AndyAdmin
Contributor
Contributor

Alternative to keeping snapshots for a while. We need a quick/good VM/OS restore option.

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Hello,

We have the need to keep snapshots for weeks or months, but this is a no-no when it comes to our VMWare admin's rules. 

We do application installations/testing and take snapshots before we get started (so that we have a roll back point to before we started).  This may take months in some situations, and with our VMWare Admin's rules, we shouldn't keep the snapshots for any more than 48-Hours for performance reasons (because of the way snapshot technology works). 

My question is:

What is the alternative to snapshots for our situation? 

Hopefully it's something as easy as snapshots...

Your help is truly appreciated. 

Thanks,

Andy

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello Andy,

There is a solution, use Linked Clones for each test, or clone the VM. Application Installs/Testing should be for QA not production. If you are using this for production then I think your 'tests' are running too long myself. For QA there are lots of options outside of snapshots.

Is this for Test, Development, QA, or Production? For all the rest, there are ways. For Production I would agree with your current administrative staff.

Actually, I would start looking into automation tools and build engines so that you can rebuild anything very easily. Check out my Foray into Jenkins, Docker, etc... The technique can also work for regular VMs.

Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009, 2010, 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015

Author of the books 'VMWare ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2011 Pearson Education. 'VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment', Copyright 2009 Pearson Education.

Virtualization and Cloud Security Analyst: The Virtualization Practice, LLC -- vSphere Upgrade Saga -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello Andy,

There is a solution, use Linked Clones for each test, or clone the VM. Application Installs/Testing should be for QA not production. If you are using this for production then I think your 'tests' are running too long myself. For QA there are lots of options outside of snapshots.

Is this for Test, Development, QA, or Production? For all the rest, there are ways. For Production I would agree with your current administrative staff.

Actually, I would start looking into automation tools and build engines so that you can rebuild anything very easily. Check out my Foray into Jenkins, Docker, etc... The technique can also work for regular VMs.

Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009, 2010, 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015

Author of the books 'VMWare ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2011 Pearson Education. 'VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment', Copyright 2009 Pearson Education.

Virtualization and Cloud Security Analyst: The Virtualization Practice, LLC -- vSphere Upgrade Saga -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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AndyAdmin
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Texiwill,

Thanks for the reply!  Smiley Happy

This is only for DEV, TEST, & QA environments. 

I'll check into Linked Clones. 

Also, we just started working on our Jenkins implementation for CI/CD need, so I'm guessing we'll also see how this can help with spinning up VMs as well.

Thanks!

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

Absolutely. It is setup to just that actually. Granted you need to setup replicas to do Linked Clones and those are similar to snapshots but handled a bit differently. It is what I did within my Foray. I used Jenkins to 'build' the infrastructure using linked clones but you can also just clone, it is slower but works.. NO scripting required once the proper plugin is added to Jenkins. And it is perfect for this type of work.

Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009, 2010, 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015

Author of the books 'VMWare ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2011 Pearson Education. 'VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment', Copyright 2009 Pearson Education.

Virtualization and Cloud Security Analyst: The Virtualization Practice, LLC -- vSphere Upgrade Saga -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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AndyAdmin
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

Since linked clones will create live instances of the parent VM...

Should this only be used when installing/testing on a standalone server?  (BTW, we are using W2K8R2 & Win2012R2 servers OS)  I ask because I'm concerned about conflicting IP/hostnames in the same VLAN (because each linked clone would be attached to the same network with the same hostname). 

Thoughts? 

Thanks. 

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