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Merging Vmware snapshot file

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
If I understand when creating a snapshot in vmware, a delta file gets created. Any new data that gets written to disk goes to the delta file, this will help us to revert back to the old version.

 - I would like to know how to manually merge the Delta file with the original file?
- I also would like to know when using back up image level (VrangerPro) or file level (Netbackup), if the delta file gets merged to the orginal file. If we have multiple snapshot then perform a backup, would this merge all the snapshots(delta files) with the original file or just the last snapshot?
- If I go to vmware and check the snapshots after the back, what am I supposed to see there? just the original file?

Thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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6 Comments
 
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evgeny_f31 earned 125 total points
ID: 35005059
you merge delta with original by deleting snapshot in vmware, then all the data written to the original vmdk file.
afaik, backup soft doesnt aware of vmware snapshot, and just backing up the current state of the vm.
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by:jskfan
ID: 35005475
didn't get it you might have missed some words.
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by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 125 total points
ID: 35006902
You merge snaps by going into snapshot manager and choosing to Delete the snap (or Delete all to merge all snaps). Merging/Deleting snaps is always a manual process, except when using VM backup software (like Veeam). VM b/u software will create a snap during the b/u (or replication) process), then automatically remove the snap upon completion of the job. You can also remove/delete/merge snaps via cmd line too.

Here are some good reads on snaps if you haven't already seen them "jskfan":
Snapshot Best Practices: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1025279
Commit Snaps When Not in Snapshot Mgr: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1002310
Commit Snaps via Cmd Line: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1026380
Understanding Snaps: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015180

When backing up a VM, it's always best to *not* have a snap on that VM. You will have to check with your VM backup software vendor/support to verify its functionality with current snaps on a VM. Veeam will backup all files, including snaps. It creates its own snap of the VM, then remove the snap it creates once the b/u or repl job is done.

If you look in the VM's folder after all snaps are committed/deleted/merged (all used for some function when refering to snaps -> a snap delete merges data from delta to the delta's parent virt disk, which may be another snap in a tree of snaps. When the data is fully merged/commited to the delta's parent disk, the current snap is then deleted, thus why VMware uses 'Delete Snapshot'. If there are several snaps on a VM, the process continues until all snaps have been merged, and then deleted.)

Hope that helps.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:mail2vijay1982
mail2vijay1982 earned 125 total points
ID: 35017103

Hi,

Please go through the below link, before deleting snapshot.

http://sfons.blogspot.com/2008/12/vmware-snapshot-files-deltavmdk-will.html
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by:prak_seafarer
prak_seafarer earned 125 total points
ID: 35019036
u can goto the snapshot manager and do a delete all. this will merge all the snapshots into the main flat file.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 35024560
Thanks Guys!
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