Shrink VM in size.

Posted on 2011-10-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello and thank you for your time.

We have a few VM's (Win7 PRO) on ESXi 4.1.
The VM's are 30 gb in size.
The Datastore is getting tight.
Is it possible to shrink a VM in size?
If so, how do we go about doing that? Standard repartitioning tools?

Thank you in advance.

Question by:loshdog
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    by:Luciano Patrão

    You do this by command but this is more difficult.

    You can perform this task using VMware vConverter performing a V2V.

    With this you can resize the disks in disks options in the vConverter tasks. You need to perform this task on each VM.

    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Stelian Stan
    LVL 116

    Accepted Solution

    I concur with Bestway, thr easiest method to shrink a virtual disk is to perform a V2V using VMware Converter Standalone. It will complete the disk shrink and partition shrink in one procedure.

    Download VMware vCenter Converter here

    VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

    VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

    If you have issues, you may want to consult the following guides

    Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

    Best Practice Video Guide here

    Check the video here I created earlier, and you can see the process.

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Actually, there is a far easier way to save space, but it depends on a few assumptions.

    Assuming you are using vCenter Server, you can do a migration and change the disks to thin provisioned at the same time. The caveats to this are that, unless you are licensed with enterprise or higher, you will not be able to do a disk migration while the VM is powered on. Also, if you chose to thin provision disks, make sure you understand what that means with regards to the space it uses. You can overcommit your storage this way, but unless you keep an eye on your VMs, you may find they decide to use all the space you configured for them, leaving you in a little trouble.

    I cannot comment on the Converter method as I have not used it, but I would think you would need enough spare space on your datastore to have both the original disk and the smaller new disk. As you do not say just how much space you have left, you may have reached a point whereby that is not feasable.

    Author Closing Comment

    Hello and thank you for this info hanccocka.
    I'm saving this as a reference for the future.

    Thx again..

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