Google Cloud has unveiled machine images, a new kind of Compute Engine resource that will make backup workflows much easier.
Machine images have a number of significant advantages over standard images. A standard image only captures a single drive, with all its various apps and resources. While that works perfectly fine for duplicating a single disk, it can be an unwieldy solution for backing up entire machines.
According to Google Cloud, machine images are far more comprehensive and can contain multiple disks, as well as everything required to create a new instance of that machine. A machine image would include instance properties, data for all attached disks, instance metadata and permissions.
“Backing up an instance requires more than just disk data. To recreate an instance you need instance properties like the machine type, network tags, labels, and more,” writes Ari Liberman Product Manager, Google Compute Engine. “Capturing this information is easier with machine images. When you create a machine image from an instance, it stores the instance information and disk data into a single resource. When it comes time to restore the instance, all you need to do is provide the machine image and a new instance name. Machine images can be created whether the source instance is running or stopped.”
Customers can begin working with machine images immediately via the “the Cloud Console, gcloud or the API.”