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Snapshot Management

What is a Snapshot?

A Snapshot is a customized image of your server that is usable with Hostwinds servers. Snapshots capture specific moments on your server with all the data contained. You can use this on a new server instance, a copy of an existing server, to help get multiple servers deployed quickly.

How to take a Snapshot

To make full use of this article, you must log in to the Client Area and navigate to the Cloud Control Portal. In the Cloud Control area dashboard select the server you wish to create a snapshot of.

Note: The instance MUST be powered down to avoid any corruption and changes while taking the snapshot. To do so, select the server you wish to make a snapshot of, and open the advanced menu. Then find and click the Shutdown button to make it ready to create a snapshot. Note that you can also use the blue Bulk Actions dropdown button to do this.

Once your instance is powered off, you can safely create a snapshot from the Actions drop-down and select Snapshot Server at the bottom of the dropdown. A pop-up window will appear for confirmation and allowing you to name your snapshot.

Next click on the Storage dropdown link from the Cloud Control menu at the top of the dashboard, and click on the Snapshot link. A pop-up prompt will appear. Choose the server that you have just shut down from the dropdown list in the prompt and click the green Confirm button to start the process. This may take a few moments to complete.

Once your snapshot completes, your server will not automatically turn back on. Instead, you will need to come to this exact location and select the Boot option. Note the Boot button replaces the shutdown button when ready.

Note: As your server is taking a snapshot, it will periodically display its currently taking actions during the process. You will see the image Pending Upload most of the time until the snapshot is 100% complete. It is essential to note your instance will not be accessible until this is complete.

Taking A Snapshot From a Specific Server's Management Page

As above, make sure that your instance is powered off so you can safely create a snapshot.

Once you've done this, click on the blue Actions dropdown button and select Snapshot Server at the bottom of the dropdown to begin the process. In the Cloud Portal and on your table of Cloud Servers, click on the Storage drop-down and select the Snapshots option.

A pop-up prompt appears and you are given a text field to name your snapshot. Choose your name and click the green Confirm button to start the process. This may take a few moments to complete.

How To Manage Your Snapshots

Once you have created a snapshot, you can use it as a backup or for other purposes such as creating volumes.

To manage and use your snapshots proceed to your Cloud Control area and click the Snapshots link on the Storage dropdown button. You will move to the Snapshot Overview page where a table displays all of your current snapshots. Each snapshot comprises a row of the table and you can view a breakdown of each below.

  • Name: The way in which you will distinguish your server. Clicking on the name of the snapshot also allows you to change the name if you need to.
  • Location: The datacenter where the snapshot is located.
  • Size: The amount of space the snapshot takes up on your server.
  • Status: Shows the status of the snapshot.
  • Min Disk: Size of the disk the snapshot has been stored on.
  • Created: the month, day, year, and time the snapshot was created.
  • Actions drop down link: Perform a set of actions using your snapshots here.

Restoring from a Snapshot

To restore a server from a snapshot image, move to your Cloud Control area or your My Servers page and from there find the server you wish to restore.

To start the process click on the Actions dropdown link for the server you wish to restore and click the Reinstall link. A pop-up prompt will then appear showing the name of the server you are currently working on and it will provide a choice of reinstall options in a menu. Click on the Snapshots link to view a list of the snapshots you can use. When you've found the Snapshot to use, click on the Snapshot option and then click the green Confirm button.

Restoring from a snapshot may take a few moments. Hostwinds dashboard will alert you of the status of the reinstall.

Deleting A Snapshot

It is important to note that when a Snapshot is deleted it will not be retrievable. If you want to keep this snapshot for later you should download it before deletion

Note: To make full use of this article and delete a snapshot, you must log in to the Hostwinds Client Area. Additionally, this article outlines an essential process in your Cloud Control portal. To access your Cloud Control portal, click on the Cloud Control dropdown on the top of the Client portal dashboard menu and click on the Cloud Portal link.

Start in the Cloud Control area. From here, move to the top menu, click on the Storage dropdown link and click on the Snapshots link to move to the Snapshots page. From here, click the Actions dropdown link on the snapshot you would like to delete and click on the Delete link to delete the snapshot. You must click on the Confirm button for the complete deletion of your snapshot.

Written by Hostwinds  /  July 9, 2021