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Automating AWS EBS Snapshots With Python and Boto3

In this guide, we'll discuss how to automate AWS EBS snapshot creation and receive email notifications using Python and Boto3. We will cover the entire process step by step, from setting up the AWS environment to writing and executing the Python script.


Before we begin, ensure that you have the following:

  1. An active AWS account.

  2. Basic knowledge of AWS services, particularly EBS, Lambda, and SNS.

  3. Familiarity with Python programming and the Boto3 library.

Setting Up the AWS Environment and Installing Boto3

In order to automate EBS snapshots and send email notifications, we need to configure the AWS environment by performing the following steps:

  1. Install the AWS CLI on your local machine by following the official AWS guide.

  2. Configure the AWS CLI by running the command aws configure and entering your AWS Access Key ID, Secret Access Key, and preferred AWS region.

  3. Install the Boto3 library by executing the command pip install boto3.

With the environment set up, we can proceed to create an SNS topic.

Creating an SNS Topic to Notify of EBS Snapshots

Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) allows us to send email notifications. To create an SNS topic, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

  2. Navigate to the SNS dashboard.

  3. Click on "Topics" in the left menu, and then select "Create topic".

  4. Choose "Standard" as the topic type and enter a name and display name for your topic.

  5. Click "Create topic" to finalize the creation process.

  6. Copy the ARN (Amazon Resource Name) of the newly created topic for later use.

Now, let's move on to writing the Python script.

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Automating EBS Snapshots with Python and Boto3

Create a new Python file,, and add the following code:

import boto3
import datetime

# Replace the ARN with your SNS topic ARN
SNS_TOPIC_ARN = 'arn:aws:sns:us-west-2:123456789012:MyEBSSnapshots'

def create_snapshot_and_notify(volume_id):
    ec2 = boto3.resource('ec2')
    volume = ec2.Volume(volume_id)

    snapshot = volume.create_snapshot(
        Description=f'Snapshot of {volume_id} on {}'

    sns = boto3.client('sns')
    response = sns.publish(
        Message=f'Snapshot {} created for volume {volume_id}',
        Subject='EBS Snapshot Created'

    return response

def lambda_handler(event, context):
    VOLUME_IDS = event['volume_ids']

    for volume_id in VOLUME_IDS:
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Replace the SNS_TOPIC_ARN variable with the ARN of the SNS topic created earlier. This script takes a list of EBS volume IDs and creates snapshots for each one, then sends an email notification with the snapshot ID.

Scheduling the Boto3 Script to Automate EBS Snapshots

To schedule the script to run periodically, follow these steps to create an AWS Lambda function and set up an Amazon CloudWatch Events rule:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

  2. Navigate to the Lambda dashboard and click on "Create function".

  3. Select "Author from scratch" and enter a name for your function, such as ebs_snapshot_automation.

  4. Choose "Python 3.8" as the runtime, and then configure the function's execution role.

  5. Click "Create function" to finalize the creation process.

  6. In the "Function code" section, upload the script or copy the script into the inline editor.

  7. Set the lambda_handler as the handler for your Lambda function.

  8. Navigate to the Amazon CloudWatch dashboard and click on "Rules" under the "Events" section.

  9. Click on "Create rule" and select "Schedule" as the event source.

  10. Configure the rule to run at your desired frequency (e.g., daily or weekly).

  11. In the "Targets" section, select the Lambda function you created earlier.

  12. Click "Configure details" and provide a name and description for the rule.

  13. Click "Create rule" to set up the scheduled event.

With the CloudWatch Events rule in place, the Lambda function will execute the Python script at the specified interval, automating EBS snapshot creation and sending email notifications.


In this article, we have demonstrated how to automate AWS EBS snapshot creation and send email notifications using Python and Boto3. We covered setting up the AWS environment, creating an SNS topic, writing the Python script, and scheduling the script using AWS Lambda and Amazon CloudWatch Events.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your EBS volumes are backed up regularly and that you receive timely email notifications. This process will help you maintain data consistency and recover from potential data loss or failures, ensuring the reliability and stability of your AWS infrastructure.

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