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zombie vm/disk

Posted on 2014-01-30
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Last Modified: 2014-02-11
What is meant by the phrase "zombie virtual machine", "zombie vmdk"? What risks do they cause to your virtual infrastructure, and how can you find them? Is the risk they are uneccesarily consuming disk space? Do they pose any other risks?
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Question by:pma111
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Abhilash earned 167 total points
ID: 39820856
They are basically orphened VM's that are not currently being managed by vCenter and are not completely got rid off.
Check this link
http://www.virtualizationsoftware.com/classification-detection-zombie-virtual-machines-tools-use/
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by:gurutc
gurutc earned 167 total points
ID: 39820862
They definitely are consuming disk space.

Other than that they pose no risk.

- gurutc
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 166 total points
ID: 39821719
They could pose a risk if you do not know what they are get associated to inventory and powered up.
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by:pma111
ID: 39821744
what is the overall fix, delete them?
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39821801
You can double check this by checking if the disk is still linked to the VM which it should be a part off. If it isn't you can delete it from the datastore using the datastore browser. I would suggest you move it first before you delete is, just in case.
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Expert Comment

by:gurutc
ID: 39821874
yes move it first is very smart.  that will truly test any hidden links.

- gurutc
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LVL 121
ID: 39821969
Would you leave a physical server or desktop in your data centre, that did not know what it was therefore?

1. Remove all Zombie VMDKs or VMs.
2. They are a security risk.
3. Also it's not efficient, and you can reclaim the storage by deleting or archiving.

VMware Community Pack
http://www.virtu-al.net/featured-scripts/vmware-powerpack/

You can run a script above, that will list Zombie VMDKs, e.g. vmdks not associated with a VM.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:pma111
ID: 39821994
can you install the aforementioned "vmware powerpack" on any machine and point it towards your vCenter application? or does the powerpack need to be installed/run from the vCenter VM itself?
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LVL 121
ID: 39822022
Anyway workstation...

.I would recommend using the following, also VMware recommends the use of PowerCLI, which is PowerShell interface with vSphere-specific additions.

http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/server/vsphere/automationtools/powercli

One of the simplest PowerCLI examples, and something which is actually extremely useful on its own, is the Get-VM cmdlet. Which lists VMs.

PowerCLI can be a bit overwhelming to use,  But it can be enhanced with a nice toolset and a library of preconfigured scripts to jump-start your mass changes, which is possible with PowerGUI

http://powergui.org/index.jspa

and

VMware Community Pack

http://www.virtu-al.net/featured-scripts/vmware-powerpack/
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