georgemason
Contributor
Contributor

VMDK files have incorrect file sizes when viewed in VCSA or Windows vSphere client

Hi,

I'm looking into something which I can't explain, with reference to the sizes of virtual disks shown in the vSphere client, and indeed when viewing the files via SSH console to the hosts themselves. So far I think this only applies to thin provisioned disks although I'm not 100% sure this is the case.

The issue appears to be that when I look in the client, VMDK files do not show the actual size of the disk. An example is a VM that had 2 new (thin provisioned) virtual disks created recently, of 100 and 350GB respectively. When looking in the client, these same VMDKs stored on vSAN, appear to have a size in the order of tens of megabytes.

pastedImage_0.png

I know for a fact that these disks have > 200GB of data between them. The same disks from the console look like so:

pastedImage_1.png

Clearly I'm missing something, and the VMs are all working as they should be - but I would have expected to be able to see the file sizes of the disks in one of these two interfaces.

Help from the community very much welcomed, thanks in advance!

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3 Replies
TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello George,

This is expected behaviour.

You will note that there are no -flat.vmdk files there which is what you are probably thinking of showing as of size - vSAN doesn't use -flat.vmdk, vmdks are stored as Objects and the .vmdk is just a text file describing the attributes of the vmdk Object.

Bob

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georgemason
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks Bob, I noticed that and suspected the same.

Is there an interface to see how big VMDKs are getting? Or is it just a case of looking at the VM summary etc. and seeing how much space a particular VM is consuming?

Thanks again

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TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello George,

"Is there an interface to see how big VMDKs are getting? Or is it just a case of looking at the VM summary etc. and seeing how much space a particular VM is consuming?"

There are numerous ways of getting the used size of VMs/vmdks:

- vSphere Client(s) summary of VM usage - this includes space used by all disks/snapshots/vswp/vmem and also the replica method overhead for each(e.g. 2x for RAID1).

- FLEX Client (maybe HTML5 also in later versions) Right-click VM > Edit Settings > Hard disk X > 'vSAN storage consumption' shows good break-down per disk.

- vSphere Client(s) Cluster/Host > VMs > Virtual Machines > 'Used Space' tab

- vSphere Client(s) Home > Policies and Profiles > Storage Policy X > VMs > Virtual Machines > 'Used Space' tab

- Via RVC > vsan.vm_object_info <pathToVM>:

https://www.virten.net/2017/06/vsan-6-6-rvc-guide-part-3-object-management/#vsan-vm_object_info

- Via CLI using output from #esxcli vsan debug object list - this can be handy if you are somewhat proficient at basic scripting to generate periodic reports.

- PowerCLI - I am positive there numerous ways to approach this, have a look on that sub-community for some ideas/examples.

Bob

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