Hyper-V Program Manager
With all of the information that I have been talking about around snapshotting – one conversation that I have often is whether people should use virtual machine snapshots in production environments (note that this is virtual machine snapshotting I am talking about – not VSS snapshots which are great for backing up production virtual machines).
The short answer is “Virtual machine snapshots are supported in production environments, but not recommended.” The longer answer is that there are a number of issues you should consider before deciding to use virtual machine snapshots in a production environment. The are as follows:
So in summary: if you are using dynamically expanding virtual hard disks, have planned the location of your snapshot files, and can tolerate downtime at a later point in time to allow deleted snapshot files to merge – then go for it. Otherwise you may want to carefully consider the usage of virtual machine snapshots in production.
As a side note – the reason that I most often here for people using virtual machine snapshots in production environments is that they want to have a safe point to return to before applying a patch / installing new software / making a configuration change. While it is a bit more work you can use VSS snapshots just as well for this sort of scenario – and you avoid the issues that I have outlined above.
This is interesting. Last Summer, PSS were _very_ clear with me that snapshots were not supported at all in production unless being done with a Hyper-V VSS aware backup application.