How to take a snapshot of a volume

Introduction
Taking a volume snapshot
Managing volume snapshots

 

Introduction

A volume snapshot is a copy of a storage volume (root disk or data disk), captured at a point in time.

Volume snapshots are different from virtual machine snapshots. See How to take a snapshot of a VM.

Volume snapshots can be taken manually as described in this document, or automatically at scheduled intervals: see How to setup a recurring snapshot of a volume.

Important

Volume snapshots are not guaranteed to be application-consistent. There are no guarantees you will be able to recover all of the data that was in the original disk. 'Open file' applications such as databases are likely to have incomplete or corrupt data in a snapshot.

 

Each volume snapshot consumes an amount of space equal to the original volume size. Because of this, volume snapshots are not a cost effective way of storing multiple backups of a volume. The most efficient approach is to use recurring snapshots, for which only the most recent (one or two) snapshots are retained, and set the snapshot frequency to daily or hourly as required.

To make use of the data in a snapshot, you can convert it to a volume, and attach the volume to a VM in order to access the stored data.

A snapshot can be converted to a template, which can be used to create VMs. See How to create a template from a volume snapshot.

Taking a volume snapshot

Click Storage in the left-hand menu. Click the name of the volume you wish to snapshot.

Alternatively, you can start from the list of virtual machines (click Virtual Machines in the left-hand menu), click the name of a virtual machine, and then click the View Volumes button, which shows the root disk and any additional data disks for that VM.

In the volume's Details sub-panel, click the Take Snapshot button in the task bar: . The following dialog should appear:

Use the Name text box to provide an optional name. If the name box is left blank then the snapshot will be named with the volume name plus a date and time string.

Click OK to take the VM snapshot. You don't need to wait on this page for the process to complete. The creation process will usually take some minutes to complete, depending on the data size of the volume.

A notification box will appear when the snapshot creation is complete.

Managing volume snapshots

Click the name of a volume. Click the View Snapshots button in the Details sub-panel: .

A list of snapshots for this volume will be displayed:

Alternatively, you can see a list of all the snapshots in your VDC account by clicking Storage in the left-hand menu, then use the Select view drop-down list to select Snapshots.

Note: The snapshot list contains manual snapshots (see 'MANUAL' in the Interval Type column) and also snapshots generated by any recurring snapshot process.

A new snapshot will appear in the list of snapshots with the state ‘BackingUp’, otherwise a successful state will be ‘BackedUp’, with a green indicator dot.

Click the name of a snapshot to show its Details sub-panel:

There is a task bar containing buttons for three operations:

  • Create a template: Templates that you create will appear in the 'Mine' category of the Templates panel, and in the 'My Templates' category when you deploy a new virtual machine. For details, see How to create a template from a volume snapshot.

  • Create a volume: The volume that you create will appear in the list of volumes in the Storage panel and the contents of the volume can be accessed by using Attach Disk to attach the volume to a VM. For more details, see How to add a volume to your VM.

  • Delete the snapshot: Note that deleted volume snapshots cannot be recovered.