About Cloud Server Images

Creating an image enables you to have saved images for later use as a template or primary image. You can then use the saved images to easily restore a server to a known configuration or rapidly deploy additional servers with an identical configuration. Using the Cloud Control Panel, you can create images on-demand.


Because the system does not automatically verify images, you should not use them as a backup solution.

Considerations for all server types

Note the following limitations when creating server images:

  • Cloud Server images are good for storing configuration and static data but are not a reliable way to back up a dynamic database.

    Standard backup tools such as mysqldump or the SQL Server Management Studio are more suitable for backing up databases. Be sure to always back up your database before you create an image of your Cloud Server.

  • You can share Cloud Server images between accounts but not between regions.

    You can share images between accounts in the same region. This enables you to build a server from the shared image and then create a copy of the newly created server. To move images between regions, see Transfer images between regions of the Rackspace open cloud.

  • Image creation can take several hours if the disk is extremely large, so be sure to allot an appropriate amount of time to create an image of your server.

  • Image creation can have a delayed start if there are a large number of image requests at one time for a group of servers. The number of concurrent images is limited to keep the disk activity of multiple images from affecting performance on a host. If the image takes longer than 24 hours to complete, contact Rackspace Support.

  • When an image creation begins, the system runs a process that attempts to reclaim space that has been freed by deleting files and images. That process continues even if the image creation process aborts because of disk limits at the time the process begins. That means that in some cases, trying to create an image again after it fails could result in a successful image process thanks to that cleanup operation.

  • If you are using a boot-from-volume server, you cannot create an image of it. You can, however, create snapshots and clones of a boot-from-volume server.

Considerations for virtual appliances

Turnkey virtual appliances typically do not support decloning. Thus, while an image technically preserves the exact state of the appliance, any servers built from the image can't set the following elements:

  • Hostname
  • IP configuration
  • Admin password
  • License key

Instead of using Cloud Server Images, consult your appliance's vendor documentation for the recommended backup and restore procedures.

Fortinet Fortigate-VM

For Fortinet® Fortigate-VM, see the following references:

Considerations for Windows servers

If you take a snapshot of a Windows® Cloud Server configured as a Domain Controller (DC), you cannot restore from
that image. Our build system relies on the local administrator account to perform configuration tasks, and the system disables that account after you promote a server to be a DC. If you want to create an image of a server that is also a DC, you must first demote it from being a DC before performing the image creation process.

Other limitations

Use the Feedback tab to make any comments or ask questions. You can also start a conversation with us.