Version 1.2

Snapshots are efficient point-in-time copies of volumes that can be either read-write or read-only. Each snapshot is a volume in its own right and can be used freely by applications. They are implemented using a copy-on-write technique, so that they only use space in places where they differ from their parent volume. Snapshots can be created explicitly by pxctl snap create commands or through a schedule that is set on the volume.

pxctl snapshot commands

Snapshots are managed with the pxctl snap command.

   pxctl snap - Manage volume snapshots

   pxctl snap command [command options] [arguments...]

     create, c  Create a volume snapshot
     list, l    List volume snapshots in the cluster
     delete, d  Delete a volume snapshot

   --help, -h  show help

Snapshot creation

Use pxctl snap create to make a new snapshot of a volume. A typical example looks like this:

pxctl snap create --name mysnap --label color=blue,fabric=wool myvol
Volume successfully snapped: 1152602487227170184

The string of digits in the output is the volume ID of the new snapshot. You can use this ID or the name, mysnap, to refer to the snapshot in subsequent pxctl commands. The label values allow you to tag the snapshot with descriptive information of your choosing. You can use them to filter the output of the pxctl snap list command, as described below.

The parent volume, myvol, must be attached and all nodes that contain volume data must be accessible in order for this command to succeed. If these conditions do not hold, the system will try creating a snapshot 10 minutes later and keep retrying until it succeeds. The resulting snapshot will not have the name specified in your command, but will have a name of the form <parent-ID>.auto<creation-time>.

Here is the synopsis for pxctl snap create:

   pxctl snap create - Create a volume snapshot

   pxctl snap create [command options] [arguments...]

   --name value             user friendly name
   --label pairs, -l pairs  list of comma-separated name=value pairs
   --readonly               true if snapshot is readonly

The argument is the name or ID of the parent volume on which the snapshot is based. By default, the snapshot will be writable, but you can make it read-only with the --readonly option. If you omit the --name option, a default name is assigned. Its format is <parent-ID>.snap-<creation-time>, for example,


Each snapshot is a volume and can be used like any other volume. For instance, you can attach it and can create snapshots of it:

pxctl host attach mysnap
Volume successfully attached at: /dev/pxd/pxd1152602487227170184
pxctl snap create --name mysnap_jr mysnap
Volume successfully snapped: 1312421116276761727

However, snapshots do not appear in the output of pxctl volume list. To list them, use pxctl snap list. As with other volumes, you can use pxctl volume inspect to see more detailed information.

There is an implementation limit of 64 snapshots per volume.

Listing snapshots

   pxctl snap list - List volume snapshots in the cluster

   pxctl snap list [command options] [arguments...]

   --parent value           parent volume ID
   --label pairs, -l pairs  Comma separated name=pairs pairs

If you run this command with no options, you get a list of all snapshots, with information about their attributes:

pxctl snap list
ID                   NAME       SIZE   HA  SHARED  STATUS
1152602487227170184  mysnap     1 GiB  1   no      up - attached on
1312421116276761727  mysnap_jr  1 GiB  1   no      up - detached

You can filter the results with the --parent and --label options. For instance, --parent myvol will show only snapshots whose parent is myvol, i.e., mysnap in this example. Giving labels restricts the list to snapshots that have all of the specified labels. For instance, --label fabric=wool would again show mysnap but --label fabric=cotton would produce an empty list.

Deleting snapshots

   pxctl snap delete - Delete a volume snapshot

   pxctl snap delete [arguments...]

The argument is the name or ID of the snapshot that you wish to delete. The snapshot must be detached in order to delete it.

Snapshot schedules

In addition to creating snapshots explicitly with the pxctl snap create command, you can create them automatically according to a per-volume schedule. There are four scheduling options, which you can combine as desired. A daily snapshot is created every day at a specified time, a weekly snapshot is created on a specified day of the week, and a monthly snapshot is created on a specified day of the month. Finally, you can specify that snapshots should be created at a fixed interval, say every 60 minutes. The example below sets a schedule of daily snapshots at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., a weekly snapshot on Friday at 11:30 p.m., and a monthly snapshot on the 1st of the month at 6:00 a.m.

pxctl volume create --daily @08:00 --daily @18:00 --weekly Friday@23:30 --monthly 1@06:00 myvol

Interval-based snapshots are set with the --snap_interval option. As a special case --snap_interval 0 removes any current snapshot schedule.

The snapshot schedule can be changed with the pxctl volume snap-interval-update command. It accepts the same scheduling arguments as the create command:

pxctl volume snap-interval-update --daily @15:00 myvol

If a schedule is set, pxctl volume inspect will display it:

pxctl volume inspect tester
Volume    :  593988376247244600
    Name                 :  tester
    Size                 :  1.0 GiB
    Format               :  ext4
    HA                   :  1
    IO Priority          :  LOW
    Snapshot             :  daily @15:00
    Shared               :  no
    Status               :  up
    State                :  Attached: b9289d88-229b-4c49-b1d1-497a84a37acf
    Device Path          :  /dev/pxd/pxd593988376247244600
    Reads                :  60
    Reads MS             :  69
    Bytes Read           :  466944
    Writes               :  0
    Writes MS            :  0
    Bytes Written        :  0
    IOs in progress      :  0
    Bytes used           :  33 MiB
    Replica sets on nodes:
        Set  0
            Node      :

Scheduled snapshots have names of the form <parent-ID>_<freq>_<creation_time>, where <freq> denotes the schedule frequency, i.e., daily, weekly, monthly, or periodic. For example,


There is an implementation limit of five scheduled snapshots per volume. When a new scheduled snapshot is created, the oldest existing one will be deleted if necessary to keep the total under five.

Last edited: Friday, Sep 16, 2022