A snapshot represents a frozen image of a volume. The source of a snapshot is called an "original." When a snapshot is created, it looks exactly like the original at that point in time. As changes are made to the original, the snapshot remains the same and looks exactly like the original at the time the snapshot was created.
Snapshotting allows you to keep a volume online while a backup is created. This method is much more convenient than a data backup where a volume must be taken offline to perform a consistent backup. When snapshotting, a snapshot of the volume is created and the backup is taken from the snapshot, while the original remains in active use.