Step by step guide to automate Amazon EC2 server and volume snapshots on a custom schedule, daily, hourly, weekly, etc.

Create your AWS credentials

In order for SimpleBackups to manage your Amazon EC2 Snapshots, a IAM Users to be created with the right policies.

We will create a custom policy first to allow us to manage your Amazon EC2 Snapshots. The policy will include the least required permissions to manage snapshots.

Create a custom EC2 policy for snapshots

  • Connect to your AWS Console
  • Click on "Create policy"
  • Click on JSON and paste the custom policy below:
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  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Sid": "SimpleBackupsEc2Snapshots",
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": [
      "Resource": [
  • Give the policy a name, "Ec2SnapshotsPolicy" then click on "Create policy"
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Create a EC2 user for snapshots

  • Click on "Add users"

In the "Add user" form fill in information shown below:

Step 1: Set user access

  • Define a name to your user, let’s say Ec2SnapshotsUser.
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Step 2: Attach policy to user

  • Select "Attach policies directly" and select "Ec2SnapshotsPolicy" (we created in the earlier step).
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Step 3: Finalize user creation

  • Review and create the user.
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Step 4: View user and create credentials

  • After the user is created, click on “View user” or just search for the user and choose it.
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  • Click on Security credentials then Create access key
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  • Choose “Application running outside AWS” then Next
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  • Finally, click Create access key and grab your access and secret keys
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Connect your AWS Account to SimpleBackups

We now have everything we need to connect your AWS account to SimpleBackups.

  • Connect to your SimpleBackups account
  • Click on "Connect a new provider"

In the "Select your provider" form, fill in the information below:

  • Provider: Select AWS EC2
  • Name: Internal name. It doesn't necessarily have to match your AWS IAM User Name
  • Enter the "Access Key" and "Secret" generated in the previous step
  • Region: this is where your resources are created. If you use multiple regions, repeat the same steps with the other region
  • Save
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If saving this provider returns an error, make sure to validate that the IAM User associated to the Access Key you used has the right privileges.

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Last updated on June 5, 2023