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I have seen a lot of Amazon EC2 backup scripts that utilize the EC2 API. Specifically, I'm interested in scripts that use snapshots of EBS. I found an interested script with a "pruning strategy" here:, and I have seen many bash scripts that use the "ec2-create-snapshot" command, but I am confused in general about where scripts like these should be run from.

I understand that once I have worked out a script that functions the way I need, I can place it in the crontab to automate it, but what machine should be running the actual script?

Is it appropriate to have an instance running these scripts to back up itself? I am looking for some guidance on best practices here, and would appreciate any input.

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For anyone else using this strategy, remember to change the script within any instance that you launch from one of these snapshots (assuming the volume being backed up is hard-coded). Otherwise, the new instance will be making snapshots of the old instance (duplicates) instead of itself. – snapfractalpop Sep 20 '12 at 2:02
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Generally speaking, it is fine to run a backup script on the server (instance) you are running. The important point is to verify your backup later and to keep the backup on a different machine (or disk) to avoid losing the original data with the backup altogether.

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Ok, thanks! AFAIK, the snapshots should be stored separately on Amazon. – snapfractalpop Jun 4 '12 at 20:27

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