tedious work on an Amazon Instance, no one wants to lose their data. That’s why it’s important to make sure your backup is working properly. Run performance checks regularly to protect your data. To learn more about AWS EC2 backups, click here.


There are various options available for you to choose from when backing up your AWS data. It’s best to apply whichever method allows you to work with an automated backup process, as that helps to prevent human error.

Although we have various Amazon EC2 instance types, it’s necessary to note the function of each. Knowing the functions will help you know how to relate with them and the best backup process to run on the EC2 instance types.