2.3.4. Snapshot Volumes

2.3.4. Snapshot Volumes

The LVM snapshot feature provides the ability to create virtual images of a device at a particular instant without causing a service interruption. When a change is made to the original device (the origin) after a snapshot is taken, the snapshot feature makes a copy of the changed data area as it was prior to the change so that it can reconstruct the state of the device.

Note

LVM snapshots are not supported across the nodes in a cluster.

Because a snapshot copies only the data areas that change after the snapshot is created, the snapshot feature requires a minimal amount of storage. For example, with a rarely updated origin, 3-5 % of the origin's capacity is sufficient to maintain the snapshot.

Note

Snapshot copies of a file system are virtual copies, not actual media backup for a file system. Snapshots do not provide a substitute for a backup procedure.

If a snapshot runs full, the snapshot is dropped. This is to be sure that there is enough space for the origin file system. You should regularly monitor the size of the snapshot. Snapshots are fully resizeable, however, so if you have the storage capacity you can increase the size of the snapshot volume to prevent it from getting dropped. Conversely, if you find that the snapshot volume is larger than you need, you can reduce the size of the volume to free up space that is needed by other logical volumes.

When you create a snapshot file system, full read and write access to the origin stays possible. If a chunk on a snapshot is changed, that chunk is marked and never gets copied from the original volume.

There are several uses for the snapshot feature:


Note: This documentation is provided {and copyrighted} by Red Hat®, Inc. and is released via the Open Publication License. The copyright holder has added the further requirement that Distribution of substantively modified versions of this document is prohibited without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. The CentOS project redistributes these original works (in their unmodified form) as a reference for CentOS-5 because CentOS-5 is built from publicly available, open source SRPMS. The documentation is unmodified to be compliant with upstream distribution policy. Neither CentOS-5 nor the CentOS Project are in any way affiliated with or sponsored by Red Hat®, Inc.