Video Transcript:

Hello. Welcome to this video tutorial. My name is James Olorunosebi. I will be your guide for this video.

I am going to show you how to use the virtual machine VMWare Snapshot feature to save you a lot of hard work and hassles. In this modern age, a lot has changed, and we have found ourselves in a place where we have to use virtual machine extensively. This means that all of our servers that we configure for all of our demonstrations are hosted on our local laptop that has a lot of resources assigned to it to power those virtual machines that we run on it.

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Sometimes we make mistakes. We make misconfiguration that we are forced to have to go back to the beginning of the configuration and start again. That can be a lot of time wasted. The VMware Snapshot feature saves us this hassles by allowing us to save snapshots of our configuration stages, so that if things go wrong, we can go back.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

It is because VMware Snapshots gives you agility – Your ability to quickly respond to a configuration crisis and resolve it. This means you can have peace of mind if something goes wrong. It works like a backup. You can go back in time to any different part of the configuration to revert, and you can go forward to restore and continue from certain point in time of your configuration.

HOW IS SNAPSHOT DONE?

It is both automatic and manual. For the manual part, you have to remember to do it. You have to decide when to do it. For the automatic part, we will see later in this video that it can be scheduled based on your criteria.

For this demonstration, I already have a virtual machine with SQL server installed and configured. The same machine has SharePoint 2013 installed and configured. We will use snapshot to take this machine back in time to when I had the SQL server not installed and when I had the SharePoint server not installed, and forward in time when these applications were installed and functional.

DEMO

On the screen we can see 3 machines running. There is DCEX-1 (domain controller and exchange server). There is SPS-SQLDB (SharePoint Server and SQL Database server). There is CLIENT1 (a Windows 8 machine).

We are only going to work on SPS-SQLDB machine. Observe the Start Menu objects of this server that it contains SharePoint and SQL installations. Observe also that the desktop of this machine has several folders containing SharePoint installation files, SQL server installation files, and prerequisite files for SharePoint installations.

On the VMware menu tab called “VM” there is an option called “Snapshot“. In the snapshot sub-menu there is an option to create a new snapshot. And another option to revert to the most recent snapshot. There is also the Snapshot Manager, having two user created snapshots. I created them. To revert, we need to do the following.

VMware menu “VM” tab –> Snapshot –> Snapshot Manager.

Select the desired snapshot you want to revert to. Click “Go To“.

A warning message is displayed, “By restoring this snapshot, the current state will be lost. Do you want to restore ‘Pre-SQL Installation’?” Select YES, to proceed.

Observe on completion of the snapshot restore that on the desktop all the folders previously there are now all gone. Also if we go to the Start Menu, there is nothing that shows that SharePoint was ever installed on this machine. Observe also that in the Snapshot Manager, the diagram of the snapshot sequencing is also different from before the snapshot restoration. Observe also that there is no SQL installation as well. If you navigate to the “Services” console, observe that all the services for any SharePoint or SQL installations are missing. This is because we have successfully gone back in time to the past when this machine had none of these server installations.

Now let’s go forward to the future.

VMware menu “VM” tab –> Snapshot –> Snapshot Manager.

Select the “Functional SharePoint” snapshot option. Click “Go To“.

Now that the restoration is complete, you can now find SharePoint and SQL server in the programs menu, and in the services console. You can see all the files and folders on the desktop are also back. This is how snapshot works in virtual machine.

HOW TO TAKE A SNAPSHOT AUTOMATICALLY

VMware menu “VM” tab –> Snapshot –> Snapshot Manager.

In the manager dialog box, select “Auto Protect“.

In the left pane, ensure Auto Protect is enabled by clicking on it. In the right pane, click the “Enable Auto Protect” checkbox.

Set the “Auto Protect Interval” to your choice between daily, hourly or half-hourly. Use the scroll button as well to increase the value by 1 digit continuously as you want to indicate how many snapshots you want taken within the time frame of the auto protect interval.

Click OK to save.

Personally, I prefer to take my snapshots manually as I know exactly what point I need snapshots.

Thank you for watching.