Description

This article describes how to enable the Cloud Server Snapshots on a Cloud Server.

For more information on Cloud Server Snapshots, see: Introduction to Cloud Server Snapshots.

Prerequisites:

  1. Only a User with the Primary Administrator or Server role can enable the Cloud Server Snapshot feature.
  2. The Cloud Server Snapshots feature must be enabled for the Data Center. See How do I Identify Hardware Specifications and Capabilities Available in a Data Center Location.
    1. How do I Identify Hardware Specifications and Capabilities Available in a Data Center Location also includes information about constraints for Snapshots in each Data Center location, including Maximum Manual Snapshots per Server and Maximum Total Snapshot Storage per Server. 
  3. The Data Center cannot be in Hypervisor or Snapshot Service Maintenance.
  4. The Server cannot have an IDE Controller with either:
    1. A CD-ROM device with an attached ISO (CD-ROM devices without ISO are allowed)
    2. A CD-ROM device in the "master" slot (slot 0) and a local drive in the "slave" slot (slot 1) on the same controller/channel

      Snapshots Do Not Restore CD-ROM Devices without ISO

      Although these pre-requisites allow Snapshot enablement of Servers having IDE Controllers with a CD-ROM device and no ISO, users should be aware that when creating a "Snapshot Preview" server as described in How to Create a Snapshot Preview Server from a Local Snapshot, the CD-ROM device will not appear as part of the Snapshot Preview server. This is a current limitation of the Snapshot infrastructure.


  5. Server cannot have a SATA controller with either:
    1. A CD-ROM device with an attached ISO (CD-ROM devices without ISO are allowed)
    2. A  local drive attached to the SATA controller

      Snapshots Do Not Restore SATA Controller

      Although these pre-requisites allow Snapshot enablement of Servers having "empty" SATA Controllers within ISO or Local Drives, users should be aware that when creating a "Snapshot Preview" server as described in How to Create a Snapshot Preview Server from a Local Snapshot, the SATA controller will not appear as part of the Snapshot Preview server. This is a current limitation of the Snapshot infrastructure.

  6. Server cannot have a Floppy Drive with an attached FLP file.

    1. A Floppy drive without an attached FLP file is allowed.

  7. The Server cannot be a Server in Snapshot Preview mode. 
    1. You cannot enable a Server newly created from a Snapshot until you migrate it as described in How to Migrate a "Snapshot Preview" Server to a Normal Cloud Server.
  8. The Server cannot be enabled for Snapshots if it is a TARGET Server in a DRS Consistency Group.
    1. However, Server CAN be a SOURCE server in a DRS Consistency Group.
  9. In order to enable Snapshot Replication: 
    1. Snapshot Plan must be Advanced
      1. Snapshot Replication cannot be enabled on Servers that utilize the Essentials Snapshot plan
    2. Snapshot Service must be in a NORMAL state in both Source and Target locations
    3. Snapshot Replication must be available in both Source and Target Locations
    4. At least one cluster in the Target replication location must accept the server's:
      1. CPU (Min/Max)
      2. RAM (Min/Max)
      3. DIsk Sizes (Min/Max)
      4. Number of disks (min/max)
      5. Total Storage Size (Max only)
      6. Total Snapshot Server Size (Max only)
  10. You cannot enable Cloud Server Snapshots on a Server if the Server is in a state which requires it to be restarted. See the "Adding and Managing Disks" section of Introduction to Cloud Server Local Storage ("Disks") and Disk Speeds
  11. If you are enabling Long-Term Snapshot Retention for either Local, or Replicated locations, or both, then the following must be true: 
    1. Long Term Retention must be available in that location
  12. If you are enabling Long-Term Snapshot Retention for a Replicated location, then the following must be true:
    1. The Replication target must be defined
    1. Both Long Term Retention Frequency Days and Long Term Retention Days must be provided:
    2. Long Term Retention Frequency Days for the Data Center Locations specified must be valid in both locations
    3. Long Term Retention Days  for the Data Center Locations specified must be valid in both locations

Content / Solution:

  1. From the Home page, click on the Data Center where the Server on which you want to enable Cloud Snapshots is located:


  2. The Data Center dashboard will be displayed. Click on the Network Domain where the Cloud Server on which you want to Enable Cloud Snapshots is located:


  3. Click on the Servers tab, then click on the Server on which you want to enable Cloud Snapshots. You will be directed to the Server Dashboard:


  4. Click on the Snapshot tab, then click on the Enable Snapshot button:


  5. The system will display the Enable Snapshot dialog:

    Note: hovering your mouse over the information icon  will display a popup with additional information about a field

  6. Fill out the form with the desired information:

    • Snapshot Plan - Choose the desired Snapshot Plan. For an explanation on the different plan features, see Introduction to Cloud Server Snapshots
    • Available Snapshot windows for system-generated Snapshots - 
      • This is the window of time when the system will generate an automatic snapshot of the server and the remaining number of available slots for each snapshot window. See Introduction to Cloud Server Snapshots

        Note

        Important Note: The Snapshot Window time is listed in UTC, so the local time may change with daylight savings time, where applicable.
        For example, if the Server is located in NA9 (US-Eastern Time Zone) and you pick the 02:00 UTC window, the Snapshot will be generated at 9:00 PM local Standard time. The UI will show this conversion. However, once US-Eastern Standard Time switches back to US-Eastern Daylight Savings Time, the local time will be 10:00 PM.

        Warning: Snapshot window cannot be edited once you confirm. Snapshot window can only be changed by disabling and reenabling the Snapshot feature, which will permanently remove all historical snapshots.

    • Create Initial Snapshot immediately - If this box checked, the system will initiate a 'Manual Snapshot" immediately after Snapshots are enabled. Note that all Manual snapshots taken by the service prior to the first System-initiated snapshot may take several hours. During this initial "Manual" snapshot, you cannot modify any existing disks, so removing disks, changing disk speed, and expanding disks are prohibited.  

      • Note: If you select "Create Initial Snapshot Immediately", the system will automatically populate the text "Initial Manual Snapshot" in the Description field for that Snapshot. If you wish to modify the description of a snapshot, see How to View and Manage Snapshots for a Cloud Server

    • Enable Snapshot Replication - Snapshot Replication sends the Server's snapshots to a secondary location, known as the Target location, or Replication location. This option is only available with the Advanced Snapshots plan and the One Month, Three Month, and Twelve Month Snapshots Plans, and will only be available once one of those plans is selected.  For more information on Snapshot Replication, see Introduction to Cloud Server Snapshots
      • Target Replication Location - If you choose to enable Snapshot Replication, this field will appear. This indicates the location where the Replicated Snapshots will be sent. 
    • Enable Long-Term Snapshot Retention - Snapshot Long-Term Retention Images is an add-on feature of Cloud Server Snapshot Service that allows users to specify that they want to keep a System Snapshot for a longer period than what is allowed under the Snapshot Service Plans (i.e. longer than 1 year). Once this feature is enabled, CloudControl will create and store Long-Term Retention Images on a predetermined schedule as specified by the User. For more information on Long-Term Retention, see Introduction to Cloud Server Snapshot Long-Term Retention Images
      • Enable Long-Term Retention for Local Snapshots - Enables Long-Term Retention for Local Snapshots
      • Enable Long-Term Retention for Replicated Snapshots - Enables Long-Term Retention for Local Snapshots
        • Long-Term Retention Frequency Days - Specify how often you want a Long-Term Retention Image to be created
        • Long-Term Retention Days - Specify how long you want Long-Term Retention Images to be kept
    • Set a Pre-snapshot script, executed before each snapshot job. - When checked, the system will run a local script on the Cloud Server PRIOR TO taking the Virtual Machine Snapshot 
      • You must set the following parameters:
        • File Path on the Server - The absolute path to the script that will be executed before the Snapshot is taken
        • Description - Optional description of the Pre-Snapshot script
        • Failure Handling - What to do if the script fails.
          • CONTINUE - Continue with the Snapshot even if the script fails to run
          • ABORT - Abort the Snapshot if the Script fails to run
            • Note: Aborting the Snapshot will cause the Snapshot to fail. There will be no log of why the failure occurred.
        • Script Timeout - Defines the amount of time to wait for the script finish. If it does not finish within this timeframe, the system considers the script to be failed
        • Guest OS Username - Username used by the system to log in to the server via VM Tools for this function
        • Password - Password to login to the server via VM Tools for this function
    • Set a Post-snapshot script, executed before each snapshot job. - When checked, the system will run a local script on the Cloud Server AFTER taking the Virtual Machine Snapshot 
      • You must set the following parameters:
        • File Path on the Server - The absolute path to the script that will be executed before the Snapshot is taken
        • Description - Optional description of the Pre-Snapshot script
        • Guest OS Username - Username used by the system to log in to the server via VM Tools for this function
        • Password - Password to login to the server via VM Tools for this function

    Important Note

     It is important to note that the system does not validate any of the inputs. If the script(s) do not run, you will need to check all the Preconditions of How to Set Pre and Post Snapshot Scripts on a Cloud Server to make sure they are being met.

  7. Once the form has been filled out, click Enable Snapshot


  8. The system will enable the Cloud Server Snapshot feature for the Server. Once complete, the system will display a success message:


  9. The Snapshot feature will be enabled for the Server - if you have checked "Create Initial Snapshot immediately", a Manual Snapshot will begin immediately, and "Initial Manual Snapshot" will be automatically populated in the Snapshot Description field:

    Note: The Index and Archive Status may take several minutes to update after a Snapshot is successfully completed

    Note: Replicated Snapshots and Long-Term Retention (Replicated) Snapshots may take several hours to populate once the Snapshot feature has been enabled for a Cloud Server


Important Note

If the Server for which you are attempting to enable the Snapshot Service is newly deployed, you may see the below error, which indicates that the newly created Server has not been registered with the backend Snapshot service. This backend registration may take between five and ten minutes to complete. We recommend you wait about 10 minutes after deploying a new Server before attempting to enable the Snapshot feature: