Shrinking 2012R2 Server disks using VMware Converter v6.2 will it cause application issues (assuming process completes okay) with e.g. SharePoint 2013?

Laszlo Denes
Laszlo Denes used Ask the Experts™
Firstly thanks to everyone in advance for their time and expert insights. We have several servers (all at least 2012R2) that were overprovisioned due to vendor recommendations and I need to recapture some of the free space on these drives (mostly c: and d: partitions). I worked with VMware using their VMware converter 6.2 (our ESXi is 6.5u2) and we converted a low priority test system and it went okay. I am having some issues with the application on it, but as it is a standby failover server to the main application server I cannot be sure if the issue is VMware related re. conversion or if it existed before and I will talk with the vendor as the server and application seem okay otherwise. However, I wanted to get some insights from others that have done this, since my next candidate is a SharePoint 2013 farm (2012R2 o/s) that consists of a SharePoint 2013 Farm serer and a SharePoint database server running SQL 2012. Assuming there are no issues during the conversion process itself does anyone have any insights into if this is an okay thing to do or are there any issues that VMware is not telling me, because they said it was okay. Appreciate feedback.
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AlexA lack of information provides a lack of a decent solution.
So why are you using VMware Converter in order to shrink the disks? Why don't you just shrink it normally within your ESXi homepage/V-Sphere client and then shrink the disks within windows?
I am following recommendations by VMware and our support contract with them. Do you have an article that explains what you are mentioning? Cheers! Either way my earlier question still stands re. can shrinking disks causes issues, etc.
AlexA lack of information provides a lack of a decent solution.
my earlier question still stands re. can shrinking disks causes issues, etc.

No.... short but accurate.

https://www.vmware.com/support/ws5/doc/ws_disk_shrink.html
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Ah and here is the gotcha... --> VMware Workstation 5.0
As noted we are on our ESXi is 6.5u2 which is vSphere not Workstation, but thanks for the article
AlexA lack of information provides a lack of a decent solution.
Crap missed that one...

You're right actually, using the converter is the recommended way so I'll go get back in my box. However, shrinking a disk shouldn't make any difference to the applications that reside on it.

Regards,
Alex
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
VMware Converter SHOULD NOT cause any issues BUT read on.....

However, it is a conversion of the virtual machine, e.g. the disk is cloned, and the OS is converted again!

and there are changes made to the OS, including adding and removal of network connections, and changes to the OS Registry, we have seen issues with converted VMs - it does happen.

and I would encourage you to test, test, test and when you think you've done enough testing test again, because things and Applications can and do misbehave! (test the conversion, e.g. the V2Ved VM, and when you've finally tested, Archive the original). Hence why it's always wise to grow a VMDK, not over allocate.

oh, and we've been converting physical, virtual computers for 20+ years!

so this statement ///

However, shrinking a disk shouldn't make any difference to the applications that reside on it.

is not entirely true, it will not make any difference to copied data and files, BUT to how an OS functions, could change...

e.g. compare a VM before and after conversion they are different!

Which is why we wrote this EE Article

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

versus this one...

Part 13: HOW TO: Shrink or Reduce a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone v5.5.2

but it's unsupported, but you may find V2V or the original from the vendor is as well...

Also Disk Serial Number can changed as well!!!

So I would never like to say, it does not change it, some applications and OS, services may not notice but some do!

So test!
Appreciate the insights. I had to use the converter (not the other process) because of support requirements by the vendor. Is there any reason why VMware would not have also pointed this out, because they did not. Not sure how I can test this on one off servers e.g. SharePoint? Will see what vendor says re that one application. Cheers again
Hi,

also this question is already answered, my comment :
what last EE says is true, so sometimes it is easier / less risky to create a brand new VM with the appropriate configuration, and migrate datas or applications from source VM to target one.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Is there any reason why VMware would not have also pointed this out, because they did not.

because VMware Support does not care about your virtual machine application or services, and if they are broke after a V2V, it's unlikely VMware Support will have specialized help you with your failed Sharepoint Site or SQL database!

They'll refer you to vendor, or Restore from backup!

(or they'll say, oh it broke it - maybe restore then!)
Turned out to be a process issue on the application in that I did a step in reverse. Everything works perfectly. Thanks again for feedback.

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