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Snapshots Are Not Backups

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From time to time, we meet customers who wonder if they can replace their traditional backup solutions with snapshots from their storage array vendors. Some storage array vendors push their products as safe backup solutions by use of snapshots.

To consider this, let’s think about what constitutes a “snapshot” and a “backup.”

A snapshot is a way to label a set of data as it existed at a point in time. Typically, snapshots are implemented using a “copy-on-write” scheme, meaning that write operations that take place on the data after the label is created are written to a new location. When a read operation occurs on a view after the snapshot was created, the storage system determines whether to read from a new location or an old location based on whether or not the requested data has been modified since the creation point.

To learn more, read the entire artilce here, Snapshots Are Not Backups

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