VMware Snapshot removal


      I have a mail server hosted in on VM 5.5 which have a thin allocated space of 800GB and have around 1TB total space of storage .
      Now there is no space left on datastore and we added 200GB to make the server up.We tried consolidation but failed due to lack of space.Tried deleting all snapshots but delta files are still present in backend and growing big.
      Tried contacting support and they are recommending to power off the machine and consolidate which is a big problem as this is a live mail server and cannot afford long downtime.
      I have some doubts regarding this which I hope you people can help.
      1-If I try to clone this to a new datastore with 500Gb (actual server utility is less than 200GB), whether it will hang again as I heard it will automatically consolidate while cloning.
      2-Whether we require the full current storage size in the new datastore for cloning.
      3-How much time it will take if we are going for power off and consolidate this datastore.
      4-If we try to clone while VM is  powered on, whether it will make more size or make issues in consolidation for cloning.
Is there any other suggestions so that we can remove the delta files(we dont require any snapshots) and make the VM work fine.

Awaiting for responses :)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1.Yes. CLONING is a supported option which will merge all the snapshots into the parent disk. When the CLONE has completed and you have tested the new CLONED VM, destroy and delete the old original VM.

2. You will only require the current size of the virtual disks (not the snapshots).

3. How long is a piece of string, it depends on how fast your datastore, and the size of the VM, and snapshots.

4. Do not do it whilst powered on.

Please read my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

I can work with you on the snapshot issue, but if you have no space on the current datastore, CLONING is the next best option.

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vibinsathyanAuthor Commented:
Thank You Andrew...Great ..
I am doing a cloning right now and waiting to finish.Hope everything will work fine.

Thanks a lot for your valuable feedback...I'll let you know the outcome.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Just be patient....
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vibinsathyanAuthor Commented:
Actually it is stuck on 38% from long time..but I can see the new datastore size is increasing.
So hoping everything will finish fine.
Current datastore it is showing around 1TB utilization with all the snapshots.
How we can identify the actual size from the snapshots. biggest one?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Look at the parent disk, this is the total size of the virtual disk, as you've defined it.

It's also available in Disk Properties, if you look at the virtual machine disks.

Snapshots (or child/delta disks) are temp, and these changes will be merged into the parent!
vibinsathyanAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot Andrew. It worked without any issue.

New VM is up and running. It took around 550GB + 125GB.
Hope there will be no delta file will create and grow unless we take a snapshot.

Once again a big salute for your support..much appreciated. :)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What you must check, is after a backup (that's what causes the snapshot!), so that's regular daily VMware Admin checks, you check all your VMs for snapshots, and deal with immediately.

the larger the snapshot, the longer it takes to merge!
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