Snapshots allow you to create restore points for your VMs in vSphere. In this article, we discuss how to take snapshots and how to delete them.
Overview of Snapshots
Snapshots are useful when you need to return to the same state multiple times without creating multiple VMs. With snapshots, you can create restore points.
This allows you to preserve the basic state of a VM before migrating it to another type of operation.
While snapshots provide a "snapshot" image of the disk, regular erasure of the snapshots made is recommended. If you have a large number of snapshots, they will take up a lot of disk space and hurt the performance of the VM.
Note: Snapshots should not be used as a primary backup method for VMs.
The snapshot allows you to capture the status of your VM when you launch it. This snapshot includes (per your choice):
- The status of all disks in the VM
- The contents of the VM's memory
Warning: It is not possible to change the size of a disk when a snapshot is taken on a VM.
Taking a Snapshot
Right-click on your VM. Then choose Snapshots and Take Snapshot... from the ensuing menu.
You must now specify the name you want to assign to this snapshot, its description, and if you want the VM memory to be included in the snapshot as well.
Here you can make a snapshot with or without the RAM used by the VM. If you integrate the RAM into the snapshot, this will increase the time it takes to complete the task, but it will prevent an otherwise necessary reboot when restoring the snapshot.
You can find all snapshots of your VM in the snapshot manager. To do this, right-click on the VM, then choose Snapshots and Manage Snapshots from the ensuing menu.
Next, we'll look at a few tasks you can perform from the "Manage Snapshots" screen.
Deleting a Snapshot
From the "Manage Snapshots" screen, select the snapshot you want to delete and click Delete.
All VM snapshots can be removed in one operation by clicking Delete All.
Restoring a Snapshot
From the "Manage Snapshots" screen, select the snapshot you wish to restore and click Revert To.
The presence of redundant disks can affect the performance of your VMs. Snapshot consolidation is useful when the snapshot disks fail to compress after a delete operation. After consolidation, redundant disks are removed, improving VM performance and saving storage space.
To perform a consolidation, right-click on the VM. Then, choose Snapshots and Consolidate from the ensuing menu.
You can find more information about consolidation on the VMware documentation site.
Having read this article, you should now be able to manage your VM snapshots directly from the vSphere Web Client.