About Cloud Server images

  • Last updated on: 2016-01-11
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

Creating an image lets you have saved images for later use as a template or master image. You can then use the saved images to easily restore a server to a known configuration or rapidly deploy additional servers with an identical configuration. Using the Cloud Control Panel, you can create images on-demand.

Note: Because images are not automatically verified they should not be used as a back-up solution.

For all server types

Please take note of the following limitations when creating server images:

  • Cloud Server images are good for storing configuration and static data but are not a reliable way to back up a dynamic database. We recommend using standard backup tools such as mysqldump or the SQL Server Management Studio for this task. We also recommend backing up your database before creating an image of your Cloud Server.

  • Cloud Server images cannot be transferred between accounts, and you cannot build a server using an image from another account - even if you own both accounts.

  • ISOs and images from non-Rackspace servers cannot be uploaded to Cloud Files and used to build a new Cloud Server.

  • Image creation goes through several stages, from preparing the server data for the imaging and the actual copy of the image to Cloud Files. The process can take several hours if the disk is extremely large.

  • Image creation can have a delayed start if there are a large number of image requests at one time for a group of servers. The number of concurrent images are limited in order to keep the disk activity of multiple images from affecting performance on a host. If the image takes longer than 24 hours to complete contact Rackspace Cloud support.

  • If the image process fails more than once and you’re sure you aren’t past the image limits, contact Rackspace Cloud support. Our admins may be able to succeed where our automated processes do not.

Linux Servers

  • When an image creation is attempted the system runs a process that tries to reclaim space that has been freed by deleting files and images. That process continues even if the image creation process is aborted because of disk limits at the time the process begins. That means that in some cases, trying an image creation process again about a half hour after it fails could result in a successful image process thanks to that cleanup operation.

Windows Servers

  • On a Windows Cloud Server, current or previous disk usage cannot exceed 160GB. Due to limitations with the Windows filesystem, the underlying virtual hard disk cannot shrink once it has expanded. Therefore, if you have resized your server larger than 160GB, our imaging system will not be able to take an image of the server. We recommend taking an On-Demand image of your configuration before you reach 160GB of data on a Windows machine for this reason.

  • If you take a snapshot of a Windows Cloud Server that is configured to be a Domain Controller (DC), you will be unable to restore from that image. Our build system relies on the local Administrator account to perform configuration tasks, and that account becomes disabled once a server is promoted to be a DC. If you wish to create a image of a server that is also a Domain Controller, you must first demote it from being a DC before performing the image creation process.

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