ESXi Datastore free space issue

Ehab Salem
Ehab Salem used Ask the Experts™
on
I am new to VMWARE..
In ESXi 6.5, I have a SSD Datastore (500 GB) that is giving a Data usage warning (free space low) .
The Server installed on it only uses 80GB, whereas the Virtual disks are 400 GB.
why all this difference and how to restore unused space.
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
What you need to learn about VMware datastores, if your total datastore is 500GB, it does not really mean you can use all 500GB, because the virtual machine when it starts creates a virtual swap file equal to the size of memory in the virtual machine, also if you ever need to backup the virtual machine, a snapshot will also be created on the same datastore.

So you should always try to leave 20-30% of the datastore volume free!

When you create the virtual machine, and used possibly thick disks (VMDKs) at the moment you created 400GB disk, that was allocated, which would leave only 100GB left on the datastore, and this would cause alerts to start appearing.

It does not matter that you've only used 80GB in the VMDK (virtual disk).

My advice is always to start small, and grow your virtual machine disks as required, which is easy, because it's no so easy to shrink a virtual disk.

It can be done...here are two articles I've written to do it...

HOW TO:  Resize a VMware (VMDK) Virtual Disk

HOW TO: Shrink a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) in 15 minutes

The supported method is this...

HOW TO: Shrink or Reduce a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone v5.5.2
Do you have snapshots, they take space too.

Author

Commented:
Dan: I do not have snapshots.
Andrew: I will check the links and get back to you..
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
what you are experiencing is normal then!

Author

Commented:
Thank you all for your support and help.
The explanation of Andrew was really helpful.
I used this method:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_12938.html
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
np

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