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Snapshot Management

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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.

To proceed further, you will need to be familiar with Hostwinds Cloud Control and Instance Management sections.

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.

Cloud Control Snapshot Location Image

Once selected, you will be presented a list of any and all snapshots currently taken and stored.

Snapshot Management Section Example Image

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.

Hostwinds Select Instance Image

Now proceed to find and select the Shutdown button.  This will turn off your server so you can perform a snapshot.

Instance Shutdown Button Location Image

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

Instance Boot Location Image

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

Server Snapshot Location Image

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.

Confirmation Snapshot creation for instance image

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.

Instance Image Pending Upload Image

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.

Cloud Control Snapshot Location Image

From here you can choose Create Snapshot

Snapshot Area Create Snapshot Button Location Image

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.

Take Snapshot Pop-up Window Image

Your snapshot will now begin creating.

How To Manage Your Snapshots

Once you have snapshots created, you can use them as a backup or attach them to a VPS as a Volume. Proceed to your Cloud Control area and select Snapshots from the Storage drop-down to review any and all available snapshots taken.

Snapshot Management Section Image

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.

Snapshot Create Volume Image

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.

Delete Snapshot Image

The snapshot will not be retrievable after this has been completed.

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