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Nova backup mechanism - pause needed?

Hello, I want to use Nova backup or snapshot to create backups of some VM instances. I don't want to have to shutdown/reboot those instances. I believe I should be able to pause the instance, run nova backup and then resume the instance, but is Nova doing this already in the background when I run nova backup? Can anyone tell me how Nova work currently in Mitaka to do this? I want to make sure that no corruption happens. Thank you!