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how to do Datastore Housekeeping

mimalu asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06

our Environemt consists of about 80 ESX Hosts and has more than 20 Datastores presented with each one around 1TB Capacity.
Multiple people have access and I think that over time there have been a lot of VM's deleted from VC but not from the actual Datastores. This causes obviously a lot of space wasted.

Does anyone know a tool/programm which can help us identify data (unused VM's) on Datastores and therefore give us the ability to delete them and free up space again?

It is quiet a hassle to do this tedious task manually and since we have multiple people with access to VC and capability to create VM's i would like to know if there is a nice and simple house keeping tool which can help with keeping the Datastores clean.


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If the guest sessions are deleted in the underlying disk you will see them as orphaned.
If the sessions are deleted via the VC the VC will reflect this.
If you are trying to clean up the SQL DB's and remove unnecessary data there are some unsupported rouitines  where you purge specific tables of redundant logged activity
I can't remember what these tables are but will identify them tomorrow and post.

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za_mkhIT Manager
Well, a way to check to see if the VM is orphaned / not used would be to look at the timestamps for the VMX/VMDK files. If there last modified/accessed date is more than a month (or whatever your limit is) than I guess you can safely assumed they are no longer used.
Now as to how to do that across 80 VMFS partitions ... maybe somebody can write a powershell/perl script to find this out?
Senior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008
I would look at something like Vizioncore's VCharter, the performance monitoring and tracking is amazing.  You can run multiple reports both canned and self created.  The best feature that I found for large environments is the chargeback where you chargeback each VM to a specific environment.  This reduces the vmware sprawl quite a bit when they have to pay for VM cpu/memory or per VM.

In general you can run a report for non active VMs and other reports that will assist in clean-up.  Vizioncore's VOptimizer also has some great features for this.

My $.02
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