Best practices for using snapshots in the vSphere environment

Follow these best practices when using snapshots in the vSphere environment:
• Do not use snapshots as backups.

The snapshot file is only a change log of the original virtual disk, it creates a place holder disk, virtual_machine-00000x-delta.vmdk, to store data changes since the time the snapshot was created. If the base disks are deleted, the snapshot files are not sufficient to restore a virtual machine.

• Maximum of 32 snapshots are supported in a chain. However, for a better performance use only 2 to 3 snapshots.

• Do not use a single snapshot for more than 72 hours.

The snapshot file continues to grow in size when it is retained for a longer period. This can cause the snapshot storage location to run out of space and impact the system performance.

• When using a third-party backup software, ensure that snapshots are deleted after a successful backup.

Note: Snapshots taken by third party software (through API) may not appear in the Snapshot Manager. Routinely check for snapshots through the command-line.

• Ensure that there are no snapshots before:
• Performing Storage vMotion in vSphere 4.x and earlier environments.

Note: vSphere 5.0 and later support Storage vMotion with snapshots on a virtual machine.

• Increasing the virtual machine disk size or virtual RDM.

Increasing the disk size when snapshots are still available can corrupt snapshots and result in data loss.


More Stories
Cisco ISE High Level Design