6 Differences between Backups and Snapshots

Backups and Snapshots are meant to have different uses.

Backups allow you to have an archive of your server, with copies that get automatically  renewed periodically and that allow recovery of data from a former state, such as reverting your server to a previous state at any time.

Snapshots, on the other hand, are meant to create concrete instants of your servers. For instance, you can use them to create a single capture of your server right before performing an important change – like a software update – and, if needed, go back to a previous state. Or you can also save a template image of your servers and use it to create new servers in the future.

  1. Backups are safer than Snapshots

    Backups are kept in a storage cluster completely independent from the one that stores your cloud server data.  Meanwhile, Snapshots are kept in the same storage cluster as your cloud server. In case of any event taking place on the main storage system, your Backups will be safe in a completely independent storage system.

  2. Backups are programmable, Snapshots are manual

    Backups are programmable, so once you set them up, they will renew automatically and periodically. Snapshots are managed manually. That is, they are created and deleted manually. Snapshots are kept “frozen”  at the moment and date of their creation, and so neither renewed nor modified by themselves.

  3. Snapshots allow you to clone Servers

    Let´s say that you use very often a specific software setup very often.  With the Snapshots you can create a server, install and setup all the software that you need and then save a Snapshot of that server with all the software pre-installed. This way, you can use it in the future to create new servers that will be identical to the template image. Besides, you can also use them to instantly clone instantly any server that you already  have working.

  4. Backups are linked to the original Server, Snapshots are not

    Backups are linked to the original server. That is to say, if you delete the Server, along with it you will delete also the Backups (24 hours after you have deleted the server). Snapshots are not linked to the original server, so if you delete the server, the Snapshot is still available for future uses.

  5. Snapshots are faster than Backups

    Snapshots are always instant. Creating a snapshot, creating a server from a snapshot or reverting a server to a previous snapshot are processes done in a few seconds. Backups are not instant, once activated, it might take up to 24 hours before you have the first Backup available. Moreover, restoring a server from a snapshot can take from several minutes up to more than an hour depending on the size of the server disc.

  6. The price of Snapshots and Backups is the same

    Yeah, you got us, this is not a difference. Just to make your life easier and to maintain a price model that is as simple as possible, the price of Backups and Snapshots is approximately 0,50€ per month (0,000685 € per hour) for each block of 25 GB of SSD disc of the original Server. As you can see, Snapshots and Backups are very economic!

Do you have any questions about this post? Do you need clarification about any issue regarding Backups and/or Snapshots? Write to us at [email protected], we will be pleased to answer all your questions 🙂

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