So due to a 3rd party backup system that has failed to remove old snapshots we have a virtual machine that has a status of "Virtual machine disks consolidation is needed" and the individual Hard Drives are like:
- Hard disk 1 [datastore] vmname/vmname-0000059.vmdk
- Hard disk 2 [datastore] vmname/vmname_1-0000047.vmdk
- Hard disk 3 [datastore] vmname/vmname_2-0000066.vmdk
So while powered on a manual disk consolidation fails so I was looking at the ways to fix this prior to powering the virtual machine off which is a production server.
Option 1 - Cloning disk using vmkfstools
- For each Hard Drive use vmkfstools to clone the disks which have delta files/snapshots. This appears to achieve our goal of removing the delta files etc.
Option 2 - Clone virtual machine
- Cloning the source virtual machine appears to have consolidated all the delta files/snapshots into one new vmdk.
Both options appear to fix the issue now I'm aware that cloning has some side-effects like new UUID, new MAC etc however what I was trying to get 100% confirmation about is when I perform a Clone against a virtual machine that has a large tree of delta files/snapshots does the resultant new clone vmdk's appear to have fixed the issue! This would appear to be the easiest choice.
I should clarify my question a little more, .... my question is does the process of making a Virtual Machine Clone of another virtual machine that has a large tree of unconsolidated snaps/delta files it would appear it does fix it but are there any other side effects of cloning a virtual machine that has 100's of snapshot delta files?