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Michael MachieFlag for United States of America asked on

Convert 'Thick Provisioned' HDD into 'Thin Provisioned'

Issue:
I need to convert a ESXi 5.1 VM currently Thick provisioned into a Thin Provisioned virtual drive.

Original Scenario:
I had a MS Great Plains server running on Server2008 Standard R2 on a PHYSICAL HP Proliant360p. About 4 months after upgrading all of my Core servers into a VMWare ESXi 5.1 Virtual environment I decided to convert this physical machine into a VM. I used VMWare Standalone Converter and the process went smoothly and it has been running without hiccups for about 5 months.

Problem:
I get a call early one morning stating the GP (Great Plains) Server crashed. Upon investigation it looked like a Snapshot was taken but did not delete which  literally used up all of my LOCAL storage on that Host, resulting in the crash and the inability to restart the Servers on that Host. I needed to reboot the Host, which allowed me to access the Datastore and delete the 'stuck' snapshot. Once deleted I was able to power everything on and go from there.
Upon further investigation with this VM I noticed that the drives were Thick Provisioned and checking the size of the Datastore it said I was at 5.8TB before deleting the snapshot - but I only have 3.3TB available total! Upon looking at the Disk management section of my Server VM I see this:

disk-management-pic
As seen in the picture the drives total to roughly 2.2TB when the original physical Server only had 1.2TB total storage on it. Apparently during the P2V migration it doubled the drives and listed the 'double' as unallocated. I did not see, or apparently skipped over, the migration options to Thin Provision or verify disk sizes so this weirdness occurred.

Now, I have been told that I need to migrate this Server to another Host and specify Thin Provision. I can now do that without issue (thanks to EE legend hanccocka) but by doing this will it also replicate the unallocated HDD space that I do not want? Regardless of Think provisioning, I would never want to allow the Server HDD to grow beyond the originally spec'd 1.2TB and if it did go to 2.2 (including the unallocated) I would end up locking my Host again. I hope I am clear enough to get an answer from someone here.

Additional Info to help:

I have (3) identical HPGen8 Hosts with 3.3TB local storage running ESXi 5.1 . I have a vCenter Server VM. I do not have shared storage or vMotion licensing - licensing is Essentials only, not Essentials Plus.  

Question:
What would be the best way for me to convert the disks to Thin provisioned and also remove the unallocated space that was created during the initial conversion?

As always, your help here is invaluable....
VMwareWindows Server 2008

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Last Comment
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

8/22/2022 - Mon
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

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ASKER
Michael Machie

Awesome.. another long Saturday it seems!

One more thing, I need to have this VM on the original Host (Host 3) when all is said and done. I am assuming that I will be converting this to end up on a different Host (like my Host2), verify that all settings are correct, and then Export the OVF Template from Host 2 to Deploy back on Host 3? Or is this possible without migrating off the original Host (Host 3)?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

You can V2V to the same host. When you select a destination for the converted virtual machine, you can select any server and datastore, even the same Host and Datastore as the original VM, just make sure you call it something different.
ASKER
Michael Machie

I have not fully performed this process yet but did go far enough to se the options I need to use and have enough info to move forward.

Thank you sir!
This is the best money I have ever spent. I cannot not tell you how many times these folks have saved my bacon. I learn so much from the contributors.
rwheeler23
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

No problems