Introduction to snapshots

A snapshot is a read-only copy of a folder or virtual disk. It can be created instantly and initially, it consumes no additional disk space within the disk pool since. Any unchanged data is shared among the filesystem and its snapshots. It saves the state of a filesystem at a particular point in time and can recreate it later on the same machine or on another machine. Snapshots also offer the possibility to retrieve individual files. They can become ‘writable’ by sharing them.

View the existing snapshots of a folder

To display all the available snapshots, go to the Data Management > Folders / Virtual Disks page, select a folder and go to the Snapshots tab.


To search for a snapshot by name click on the “Filter snapshots” field and start typing a part of a snapshot’s name. All the snapshots that match the text will be displayed.

Create a snapshot

A snapshot can be created for a folder, virtual disk or an entire disk pool. To immediately create a snapshot, select a folder, go to the Snapshots tab and click on the New snapshot option in the drop-down menu. Give your snapshot a name and click Take Snapshot.

new snapshot naming

A new snapshot will be created in a few seconds

new snapshot created

Cloning a snapshot

Cloning a snapshot provides an instantly writable folder / virtual disk that does not use additional space.  You do this by going to the Snapshots tab (on your selected folder or virtual disk) and selecting the Clone option from the snapshot’s context menu. Then give the clone a destination (this will become the parent of the clone), a name and press Clone.

clone snapshot naming

The snapshot will be marked as having clones, and a new folder or virtual disk will appear with the name you provided.

clone snapshot has clones

Note: the original snapshot cannot be destroyed as long as the clone exists.

Promoting a cloned snapshot

In a snapshot’s contextual menu there’s an option called Promote. By clicking on it, the clone becomes the primary filesystem and the original becomes the clone. All the snapshots up to the time of the cloning will belong to the primary filesystem and all the snapshots after will stay in the new clone.

Restore data to the previous state

Snapshots offer you the possibility to revert the contents of a folder/virtual disk to a previous state. Select the desired snapshot and click on the Restore icon on the right. You will be asked for confirmation, after which the contents will revert to their previous state.

Delete a snapshot

Press the Delete button on the right of a snapshot to delete it. Note that if you’re sharing the snapshot you must also go to your share location and delete all the snapshots on the Snapshots tab. You can delete multiple snapshots by selecting them and pressing Delete selected.

Availability of snapshots

Since Windows XP SP 2 and Windows Server 2003, Microsoft has introduced a technology called Shadow Copy that can leverage SynetoOS Snapshots. For this to work you must have SMB enabled (read the SMB and Workgroup and SMB and Active Directory sections of the Manual for more information).

You can access the snapshots from Windows by connecting via SMB, selecting the folder -> right click -> Properties -> Previous Versions. From there you can quickly revert to a previous version by selecting it and clicking Restore.