delta.vmdk vs flat.vmdk

I heard that delta vmdk can not grow more than flat.vmdk.
I have a vm with snapshot and noticed the delata .vmdk is bigger than flat vmdk.
Can this delta.vmdk grow more than flat.vmdk?
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sara2000Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Can this delta.vmdk grow more than flat.vmdk?

That's unusual because the snapshot cannot normally be larger than it's parent, that's the theory.

It depends by how much 100GBs, or just a few because the metadata could take it over.

There have been occasions when we've seen this, and there have been issues with the snapshot, the same is true for the number of max snapshots =  32

but we've seen many more snapshots in use than this... and then machines have failed!
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Ajay ChananaMCSE-2003/08|RHCSA| VCP5/6 |vExpert2018Commented:
Yes it can grow more than your flat.vmdk or the allocated vdisk.
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sara2000Author Commented:
Thanks, Andrew, I may have to deal with when it explodes. I am banging my head. Will I be able to delete the snapshot if the server stopped working?.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Like with every snapshot issue, each snapshot issue is different, you will be able to discard the snapshot, but what use is a server, if it's been rolled back two months ?

As for tying to commit the snapshot, it will take many hours, to recover the server, I would recommend a V2V using VMware Converter.


HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 6.1

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

that way, you'll end of with a new server, without any snapshot attached, but a little bit of work, to re-add networking.
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Ajay ChananaMCSE-2003/08|RHCSA| VCP5/6 |vExpert2018Commented:
Remember , Cloning or converting may take more time as it has to copy the base disk to target location.

you should check what is size of base disk a what is size of all the snapshot disk.

if you have 1 tb of vmdk  and only few GB of snapshots it make no sense to clone it.

if you have more of snapshots Cloning /conversation will be good.

so take you decision wisely based on your environment.
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sara2000Author Commented:
If I understood correctly, cloning (V2V) will bring the VM to the latest snapshot level, not the base disk level?
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Ajay ChananaMCSE-2003/08|RHCSA| VCP5/6 |vExpert2018Commented:
yes thats true
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Not really-ish, depends what you mean...., a V2V does not even detect a snapshot, it will just create a CLONED COPY. V2V runs in the VM at the OS level, and just clones the disk out.

and a V2V is not really a CLONE, all it does is copy all files and folders to a new virtual machine disk.....and then convert, inject drivers.

It is not a CLONE, if you compare the Before and After they would be very different, and you've got to add all the Network Config....

the result is you get a copied conversion clone, effectively a new VM. A new VMDK.

What you get is what the CURRENT STATE is, in a new VMDK.
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sara2000Author Commented:
We can only remove the snapshot in the maintenance window. I check the delta.vmdk everyday and it is growing, 10GB more than the flat.vmdk. Will the delta.vmdk grow forever or stop soon?
It is a Linux appliance and the software license is based on mac address. I am not sure V2V is a good option.
I think right now, only option left to  delete the snapshot when it breaks or before.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Snapshots are not long term.

V2V may not be supported on that version of Linux

MAC Address or VMs can be changed

We would recommend snapshot delete all by that I mean merge.

But be prepared for even worse service if done live!

And if VM powered off could take days or weeks hours or minutes to address.

You need to advise accordingly with if It breaks no matter what we do we are not responsible!
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