What is the best way to take production site/droplet offline, yet save a backup if it needs to be restored later?

Posted August 7, 2020 891 views

We are ending the life of a web application and taking it offline.

What is the best approach to take a backup of this droplet if it would still be needed to taken online at a later time? But not having to pay for a droplet that is not used.

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This is one of the exact intended use cases of Snapshots!

Read here: How to Create Snapshots of Droplets

What you’ll want to do is:

  1. Power off the Droplet
  2. Take a snapshot
  3. Now the snapshot is saved in your account separately from the Droplet, you’ll be able to see it in the Images > Snapshots section of Control Panel.
  4. Now you can safely destroy the Droplet, if you ever want to recreate the application you will just need to Create or Restore Droplets from Snapshots

Two important caveats:

  1. You will be charged for the storage of the Snapshot at $0.05/GiB per month. Pricing is based on the size of the snapshot, not the size of the filesystem being saved. Snapshots are often much smaller than the Droplet storage limit, for example I have a web app snapshot that is 4GB so it costs me $0.2/month.
  2. You will lose the IP Address of the original Droplet. When you create a new Droplet based on the snapshot, it will have a new IP Address. So you’ll need to update DNS and possibly some other config if you re-create the app.