Snapshot technology, as the name suggests, creates a snapshot or image of a set of files, an entire data repository, system or drive. This image can be stored on a backup medium with minimum overheads. Therefore, it is not surprising that die-hard advocates of snapshot technology will assure you that you could not have selected a better technology for your backup. Cloud vendors have used this technology to speed up backup over the Internet and ensure that recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) can be met with absolute ease.

What are the benefits to be derived from use of snapshot technologies in the Cloud?

  • Snapshots are images of the drive at a “point in time”.   The Cloud drive itself can be cloned and stored on another Cloud for high redundancy and availability.
  • Snapshots represent space efficient storage since they benefit from Copy Reference on Write (CROW), de-duplication and compression technology. The snapshot is 95% smaller than the original and this facilitates lower bandwidth usage during transmission and lower space consumption during storage.
  • Incremental changes to snapshot (even multi-terabyte ones) volumes is possible. The changed blocks and metadata pertaining to the changes can be incrementally uploaded to the backup snapshot volume. This results in high performance Cloud backup.
  • Restoring data from a snapshot volume in the Cloud is simple. The snapshots can be mounted for near instantaneous restore. The meta data gets automatically pulled into the restoration solution and a fresh copy o f the “consistent” data as it existed at a particular point in time can be obtained anywhere and on any kind of hardware.
  • Most Cloud based snapshot applications integrate well with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) Technology. The VSS technology ensures that the applications are in a quiesced state when the snapshot is taken.
  • The centralized management interface that is provided by Cloud services facilitate the scheduling of snapshots on hourly, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

While the above discussion presents a very positive picture of what snapshot technology can do for you, there are several dissenting voices that demand a hearing.  They argue that snapshot technology has several disadvantages. Incrementing the snapshot will increase the size of snapshot and disk space may become an issue over a period of time.  Sometimes even deleted or updated pages will be copied to the snapshot, slowing down copying operations. Dropping the database or file or table within a snapshot poses a number of problems. Indexing within the snapshot is an issue.

Securstore Cloud backup solution, powered by Asigra, is capable of taking snapshots of your data. Why not test-drive our award winning solution today? Please contact us for a 30 day free trial, with no obligation.