Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shrinking a VM Machine Disk by doing V 2 V

I have had to do expand a non-system disk and system disk from Virtual Machines. I described those in previous two blogs. But I found that I needed to shrink a disk(s) on my Web Server running inside VMWARE ESXi. Now, we could use a similar process we did with expanding a System disk by using GHOST. I did not want to do it that way. I used VMWARE converter to do a Virtual to Virtual conversion. By using that process we can change the hardware of the destination machine.

A couple of notes:

1. On one occasion, the conversion failed because the machine running the conversion went into power saving mode. I recommend you shut power saving off while you are doing conversions. When it failed, it left the source machine files locked so I could not restart it. Also it left the destination partly done. You cannot delete this from within the GUI.

What I had to do is SSH into the ESXi server, and go to the location of the VMFS files, and delete the disk file, and then the containing folder.

I also had to reboot the ESXi server to unlock files so I could restart the VM machine. There should be another way, because this would be real bad in a production environment.

2. I found that I could run the converter from another virtual machine in the same ESXi server at extremely faster speeds - it did it in minutes, the other way I was running from my PC was taking an hour and half.

Here are the screen shots of the steps. Click on an Image to see larger version.


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