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Remove Snapshot takes a long time

Posted on 2014-09-22
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Last Modified: 2014-09-22
Snapshot Removal in VSphere ClientHi,
 
I have ESXi V5.1 running several virtual machines. Over the weekend, I upgraded ESXi from V4.0 to V5.1 successfully, applied VSphere 5 Essentials license, installed the backup software called "NAKIVO", performed virtual machine backups.

This morning, users complained that the database system was running slow, so I open vSphere Client and noticed "Remove snapshpt  20%  FS1-W2003 VM" under Recent Tasks.
The database system runs on this particular VM. So that explains why users are experiencing "slowness".
Can you explain how/why this snapshot was created,  why it is being removed now, and how I can make it so that it does not happen again during work hours?
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Question by:sglee
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8 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:dhoppel
ID: 40336581
I'm not sure how it was created, it may have been a byproduct of the upgrade process or it could have been sitting there for a long time, but I do know that you can't cancel it without really screwing up your system (it won't let you cancel and hardbooting is a bad plan, trust me, I've done that). There's not much you can do other than wait it out, and it usually takes a looooong time, especially if the snapshot is old.

My theory is that if the snapshot was created with a v4 software the v5 software wants to roll it up to essentially get rid of a legacy snap shot in favor of allowing new/current ones.
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LVL 121

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40336586
Snapshots are created by most Backup software. So 99.999% certain it's Naviko!

I'm not sure what FUD, is being posted in the first post!

Removal could be slow, because heavy IO on the VM, slow datastore, large snapshot - this is normal!

Snapshots are removed at the end of the backup job...

Make sure your BACKUP JOBS are set to run, at quiet times, e.g. out of core hours if possible.

see my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

Check the Snapshot size, some snapshots can take seconds, minutes, hours, days or weeks to remove!

If using a Snapshot based Backup method (ALL third party software and VMware), you need to check every day, after every backup, Snapshots do not exist as apart of your VMware Admin, and deal with them!

Setup alarms if needed to warn you!

When a VM runs on a differencing disk e.g. snapshot or delta child disk, performance is poor!
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40336617
VM SummaryNow the percentage moved up a little - 36%. I think it will be done in the next several hours.

Since I installed NAKIVO backup software on this weekend (for the first time) and there were some error messages while performing first backup job (backing up all VMs). Let me look into the error log in NAKIVO backup software. There must have been problems/issues backing up this VM because I have 4 other VMS and I don't see "Remove snapshot" being done on other VMs. This VM is the biggest in size (about 300GB in provisioned storage) where the other 4 VMs are like 80GB/50GB/40GB/23GB respectively.
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LVL 121
ID: 40336659
It depends on

1. How large the VM is to backup, because whilst the VM is being backed up, all the changes are being written to another snapshot disk....

how large is this snapshot disk, when the backup job finishes, this merges with the parent.

Make sure your BACKUP JOBS are completed out of core hours, when the VM is at it's lowest I/O or changes!

BE PATIENT! it will complete!
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40336667
Got you.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40336684
Should I expect this process each time when the backup job is run?
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LVL 121
ID: 40336702
Possibly....

it depends how many snapshots are attached, it's trying to delete, how busy the VM is, how slow was the first backup...
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40336708
ok. I will keep on eye on for next few days.

Thanks.
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