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How to determine the snapshot size

Posted on 2014-09-18
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Last Modified: 2014-10-07
I have a VM that is running on snapshots.  This happened due to during the process of removing the snapshot it ran out of storage.  Since then storage has been freed up.. But..  I need to delete all snapshots.  I'm still low on storage though.  I assume a certain amount of diskspace will be needed to do this.  Is there a way to determine how much storage will be needed to delete the snapshots?
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Question by:gopher_49
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LVL 119
ID: 40330815
If VM is powered on - Parent DIsk Size + All the Snapshots Sizes + 20%

- to be safe!

now if you are still running on a snapshot, the current snapshot will be growing based on the rate of change in the VM.

Shutdown the VM, does not require any additional disk space!
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by:choward16980
ID: 40330817
What version of ESXi are you running on?
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 40330849
Andrew,

I'm running ESXi v4 and I've been running about a week on a snapshot.  If I power down the VM and remove the snapshots no additional space is required?
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by:gheist
ID: 40331039
If disk is FULL you cannot remove anything
Before that comes - you can remove all snapshots with ease.
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by:gopher_49
ID: 40331066
I have 39 GBs free on that disk.  I was going to power down the VM and remove all snapshots.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40331082
You dont need to power off VM to remove disk snapshots.
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LVL 119
ID: 40331210
39GB is very close!

I would never let a VM run on a snapshot, the moment I've discovered it!

Poor VMware Admin, remember the Performance of a VM running on a difference disk e.g. snapshot delta is POOR!

Correct, Power down and remove.....e.g. DELETE ALL
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Expert Comment

by:ymg800
ID: 40331316
removing snapshot in vmware dont take space, this is pointst to the delta files.
however, removing the snapshot wont report to the storage that space is deleted - for that u need to run the unmap procedure
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40331323
Really depends on storage under the hood... On NFS space is freed immediately, if you have flash drive with percent light - that needs unmap...
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 40331325
Andrew,

I knew the moment it occurred, however, I've been concerned about the storage.  I not have enough free space to take snapshots and hopefully remove them.  Since ymg800 said removing snapshots won't take space I'll go ahead and delete them this evening.  I'm assuming I might have performance issues during this time.  Correct?

The unmap only free's up storage on thin provisioned drives on v5 and higher, correct?
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40331341
Just dont delete too much.
Why dont you try to clean them up on running machine first and shut down IF needed?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40331362
Yes, you could experience performance issue, and it's slower to remove, hence if you can get Emergency downtime, it's quicker to shutdown the VM, and DELETE ALL...
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by:gheist
ID: 40331383
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by:choward16980
ID: 40333002
Also, if you're licensed and have the VI Client installed, you can extend the VMFS volume on ESXI 4.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003302

To extend the VMFS volume:
Select the host on which the virtual machine resides and click the Configuration tab.
Select the datastore on which the virtual machine resides and click Properties.

Note: If there is no available storage, a new LUN must be presented to every ESX host that can see the LUN.

In the dialog that appears, click Add Extent and follow the prompts in the Add Extend wizard to add an extent.
Perform a rescan on every ESX host that is being presented the new LUN so that the addition of the extent is detected.
After you have extended the VMFS volume, you can check the Retry option of the Redo log pop-up.
Caution: When using Delete All in the Snapshot Manager, the snapshot furthest from the base disk is committed to its parent, causing that parent snapshot to grow. When that commit is complete, that snapshot is removed and the process starts over on the newly updated snapshot to its parent. This continues until every snapshot has been committed. This can lead to an aggressive use of additional disk space if the snapshots are large. Use care when exercising this option if there is not much space available on the datastore.
 
If the snapshot manager does not display any snapshots, see Committing snapshots when there are no snapshot entries in the snapshot manager (1002310).
 
If you have run out of space and cannot delete all snapshots, clone the virtual machine to a different datastore (you can select a different destination for each virtual disk in the clone wizard). All of the snapshots are committed to the clone virtual machine.
 
If you have vCenter Server 4.x, you can prevent this issue by performing the steps in Configuring VMware vCenter Server to send alarms when virtual machines are running from snapshots (1018029).
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 40334421
Question.  Is the unmap command supported on ESXi v4?  I thought that was released in v5.5.  

Andrew,

I'm going to power down the VM and delete all snapshots.
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LVL 119
ID: 40334522
v5.1 and later only.

Just check snapshot size before your start and be patient!
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