The VM Reclamation dashboard helps you manage various types of reclamation that can be done on virtual machines. This dashboard is designed for the Capacity and the Operations team. The reclamation is grouped by buckets. Use this dashboard to view the trend charts that help you analyze the growth over time without changing the context.

Design Considerations

The VM Reclamation dashboard helps you visualize information differently by providing choices for customization. The reclamation size is grouped into buckets so that you can focus on the largest reclamation opportunities first.

How to Use the Dashboard

This dashboard is divided into two sections:
  • The first section provides a summary, giving you an overall picture of reclamation.
  • The second section provides details, giving you the actual VM name to reclaim.
Review the summary information.
  • The summary is presented in the three bar charts, Count of VM by Snapshot Size, Count of Powered Off VM by Disk Space, and Count of Idle VM by Memory Footprint. Each bar chart corresponds to an area you can reclaim.
    • The VM Snapshots widget corresponds to VMs that are more than a few days old.
    • The Powered Off VM widget assumes they are back up and it is safe to delete them.
    • The Idle VM widget helps you reclaim memory but not CPU. The idle VM memory occupies ESXi host's physical memory.
  • Idle VM does not display any CPU usage as there is nothing to reclaim and no CPU is being used. Since the CPU is idle, the only benefit is the overcommit ratio.
  • Memory reclamation is based on the memory footprint at the parent ESXi host. The value inside the Guest is not what is being reclaimed, and so it is irrelevant.
  • Adjust the bucket size to suit your operational requirements.
  • Select any of the VMs in the above widgets to view its trend over time. The trend chart is placed on the same page, so you can review it without opening a new screen. This helps you quickly toggle between VMs.
  • If the snapshot is expanding rapidly, ensure that the VM disk is large (relative to the underlying datastore) as it can fill up the datastore.

Points to Note

There are five areas of reclamation, so start with the easiest first.

  • Non-VM indicates files are not associated with VM. Typically, these are ISO files.
  • Orphaned file is a file in the datastore that is no longer associated with any VM. For orphaned Raw Device Mapping (RDM), look from the storage array if there is any ESXi host mounting it. The orphaned VMDK is not listed in this dashboard as it is not associated with a VM. If your environment has orphaned VMDK, add a fourth column in this dashboard.
  • Snapshots are not back up and they cause performance problem to the VM. Keep them only for protection during change. Once the change is validated as successful, keeping the snapshot does a disservice to the VM.
  • If your environment is large, change the dashboard filter to a functional filter. Group by the class of services such as gold, silver, and bronze and default the selection to the least critical environment. In this way, you can be active in reclamation.
  • If reclaiming is a long drawn manual process in your organization, add a filter by department or VM owners. One way to do this is to create a vRealize Operations Cloud custom group.
  • If the VM name in your environment does not provide sufficient business context, add more information in the table to give context to the VM. Information such as VM owner, clusters where the VM is running, and datastores where the VM files are stored can be useful in the analysis.
  • Disk cannot be reclaimed immediately. They have to be in the powered-off stage at least for a week.