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Vultr VPS Snapshots Quickstart Guide

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 6, 2020
Quickstart Guides System Admin

Snapshots are an effective way to make a complete backup of your server. This tutorial explains how to use the snapshot feature on Vultr.

What is a Snapshot?

A server snapshot is a point-in-time image of the entire instance SSD. We do not stop the instance when taking a snapshot, and booting from a snapshot is similar to rebooting after a non-graceful restart. Modern file systems and databases handle this scenario well. Still, you may want to take additional measures to guarantee your data's consistent state when running very active and write-intensive database-type systems. For example, with MySQL, you can set a cron job to run mysqldump to separate directory on the local file system.

Are Snapshots different than Backups?

A snapshot and a backup are both point-in-time images of the instance. Backups can also be converted into snapshots. The main differences:

  • Snapshots are manual.
  • Backups are automatic and have an additional cost.
  • Vultr keeps the two most recent backups. If you need to preserve a specific backup, you can convert it into a snapshot.

Physically, snapshots and backups are the same. The difference is automation and billing.

Create a snapshot

  1. Log in to the customer portal.
  2. Click Products, then click the server to snapshot on the list.
  3. Click the Snapshots tab.
  4. Type a label for the snapshot and click the Take Snapshot button.

The snapshot will start. When the status changes from Pending to Available, the snapshot is complete.

Restore a snapshot

You are not able to restore individual files from a snapshot directly. When restoring a snapshot, you restore the entire instance. You can restore a snapshot to a new instance and then retrieve individual files if needed.

To restore a snapshot, deploy a new instance.

  1. Log in to the customer portal and click Deploy.

  2. At the Server Type selection, select the Snapshot tab and pick your snapshot from the list. You can identify the snapshot from the description. Make sure that the instance size is equal or larger than the snapshot size. If the snapshot was created from a 25 GB instance SSD, you could only restore to a 25 GB instance or larger.

  3. Select your plan and optional features, then click Place Order.

A new instance will be launched based on your snapshot. Once it boots, it will be ready for use. You may need to make networking changes after restoring a snapshot. See the guide, Correcting Network Configuration After Snapshot Restore.

Remove a Snapshot

Deleting a snapshot is permanent. Deleted snapshots cannot be restored. This process does not delete the instance, it only deletes the individual snapshot.

To remove a snapshot:

  1. Log in to the customer portal.
  2. Click Products, then Snapshots
  3. Find the snapshot to delete and click the Remove Snapshot icon.
  4. A confirmation pop-up appears. Click the Remove Snapshot button.

Manage Snapshots via API

The Vultr API offers several endpoints to manage snapshots.

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