Efficiently Archiving Scaleway Block Volume Snapshots to Object Storage via the CLI

Data storage costs are a critical component of managing cloud resources. To optimize these costs, it is wise to archive old snapshots from costlier block storage to more economical object storage solutions. In this post, we explore how you can perform this archival using the Scaleway command-line interface (CLI), reaping savings and promoting a streamlined and automatable process.

I host an couple of small servers on Scaleway, and typically run this type of sequence before weekly updates, as part of an ansible role.

Why Shift Snapshots to Object Storage?

  • Cost Savings: Object storage is more economical than block storage, especially for data that requires infrequent access.
  • Further Savings: Transitioning archived data to glacier class storage can reduce costs even more.
  • Automation: Repetitive tasks like snapshot archival can be automated, ensuring consistency and reliability, particularly before scheduled updates or maintenance.

Setting Up the Scaleway CLI Container

Scaleway conveniently provides a docker container for their CLI, which of course can also be run using Podman - my preference. This nicely avoids cluttering your system.
Check out the doc: https://github.com/scaleway/scaleway-cli/blob/master/docs/docker.md

Keeping the CLI Up-to-Date

Ensure that you are using the most up-to-date version of the Scaleway CLI. Run the following command to pull the latest image:

> $ podman pull docker.io/scaleway/cli:latest                                                                                                                                                                                                
Trying to pull docker.io/scaleway/cli:latest...
Getting image source signatures
Copying blob 573149b0d1be done   | 
Copying blob 659d66d51139 skipped: already exists  
Copying blob 7d848d073608 done   | 
Copying config e02e6ff9b7 done   | 
Writing manifest to image destination

The above command fetches the latest version of the Scaleway CLI Docker image, ensuring you have all the recent features and bug fixes.

Snapshot Archival Process

Here’s how we carry out the snapshot archival:

Listing Volumes

Firstly, list all the volumes to determine which ones will have snapshots created or archived:

> $ scw instance volume list

You will receive a list of volumes with IDs, names, sizes, and properties - crucial data for snapshot management.

Creating New Snapshots

To create a snapshot of a volume, use the command:

> $ scw instance snapshot create name=generic-snapshot-name volume-id=your-volume-id

Replace generic-snapshot-name and your-volume-id with your specific snapshot name and the ID of the volume you want to snapshot.

Listing Snapshots

Review your current snapshots to manage them effectively:

> $ scw instance snapshot list

This command displays an informative list with details like snapshot IDs, names, sizes, and the current state.

If successful, the ouput should be similar to this:

> $ scw instance snapshot list                                                                                                                                                                                                               
ID                                    NAME                        ORGANIZATION                          PROJECT                               TAGS  VOLUME TYPE  SIZE   STATE      CREATION DATE  MODIFICATION DATE  ZONE      ERROR REASON
f3a6247c-8200-4555-85ba-90e8d77aa434  testvolume-202310231240     9aa34dfa-b999-999a-b0ec-8d5dc81e3820  9aa34dfa-b999-999a-b0ec-8d5dc81e3820  []    b_ssd        20 GB  available  1 day ago      23 hours ago       fr-par-1  -
e653d02f-e4ef-44f5-bf36-669d44ab99a1  System volume-202310231240  9aa34dfa-b999-999a-b0ec-8d5dc81e3820  9aa34dfa-b999-999a-b0ec-8d5dc81e3820  []    b_ssd        15 GB  available  1 day ago      23 hours ago       fr-par-1  -

Exporting Snapshots to Object Storage

Move older snapshots to an object storage bucket with the following command:

> $ scw instance snapshot export zone=your-zone snapshot-id=your-snapshot-id bucket=your-bucket-name key=name-of-snapshot-in-object-storage.qcow2

Replace placeholders with the appropriate snapshot ID, zone, bucket name, and the desired object key.

The ouput status will show pending until the snapshot has successfully been moved. For instance:

> $ scw instance snapshot export zone=fr-par-1 snapshot-id=f3a6247c-9999-999-85ba-90e8d77aa434 bucket=testbucket key=testvolume-202310231240.qcow2                                                                                    
Task.ID           4b739f95-e232-4d70-9e81-213070f32cae
Task.Description  export_snapshot
Task.Progress     0
Task.StartedAt    now
Task.Status       pending
Task.HrefFrom     /snapshots/f3a6247c-9999-999-85ba-90e8d77aa434/export
Task.HrefResult   https://s3.fr-par.scw.cloud/testbucket/testvolume-202310231240.qcow2

Deleting Redundant Snapshots

After successful export, delete the old snapshots from block storage to start saving costs:

> $ scw instance snapshot delete snapshot-id=your-snapshot-id zone=your-zone

This command will remove the snapshot from your list, eliminating the costs associated with it.


By transitioning snapshots from block to object storage, and potentially further into glacier storage, you can optimize your cloud storage costs effectively. Automation through the CLI not only saves money but also time and adds reliability to your data management operations.