This article discusses the difference between Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and Snapshots in the CloudRanger console.
Amazon Machine Images (AMI)
An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a template that contains a software configuration (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications).
From an AMI, you launch an instance, which is a copy of the AMI running as a virtual server in the cloud. Whereas for Snapshots you can back up the data on your EBS volumes to Amazon S3 by taking point-in-time snapshots. Snapshots are incremental backups, which means that only the blocks on the device that have changed after your most recent snapshot are saved. When you delete a snapshot, only the data exclusive to that snapshot is removed.
Amazon EBS provides the ability to create snapshots (backups) of any Amazon EBS volume. It takes a copy of the volume and places it in Amazon S3, where it is stored redundantly in multiple Availability Zones.
The first snapshot is a full copy of the volume; ongoing snapshots store incremental block-level changes only. This is a fast and reliable way to restore full volume data.
A point-in-time snapshot of an Amazon EBS volume can be used as a baseline for new volumes or for data backup. If you make periodic snapshots of a volume, the snapshots are incremental—only the blocks on the device that have changed after your last snapshot are saved in the new snapshot. Even though snapshots are saved incrementally, the snapshot deletion process is designed so that you need to retain only the most recent snapshot in order to restore the entire volume.