delete snapshot in vsphere when not enough disk space

johnjohnmacrae1 used Ask the Experts™
I have to delete snapshots from a server which is low on disk space. I cannot extend the volume or delete files from the server. Is there another way to delete snapshots.
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Try to delete the smallest snapshot first. Then move to the second smallest etc...

Be careful, you do need as much free space as the size of that snapshot or you may mess your VMs up badly. vShpere doesn't tolerate running out of diskspace very well.

If you really don't have enough free space to delete a single snapshot, you will have to move at least one VM to another storage location, if only temporarily.
Thanks for the reply robocat, when you mention the size of the snapshot does this refer to size you can view in the performance tag. One of the smaller snapshots shows 42gb as the snapshot size does that mean I need 42gb of free space to completely delete all the snapshots for that vm

The size of a snapshot can be seen when you open a vmfs volume using the data browser. Navigate to the folder that belongs to your target VM and look for large files that contain numbers like 00001, 00002 etc. These are the snapshots and you need to look at the size of them.
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try to Migrate to another data store with more storage then delete.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Easiest way around the whole issue is to use vmware vconverter and convert the VM to different host or to windows VM.  Delete original and use vconverter to put back to original location.  You may also want to use thin provisioning on the VM to save some space.

I would recommend not using snapshots as they can lead to many issues.  Yoacku should also remember that snapshots are not backups but only differential files and as they grow they cause problems.  
Top Expert 2009

How much space left? What was your problem when trying to delete the snapshots?
Just delete all snapshost in snapshot manager to free up space on the datastore, unlike reverting or consolidating snapshots you dont really need much space to delete, i have deleted snapshot size bigger than datasore free space with no issue
Take note, deleting snapshots may take hours depending on storage speed & snapshot size, just be patient

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