Backups and Snapshots are intended for different uses.
Backups allow you to have a history of your server, with copies that are periodically renewed automatically and that allow you to both recover data from a previous state, and revert your server to a previous state at any time.
On the other hand, Snapshots are intended to create point-in-time images of your servers. For example, they can be used to make a snapshot of your server just before making an important change -such as a software update- and, if necessary, revert to a previous state. Or they also allow you to save a model image of one of your servers and use it to create new servers in the future.
Backups are safer than Snapshots
Backups are stored in a completely independent storage cluster from the one that stores the data on your cloud server. While Snapshots are stored on the same storage cluster as your cloud server. In the event of any incident in the main storage system, your Backups will be safe in a completely independent storage system.
Backups are programmable, Snapshots are manual
Backups are programmable, so once you set them up, they are automatically renewed periodically. Snapshots are managed manually. That is, you create and delete them manually. Snapshots remain "frozen" at the time and date of their creation, they do not renew or modify themselves.
Snapshots allow you to clone Servers
Let's say you use a specific software configuration very frequently. With Snapshots, you can create a server, install and set up all the software that you need, and then save a Snapshot of that server with all the software already pre-installed. This way, you can use it in the future to create new servers equal to the master image that you have generated. In addition, you can also use them to instantly clone any server you have running.
Backups are linked to the original Server, Snapshots aren't
Backups are linked to the original Server. That is, if you delete the Server, together with it, you’ll also automatically delete the Backups (after a period of 24 hours has elapsed since you deleted the Server). Snapshots are not tied to the original Server, so if you delete the Server, the Snapshot is still available for future use.
Snapshots are faster than Backups
Snapshots are always instant. Both creating a snapshot, creating a server from a snapshot or reverting a server to a previous snapshot are processes that take a few seconds. On the contrary, Backups are not instantaneous. Once activated, it can take up to 24 hours before you have the first Backup available, and restoring a server from a backup can take anywhere from several minutes to over an hour depending on the size of the server's disk.
The price of Snapshots and Backups is the same
Yes, you got us, this is not a difference. But to make your life easier and keep the pricing model as simple as possible, both Snapshots and Backups are priced at approximately €0.50 per month (€0.000685 per hour) for each 25 GB block disk, calculating the size based on the disk size of the original server. As you can see, both Snapshots and Backups are very affordable!
Do you have any questions about what is discussed in this article? Do you want us to clarify any issue about Backups and/or Snapshots? E-mail us to email@example.com, we’ll be happy to answer all your questions :)