Snapshots are backups of a cluster’s indexes and state. State includes cluster settings, node information, index metadata (mappings, settings, templates, etc.), and shard allocation.
Snapshots have two main uses:
Recovering from failure
For example, if cluster health goes red, you might restore the red indexes from a snapshot.
Migrating from one cluster to another
For example, if you’re moving from a proof-of-concept to a production cluster, you might take a snapshot of the former and restore it on the latter.
You can take and restore snapshots using the snapshot API.
If you need to automate taking snapshots, you can use the Snapshot Management feature.