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Best and fastest procedure for backing up VMs (vmware workstation 10 and bringing them to the previous state

Hello,
I was wondering what would be simplest and easiest way of doing backups and bring VMs to the previous state. Using VMware workstation 10. So, for example should we take snapshot or copy the entire folder with VMs???
We are testing forest recovery, so I would like the best method of taking a snapshot or copy of current state and then after the testing, revert to the previous state. Please advise. Could you please list the details on how to do it and recover it.

Thank you very much.
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creative555
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creative555
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Only use Snapshots for a Short Period of time for Testing and Reverting.

A Better Method is to use the CLONE Function, to Obtain a FULL Backup of the VM, before you make any changes.
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creative555Author Commented:
Ok. Short time is how many days? Would it be good for like 2 or three days prior?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No longer than 2 days, you will notice that VMs on a snapshot perform poorly.

Also do not move, or copy VMs on a snapshot between computers.
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creative555Author Commented:
Oh. good to know. SO, the recommended way is to do the clone of the machine and then just use the clone machine and delete the current machine. Right?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Either, CLONE the Machine - this is your backup, use the current machine, if it goes wrong, delete the current failed machine, and rename the CLONE and start again!
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creative555Author Commented:
Do I need to shut down the machine when making the clone or I can clone it while it is powered on?

Same question is for doing the snapshot? Does it have to be off?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
CLONE's can be performed whilst the VM is ON, same with snapshots.
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creative555Author Commented:
Thank you very much!!!
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