AWS News Blog

Amazon RDS Update – Share Encrypted Snapshots, Encrypt Existing Instances

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to secure your AWS environment. Some of our more recent announcements in this area include encrypted EBS boot volumes, encryption at rest for Amazon Aurora, and support for AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) across several different services.

Today we are giving you some additional options for data stored in Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). You can now share encrypted database snapshots with other AWS accounts. You can also add encryption to a previously unencrypted database instance.

Sharing Encrypted Snapshots
When you are using encryption at rest for a database instance, automatic and manual database snapshots of the instance are also encrypted. Up until now, encrypted snapshots were private to a single AWS account and could not be shared. Today we are giving you the ability to share encrypted snapshots with up to 20 other AWS accounts. You can do this from the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), or via the RDS API. You can share encrypted snapshots within an AWS region, but you cannot share them publicly. As is the case with the existing sharing feature, today’s release applies to manual snapshots.

To share an encrypted snapshot, select it and click on Share Snapshot. This will open up the Manage Snapshot Permissions page. Enter one or more account IDs (click on Add after each one) and click on Save when you have entered them all:

The accounts could be owned by your organization (perhaps you have separate accounts for dev, test, staging, and production) or by your business partners. Backing up to your mission-critical databases to a separate AWS account is a best practice, and one that you can implement using this new feature while also gaining the benefit of encryption at rest.

After you click on Save, the other accounts have access to the shared snapshots. The easiest way to locate them is to visit the RDS Console and filter the list using Shared with Me:

The snapshot can be used to create a new RDS database instance. To learn more, read about Sharing a Database Snapshot.

Adding Encryption to Existing Database Instances
You can now add encryption at rest using KMS keys to a previously unencrypted database instance. This is a simple, multi-step process:

  1. Create a snapshot of the unencrypted database instance.
  2. Copy the snapshot to a new, encrypted snapshot. Enable encryption and specify the desired KMS key as you do so:
  3. Restore the encrypted snapshot to a new database instance:
  4. Update your application to refer to the endpoint of the new database instance:

And that’s all you need to do! You can use a similar procedure to change encryption keys for existing database instances. To learn more, read about Copying a Database Snapshot.


Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.