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December 2011, Vol. 36

Demystifying storage and virtualization snapshots

Storage and virtualization snapshots are an IT administrator’s best friend. But one of the occupational hazards of talking about “snapshots” in virtualized environments is that just about every storage vendor appears to have different take on what the term means. The situation gets even more confounding when virtualization vendors such as VMware, Microsoft and Citrix tout their own snapshot technologies that work differently than those from storage vendors. More on storage and virtualization snapshots Virtual machine and VMware snapshot guide How Hyper-V snapshots work Creating snapshots in Xen with Linux commands With that disclaimer in place, I do think it is possible to define snapshots. A snapshot is like taking a photograph of your storage. This holds true whether you’re talking about a snapshot at the storage level or the virtualization level. The big difference between storage and virtualization snapshots is how you use them—the practicalities and best practices. You can configure an array-based system to take a “...

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