Archive Old EBS Volume Snapshots

Opportunity Name:

Archive Old EBS Volume Snapshots

AWS Resource Type:


Opportunity Description:

EBS is an expensive form of storage, costing roughly 3.5x S3 (gp3 storage cost vs S3 Standard). Furthermore, with EBS, you are charged for the entire allocated volume size, even if you only use a small fraction of that allocated space.

When an EBS volume is unused, one may snapshot it and then delete the volume to save on costs. Snapshots offer 37.5% savings vs standard gp3 storage costs, and in practice, the savings are often higher since snapshots only store actual used bytes.

EBS Snapshots are incremental. While this is useful to save costs on snapshot storage, it presents some challenges while archiving snapshots. It is cost-effective to archive a snapshot only if it contains > 25% unreferenced (from previous or later snapshots) data. Finding snapshots that match this criterion can be automated but is time-consuming (analyzing ten volumes takes ~1 hr). Snapshots with FSR enabled and shared snapshots cannot be archived.

Archiving Snapshots provides 75% savings over storing snapshots in the standard tier.

Criteria for identifying the opportunity:

The scenarios covered by this Finder/Fixer are:

  • Snapshot is older than 30 days: We consider all snapshots older than 30 days. This value of 30 days is configurable.
  • Snapshots with at least 25% unreferenced data: As per AWS guidelines (link) this will end up saving costs.
  • Ignore snapshots with fast restore enabled: The presence of FSR configuration indicates that the snapshot may need to be restored instantaneously. Archived can take upto 72 hours.

Potential savings (range in % on annual basis):

Our estimations indicate a potential savings percentage of ~15% on annual Snapshots costs.

What happens when the Fixer is executed?

The Fixer archives the snapshots which fulfils the criteria.


Low Risk. The only risk is that a customer will want to restore an archived snapshot before 90 days and incur additional costs. Our criteria make this unlikely.

Is it possible to rollback once CloudFix implements the fixer?

Manual rollback on your AWS account is possible. One-click rollback via CloudFix for this opportunity is currently not available.

It is important to notice that CloudFix is unable to determine when a fix needs to be rolled-back. This should be determined by the user who would be in conditions to judge that a previously archived trail should be manually restored.

The only risk in archiving snapshots is increasing costs; we’ve taken care of it by choosing snapshots to archive after analyzing them. Rollback will be required only when someone decides to restore the snapshot.

Can CloudFix implement the fix automatically once I accept the recommendation?


Does this fix require downtime?

No. The fix doesn't require downtime.

Finding cost-saving recommendations with CloudFix is FREE! You'll need a paid subscription only if you'd like CloudFix to execute those recommendations.
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