Running out of space on the guest machines in VMware

WE have  a client who is just about running out of space on both of their guest machines.
When I log into vsphere client and click on Configuration tab, and in the hard ware section I click on storage it shows Capacity 1.09 TB and 379.25 GD free.

Can I allocate that free drive space to one of the Guest Machines.
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Scott GorcesterCTOCommented:
Yes you should be able to shut down the VM, change the drive space in vcenter and the restart your VM. You will then have to extend the drive in the VM as long as the OS supports that. In Windows 2008 and newer this is very easy and in other OS's it might be a little more of a challenge.

Scott Gorcester MCITP
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
OK where would I have to go in Vsphere to allocate more drive space.
I'm new in Virtual so bare with me.
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BBraytonAuthor Commented:
I think i found it. DO I right click on the virtual Machine and go to edit settings.
then CLick on hard disk 1 or 2
then under Disk provisioning its set to Thin Provisioning.
Provision size you can make it larger
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
its set to 500 GB
and under it it telly you Maximum size is
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
tells not telly
Scott GorcesterCTOCommented:
You can right click the VM and choose properties and there is an area where you set the hard disk size.

I will see if I can find a step by step for you. Here is some good info

Scott GorcesterCTOCommented:
Sounds like you are there!

Scott GorcesterCTOCommented:
You also want to be careful with thin provisioning to make sure that in the event you "overprovision" that you never let the physical space fill up. In other words you can create two 1TB thin volumes from 1TB of physical space but if storage needs approach or exceed your physical space your system can shut down.

BBraytonAuthor Commented:
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
What would be a good approach to make sure i don't overprovision?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
see my EE Article

HOW TO:  Resize a VMware (VMDK) Virtual Disk

Two processes are involved,

1. Increase the size of the VMDK (virtual disk).
2. Expand the OS.

BUT be carefull here....because you need space on the datastore for the SWAP file equal to memory in the VM, and ALSO space for the Snapshots, if you use Backups.....

350GB, is getting very close to the limit, of using up all the space on the datastore.

So it may be wise to select a larger datastore.

If this currently thin provisioned, what is the maximum datastore size ?
One addition: you don't have to shut down the guest OS to do this in server 2008 and up.  Just assign the extra space in VM > edit then in disk management in the guest OS right click the new space and extend volume.  Done!

And like Scott says do watch out with Thin provisioning.  If you go to the datastores view in inventory and select the datastore > summary tab you will see capacity/provisioned space/free space.  As he said with thin provisioning provisioned space can be greater than the total capacity.  So basically just try to keep provisioned space under capacity and create new a datastore, extend that one or move VMs if it exceeds.
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
The OS is SBS2011
I haven't used SBS 2011 personally but from a bit of research I understand it functions the same way as Server 2008 in this respect.
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
Yes its based on Server 2008 r2
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
How about if I just add more Physical drive space. There are 3 or 4 empty bays on the physical server. I could probably add 1.5 TB
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
Would that be the better way to go?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That would be a much better idea.

Lets have some details, what is the server ?

Because ideally, you would want some RAID protection, is the current datastore a single disk, or a RAID volume, of many disks.

What is the physical server...because some storage controllers, you can expand the current array, others you cannot.
What version of VMware is it by the way?

Adding more drive space involves several more steps in a VMware environment but is certainly an option.  With that said 379 GB free is OK depending on the provisioned space.  As a general rule of thumb you should maintain at a minimum 15% free space or more.  ESXi at least warns at 25% remaining free space and alarms at 15% remaining.  So you have 100 GB you can assign to the guest OS before hitting the warning stage.  Again, watch provisioned space.

Also removing unnecessary data under the guest OS may be an option but requires further research on the specific applications etc.
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
Vsphere client is version 5.1.0
Vmware ESXi Version 5.1.0
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
Its a raid volume of 5 disks and there are 3 more bays for more disks.
Its a Dell Power edge R520
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You may be able to add these 3 disks to the existing virtual disk set.

otherwise, you would have to create a RAID set on these 3 additional disks, and then create a new datastore.

this depends on the storage controller in use.

and you would have to take the server down, to do this, so all VMs, would be off, downtime required.
BBraytonAuthor Commented:
Once I create a new Datastore with the guest OS see it as unallocated Space?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:

You will need to

1. increase the size of the virtual disk (vmdk), if not already done.
2. using disk management in the OS, select the volume and extend it into the allocated space.

the Virtual machines, does not know it's virtual server or stored on a datastore....with plenty of space.

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