Snapshots capture the current disk state of a virtual machine. Snapshots can be taken while your VM is online, with no downtime.
After a snapshot is taken, you can use it in several ways:
- Create new virtual machines from the snapshot.
- Re-image an existing VM with the snapshot.
- Download the snapshot from the panel.
Thus, snapshots are most often used for backups or to clone a VM.
Snapshots are $0.03/GB/mo, billed hourly. For example, if you have a 100 GB snapshot for ten days (1/3 of a month), you'll be charged $1.00.
Using Snapshots with Block Storage
You can use our infrastructure to transfer data from snapshots to block storage, and from block storage to snapshots:
- Snapshots to block storage: select the snapshot when creating a new volume. This is useful to move an existing VM's boot device to a high availability volume.
- Block storage to snapshots: select the volume, and press Convert to Image. One use case is downloading a volume (you can download the image after the conversion completes).
When you take a snapshot of a VM where the boot device is on a volume, our system will produce an image snapshot.
If you want to copy a volume onto additional volumes, or to snapshot a volume that is not the boot device, you can take a volume snapshot instead, by selecting the volume and then pressing Snapshot.
Taking a Snapshot
- Select a VM, and press Snapshot.
- After the snapshot operation begins, you can monitor progress by selecting the snapshot from Images.
- Once the operation completes, you can create new VMs from the snapshot, re-image an existing VM with the snapshot, or download the snapshot.
Snapshotting VMs that were Provisioned from ISO Images
Before snapshotting a VM that was provisioned from an ISO installation image, the VM needs to be configured to boot to the disk and not the CD-ROM device. This can be done by pressing Swap Boot Order.
Cloning a VM
Our templates come with cloud-init, a software system that automatically reconfigures a VM when it first boots.
This makes cloning easy: when you create a VM from a snapshot, cloud-init will reconfigure SSH, network interface settings, user accounts, the hostname, partitions, etc.
One caveat is that user account passwords may be reset by cloud-init. You may need to select Set Password via cloud-init when provisioning the VM from a snapshot if you are authenticating with passwords.
Replicating Snapshots across Regions
You can replicate a snapshot between our cloud platform locations by selecting the snapshot from Images, and then pressing Replicate.