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How to make VMDK files smaller

Posted on 2012-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-03-28
Let's say I have a VM that is Windows 2008 R2 with a 100 GB Hard disk and therefore the corresponding VMDK file is 100 GB in size.  Now let's say I want to move 30 GB of files in that VM to somewhere else and now only need a 70 GB hard drive.  Is there a way to make the VMDK file smaller?  I know I can make them bigger but can anything be done in the opposite direction?  I would be using ESXi v5 Enterprise edition.
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Question by:damien1234
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 37703622
A VMDK can be thin or thick provisioned depending on your requirement. If you have deployed a VM with 100GB VMDK in thin format, let's say that you have installed an OS which has consumed only 20GB, then only 20GB would be used from a storage perspective.

From a Windows perspective, there is an option to shrink the disks although the ratio of shrinkage depends on how much data is currently occupied by the guest.
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by:coolsport00
ID: 37704011
The easiest and most 'supported' way to do so according to VMware is to use vCenter Converter Standalone to do a V2V. You run the very least potential of VM corruption. During the Conversion wizard, you have the option to choose the disk and shrink it to the size you want. it.

Here's the download:
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/infrastructure_operations_management/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/5_0

The User Guide:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_50_guide.pdf

Best Practice KB:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004588

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 37704743
You can do a Storage Vmotion and choose thin disk format. This way you will be using only what is used but there is a some performance hit.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37704813
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