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ESXi 5.1 snapshots folder

Hello,


On my NAS where I have a datastore for my vms I noticed that there is a folder named .snapshot and within that I can see several other folders named hourly.0, hourly.1,hourly.5, nightly.0, nightly.1, etc.

Within these folders i can see the .vmdk files for the vms running on the host. It seems to be taking up quite a lot of space on my NAS now as it's filling up now.

I only have about 3 vms out of 25 running snapshots and I currently run VDP to backup my vms.

Any idea what this folder is for and if I can remove or to clear up some space on my NAS?

Thanks in advance
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dcirona86
Asked:
dcirona86
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1 Solution
 
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
sounds like you're running on a Netapp.  If so these are Netapp volume based snapshots and they use re-direct on write technology so the space they're using up is typically very small.  In addition if deduplication is enabled you can save 20% to 50% on the datastore usage.
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dcirona86Author Commented:
Yes I am running NetApp for the datastores.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
The snapshots are a point in time of the datastore when the snaphots were taken.  With that in mind the snapshots are not quiesced.  If you have snapmanager for vmware you should install the vmware plug-in and configure them as they can allow for quick restores.  In addition if you have flex-clone license you can  get a VM running from backup in 5 min.
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andossCommented:
As Paul said you should check that dedupe is enabled on your storage volumes.

We had a similar issue with the netapp snapshots using up all our storage (we use veeam B&R) after enabling deduplication on the volumes we recovered around 40% of storage.

The dedupe itself is not complicated to configure and enable incase you're concerned about that.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The folder is for Snapshots made by your NetApp Filer, at regular defined intervals.

You can disable snapshots, if you wish if you are not using them, or disable snapshot all together for your filer.
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dcirona86Author Commented:
I removed those snapshots that NetApp was creating and it did reclaim some space but then something just keeps taking up all the available space. I noticed that the host with the datastore is telling me that the Total space available is 2.73TB but the Provisioned Space is 4.3 TB.

The datastore should only be able to hold 2.73TB so where is this provisioned space coming from and how do I clear it?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
use

vmkfstools -y % (where % is the total amt of FREE space to reclaim)

VMware KB: Using vmkfstools to reclaim VMFS deleted blocks
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Sounds like your VMs are over provisioned.  Enumerate all your VMs and check to see if your VMs are overprovisioned or not.
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dcirona86Author Commented:
vmkfstools  will only work on vmfs5 datastore types. The datastore in question is NFS
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if it's NFS, install Snapdrive 6.3 or later and use the space reclaimation feature.

see here

https://communities.netapp.com/community/netapp-blogs/storage_nuts_n_bolts/blog/2010/07/05/snapdrive-63-support-for-vmfs-and-nfs
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