This article is intended for those who have a Cloud VPS plan with Hostwinds and are interested in understanding how what a snapshot backup is and how to take one. from your Cloud Portal. We will also go over additional information and options you can perform with any created snapshots as well.
What Is A Snapshot
A snapshot is an entire back-up of your server and configurations. This includes everything from icon arrangement, settings, and software installations. Snapshots can be useful for recovery efforts or for spinning up new servers already configured to your needs. You can think of a snapshot as a picture being taken; a picture of your current Cloud VPS. However, it is important to note that snapshots are different than backups. Unlike backups that are taken incrementally usually (or when there is for an example a database change), snapshots are a frozen image of your instance manually taken during a point in time.
Where To Find The Hostwinds Snapshot Section
Hostwinds provides many tools for your instances in the Cloud Control Portal of your account. To review on how to locate your Cloud Control area, please see Cloud Control Overview
Once in your Cloud Control, navigate to the Storage drop-down and select Snapshots.
Once selected, you will be presented a list of any and all snapshots currently taken and stored.
How To Take A Snapshot
Hostwinds provides two ways in order to take a snapshot of a server. However, first, you will need to ensure the instance is powered down to avoid any corruption and/or changes while the snapshot is being taken. To power off your instance, proceed to your Cloud Control portal, and select the instance in which you want to take a snapshot of by clicking on its name.
Now proceed to find and select the Shutdown button. This will turn off your server so you can perform a snapshot.
Once your snapshot is completed, your server will not automatically turn back on. You will need to come to this same location and select the Boot option (in place of the Shutdown button) when ready
Create A Snapshot From Your Instance
Once your instance is powered off, you can safely proceed with creating a snapshot from the Actions drop-down and selecting Snapshot Server
A pop-up window will appear for confirmation, displaying the current name of the server you have selected to take a snapshot of. If you would like to update the name of the snapshot, you can do so at this time by erasing the current name in the Snapshot Name field. When ready, select the Confirm button to begin the creation of your snapshot.
As your server is taking a snapshot, it will periodically display the actions it is currently taking during the process. Image Pending Upload will be seen the majority of the time until the snapshot is 100% complete. With this mentioned, it is important to note your VPS instance will not be accessible until this has been completed.
Create A Snapshot From The Snapshot Section
You can create snapshots from the snapshot section by navigating to your Cloud Control Portal and selecting Snapshots from the Storage drop-down.
From here you can choose Create Snapshot
A pop-up window will appear, asking what instance you would like to take a snapshot of and what name you would like to call it. Once ready, select Take Snapshot.
Your snapshot will now begin creating.
How To Manage Your Snapshots
Once you have snapshots created, you can use them as a backup or use them for other purposes like Templates and Volumes. Proceed to your Cloud Control area and select Snapshots from the Storage drop-down to review any and all available snapshots taken.
Change Snapshot Location
Currently Hostwinds has data-center locations in Dallas, TX and Seattle, WA. Depending on where your instance is stored will determine where your snapshot is archived. As such, an instance located in Seattle cannot manage a snapshot from Dallas. You can visibly see where snapshots are taken underneath the snapshot itself.
You can copy a snapshot to another location by selecting the Actions drop-down adjacent from the one you want to change, and selecting Copy To New Location
This will create a pop-up with available options to move your snapshot. In this example, the current snapshot was located in Seattle and we are wanting to copy the location to Dallas. Once ready, click on Confirm
You will now have a copy of your snapshot in the other location, in this example Dallas.
Creating A Volume With Your Snapshot
You can create a volume of your snapshot should you want to incorporate it as a drive within a separate or same server. You can create volume under the actions tab next to the snapshot you wish to create a volume for. You can review how to manage your volumes with Hostwinds.
Creating A Template From A Snapshot
Your snapshots can be used to create templates for newly created instances or reinstalling a current instance. To proceed, you will first need to Make a Template by selecting the Snapshots from the Action drop-down for which you wish to make a template for. From the Actions drop-down select Make Template.
Once a template is created, it will appear in your Snapshot section among your current snapshots. You can differentiate the templates from the snapshots with the icon.
For more information regarding templates and how to use them, please review the following:
Deleting A Snapshot
Pressing the Delete button under the Actions icon will delete the snapshot from your profile.
The snapshot will not be retrievable after this has been completed.