To create an XML backup:
exportsubdirectory of the JIRA application home directory.
For a complete backup of your instance you will also want to backup the
<jira-home>\data\ directory as well by zipping the folder or using any other mechanism for backing up.
You can find the instructions to create the XML backup in the Backing up data knowledge base article.
In regards to the VM snapshot you would need to refer to the help file for that application to determine how to go about doing that for your VM software:
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