AlycatSoftware
Contributor
Contributor

VMWare Snapshots on another drive.

I have done a bit of searching on this, and it seemed that it was either not possible or hard... but the posts seemed to be from a while ago so I am wondering if WS 8 supports this... (hoping!)...

My new laptop has a 256G SSD, dedicated to Windows host (Win 7) and WMWare - I set it up that way for speed. VM has a 100G drive and with 5 snapshots, I am up to about 150G, plus Windows, so about 200G all up of my 256G.... and I would like to keep more than 5 snapshots... and I have a hardly used 500G second drive just sitting there!... can I store my snapshots on the second drive?

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7 Replies
a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

Although snapshots can be located in a different location using the "workingDir" entry in the VM's configuration file, this does not make any sense in your case. With VMware products, snapshots are used as chains, which means each snapshot is in use. If you would locate the snapshots on a slower drive, this would slow down the whole VM. Please take a look at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015180 to see how snapshot work.

In addition to the above, I don't recommend using snapshots as backups. They really aren't. If one of the chain links becomes corrupt, you might loose all newer data! Also due to how snapshots work, the VM becomes slower with each additional snapshot. This may not be a real issue with the VM on an SSD, but it definitely is an issue on HDDs.

André

abirhasan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Here is the Snapshots best practice, Please have a look..

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=102527...

abirhasan   
AlycatSoftware
Contributor
Contributor

Although snapshots can be located in a different location using the "workingDir" entry in the VM's configuration file, this does not make any sense in your case. With VMware products, snapshots are used as chains, which means each snapshot is in use. If you would locate the snapshots on a slower drive, this would slow down the whole VM. Please take a look at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015180 to see how snapshot work

Ok, thanks, that makes sense after reading that.

.

In addition to the above, I don't recommend using snapshots as backups

I was not intending to - the vm is used for software development, and what I do is take a snapshot before a big change, a risky change, or say upgrading a component, and if things do not work out I can just roll back to that snapshot. I suppose I could restore the whole vm from a backup but the snapshot is way faster. I might look at sync'ing files back from a backup rather than copying the whole lot, that MAY be faster, depending on how many files have changed. I took a copy of my vm earlier, loaded it, and then closed it straight away, and 25G of 150G had changed... (well at least the timestamps had changed, did not match files).

Thanks.

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AlycatSoftware
Contributor
Contributor

Here is the Snapshots best practice, Please have a look..

Ok, thanks, lot of info in there... and some things I did not realise. May have to look at how I use snapshots...

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AlycatSoftware
Contributor
Contributor

  • The maximum supported amount in a chain is 32. However, VMware recommends that you use only 2-3 snapshots in a chain.
  • Use no single snapshot for more than 24-72 hours.

I am a bit confused here, does this mean the practice of setting vmware to do autoprotect snapshots, and keeping say 5, is not recommended and can cause performance and disk space problems?

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

Autoprotect feature is 100% against best practice - thats why I use to call it Autodestruct.

If you use snapshots use them carefully and only when they really make sense .... before a Windows-update .... before a Test-installation of a program .... or something like that

If you consider to use Autoprotect I highly recommend to backup the complete VM-directory regularly so that you are protected against Autoprotect failures.


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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AlycatSoftware
Contributor
Contributor

Autoprotect feature is 100% against best practice

That was the way I read it, and why I found it confusing, VMWare is saying this is best practice... and saying AutoProtect is this great feature...

If you use snapshots use them carefully and only when they really make sense

Ok

If you consider to use Autoprotect I highly recommend to backup the complete VM-directory regularly so that you are protected against Autoprotect failures.

OK, will do.

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