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pwarren
Aug 16, 2011

Can snapshots be used in place of backups?

My buddy at work says that we can save time running backups of our VM's by just running snapshots. I say that's not exactly the case. Who's right?

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zeeman
08/16/2011

You are correct, kind sir. Snapshots are not a replacement for backups.

 

A virtual server file will contain the data that's inside the virtual drive. The snapshot just keeps track of which bits are where, so you can load a snapshot if you have to restore the virtual machine, and it would place the files you right back where you had them. But in the case of a corruption or loss of virtual drive (say, by a failed hard disk error), you'll want to have a backup of the entire virtual drive to perform a restore. Yes, by all means you should be using the snapshot feature; but you also have to make backups.

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