Checkpoints formerly known as Snapshots represents a point-in-time view of the virtual machine. In IT world it is very easy to run into errors, make a mistake while testing, upgrading or even worst to crush the system. It can take couple of hours/days before we find and repair the damage. When working with virtual machines we have the ability to rollback a VM before the error occurred. We can take checkpoint before we install new softwares, upgrade to newer versions and roll it back in case of errors.
Checkpoint is a tool which can save our “lives” making the problem prevention two clicks away.
Starting with Windows Server 2016 there is a new type of Checkpoint called Production Checkpoint. Difference between Standard and Production Checkpoint:
Standard: capture the state, data, and hardware configuration of a running virtual machine and it can be very useful when we need to rollback and recreate a specific state or condition.
Production: are “point-in-time” images of a virtual machine. This type of checkpoint is using backup VSS technology inside the guest to create the checkpoint, instead of using saved state technology.
Let’s jump into Hyper-V Manager and find out where we can edit those settings
Inside Hyper-V Manager, right-click on the virtual machine and select Settings
In the Management pane, click on Checkpoints
Checkpoints are enabled by default. Here we can choose between Production and Standard Checkpoints and we can specify a new location where we want to store the checkpoint configuration and saved state.
Let’s see how we can create a new checkpoint
Right-Click on VM and select Checkpoint
We can check the status in the status tab. Message will pop-up when the checkpoint is created.
If we want to create a checkpoint and add a name during its creation, double-click on a virtual machine to open the Virtual Machine Connection window, click on Action in the menu, and then click on Checkpoint. On the Checkpoint Name window, type the checkpoint name and click Yes.
Our checkpoint is created which we can see in Checkpoints window and if we browse to the location of the VHDX file, we can see that a AVHDX file has been created.
If you right-click on Checkpoint you will be able to apply, rename or delete it.
Export option will export the virtual machine.
It is VERY important to remove the snapshot and not leave it out. Each checkpoint will consume space so be sure to remove any unnecessary checkpoints.
If you click on Delete Checkpoint Subtree it will delete the configuration file and the virtual machine saved state files of all the checkpoints in that tree.