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Create a Virtual Machine Snapshot

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Background: This article will outline the process of creating a snapshot on a virtual machine in your vCloud Director environment. Once this process is complete, be sure to follow the next steps of (falling back to the snapshot), and/or (removing the snapshot). It is critically important that the snapshot be removed, as leaving a lingering snapshot WILL cause performance issues.


Log in to your vCloud Director instance and select the Virtual Datacenter that contains the virtual machine you'd like to create a snapshot on.

Select the "Virtual Machines" tab on the side bar, and navigate to the virtual machine you'd like to snapshot. In this example, we'll be creating a snapshot on "SAMPLE-SALES-DT". Click on the "Actions" submenu.

Select the settings for your snapshot. Generally, the option to Quiesce guest file system is adequate for your snapshot.

Note: When you choose to quiesce the guest file system, the snapshot will be application-consistent.  For Microsoft Windows Guest Operating Systems, a quiesced snapshot leverages the Microsoft Volume Shadow Service (VSS) providers and writers.  This requires VMware Tools to be installed in the Guest OS.  If you do not have VMware tools installed and need to ensure application consistency, you may alternatively shutdown or suspend the Guest Operating System, and create a snapshot and then power it on.  This method may also be used if you receive an error when attempting to create a quiesced snapshot of a powered on virtual machine.  If you choose "Snapshot the memory of the virtual machine," when reverting to the snapshot, the Virtual Machine reverts to a powered on state as the system memory was preserved by the snapshot.  When creating a snapshot that includes the memory of the virtual machine, I/O will be substantially slowed during the snapshot process, and users may get temporarily disconnected from the virtual machine.  the If you choose to create a snapshot while the virtual machine is powered on and do not choose any snapshot options, the snapshot will only be crash-consistent.  For most all use cases, CloudConnect recommends creating a Snapshot while the virtual machine is powered on and choosing "Quiesce guest file system" only.

The snapshot process can be monitored from the task list at the bottom of your browser.

Once the snapshot is complete, you will see the virtual machine returned to a "Powered on" state, and the task should have succeeded without issue.

Applies to: Nearly all virtual machines in a vCloud Director environment.

Additional Notes: When creating a snapshot, it is critically important to remove it when the changes made to the virtual machine have been successfully applied.