Don't miss an insight. Subscribe to Techopedia for free.


Virtual Machine Snapshot

What Does Virtual Machine 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

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.


Related Terms