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ESX 4.1 snapshot manager - how to commit and discard changes made after snapshot

Posted on 2012-09-07
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Hi All,

Been a while since i have used snapshots. Im upgrading a server so i want to run a snap shot before making the changes. Im just testing on a VM at the moment but im slightly confused as to which option to use in the manager when either committing the change or discarding.

I have the options of 'goto' 'delete' or 'delete all'.

If i choose delete it seems to commit the change.

If i use the goto option it tells me its going to the revert to the exising snapshot (as there is only1 ) and nothing appears to change. Its only when i then subsequently delete the snapshot that it then reverts.

Is this behavior correct?
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Question by:MJB2011
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1000 total points
ID: 38375798
If you Delete ALL the Snapshot it COMMITs the changes!

if you want to rollback the changes, select Goto the Snapshot (eg go back in time to that moment the Snapshot was made/created r.g. ROLL BACK).

and then Delete the snapshot, after you've gone back! (it will then discard the select snapshot and not merge the changes).

See my EE Article for additional information.

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient
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by:MJB2011
ID: 38375840
OK, this makes sense. What is confusing is that when i look at the manager after taking the snap it tells me that the snap shot is active as in "you are here". When i then select the "goto" button it tells me that it will revert. When i acknowledge this the manager still appears to be running on the snap shot. Giving the impression that nothing has changed. This is confusing. Its only when i then delete the snap shot that it then reverts back to "as was".
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coolsport00 earned 1000 total points
ID: 38376008
Yes, the verbiage of snapshotting is a bit confusing.

Let me explain a bit -> When the Delete and Delete All options are selected, each one will commit all the data/changes that were written to the snapshot disk back to the parent disk of the snapshot (there could be multiple levels of snaps, so be clear here that the parent disk is either the parent snapshot to the snap or the VMDK of the snap). Once that data is "committed" to the parent, then the snapshot file itself is deleted (thus why 'Delete' is used). The Delete option will delete the snap file you select in Snap Mgr. So, if you have mulitple snap levels & only want to commit changes at the lowest (most current usually) snap level, select just 'Delete'. If you're ok with committing ALL changes in every snapshot, just select Delete All and every change will be saved and all snapshot files deleted/removed.

The "Goto" option as @hanccocka mentions reverts you to whatever snap or parent you select. You can then power on the VM and it will show as it did prior to the snap. If you don't want to 'save' the changes made in the snap, you then delete the snap. After you do a 'Goto' option, when you select Delete, at this point the data will NOT be saved to the parent disk.

See here, Understanding Snapshots, for more info: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015180

Regards.
~coolsport00
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