Snapshot w/o downtime

October 23, 2013 10.6k views
I have a 1gb droplet. I have automatic backups. I'd like to run a snapshot (to save a particular clean state), but I don't want downtime (it's my only production server). One post says that for a 1gb server you don't need to shut down, but I get: Droplet is currently on. Please power it off to run this event. Is there another way? I could use rsnapshot, but can I do a full system restore from an rsnapshot image? (that would be better, because I could save it on my large NAS). Thanks!
10 Answers
@Pablo: You can schedule it by setting up a cronjob that takes a snapshot of a droplet via the API.
Never thought of that, thanks! By chance, do you (or anyone else, for that matter) happen to have such a script -- so I can share it on: DigitalOcean User Projects | GitHub?
Why not schedule the snapshot for 2:00 AM on Saturday (or some other time whenever traffic is low)?
Thanks pablo. I guess that would be ok, but it doesn't feel like the right thing to do (actually bring the production site down), and I figure there must be a way to do it live. I just need to find the way!
Don't you ever do any software upgrades and reboot your machine, anyways? That, too, would bring down your production site. I took a snapshot lastnight and it took a whopping 1 minute + 54 seconds -- not much of a sacrifice in exchange for the piece of mind that I can quickly spin up a new droplet should my production site ever become compromised (or, the more likely scenario, should I break something).

In the alternative, you could try an incremental, offsite backup w/either rsync or duplicity.
Unfortunately it's not possible to take a snapshot of a droplet while it's powered on.

Is it possible to "schedule" a snapshot?
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Pablo, unfortunately I do not have such a script however it could just be a curl call to with your API credentials.

You can’t create a snapshot without downtime or shutting off your droplet. The best you can do is like what @pablo said, schedule your snapshot when there are least traffic in your site.

Better yet, if you can afford, schedule a backup at your DO dashboard. Backups are pretty cheap anyway, $1 per month if you are running the 512MB droplet, or 10% of your droplet MSF.

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