Panzura uses snapshots to capture the state of the global file system at a point in time.
Panzura uses two types of snapshots; system managed and user managed.
The system managed snapshots are used to provide file system consistency between nodes. In a process called syncing, Panzura takes the changes (deltas) that occur to files and to the file system metadata, captures the delta information in a snapshot, and sends them to the cloud.
The metadata portion of these changes is retrieved from the cloud by all other Panzura nodes in the cluster where they are used to update the state of the file system and maintain concurrency. This system updating occurs continuously across all nodes, with each node sending and receiving extremely small metadata snapshot deltas and using them to update the file system.
User managed snapshots are controlled by the administrator to provide file system backups in the shared cloud storage backend. You can schedule automatic snapshot creation or take snapshots on demand. They are visible to the end user so they can be used to retrieve old versions of files without involving IT administration.
Panzura guarantees that each node will support more than 10,000 user‐managed snapshots.
Panzura recommends creating a user snapshot schedule that meets your business needs while maintaining a reasonable number of snapshots per node when using a multi‐node CloudFS configuration.