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How to Migrate DigitalOcean Snapshots Between Regions

PostedJuly 14, 2014 48.1k views DigitalOcean


If you are interested in migrating your data between DigitalOcean datacenter regions, you can do so by transferring a snapshot of the Droplet using the DigitalOcean Control Panel. In this tutorial, we will show how to snapshot a droplet, add it to more regions, and launch a new Droplet using the transferred snapshot.

Beginning in October 2016, snapshots cost $0.05 per gigabyte per month, based on the amount of utilized space on the Droplet. Since adding your snapshots to other regions takes up additional space, your total costs will reflect the cost of storing the snapshot, multiplied by the number of regions that the snapshot has been added to.

Step 1 — Taking a Snapshot of your Droplet

To transfer your data, you'll need to take a snapshot of your server. First, power off the server from the command line. While it is possible to take a snapshot of a live system, powering down ensures that the filesystem is in a consistent state:

  • sudo shutdown -h now

Once your Droplet is off, navigate to your Droplet's detail page in the DigitalOcean Control Panel, then click the Snapshots link in the left-hand column. A Take snapshot interface will load:

DigitalOcean Control Panel snapshot interface

Enter a name for your snapshot and click Take Snapshot. This will create a new snapshot and show a progress bar indicating the status of the operation. It can take a few minutes to snapshot a Droplet. When done, the progress bar will go away and be replaced by information on your snapshot's size and region:

DigitalOcean snapshot detail listing

You may now power your server back on, if needed.

Step 2 — Transferring Your Snapshot

After you have taken a snapshot of your server, it will be be available for deployment within its original datacenter. For example, a snapshot taken from a Droplet in NYC3 can be used to deploy a new Droplet only in NYC3. To use the image in another datacenter, you need to add the image to the desired region. This can be done easily from the Images page, or the Droplet's Snapshots page we used in the previous step.

In either case, click the More link on the right-hand side of the listing for the snapshot you'd like to transfer. Select Add to region, then select the regions you'd like to add the snapshot to:

Interface to add snapshot to new region

You can select multiple at once. The interface will update to indicate that a transfer is in progress. Once done, the Regions column of your snapshot will update to indicate multiple regions. You may now launch a new Droplet using this snapshot in any of the regions it has been added to.

Step 3 — Deploying Your Snapshot in the New Region

On the Droplet create screen, instead of selecting a distribution or One-click app, choose the Snapshots tab:

DigitalOcean Droplet create interface

Click on the snapshot you created. Continue with the Droplet creation process as normal. Note that when selecting a region for the new Droplet, you'll be limited to those regions that the snapshot was created in or has been added to.

When the new Droplet launches, you will have successfully transferred a Droplet between datacenter regions.


This tutorial showed how to transfer a Droplet between regions by taking a snapshot, adding it to a new region, and launching a new Droplet using that snapshot. If your goal was just to transfer a Droplet between regions, you may delete the snapshot now.


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