Snapshots.

Saving 75% of your time.

Snapshot are best firend of every developer. The following article explains every aspect of this supers functionality and shows, how to backup and restore snapshots. The content also covers cloning your environment using snapshots in order to minise development time.

What is snapshot?

Snapshot records the complete state of your disk for the moment of taking a snapshot. A snapshot might be used to restore your server exactly to the point of taking the snapshot. This is not the same as file backup – using a snapshot you work on the whole disk images, not separate files. You cannot restore a single file or folder, you restore a server to a specified point.

We recommend to power down the server prior to making a snapshot. This is very important for maintaining the databases integrity. Taking a snapshot in Cloudentic usually lasts not longer than 2-3 minutes.

How to use snapshot at work?

As a restore point

The first popular purpose of snapshot is creating a restore point. After launching your server you usually install applications (e.g. Apache + PHP, MySql, FTP server, e-mail server etc.) and apply configuration you want to use. This takes some time, so it’s a good idea to make a snapshot once you finish. Let’s assume you want to apply some bigger configuration changes now, but you’re not 100% sure what it won’t break anything.

Power down the server and make a snapshot, using server menu. After a few minutes your snapshot is done. Power on the server, apply the desired changes. If it doesn’t really work – you can easily restore the whole server to this point, using a snaphot, made a few minutes ago!

As a source for cloning

Another useful possibility is cloning. Let’s say you’re a developer, who has favourite set of applications (e.g. LAMP + WordPress) and a set of favourite plugins, which you use for almost every project. Then it’s a pretty good idea to set up the environment only once.

Once you have it ready, power down the server and take a snapshot using Server menu in Cloudentic panel. Then you can start another server and, instead of picking a ready system image, pick the previously generated snapshot… and that’s it! You have a new server which is a copy of the previous one, so you’re good to go with another project.

Things to remember

  • Snapshot is NOT the same as backup.
  • Snapshot is an IMAGE of your diskspace.
  • Snapshot can be restored on the same server or a new server.
  • Power down the server before taking a snapshot to ensure database integrity.