What is a server snapshot?

The term snapshot (snapshot) refers in general to the snapshot of the status of a technical system or a subcomponent or a technical process at a specific point in time.

In particular, a snapshot is the function provided by the operating system, image processing programs and browsers to capture and save the current content of either the entire screen or just a window. This function is triggered, for example, by typing the print key, whereby the recorded graphic content is then stored in the clipboard. In browsers, the image goes beyond the visible screen area and includes all browser content that can otherwise only be accessed by scrolling. And for videos, frame grabbing allows you to take a screenshot of the video image.

In the storage realm, a snapshot is a copy of a disk at a point in time. File changes made after the snapshot time are ignored. In a quick backup, the applications are shut down just before the snapshot is taken and then restarted afterwards. For example, one such fast technique freezes the file system and copies only the data blocks that have changed into the snapshot, so that only data blocks that have actually changed are duplicated. This procedure is called copy-on-write and is mainly used in transaction-based storage systems such as LVMs (Logical Volume Managers), whereby the respective copies of the blocks and the metadata are assigned to the respective snapshots.

With the redirect-on-write method, on the other hand, the original file initially remains untouched during a write process. The new data is written to a different location on the hard disk. After the writing process is completed, the original data is assigned to the snapshot and the new data to the master volume.

You can find more information about snapshots here.

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