DigitalOcean Droplet snapshot – How it differs from a backup?
Looking for details of a DigitalOcean Droplet snapshot?
A snapshot is a full disk image of either a Droplet or a Volume at a specific point of time.
Often users confuse between a Droplet snapshot and automatically taken backup.
At Bobcares, we get requests to create snapshots of Droplets, as a part of our DigitalOcean Management Services.
Today, our Support Engineers will provide a brief guide on how to take a Droplet snapshot and its differences from backup.
A quick look on Droplet snapshot
A snapshot is an on-demand disk image of DigitalOcean Droplet or a Volume. It is completely different from a backup. A snapshot contains whole information that is associated with a Droplet.
We can use the snapshot to create a new Droplet, to migrate the Droplet to a new region. We can also use it to restore a Droplet to the point of time when it was taken.
But a snapshot is independent of its source Droplet. We can view the Droplet in the DigitalOcean control panel even if the source Droplet does not exist.
To access a snapshot select MANAGE >> Images from the DigitalOcean panel. Now let’s see the possible ways to create a Droplet snapshot.
How to create a Droplet snapshot?
We can create a snapshot of a Droplet using the DigitalOcean control panel. It offers two options to take a snapshot.
- One is turning off the server and taking the snapshot.
- Live snapshot.
In servers with high traffic, it may not be possible to turn off the server. So DigitalOcean also allows users to take a live snapshot. The option of the live snapshot can affect data consistency. That’s why our Support Engineers do not recommend live snapshot unless necessary.
The steps to take Droplet snapshot after turning it off are:
1. Turn off the Droplet using the command,
shutdown -h now
We can do via the frontend by sliding off the on the switch in the right corner of the Droplet control panel.
2. Then from the side panel select the Snapshot option. Here, we select the option Take Snapshot.
Whereas, if we want to take a live snapshot select the Snapshot option from the Droplet control panel. This panel shows the option Take live snapshot, select it. And this option appears as,
After taking the snapshot we can view it in the snapshot list.
Difference between backups and Snapshots
Many users often get confused between backups and snapshots of Droplet. Even though both are disk images of the Droplet they have considerable differences too. Let’s see a few of them.
Backups in DigitalOcean are automatic and retained for four weeks. Whereas snapshots are created manually, it gets removed only when we choose to do it.
A backup is incremental, but a snapshot is a disk image at the point of time we take it.
[Still, confused about DigitalOcean Droplet snapshots? – We can help you.]
So far, we have a brief description of the DigitalOcean droplet snapshot. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers create a Droplet snapshot. We also saw the difference between snapshots and backups.