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akoustic
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Alternate Snapshot storage location

Hi experts,

We currently have a virtual environment with daily snapshots running on all VMs. I got two part question.

1. Where are the snapshots kept?

2. Is there a way to change the location of snapshots. Ultimately I want the snapshots to be stored on a storage appliance on its own.

I don't know if this make sense... 😐

Thanks!

Kevin

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a_p_
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As the other posters mentioned, snapshots should only be kept as long as necessary.

1. Where are the snapshots kept?

By default snapshots are kept in the VM's base folder. No matter where you place the vmdk's.

2. Is there a way to change the location of snapshots. Ultimately I want the snapshots to be stored on a storage appliance on its own.

Yes, it is possible to define an alternate location (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1002929), however I think you won't be happy with what you are trying to do. This is because snapshots in VMware are actually chained with the base vmdk disk. This means while running a VM with snapshots, all snapshots are used by the VM. Therefore you should place the snapshots preferably on the same storage. See http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015180

I don't know if this make sense... 😐

I think it doesn't.

André

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piaroa
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Hello there,

Snapshots are kept in the VM folder, if you have, say 3 vmdks and those are in different datastores, you'll have a snapshot(s) file in each folder for each vmdk.

I don't think it's possible to define a different place to store the snapshots.

Keep in mind that snapshots are intended to be used and removed after a short amount of time (I think that more than 15 days is a no-no, especially if your VM changes a lot). Snapshots are a temporary backup for when working on something that can brake your VM, but are not a backup solution for your VMs.

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RParker
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I don't think it's possible to define a different place to store the snapshots.

There is, but you have to modify the vmx file. I don't remember exactly the parameter (because it's just a big hassle), but your right about the rest.

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RParker
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A) there is a way to separate snapshots from the VM, but it requires editing the vmx config file

B) Snapshot are not supposed to be in lieu of LONG term backup or replace copies.

C) IF you are running of of space (which is probably your intention of moving snapshots) then you should simply move the entire VM to larger datastores, much easier solution.

D) Consider what you are using snapshots for, probably not an ideal solution if they are growing rapidly and out of control.

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a_p_
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As the other posters mentioned, snapshots should only be kept as long as necessary.

1. Where are the snapshots kept?

By default snapshots are kept in the VM's base folder. No matter where you place the vmdk's.

2. Is there a way to change the location of snapshots. Ultimately I want the snapshots to be stored on a storage appliance on its own.

Yes, it is possible to define an alternate location (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1002929), however I think you won't be happy with what you are trying to do. This is because snapshots in VMware are actually chained with the base vmdk disk. This means while running a VM with snapshots, all snapshots are used by the VM. Therefore you should place the snapshots preferably on the same storage. See http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015180

I don't know if this make sense... 😐

I think it doesn't.

André

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DuncanArmstrong
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You generally speaking won't want all virtual machine snapshots (for all virtual machines) in one location, as you're looking at a lot of Copy On Write load for that LUN or datastore (this also means you're looking at a lot of SCSI reservations being made).

With that said, having them all in one virtual machine directory for each virtual machine also seems less than desirable, but it ensures files are easily found.

Still, you can relocate the files by modifying the .vmx file as per the KB article suggested, or set the default working path for a directory, again through the same concept.

Also don't keep snapshots longer than you need to; they're not backups and do have demands of their own (particularly with space and commitments/removal). http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015180, as posted above, is helpful to explain how space utilization works between delta disk files.

Kahonu84
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You're walking on a slippery slope dude.

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continuum
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I often repair broken snapshots and related issues.

When ever I see that a user has modified the path to the snapshots it gives me the shivers ....

So please forget it - you sleep better if you keep snapshots in the default location




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