SnapProtect backs up all of the instances identified on the Content tab for a subclient, including active EC2 instances and instance EBS volumes. Backups for Amazon are crash consistent.

SnapProtect does not back up AMIs or instance store volumes.

When multiple VSA proxies are available, a proxy in the same zone is given priority, or a proxy in the same region if no proxy in the same zone is available. A proxy in the same region must be available to perform backups.


  • You cannot perform a streaming backup of the root volume for an instance that is launched from AWS Marketplace. To back up instance data, include the instance as content for the subclient and create a filter to exclude root volumes. To perform a backup that includes the root volume, use SnapProtect for Amazon.
  • When an instance is discovered during backup, a client for the instance is created in the CommCell Console if one does not already exist. If an instance with spaces or special characters in its name is discovered during backup, the spaces or special characters are replaced with underscores ('_') when creating the instance client name that is displayed in the CommCell Console. The instance name with spaces or special characters is still displayed on the Instance Status tab for the backup job, in the backup job summary, and in reports that include the instance name. The following special characters are replaced:

    [ \ \ | ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * + = < > ? , { } ( ) : ; ' \ " \ \ s / ]

Backup Process

The backup operation includes the following stages:

  1. For each instance, create an AMI.

    This operation creates a crash consistent snapshots of instance volumes.

  2. Create volumes from the snapshots.
  3. Attach volumes to the VSA proxy.

    Up to 21 volumes can be attached to the VSA proxy during backups, occupying device slots xvdf - xvdz. This limit includes any volumes already attached to the proxy. If EBS is attached to slot xvdf, only 20 volumes can be attached. 

  4. Back up the volumes, using CRC for incremental changes and directing data through the MediaAgent for the storage policy associated with the backup.
  5. Unmount, detach, delete the snapshots, and delete the AMI.
  6. Deregister the AMI.

Note: Storage blocks on EBS volumes that are restored from snapshots must be initialized before the block is accessed. This action can increase the time required to read and write data for the volumes, and significantly increase the time required for backups and restores. Amazon is working to resolve this issue. For more information, see Initializing Amazon EBS Volumes.