Using Snapshots in HBase
HBase snapshot support enables you to take a snapshot of a table without much impact on RegionServers, because snapshot, clone, and restore operations do not involve data copying. In addition, exporting a snapshot to another cluster has no impact on RegionServers.
Prior to HBase 0.94.6, the only way to back up or clone a table was to use the CopyTable or ExportTable utility, or to copy all of the HFiles in HDFS after disabling the table. The disadvantage of these methods is that using the first might degrade RegionServer performance, and using the second requires you to disable the table, which means no reads or writes can occur.