2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 23, 2018 12:43 PM by ScottMH

    Does Backing Up Virtual Machines Save Snapshots Too?

    ScottMH Lurker

      Hi All,

       

      I'm rather new to the world of VMs. I have been researching backup solutions for VMs for the last few days. I have found suggestions to perform backups by:

      • Export to an OVF template
      • Browse the DataStore and Download/Upload the files back to other inventories.

       

      My question is: If I have a number of different Virtual Machines with each one having about 2 snapshots each, is it somehow possible to create a backup of the entire VM and also have the Snapshots backed up as well so that if I restored the VM on a different host the VM would work as before and the Snapshot Manager would still show the snapshots? I searched forums for a while and couldn't find any valuable information.

       

      I have tried exporting to an OVF template and the server seemed to be cloned just like it was on the other host, but the snapshots in the Snapshot manager were lost.

       

      Please let me know if you need any more information.

       

      Thanks.

       

      vSphere Client Version 5.5.0

      VMware ESXi 5.5.0

        • 1. Re: Does Backing Up Virtual Machines Save Snapshots Too?
          daphnissov Guru
          vExpertCommunity Warriors

          I'm rather new to the world of VMs. I have been researching backup solutions for VMs for the last few days. I have found suggestions to perform backups by:

          • Export to an OVF template

          Not really a backup per se but a way of preserving the virtual machine. Note that not all metadata can be preserved in this fashion and so exporting to an OVF isn't really considered a backup.

           

          • Browse the DataStore and Download/Upload the files back to other inventories.

          Definitely not a good way to backup a VM for a variety of reasons.

           

          My question is: If I have a number of different Virtual Machines with each one having about 2 snapshots each, is it somehow possible to create a backup of the entire VM and also have the Snapshots backed up as well so that if I restored the VM on a different host the VM would work as before and the Snapshot Manager would still show the snapshots? I searched forums for a while and couldn't find any valuable information.

          There are ways to work around this, but they're not really official methods built into backing up a virtual machine. Unless you have a very specific use case (i.e., not just general VM activity), this probably isn't something you should be doing. Running VMs on multiple snapshots is not a recommended thing to do for long periods of time.

           

          Most backup tools will take a consolidated view of the VM from that point, effectively collapsing all snapshots down into the state the backup application captures. When restored, there will be no snapshots present on the machine.

          • 2. Re: Does Backing Up Virtual Machines Save Snapshots Too?
            ScottMH Lurker

            Thank you so much for the timely response! We use Snapshots at my workplace for automation purposes each night to test new development. We are interested in backing up our VMs just in case the server goes out so we need to keep the individual snapshots.

             

            It looks like there is no real way to backup these VMs and keep the snapshots then... We might need to try a different approach to this problem then.

             

            Thank you