I wanted to point out this technical learning video about VMware snapshots. This video is narrated by VMware certified instructor Joe Desmond and he explains all the details about the snapshot technology and the different files which are generated and used in snapshots.
In my IT career I've encountered situations at client sites, where the end users, and sometimes IT admins did not have clear understanding on how to effectively use snapshots or what are the files generated during snapshots are good for.
To be honest, the whole snapshot chain and number of different files involved during the snapshot process does not make the process easy either. As a result, VMware is doing a good job providing videos like this, and this video is part of 10 series videos talking about snapshots!
What you'll learn?
vSphere and ESXi generate a bunch of different files with different file extentions. VMDK, VMSD, VMSN, Delta files…. All those files are necessary for the mechanism of snapshots to function and the understanding what each of those files is good for is crucial.
The whole series of videos from VMware Education and VMware KB TV.
- vSphere Snapshot Overview – An overview video on snapshots.
- vSphere Snapshots in Non Production Environments – How to make changes by using snapshots to compare two alternative changes to an environment.
- vSphere Snapshot Consolidation – How to discover and implement changes in the environment with Snapshot Consolidation function which can detect third party tool snapshots left behind (backup tools usually). It can consolidate those snapshots.
- vSphere Anatomy of Snapshots (This video)
- vSphere Powerful Tools Come with Big Warning Labels New describes the proper use of vSphere Snapshots avoiding loss of data or downtime, and allowing movement from pre-change to post-change with ease.
- vSphere Snapshots in Action walks through two demos installing a software program using vSphere Snapshots to capture the before state and the after state.
VMware KB TV – tech support videos
- How to commit snapshots from within the VMware ESX service console (advanced)
- How to work with VMware snapshots using the GUI (Self explanatory)
- How to consolidate a snapshot in VMware ESX when there are virtual machine errors (Good)
- Getting Started with vSphere 5: Consolidating Snapshots in vSphere 5 (Beginner)
Those videos are good resources for learning the technology used in snapshots, the detailed files which are involved in snapshots and also the best use cases for snapshots. Some of the KBTV videos are good to see the command line tools used for committing and troubleshooting snapshots through the CLI.
VMware Education provides excellent training courses (free and paid) which allows to learn without going on site.