Snapshot a vApp/VM

Before making changes to a vApp or VM, a snapshot or recovery point, can be made. For more information, also see the VMware help page: Best Practices for Using Snapshots in the vSphere Environment


Tip: Snapshots consume disk space. Ensure that you delete them when they are no longer required. This makes the disk space available for other VMs.


Guidelines for Using Snapshots

Follow these guidelines when using snapshots:


Guideline Reason

Do not use snapshots as backups.

The snapshot file is only a change log of the original virtual disk. It creates a place holder disk, virtual_machine-00000x-delta.vmdk, to store data changes since the time the snapshot was created. If the base disks are deleted, the snapshot files are not sufficient to restore a virtual machine.

Do not use a single snapshot for more than 24-72 hours.

The snapshot file continues to grow in size when it is retained for a longer period. This can cause the snapshot storage location to run out of space and impact system performance.

Delete snapshots when they are no longer required.

Snapshots consume disk space. Deleting them allows the disk to be available for other VMs.

See Delete a vApp/VM Snapshot.

Snapshot a vApp/VM


Warning: Only one snapshot can be present at a time. If a snapshot already exists, it will be deleted first and then the new snapshot created.

Follow these steps:

1. From the vCloud Director portal, select a VDC then either the vApps or Virtual Machines tab.


2. Select a VM, then Actions and Create Snapshot



3. In the Create Snapshot window, select the required options and click OK. See Memory and Quiesce States below for more information about the options.



Note: It may take a few minutes for the snapshot to be created. You can check the status in the Recent Tasks bar at the bottom of your screen. 

Memory and Quiesce States

The following definitions apply to the memory and quiesce states:


State Description Note

If the <memory> flag is 1 or true, a dump of the internal state of the VM is included in the snapshot.


Memory snapshots take longer to create, but allow reversion to the VM's running state when the snapshot was taken.


If this option is not selected, and quiescing is not selected (see below), the snapshot will create files which are crash-consistent and can be used to reboot the VM.

When taking a memory snapshot, the entire state of the VM will be stunned.


For more information, read the VMware Knowledge Base Article: VM Becomes Unresponsive or Inactive When Taking a Snapshot (1013163)



Quiesce: If the <quiesce> flag is 1 or true, and the VM is powered on when the snapshot is taken,


VMware Tools is used to quiesce the file system in the VM. Quiescing a file system is a process of bringing the on-disk data of a physical or virtual computer into a state suitable for backups. This process might include such operations as flushing dirty buffers from the operating system's in-memory cache to disk, or other high-level application-specific tasks.

Quiescing indicates pausing or altering the state of running processes on a computer, particularly those that might modify information stored on disk during a backup, to guarantee a consistent and usable backup.


Quiescing is not necessary for memory snapshots; it is used primarily for backups.


Restore a vApp/VM From a Snapshot


Warning: Restoring a vApp/VM from a snapshot will discard ALL changes made since the snapshot was created.

Follow these steps:


1. From the vCloud Director portal, select VDC > Virtual Machines tab. The vApps or VMs with a snapshot will display a blue dot as shown below.



2. To revert to a snapshot (recovery point), select Actions > Revert to Snapshot. 



Note: It may take a few minutes for the snapshot to be restored.

Delete a vApp/VM Snapshot

Snapshots consume disk space and should be deleted when they are no longer required.


Follow these steps:


1. From the vCloud Director portal, select VDC and either the vApps or Virtual Machines tab.


2. vApps/VM's with a snapshot will display a blue dot as shown below. 



3. Select Actions > Remove Snapshot. This will keep the vApp/VM in its current state and delete the recovery point.



Note: It may take a few minutes for the deletion to be actioned.




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