Create and use Cloud Block Storage snapshots

  • Last updated on: 2020-03-20
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

Previous section: Prepare your Cloud Block Storage volume

A snapshot is a copy made of your volume at a specific moment in time. It contains the full directory structure of the volume. Each subsequent snapshot on a volume is a delta or “diff” that captures the changes from the previous snapshot. YOu can use snapshots as incremental backups of your volumes, as restore points for your data, as long-term storage for your data, or as starting points for new Cloud Block Storage (CBS) volumes. Snapshots are stored in Rackspace Cloud Files. If you plan to make many backups of your volume, consider using Cloud Backups, which is quicker and enables better verision control.

The first snapshot of a volume takes up only as much storage space as the data that fills it. So if you have a 1 TB volume with 500 GB of data on it, your snapshot is only 500 GB. When you create new volumes from a snapshot, the new volume must be of equal size or larger than the original volume from which you made the snapshot. Also, the new volume must be in the same region. It can, however, be a different type.

Create a snapshot

It is a good idea to detach your volume from your server before you take a snapshot. This is the safest method to prevent your server from writing information while you are backing it up. That could get your data out of sync and could create a problem. To detach your volume, see the instructions on how to detach and delete volumes. You can always re-attach the volume by following the steps in Allowing snapshots without detaching the volumes steps on the Create/Attach Volume page.

More advanced users might sync the file system to ensure the integrity of the data on your snapshots. Performing a sync flushes file system buffers and writes the data out to disk. If you are unfamiliar with how to sync your file system, consider detaching your volume prior to snapshotting.

You can create a snapshot by either using the Actions button or from the Storage Snapshots screen.

From the Actions button:

  1. From the list of Cloud Block Storage Volumes:
    • Click the Actions button on the Volume Details screen. or
    • Click the Action cog next to the volume name in the Block Storage Volumes screen.
  2. Click Create Snapshot.
  3. Give the snapshot a name. The default is the volume’s name with the numbered snapshot (for instance, My-CBS-Volume-3 for the third snapshot).
  4. Click Create Snapshot.
  5. After the “Creating snapshot for volume” popup no longer displays, you can safely reattach your volume.

    Note: The data in the snapshot is instant at the point in time starting when you click Create Snapshot. While the “Creating” status shows, the snapshot already exists at the point in time of the submitted request. During the “Creating” status, the snapshot is compressed, de-duped, and transferred to Cloud Files storage, where it is backed up in triplicate.

From the Storage Snapshots screen:

  1. From the Storage Snapshots screen, click Create Snapshot. The Volume to Snapshot menu displays.
  2. Click the circle next to the volume to take a snapshot.
  3. Give the snapshot a name. The default is the volume’s name with the numbered snapshot (for instance, My-CBS-Volume-3 for the third snapshot).
  4. Click Create Snapshot.
  5. After the “Creating snapshot for volume” popup no longer displays, you can safely reattach your volume.

    Note: The data in the snapshot is instant at the point in time starting when you click Create Snapshot. While the “Creating” status shows, the snapshot already exists at the point in time of the submitted request. During the “Creating” status, the snapshot is compressed, de-duped, and transferred to Cloud Files storage, where it is backed up in triplicate.

Note: If a snapshot of a volume exists, you cannot delete the volume until you delete the snapshot.

Create volume from snapshot

The volume you create from a snapshot must be the same size and in the same region as the original volume. However, you may choose a different type.

  1. From the Block Storage Snapshots screen, click the Action cog next to the snapshot.
  2. Click Create Volume.
  3. Give your volume a name by using alphanumeric, underscore, and dash characters.
  4. Select a Volume Type:
    • Standard: This is a standard SATA drive for users who need additional storage on their Cloud Server.
    • High Performance: This is an SSD drive, which offers a higher performance option for databases and high performance applications.
  5. Click Create Volume.

The larger your volume, the longer it takes to create.

Delete snapshot

  1. From the Block Storage Snapshots screen, click the Action cog next to the snapshot.
  2. Click Delete Snapshot.

Next steps: Detach and delete Cloud Block Storage volumes

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