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SmiKar Software
Server Hardware

Snapshots in Azure is a nice feature that allows you to take a read-only, “point in time” snapshot of a Virtual Machine’s disk. You can take a snapshot of a VM’s OS or data disk. You can use this snapshot to revert the VM to a point in time before an event occurred, or you installed something that didn’t go quite right.

The process to take a snapshot of a VM that is using Managed Disks is quite simple, all you have to do is browse to the Disk of the VM and select “Create Snapshot”.

Now that we’ve created these Snapshots, where do we find them?

That is where things get a little tricky. If you’ve taken Snapshots of VMs using Managed Disks, all you need to do is search for “Snapshots” and you will see all the Azure snapshots along with information such as the snapshot type, source disk, date and time it was created, the size and a few other items.

OK, great, what’s the problem?

Well, this view will only show you snapshots of Managed Disks. If you are using unmanaged disks there is no one portal or view where you can see all your snapshots.

Much like everything else in Azure, Snapshots are not free! And if you have numerous VMs using unmanaged disks, you will need to check them one by one through the Storage Account view, locate their VHD and click on the Snapshots menu to see if there is a snapshot associated with the VM.

You could be paying for storage that Snapshots are consuming that were taken months or even years ago that have been forgotten.

OK, so how do you get this information without having to go through each and every VM disk?

Easy, just use Cloud Storage Manager and run the report to tell you.

Once you’ve installed Cloud Storage Manager, it will scan your environment and collect a heap of information. Then all you have to do is launch it, and select the “Snapshot” tab to see all your snapshots across the environment, including both managed and unmanaged disks.

You may also export these results to a report using the Reports tab.

Select the Reports tab and click on the “List of Azure Snapshots”. You will also have the option to export the report to a CSV file.

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