AWS Lightsail snapshots – now automatic for Linux

As an update to my previous post on using lambda to automate snaphots, I’ve finally logged back into the Lightsail console and seen they have added a new feature – automatic snapshots.

There’s now an automatic snapshot section – note that the manual snapshots above are the 14 days dutifully maintained by the lambda script

It looks like the feature was added in October, based on the help site.

You’re able to change the time the snapshot is taken, but not the amount of history maintained

I won’t be switching from the lambda function as I require 14 days on Lightsail boxes, but if you’re happy with the following constraints, then it’s a great option:

  • Pre-set to 7 days of snapshot retention (no more, no less)
  • Must be set to run at a specific time (no triggers)
  • Available on Linux boxes only (no Windows as yet)

Automating AWS Lightsail backups using snapshots and Lambda

Update 11/11/19 – limited automatic snapshots now available.

Some of the most glaring omissions from Lightsail are scheduled tasks or triggers – which would provide the ability to automate backups. Competitors in this space like DigitalOcean are all set, as they offer a backup option, whereas for AWS I’m assuming they hope you’ll shift over to EC2 as fast as possible to get the extra bells and whistles.

Of course you can manually create snapshots – just log in and hit the button. It’s just the scheduling that’s missing.

I have one Lightsail server that’s been running for 6 months now, and it’s all been rosy. Except – I had been using a combination of first AWS-CLI automated backups (which wasn’t ideal as it needed a machine to run them), and then some GUI automation via Skeddly. However – while Skeddly works just fine, I’d rather DIY this problem using Lambda and keep everything in cloud native functions.

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