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Virtual Machine Snapshot (VM Snapshot)

Last updated: March 19, 2013

What Does Virtual Machine Snapshot (VM Snapshot) Mean?

A virtual machine snapshot (VM snapshot) is the state of a virtual machine (VM) that is copied and stored at a specified time. It develops a copy of the VM that is used for VM migration, backup and restore procedures. A virtual machine snapshot allows a VM to be restored to a former state of snapshot creation.

A virtual machine snapshot is also known as a virtual machine image (VM image).

Techopedia Explains Virtual Machine Snapshot (VM Snapshot)

A virtual machine snapshot works as a typical operating system (OS) snapshot. Its primary purpose is to create an exact VM replica. A virtual machine snapshot is created by the client/server hypervisor or the VM manager.

The snapshot keeps the following records:
  • State: Includes the operational state of the VM (such as active), which is suspended along with its configuration.
  • Data: Includes all files from disk, memory and device driver cards.
A virtual machine snapshot is also important for operational environment, where the same instance of a VM must be created multiple times.

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