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What is the difference between snapshots and clones?

In QuantaStor we use snapshots and clones to make backups of your data. It is worth noting that snapshots and clones should not be your only backup. We recommend having a separate storage system and set up replication.

Snapshots are by definition a point in time copy of your data. A snapshot can be created manually or via snapshot schedules. Snapshots can be used to recover or rollback data. If snapshots are created manually, you get the option of using our default GMT timestamp name, or the option of using a custom name. 


Example of creating snapshots manually

Snapshots when created are read-write enabled. With the default GMT timestamp name, data can be accessed in the '[NETWORK_SHARE]_snaps' folder. This is very useful for accidental deletions, virus infections, corruption, and more. If you create a snapshot with a custom name, this creates a snapshot and a new top level share, which can be accessed in the same way.

Snapshots created via snapshot schedules use the default GMT timestamp name, these can be accessed in the '[NETWORK_SHARE]_snaps' folder.

Clones work differently in that we create a 1:1 copy of the data. This means that data is being 100% duplicated. We create clones by creating a snapshot, then using zfs send/receive to send the data to a new network share. Once completed, we make the share available, delete the snapshot the clone was based upon, and you are left with a new, exact copy of the data from that point in time. The original share is left untouched, which means it can be used for isolated testing. Using zfs send/receive, has the added benefit of allowing us, to send the data to another pool on the same storage system.


Example of creating a clone

 

 

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