Welcome to the blog post on creating backups in DynamoDB using Python and Boto3. DynamoDB is a highly scalable and fully managed NoSQL database service provided by AWS. It offers fast performance, seamless scalability, and built-in security features. Backing up your DynamoDB tables is crucial for data protection and disaster recovery. In this blog post, we will explore how to create backups in DynamoDB using the Boto3 DynamoDB create_backup method, the AWS SDK for Python.

Boto3 makes it easy to interact with AWS services using Python. We will demonstrate step-by-step examples using Python code snippets to illustrate the process of creating backups in DynamoDB. By the end of this blog post, you will clearly understand how to implement backup functionality in your DynamoDB applications using Boto3.

import boto3
dynamodb = boto3.resource('dynamodb')

Understanding DynamoDB Backups

Before we dive into creating backups in DynamoDB, let’s first understand what backups are and why they are important. A backup is a copy of your data that you can use to restore your DynamoDB table in case of data loss or corruption. Backups serve as a safety net and help you recover your data to a previous point in time.

In DynamoDB, backups are point-in-time copies of your table. They capture the entire state of the table when the backup is initiated. Backups are stored in Amazon S3, a highly durable and scalable object storage service AWS provides. This makes it easy to retain and restore your backups whenever needed.

When creating a backup, DynamoDB manages the underlying infrastructure and ensures a consistent and reliable backup process. You can create backups manually or automate the process using Boto3 and Python. With backups in place, you can recover your data from any point within the retention period, which can be specified while creating the backup.

# Get information about backups
response = boto3.client('dynamodb').describe_continuous_backups(

Setting Up Boto3 for DynamoDB

Before creating backups in DynamoDB using Boto3, we need to set up the Boto3 library and establish a connection to DynamoDB. Follow the steps below to install Boto3 and configure your AWS credentials.

1. Install Boto3 using pip:

pip install boto3

2. Configure your AWS credentials:

import boto3
session = boto3.Session(
dynamodb = session.resource('dynamodb')

Make sure to replace YOUR_ACCESS_KEY, YOUR_SECRET_KEY, and YOUR_REGION with your AWS credentials and desired region.

For more secure AWS permissions management, we recommend you consider AWS-vault.

Using Boto3 DynamoDB create_backup

Now that we have set up Boto3 and established a connection to DynamoDB, we can create a backup of our DynamoDB table. The process of creating a backup involves a few simple steps, as illustrated below:

1. Specify the table name:

table_name = 'your-table-name'

2. Create the backup:

response = dynamodb.create_backup(

Make sure to replace your-table-name with the actual name of your DynamoDB table and your-backup-name with a suitable name for your backup.

Restoring a Backup with Boto3

In addition to creating backups, DynamoDB also provides the capability to restore a backup to a new or existing table. This can be useful in scenarios where you need to recover your data from a previous point in time or create a replica of an existing table. Follow the steps below to restore a backup using Boto3:

1. Specify the source backup ARN:

backup_arn = 'arn:aws:dynamodb:us-east-1:123456789012:table/your-table-name/backup/1234567890123'

2. Specify the target table name and backup creation options:

target_table_name = 'restored-table-name'
backup_creation_options = {'BackupCreationDateTime': '2021-01-01T00:00:00.000000Z', 'BackupName': 'your-backup-name'}

3. Restore the backup:

response = dynamodb.restore_table_from_backup(

Make sure to replace ‘your-table-name’ with the actual name of the table from which the backup was created, arn:aws:dynamodb:us-east-1:123456789012:table/your-table-name/backup/1234567890123 with the ARN of your source backup, restored-table-name with the desired name of your restored table, and your-backup-name with the name of the backup you want to restore from.

Automating Backups with Python

Manually creating backups can be time-consuming and error-prone. To simplify the process and ensure consistency, you can automate the creation of backups using Python and Boto3. By leveraging the power of Python scripting, you can schedule regular backups, customize backup options, and automate the entire backup workflow.

Here’s an example of how you can automate backups using Python:

1. Import the necessary modules:

import boto3
import datetime
import time

2. Specify the table name:

table_name = 'your-table-name'

3. Create a backup:

backup_name = f'{table_name}-backup-{datetime.datetime.now().strftime("%Y%m%d-%H%M%S")}'
response = dynamodb.create_backup(

The above code generates a unique backup name based on the current date and time, creates a backup of the specified table, and prints the response from the create_backup API.

Best Practices for DynamoDB Backups

When it comes to creating backups in DynamoDB, there are some best practices that you should follow to ensure the integrity and availability of your data. By following these best practices, you can optimize your backup strategy and minimize the risk of data loss. Here are a few key recommendations:

1. Regularly schedule backups

Implement a backup schedule that aligns with your business requirements. Whether it’s hourly, daily, or weekly, having a regular backup cadence helps protect your data and enables faster recovery in case of any incidents.

2. Retain backups for an appropriate duration

Determine the retention period for your backups based on compliance and regulatory requirements. Retaining backups for a longer period ensures you have multiple restore points available.

3. Automate backups

Utilize automation tools and scripts to schedule and manage backups. This reduces manual effort and ensures backups are consistently created without human error.

4. Test backup restore process

Periodically test your backup restore process to ensure the backups are valid and can be successfully restored. This helps validate the effectiveness of your backup strategy and identify any potential issues in advance.

5. Monitor backup operations

Regularly monitor backup operations to ensure they are completed successfully and within the expected timeframes. Set up alerts and notifications for any backup failures or anomalies.

By adhering to these best practices, you can establish a robust and reliable backup strategy for DynamoDB that protects your data and provides peace of mind.


In this blog post, we have explored the process of creating backups in DynamoDB using Python and Boto3. We started by understanding the importance of backups and their role in data protection and recovery. We then walked through setting up Boto3, creating backups, restoring backups, and automating the backup process.

Boto3 was a powerful tool for interacting with DynamoDB and simplifying backup operations. We could create backups, restore data from backups, and even automate the entire backup workflow with a few lines of Python code.

Remember to follow the best practices for DynamoDB backups, such as scheduling regular backups, retaining them for an appropriate duration, and testing the restore process. By implementing these recommendations, you can ensure the safety and availability of your data.

By now, you should have a solid understanding of creating backups in DynamoDB using Boto3 and incorporating automation into your backup strategy. Start implementing these techniques in your DynamoDB projects and enjoy peace of mind with a robust backup solution.


Here are some helpful resources for further reading and reference: