Contents

Creating a snapshot

Snapshotting a server takes an instant copy of the server’s disk which can then be used as the Image for new servers.

The snapshots can also be downloaded from the image library.

Create the snapshot

Snapshots are created using the brightbox servers snapshot command. Just give it the identifier of the server you want to snapshot:

$ brightbox servers snapshot srv-gwgk2
Snapshotting server srv-gwgk2

View the snapshot image info

Taking the snapshot is instantaneous, but it then takes a little while to be copied into the image library depending upon the amount of data on the server. You can see the resulting image in the image list:

$ brightbox images list

 id         owner      type      created_on  status    size   name                                       
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 img-99q79  brightbox  official  2010-10-02  public    10244  CentOS 5.5 server (i686)                   
 img-pnqnc  brightbox  official  2010-10-03  public    10240  CentOS 5.5 server (x86_64)                 
 img-qjuex  brightbox  official  2010-10-14  public    10244  Fedora 14 Beta Base (i686)                 
 img-vyeeg  brightbox  official  2010-10-15  public    10244  Fedora 14 Beta Base (x86_64)               
 img-1okdf  brightbox  official  2010-11-19  public    20480  FreeBSD 8.1 minimal (i686)                 
 img-aoubd  brightbox  official  2010-11-19  public    20480  FreeBSD 8.1 minimal (x86_64)               
 img-tjjt6  brightbox  official  2010-09-27  public    1409   Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 server (x86_64)         
 img-hm6oj  brightbox  official  2010-10-01  public    1409   Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 server  (i686)          
 img-9vxqi  brightbox  official  2010-10-14  public    1409   Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 server (i686)        
 img-t4p09  brightbox  official  2010-10-14  public    1409   Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 server (x86_64)      
 img-y22uq  acc-h3nbk  snapshot  2010-12-19  creating  20480  Snapshot of srv-gwgk2 19 Dec 12:57 (i686)  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The snapshot has been given the image identifier img-y22uq and is currently creating. The name field indicates the image is the result of a snapshot of srv-gwgk2.

$ brightbox images show img-y22uq 
                id: img-y22uq
              type: snapshot
             owner: acc-h3nbk
        created_at: 2010-12-19T12:57:37Z
            status: private
              arch: i686
              name: Snapshot of srv-gwgk2 19 Dec 12:57 (i686)
       description: 
      virtual_size: 20480
         disk_size: 421
compatibility_mode: false
          official: false
       ancestor_id: img-9vxqi

Here you can see that the snapshot copy has now completed and the status is private, which means only your account has access to it. The virtual_size is how big the entire disk is and the disk_size is how big the actual snapshot is. The disk_size will vary depending on how much data is written to your server.

Snapshots are limited to a maximum disk_size of 50GB. The system aborts snapshot requests that try to create images bigger than that, and sets the status to ‘failed’.

Create a new server using the snapshot

The snapshot image can be used like any other image. You can build a clone of the original server like this:

$ brightbox servers create -n "myclone" img-y22uq
Creating a nano (typ-4nssg) server with image Snapshot of srv-gwgk2 19 Dec 12:57 (img-y22uq)

 id         status    type  zone   created_on  image_id   cloud_ips  name   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 srv-v2fym  creating  nano  gb1-b  2010-12-19  img-y22uq             myclone
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The new server will be given a new identifier and IP address, but otherwise will be identical to the one you originally snapshotted.

Downloading a copy of the image

The snapshot image is automatically available for download from the image library via ftp. This allows you to take a copy of a server to run on your local development environment, or to migrate it to another host.

You’ll need your image library ftp credentials (see the Image Library guide for more details).

$ lftp acc-h3nbk@ftp.library.gb1.brightbox.com
Password: xxxxxxxxxxxx
lftp acc-h3nbk@ftp.library.gb1.brightbox.com:/> cd images
lftp acc-h3nbk@ftp.library.gb1.brightbox.com:/images> ls -h
-rw-r--r--   1 acc-h3nbk library    420.1M Dec 19 13:00 img-y22uq
lftp acc-h3nbk@ftp.library.gb1.brightbox.com:/images> get img-y22uq

The image is in qcow2 format. You can boot it directly using kvm virtualisation software, or use the qemu-img tool to convert it into other formats.

Would you like to know more?

Here you created a snapshot, then created a new server using the snapshot image and finally downloaded the image via ftp.

You might want to learn more about how to upload your own image to the image library.

Last updated: 25 Apr 2016 at 09:24 UTC

Try Brightbox risk-free with £20 free credit Sign up takes just two minutes...