How to reclaim unused disk space on equallogic storage when deleting thick provisioned VM's on Vmware 5.5

rivkamak
rivkamak used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

We have vmware 5.5 version with an dell equallogic as the storage. Most of our VM's are thick provisioned. I want to delete some old thick provisioned VMs. I tried  deleting some thick VM's from Vcenter but when looking on the equallogic I did not see the decrease in storage size. Is there a simple way of reclaiming this storage on the equallogic?

Thank you.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
does the datastore space on the LUN change, as viewed from vSphere ?

Author

Commented:
Yes on vpshere it changed, only on equallogic it didnt change.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
what component are you looking at the size of the LUN ?
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Author

Commented:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
So you have a datastore

VM-3 Total Size 749.75 GB

485.43GB Used
264.32GB Free

what's the issue ?

Author

Commented:
Sorry wrong datastore. Here is the correct one.

When I look on the volume space in the equallogic it shows much less free space, as if my deletion of a vm on that datastore is not seen from the storage end.
config2.PNG
config4.PNG
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
It's not thin provisioned so I don't see how you would get any space back from the Equallogic side, but why would that matter?

Author

Commented:
I want to reclaim the space, free up space on the san. i have alot more thick vms that i want to delete also.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Short of creating a new LUN on the SAN, then creating a new VMware datastore on it and moving the current VMs to it then destroying the old LUN I don't think there is much you can do. Is the more space you want on the SAN destined for another purpose rather than your current cluster?

Author

Commented:
No, its just to make more space for more vm's in our enviroment.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
The datastore as shown by ESXi, states approx 262GB available for VMs.

The maximum size of the datastore is approx 799.75GB, Equallogic shows 800GB.

Currently the SAN shows 753.37GB in use.

BUT it's the datastore size of 262GB which is the FREE space for VMs.

I've just checked our Equallogic in house, and the ESXi Datastore FREE space, DOES NOT MATCH the Equallogic LUN In-Use space!

What matches is the LUN size = Datastore size. These are thick volumes.

This has been in production now for 7 years, zero downtime, all LUNs were built 7 years ago, we've never changed them, and all is managed by vCenter Server. We have 20 LUNs, across 14TB shared between 10 hosts.It's coming to the end of it's life now...
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
If there were a way to shrink the allocated space on the SAN so it saw more free you would actually have less space available for your VMware environment. It is like looking at a PC's free space via Explorer Vs disk manager.
I see what @rivkamak means.

Mine Equallogic also tells me a different story (spacewise) when compared to vCenter.

see attached screen shots

I log more into vCenter than the Equallogic (weekly vs biweekly) just to see if any errors have occurred, but if nothing is really happening anywhere, I tend just to leave things be.
VMWareReportedSpace.jpg
EquallogicReportedSpace.jpg
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
That's what I confirmed!

The real free space is reported by VMware vCenter server not Equallogic.

Last time I logged into Equallogic Group Manager I don't remember since the Java apps were giving security issues!
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
EqualLogic reports its own free space properly, but free space as far as a SAN is concerned is total space minus that which is allocated to hosts (in this case VMware). The only way to increase free space on the SAN is to take it away from VMware!

Author

Commented:
I might have gotten my terminology incorrectly before. When we create a volume on EqualLogic we expand the LUN (from VMware) to the same size as the volume. So when I delete a thick VM from that LUN, I should see that free space in the volume from equallogics end also free up. Just like I see when I add a VM the free space gets used up.    

Your telling me that the true space is what is shown on VMware? What happens on equallogic end if I add another 200GB VM. If volume is showing up in equallogic as 20GB free will it allow this?
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
If you create an 800GB partition on a 1TB disk and put Windows on that 800GB then the hard disk has 200GB free, it is the same with any storage and any OS or hypervisor.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Your telling me that the true space is what is shown on VMware? What happens on equallogic end if I add another 200GB VM. If volume is showing up in equallogic as 20GB free will it allow this?

Yes, because it's VMware which creates the VM and detects the storage space.

Author

Commented:
Thank you both.

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