When would you use Backups instead of Snapshots?

Posted April 26, 2020 809 views

Hi, I switched VPS providers to DigitalOcean several weeks ago, and I’m trying to figure out when I should be using Backups instead of Snapshots?

I’ve read through the Snapshots and Backups guides provided.

As a service owner, I’m responsible for ensuring all of our systems are backed up weekly.

It appears that Snapshots can do everything I need (can restore my VMs from Snapshots, create new VMs from Snapshots, take weekly Snapshots, transfer Snapshots between regions, etc.)

Are there any reasons why I should be using Backups instead of Snapshots? Or within the DO community, why are some people using Backups instead of Snapshots?


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2 answers

Hello @schuy

Good question, full disclosure I run a service called SnapShooter which enables you to take Digitalocean underlying snapshot api and enable more flexible backups.

So the weekly backups as you say are basically snapshots but managed by DigitalOcean. They take them weekly and keep the last 4 for you and charge you 10% of the droplet cost no matter how big or small they are.

With the snapshots you need to take them and prune them yourself. Either through the control panel, the API or by using a tool like SnapShooter.

With the snapshots you only pay for the actual storage costs $0.05 per GB per month.

Just a note most (90%) of SnapShooter customers turn off DigitalOcean backups when they enable daily snapshots.

We love the topic so if you have any questions let us know.

SnapShooter CEO

(server) backups are a form of snapshots. The main difference is that DO has rolling “backups” so you don’t need to worry about server images stacking up and costing more if you forget about them.

Important: “backups” will be deleted if you destroy/delete the server. Snapshots will remain until you delete them yourself.

Snapshots are great when you want a backup right before doing something specific (big config changes, resize etc).

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