When To Use Block Storage Snapshots


This article describes best practices for when you should use SpinUp Block Storage snapshots.

Prerequisites

You need a basic understanding of the Block Storage product. It is also helpful to have a fundamental understanding of disaster recovery concepts, backup solutions, and fault tolerance implementation.

Understanding Block Storage snapshots

Block Storage snapshots are point-in-time copies of your storage volumes. This enables you to have reference points for data that you keep stored on Block Storage volumes. Snapshots taken of a Block Storage Volume will only include data from the specific volume which you choose to snapshot. Additional data from the server’s local disk, and other Block Storage volume’s which are attached to the Cloud Server, will NOT be included and instead must have their own individual Snapshots taken.

Common Uses for Block Storage snapshots

  • Restore Point: In scenarios where you need to roll back to a previous point to recover the data being stored on a storage volume, you can build a new volume from a previous snapshot. From there, you can attach the newly created volume to your existing server to compare data sets.

  • Incremental backup: An incremental backup is a good option to back up static files or provide cold storage for applications that are more focused on data storage and less focused on dynamic data. You should understand that you should not use an incremental backup as your only backup solution, and you should regularly test snapshots to ensure data integrity.

  • New volume creation: You can also use snapshots as starting points for creating new volumes. This is appropriate for scaling or replicating data storage across multiple volumes quickly for scaling.

Block Storage snapshot creation

As a best practice, consider detaching the storage volume from the server prior to creating the snapshot. This is especially important if the server is constantly writing data to the storage volume. If data is being written to the volume during the snapshot, there is a chance the data being copied is not in sync.

You should also periodically check the snapshots for integrity. This means spinning up new volumes from snapshots, attaching the new volume to a Cloud Server to verify that everything is in place.


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