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Dear blog World Friends/Audience,
Wow, and I thought it would be not easy to figure out an eloquent way to begin this blog post. This goes to show you, folks, nothing is impossible. That reminds me to discuss some dreamy/hippie stuff with you about the mysterious and enthralling stars. Seeing as Hostwinds is a web hosting company, and seeing as I was hired by Hostwinds to write content relating to the tech industry, I suppose it would also be prudent to discuss some technical stuff with you too. Luckily, I happen to think the snapshot feature in the Hostwinds Cloud Portal is super cool and helpful. As such, this blog post consists of pertinent data regarding snapshots and pertinent (and by "pertinent," I mean "extremely awesome") data regarding the stars.
How about we begin with the star stuff. The late, great scientist, Carl Sagan, once said "The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff." This is likely why it makes some of us feel a sense of wonder and awe when we stargaze.
As we delve into the star stuff, it seems appropriate first to address our life-giving star, the sun. Did you know that the sun is smaller than any other star that we are able to see? Also, did you know that the sun is duller (in terms of its shine, but certainly not in terms of its character) than any other star that we are able to see? When I first learned that fact, I went "OooOoOoo, aaaaaaaawweeeee."
This sun fact made me utter the same child-like phrase: The sun isn't actually yellow-ish orange-ish white-ish. In fact, the sun is a blue-ish green-ish color, but our limited eyesight creates the optical illusion constituting the sun's yellow-ish orange-ish white-ish appearance.
We love and appreciate you, you illusory and astonishing sun. Onto some information about the ten billion trillion plus stars out there.
Warning, this definition is not exactly scientific, and it is definitely mushy: "Binary stars" are two stars that fall in love and spend their lives orbiting the same area. It might surprise you that a lot of stars are binary stars.
Another cool star truth: A star's lifespan depends on its size. For example, if Star A is bigger than Star B, Star B will outlive Star A.
(Star fact specifically placed here to segway into a discussion about the Hostwinds Cloud Portal:) Just as babies begin their life in the womb, stars begin their life in gaseous clouds called nebulae. What a strange coincidence that we speak of clouds because the Hostwinds CLOUD Portal has a beautiful area in which clients can take a snapshot of their server! Within the C.P. (as the cool kids call it nowadays), you can save an exact replica of any of your Cloud VPSs at the second you take a snapshot. This allows you to preserve the exact state your VPS was in at that moment. The following definition of a snapshot may give you a bit more clarity about why snapshots are so great:
"A snapshot is an entire back-up of your server and configurations. This includes everything from icon arrangement, settings, and software installations."
P.S. That definition came from an excellent Hostwinds Knowledge Base guide called "Snapshot Management," and that guide can be found at https://www.hostwinds.com/guide/snapshot-management/.
P.P.S. After reading over that guide again, I've noticed that it has all the snapshot answers. For example, this excerpt from the guide concisely covers the topic of why it is really smart to take snapshots of your VPS: "Snapshots can be useful for recovery efforts or for spinning up new servers already configured to your needs. You can think of a snapshot as a picture being taken; a picture of your current Cloud VPS."
More proof that the "Snapshot Management" guide 1. has all the answers and 2. is sheer genius:
Within the guide, as the author defines snapshot, the following valid point is brought up: "[…] it is important to note that snapshots are different than backups. Unlike backups that are taken incrementally usually (or when there is for an example a database change), snapshots are a frozen image of your instance manually taken during a point in time." Thanks, author of that guide!
One of the main reasons the Hostwinds Team geeks out about snapshots: Clients can create an instance of a Cloud VPS from a snapshot backup template.
Here is how you can do that:
Step 1: Login to your Hostwinds Client Area (https://clients.hostwinds.com/clientarea.php).
Step 2: Navigate to the Cloud Portal (Click the "Cloud Control" drop-down on the baby blue navigation bar at the top of the Client Area >> Select the "Cloud Portal" option).
Step 3: If you would like to create a snapshot, click the green "Create" button at the top right of the Cloud Portal, then select the "Snapshot" option.
You can ALSO click the "Servers" drop-down menu on the white navigation bar at the top of the Cloud Portal >> Select the "My Servers" option >> Click the name of the server you'd like to snapshot >> Shut the server down by clicking the red "Shutdown" button on the top right side of the "My Servers" page (as your server must be shut down in order to take a snapshot) >> Click the blue "Actions" button on the top right side of the page >> Click "Snapshot Server."
All you have to do from there is click the green "Confirm" button on the pop-up that appears and reboot your server (by clicking the green "Boot" button on the top right of the "My Servers" page).
Step 4: If you would like to turn a previously created snapshot into a template, click the "Storage" drop-down menu on the white navigation bar at the top of the Cloud Portal >> Click the "Snapshots" option. Next, click the "Actions" drop-down menu to the very right of your snapshot >> Select "Make Template."
There are several other useful things you can do with snapshots, including creating a volume with your snapshot, and the "Snapshot Management" guide will explain all of those options to you. Additionally, this guide goes over more snapshot template backup stuff:
(A dad joke is just waiting to burst out of me, but I am trying hard to hold it back…OOPS TOO LATE:) Ooooooh SNAP!
Finally, we conclude. First off, the heading above is outright GOOFY. Secondly, the Hostwinds Team highly recommends utilizing the Cloud Portal's snapshot feature throughout your web hosting journey. As far as the benefits of snapshots, the star-filled sky is the limit, my friends! Lastly, we (aka the Hostwinds Family) think you are a star, and we think it's in the stars that we will meet again in the blog world soon (aka tomorrow when we publish the next Hostwinds blog piece). Hmmm…anymore star referenced and puns before signing off? Nope, it looks like I've unloaded all of them! Have a wondrous rest of the day!
Written by Hostwinds Team / January 4, 2019