Why are snapshots so slow

April 25, 2015 6.8k views
DigitalOcean Ubuntu Backups

Why are snapshots so slow?

It took 35 minutes to make a snapshot. and then to deploy a new droplet based on that snapshot takes a long time it’s been saying 30 seconds left for ages now.

8 Answers


I am not an expert but what you have faced its normal with DO snapshot process. Time actually varies with the amount of data you have on the disk and size of the disk. However deploying from snapshot would be much faster compare to taking a snapshot.

Why they are slow in nature ?

First of all, technically speaking, SDD or Solid State Disks are very fast when it comes to read, but when it comes to writing data, they are not as fast as their read speed. Secondly, when it comes snapshot, I believe the disk on which the data is written, is a (mechanical) HDD and may be the data is also written in a different physical node..

Thus the time with network delay along with mechanical HDD operation..

But its only my assumption, best is to wait for DO staff member to clarify !!



I’m more than aware the read and write rates of SSDs. 35 minutes to copy as many gigabytes is not down to the read or write rate of the SSD it’s down to DO’s infrastructure.

Is anyone from DO going to let us know whats up? crazy that I have to shut my VM down and then it still takes 13 minutes for a little 5gig snapshot… what gives??

  • Nah, they’ll probably either publicly make it faster or silently keep it as it is. Just wait until you get to 20GB. Glad I’m not on the upper-end droplet - would make me mad waiting for 600GB or so to be turned into a snapshot. :/

This is really becoming a problem. I was able to copy my entire droplet to another droplet over networking in about 5 minutes. It’s been 20 minutes and I’m still waiting for a snapshot of the same droplet to finish.

Did you ever hear from DO? Same experience here, in 2019. Snapshots are like molasses.

yeah, this needs to be addressed I think. 40 minutes in and still not done.

Just chiming in here to say that the snapshot creation/deployment process does seem quite slow to me too. Does anyone have any exerience with the other cloud providers’ snapshot-like services for comparison?

Strongly agree with this, I’d hoped to use the API to take a snapshot and then deploy a new droplet from it for on-demand scaling. It’s been over 2 hrs now and if the progress bar is to be believed I’m only about 50% done! I’ll have to re-think but it would be great if this could be improved!

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