Bottom Line - CONS3RT offers a better approach! the traditional notion of snapshots.

As your team begins transitioning from traditional cloud hosting environments, there will inevitably be a time when when the team wants to "snapshot" a system. When the team refers to snapshots they likely mean the VMware definition:

A snapshot preserves the state and data of a virtual machine at a specific point in time.

  • The state includes the virtual machine‚Äôs power state (for example, powered-on, powered-off, suspended).
  • The data includes all of the files that make up the virtual machine. This includes disks, memory, and other devices, such as virtual network interface cards.
  • A Few Snapshot Limitations (according to VMWare)
  • Large numbers are difficult to manage
  • Consume large amounts of disk space
  • Not protected in the case of hardware failure.
  • Can negatively affect the performance
    VMWare states "Do not run production virtual machines from snapshots on a permanent basis."

However, this is more a case of "how" vs. "what". For example, here is the "what" and "how" for the above example:

  • WHAT - Save the state of a system at a particular point in time
  • HOW - Use VMware provided "snapshot" capability

CONS3RT provides a better HOW option to the WHAT "save the state of a system at a particular point in time". CONS3RT makes use of assets and high level designs to save the state of a system at a particular point in time. The design approach has many benefits, including:

  • Usability. Easier and quicker to update components or try out different configurations
  • Performance. Snapshot performance degrades over time.
  • Scalability. No need to carry around and update entire "catalogs" of monolithic VMs
  • Transparency. Know exactly how a system is built
  • Portability. Easily deploy systems across different cloud providers
  • Stability. Systems driven from automation
  • Only option for Physical Systems
  • Better Options for Long Term Backups
  • Better Options for High Availability / Disaster Recovery

Furthermore, using CONS3RT allows a user to automate the deployment of:

  • multiple copies of a systems so they are disposable (i.e. launch three, use one, throw it away, use the next one)
  • scenarios consisiting of many systems to create complex itegration environments or ranges