VMware Solutions Discussions

Netapp VSC snapshot vs VMware snapshot


We have enabled backup jobs in VSC at a datastore level and leverage the VSC plugin in vsphere web client to perform restores or ondemand backups. Some of the other members of the team prefer to use the vsphere client to take a VMware snapshot if they need a one-off backup with a timestamp. I think I remember reading somewhere that this was a bad idea and it could make the guest VM unstable but I could be wrong. Is there a downside to doing vmware backups vs using the vsc plugin to perform backups?


Re: Netapp VSC snapshot vs VMware snapshot


vSphere snapshots are useful in quick rollback scenarios where you might have issues with OS patches or changes to an application. They should not be kept long-term because they do increase in size over time and can impact the performance of your VM. 


See https://communities.vmware.com/thread/249830 


We have a 5 day rule where we delete all vCenter/vSphere snapshots after 5 days. I created a WFA workflow for it and will post it soon if anyone is interested.


VSC snapshots are better for slightly longer term storage but I believe they are still techinically snapshots and not a viable option for long-term backups.

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Re: Netapp VSC snapshot vs VMware snapshot


The other thing to consider is that VSC snapshots take snapshots of the whole volume and all VMDKs on it, while VMWare snapshots only snap the applicable VMs.

Re: Netapp VSC snapshot vs VMware snapshot


I am interested in that WFA. Would appreciate it if you posted it.

Re: Netapp VSC snapshot vs VMware snapshot


The limitations of VMware managed snapshots are covered in the vSphere documentation here:



Also, this is another area where Virtual Volumes (VVols) improve ONTAP integration with vSphere.  For both SAN and NAS VVols, vSphere will offload VMware managed snapshots to ONTAP which uses fast, space efficient file/LUN clones.



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