This feature provides the tools you need to review and refine your snapshot retention policy. Snapshot management allows you to set the snapshot policy at the account level and at the environment level; you can also delete unneeded snapshots from the account or environment levels.
Snapshots are an important part of a high availability strategy but keeping lots of old snapshots around can add up in usage charges. If you find that you have a number of snapshots that you no longer need, you can use the snapshot management / delete function to clear them out and reduce your monthly costs.
Get started with snapshot retention policy on Engine Yard
Here are some ways that you can verify the snapshot retention policy for your environment.
To verify snapshot retention policy
You can view the account-wide setting for snapshot retention period (used for "orphaned" snapshots only) using Tools > Snapshots.
You can view the environment-specific setting for number of snapshots (per instance) and retention period (per environment) on the Edit Environment page.
You can view the retention period, in days, on the Snapshot Management page.
You can view the date and time a snapshot was created (and therefore, when you can expect it to be deleted), on the Snapshot Management page.
Once you have deleted snapshots, you can refresh the Snapshot Management page to see the remaining snapshots.
Note: Deleting an instance or an environment does not make the related snapshots go away; Engine Yard deletes snapshots based on the set retention period (default 90 days).
You might have these questions about the snapshot retention policy feature.
Why do I have WAY more snapshots than I expected (for example, I have 5 instances, yet have more than 500 (5x100) snapshots)?
This can happen if you cycle your instances often. Remember that the number of snapshots is per instance. So if you have 5 running instances and 10 deleted instances, you can have (5+10)x100 snapshots associated with that environment.
Why do I still have snapshots even though the related instance and environment have been deleted?
Snapshots are kept even after an instance is stopped, and after an environment has been deleted. This is a precaution, in case you need the snapshots to rebuild an instance or to build up a replacement environment. The default is to keep snapshots 90 days.
Why am I being charged for snapshots even though the environment is long gone?
See above answer. The snapshot retention policy should be set based on your app's needs. If you have old snapshots that you no longer need, see Manage snapshots in an environment for information on deleting unused snapshots (even those no longer associated with a particular environment).
Why is there no name in the Environment column associated with snapshots in the list of snapshots for this environment?
Snapshots that appear in your snapshot management list without an associated environment name are probably abandoned snapshots from a deleted environment. If you no longer need them, it is OK to delete these snapshots. Or, if you do nothing, Engine Yard will delete them when the snapshot retention period (default 90 days) has passed.
Can I set a retention period per instance? or per app?
No; retention period (in days) is set per environment. The account-level default is 90 days.
Can I keep more snapshots for my database (for example, 20 for database and 5 for app master)?
No; the number of snapshots setting is per instance, across the environment. Remember that snapshots are generally small and incremental and are relatively low-cost. Use backups to ensure data integrity.
What's the difference between a backup and a snapshot again?