Question

Is the advice to use snapshots to save money so as not to run too many droplets, not actually possible?

Posted December 24, 2020 151 views
DigitalOcean Droplets

Is the advice to use snapshots to save money so as not to run too many droplets, not actually possible?

For example, I tried creating a droplet, then I made a snapshot, then I destroyed the droplet. then I tried to restore the snapshot, and it didn’t let me, it said “the resource you were accessing could not be found” digital ocean". So it seems that you need to have the droplet in order to restore a snapshot.

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2 answers

Are you able to create a Droplet from that Snapshot image? https://www.digitalocean.com/docs/images/snapshots/how-to/create-and-restore-droplets/#create-new-droplets-from-a-snapshot

Restoring requires an active Droplet, and you are replacing the current image on that existing Droplet with a Snapshot.

  • Thanks. So if you create a droplet D1, and make a snapshot of it S1, then delete D1. Then create a droplet D2.. You can’t restore S1? ‘cos it could only have been restored to D1, and D1 is gone. Is that right?

    • Exactly! For the most part, you can create a new Droplet from any Snapshot. Sometimes there are image disk size restrictions, for example you cannot create a Droplet with 25gb of disk space from a Snapshot created from a Droplet that had a 50gb disk size. But in general, Snapshots can create any new Droplet.

      Using the “Restore” option only lets you select Snapshots created from that existing Droplet. If the original Droplet has been destroyed, you’ll have to create a new Droplet from the Snapshot.

      In the future, you can also use the “Rebuild” option. It’s pretty similar to Restore, but lets you rebuild an existing Droplet from any Snapshot (within the same OS “family”). This can be helpful for retaining an IP address that you may not want to lose:

      https://www.digitalocean.com/docs/droplets/how-to/rebuild/

      • You write “In the future, you can also use the “Rebuild” option. It’s pretty similar to Restore, but lets you rebuild an existing Droplet from any Snapshot (within the same OS “family”).” <– I don’t think so.. i.e. I don’t think you can build a droplet from any snapshot within the same OS family.

        I tried creating a droplet D1, made a snapshot S1. Created a droplet D2.

        Went to the D2 droplet, looked at the “rebuild droplet” option and it lets you choose an image. But it doesn’t let you choose S1.

        If I choose to rebuild D1 from an image, then I can point it to S1, or to a base image.

        It looks to me that the only snapshots that a droplet can be rebuilt from, those that were made from that droplet. A droplet can also be rebuilt from, not a snapshot, but a “base image”.

        Both D1 and D2 are ubuntu droplets.

        When you say “lets you rebuild an existing Droplet from any Snapshot (within the same OS family).” I don’t think that’s correct. Maybe you mean from any ‘base image’ within the same OS Family. Or, from a snapshot that was made from that droplet. But a “base image” is not a snapshot (in terms of the terminology used by the GUI).

        If you want to call a base image a snapshot, then note that it’s one pre-made by digitalocean. But if considering user created snapshots, then when you say that the rebuild option “lets you rebuild an existing Droplet from any Snapshot (within the same OS family).” It doesn’t. Only base images or snapshots created from that droplet.

Hi there! Hmm for rebuilds, you should be able to use “any image in your account that runs an OS that is in the same family as the Droplet you’re rebuilding, including backups, snapshots, custom images, 1-Click Applications, and base OS distributions we provide.” This is directly from the doc I linked previously.

If D1 and D2 are both Ubuntu, you should be able to rebuild either with a Snapshot taken of either Droplet. I’m happy to take a closer look at this in a Support ticket if you’d like! There may be other limitations such as the regions the Snapshot is available in.

I noticed this just now by attempting to rebuild an Ubuntu 16.04 Droplet from an image I just created from an Ubuntu 18.04 Droplet. Because my 16.04 Droplet is in the NYC1 region and my 18.04 Droplet is in NYC3, the Snapshot did not display in the rebuild image options. When I made the 18.04 Snapshot available in both regions, it successfully appears in the rebuild image options.

How to Add Droplet Snapshots to Other Regions
https://www.digitalocean.com/docs/images/snapshots/how-to/change-regions/z

I agree with you that my terminology was not quite correct though, I should have said any “image” rather than “Snapshot,” thanks for pointing that out! Using Snapshot as a term for both base OS image and custom created image is confusing and not accurate. I’ll keep this in mind to be more consistent in the future :)

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