What is DigitalOcean Droplet snapshot and How it differs from a backup?

Cloud Computing - Cliffsupport

Droplets are linux based virtual machines provided by Digital Ocean. As a virtual machine, they are created on top of virtualized hardware. Each Droplet can be considered as a server which can be used  either as a standalone server or as a part of a larger, cloud-based infrastructure.

There can be situations were we need to create a droplet with the same contents as that of an existing droplet. This can be achieved using snapshots. Snapshots are on-demand disk images of droplets and volumes saved to your account. Using snapshots, we can create new droplets or volumes with same contents. In other words, snapshots provide a full copy of a DigitalOcean Droplet or volume. Snapshots help us to save droplet or volumes as disk image in our Digital Ocean account and archive it for future use.

Creating a snapshot of a Droplet does not capture block storage volumes attached to the Droplet. Block storage volumes are network-based block devices that provide additional data storage for Droplets. You can move them between Droplets and resize them at any time. You can create snapshots of block storage volumes separately. Also, snapshots are not incremental. Each snapshot is a full disk image.

Backups are automatically-created disk images of Droplets. Hence, backups and snapshots are both disk images of Droplets. The difference is that backups are taken automatically and retained for four weeks, but snapshots are taken manually and retained until you choose to delete them. If you want to keep a backup indefinitely, you can convert it to a snapshot. Once you’ve enabled backups, they are scheduled to occur weekly during a specific time window which is automatically assigned by DigitalOcean.

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