Disk snapshots

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BitFolk can, on support request, perform a snapshot of your disk(s).

Why would I want a snapshot?

If you're about to do something risky like a major operating system upgrade then you may want to guard against a disaster by asking BitFolk support for a disk snapshot. Should the worst happen, support will be able to copy the snapshot back over your disk(s) thus returning your VPS back to how it was when the snapshot was taken.

If you didn't have a snapshot then your only option would be to reinstall using the self-serve installer. While that probably wouldn't take long, you'd then have to configure all your services and put all your data back.

How much does it cost?

At the moment, nothing. This is at the moment a complimentary service intended as a short-term guard against disaster while you perform a specific task. Snapshots use up disk space and disk I/O and aren't intended to be kept around long-term, so BitFolk will expect you to finish your work as soon as possible so that the snapshot(s) can be removed.

I'd like a snapshot done on Sunday at 3.23am

…Unlikely to happen unless you're prepared to pay!

At the moment this is a manual activity carried out as a favour to you. If you have particular needs then as long as you ask far enough in advance, BitFolk might be able to accommodate you, but please don't be offended if BitFolk can't or if you are asked to pay a consultancy fee to guarantee that this work takes place at a specific time.

Automated/self-serve snapshots

There's already a feature request for automated or self-serve disk snapshots in BitFolk's tracker. Please log in and vote it up if the feature is important to you.

While it might technically be A Small Matter of Programming, there are some difficult issues such as:

  • How many snapshots should people be allowed to have?
  • How long should they be able to keep them?
  • How much disk space could be given over to snapshot changes?
  • What happens if the space allocated for snapshot changes runs out?

Now I've got my VPS how I want it, can I have a snapshot?

No, sorry! That's not what disk snapshots are for.

As mentioned, snapshots are intended to be a short-term safety mechanism while you carry out a specific task. They take up disk space and use disk I/O and are not appropriate to be kept around long-term. You'll be better off either buying some disk space for local backups or implementing your own backup regime.

See also

  • Migrating to a new VPS - If you're intending to do a major upgrade you may instead prefer to see if you can have a new VPS account temporarily running concurrently with your existing one for you to install and migrate into with minimal downtime.