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VMware SnapShot

Posted on 2014-03-17
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Last Modified: 2014-04-07
I have a virtual machine in which I have installed my application.
The virtual machine has C Drive of 50 GB & D drive of 100 GB.
I want to take a snap shot of this machine so that in case if my machine crashes I want to restore it back. The Snap Shot which I will be doing is only for 1 time. No incremental SNAP Shot.

So wanted to know which is the best method to take this SNAP Shot backup & also please let me know how much storage volume the SNAP shot of my above mentioned VM will consume...
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Question by:SrikantRajeev
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Abhilash earned 2000 total points
ID: 39935363
Do not confuse Snapshot with backup.
Snapshot is a technology that is used to have a safe point to which you can revert to when something goes wrong.
It will create a delta file and all the changes you made since you took the snapshot will be stored in this delta file instead of the original disk.
This will not server as a backup.
Read the first line of this KB
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1025279

Also read this to understand how snapshots work
http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-4-esx-vcenter/index.jsp?topic=/com.vmware.vsphere.vmadmin.doc_41/vsp_vm_guide/managing_virtual_machines/c_about_snapshots.html

If you intend to take a backup you can look at some free tools like Veeam which can help you backup and restore the machine.
There are many ways to backup a VM. You can even keep a copy of the machines folder which will server a s abackup.
I would recommend you to use a third party software. One such software is,
http://www.veeam.com/virtual-machine-backup-solution-free.html
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by:SrikantRajeev
ID: 39936696
My requirement is that I have a VM which I have installed my application. The application is licensed to run only one instance.
So the requirement given to me is that take the SNAPSHOT of the primary VM & use it when the primary VM fails.
How to achieve this. ?
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Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39936861
I would say keep a full copy of the server. Snapshot will not act as a backup like i mentioned before.
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 39936924
The problem is  that the snapshot is tied to the primary, so if the primary fails the snapshot will be toast too!
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39941038
I would suggest any of the following.
1) Take a clone of the server and keep the clone powered down until needed.
2) Export the VM to a OVA/OVF file
3) If you are using vCenter 5.1 leverage Vmware Vm replication to keep a live copy of the server on another host / site
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 39941396
Clones come under the heading of snapshots so you should be ok and meet your requirement
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Author Comment

by:SrikantRajeev
ID: 39949623
Thanks.
In case if I want to take incremental VM Snap or Clone is it possible.
The reason for asking this is because if any changes are made i want to have the incremental also available in a period of 1 week..
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39950082
Ideally the best option is to purchase a backup software solution like VEEman, vRangner, Commvault that can backup the VM files itself and the content winthin a guest OS.

If this is not an option you could create a weekly clone or OVA of the VM
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Author Comment

by:SrikantRajeev
ID: 39964499
Will the Clone include all the storage of the VM ?
I am not getting the diff between snap shot & clone yet
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Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39964572
Yes clone will include all the disks in the VM.
Clone is as it says. Its an exact copy of the machine. No matter what is attached to it.

Snapshot is like a system recovery point in windows. You create a checkpoint when something changed on your VM and it gives you the capability to save the changes you made or discard it depending on your requirement without affecting the actual functionality of the VM.
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Expert Comment

by:MaximVeeam
ID: 39975293
I recommend to download the free tool called Veeam Backup Free Edition - http://www.veeam.com/virtual-machine-backup-solution-free.html It has no expiration date and no limits on the number of VMs.

Veeam Backup Free supports both VMware and Hyper-V. To create a full backup of your VM (with no incrementals):
Add your VM to the working area
Right-click and select VeeamZIP
The last step is to specify the location for your backup file - that's all
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Author Comment

by:SrikantRajeev
ID: 39980850
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39980912
I had suggested Veeam in my first comment. Please reassign the points.
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