Use the Reclaim Resources screen to identify underutilized workloads and reclaim resources from across your environment.

Where You Find Reclaim

From the Home screen, select Reclaim under Optimize Capacity in the left pane. From the Quick Start screen, select Reclaim in the second-from-left column.


Double-click on a data center graphic to display the object details screen for the data center.

How Reclaim Works

The Capacity Optimization and Reclaim features are tightly integrated functions that enable you to assess workload status and resource contention in data centers across your environment. You can determine time remaining until CPU, memory, or storage resources run out, and realize cost savings when underutilized VMs can be reclaimed and deployed where needed.

When you open the Reclaim page, graphical representations of all the data centers and custom data centers in your environment appear. By default, they are shown in order of time remaining, beginning from the upper left, where the most constrained data centers appear. To review the status of a data center, click the graphic. The area following refreshes to display details about the selected data center. "How much you can potentially save" reflects potential capacity savings and indicates a possible cost savings once you have reclaimed underused or powered off VMs. Total Reclaimable Capacity gives details of the reclaimable percentages for CPU, memory, and disk space.

The table at the bottom of the page provides important information about the VMs that offer the most cost savings. Each type or state of VM is a table heading, with the highest priority heading at the far left. That is, when you reclaim a powered-off VM, you also reclaim its snapshot, yielding more savings. You can specify what information is included in your reclaim action. For example, when you click a column heading, the table lists, by data center and then by VM, the allocated and reclaimable CPUs and memory, respectively. Then, for example, you can check the box next to one or more VM names and click the EXCLUDE VM(S) button to keep those VMs from being included in any reclaim action. You can also select VMs to resize.

Reclamation Settings

Select the gear icon next to the page heading to customize Reclaim, which affects all data centers. Using the Reclamation Settings, you can exclude, for example all snapshots from being included in the reclaim action - by deselecting the Snapshots box. Similarly, you can include or exclude powered-off VMs, idle VMs, and oversized VMs.

The types of VMs are ranked in the order of their importance in a reclamation action. A VM whose attributes match more than one VM type is included with the higher-ranking VM type. Grouping the VMs this way eliminates duplicates during calculations. As an example, powered-off VMs are ranked higher than snapshots, so that a powered-off VM that also has a snapshot appears only in the powered-off VM group.

If you exclude a given type of VM, all VMs matching this type are included with the next lower-ranked group they match. For example, to list all snapshots regardless of whether their corresponding VMs are powered-off or idle, deselect the Powered-off VMs and Idle VMs check boxes.

Further, you can configure how long a given class of VMs must be in the designated state - powered-off, for example, or idle - to be included in the reclamation exercise. You also can choose to hide the cost savings calculation.

Run a Reclaim Action

Run a reclaim action as follows:

  1. In the table headings, Select the types of VMs to reclaim.

  2. Click the name of a listed cluster to show its VM list.

  3. Select each VM or snapshot you want to reclaim.

  4. Click Delete VM(s) to reclaim their resources.

Table 1. Reclaim Options



Select a data center.

Select a data center from the carousel across the top of the page. All data refreshes with information for the selected object.


Toggle: click ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right when you want to switch the view to a filtered list of all data centers. Click X to return to a carousel view of data centers.


Filter results to include data centers, custom data centers, or both. Option appears when you select ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right.

Group BY:

Filter results by criticality (least time remaining data centers/custom data centers listed first) or by the vCenter Server to which each data center belongs. Option appears when you select ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right.

Sort by:

Options (Options appear when you select ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right):

  • Alarm clock graphic - list data centers/custom data centers by time remaining.

  • Dollar sign - list data centers/custom data centers by potential cost savings.

  • Scales graphic - list data centers/custom data centers by level of optimization.

Select data center or ADD NEW CUSTOM DATACENTER.

Options (Options appear when you select ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right):

  • Select a data center from the carousel across the top of the page. All data refreshes with information for the selected object.

  • Select ADD NEW CUSTOM DATACENTER to display a dialog box that enables you to define a custom data center.

How much you can potentially save.

Appears when you select a data center or custom data center from the top of the screen. Shows the total calculated potential cost savings when you accept system reclamation recommendations.

Total Reclaimable Capacity

Lists potential cost savings for the selected data center when you reclaim unused resources.

Resource: CPU, memory, or disk space

Reclaimable Capacity: how much capacity is available to reclaim from idle resources

% Reclaimable: percentage of total CPU, memory, or storage you can reclaim.

Duration older than:

Shows idle or powered off VMs that have been idle or powered off for at least the selected time period: one week, two weeks, or a month.

Table of Potential Cost Savings

Tabular representation of the VMs and snapshots in the selected data center from which resources can be reclaimed. The projected savings are listed next to each element listed above the table: powered off VMs, idle VMs, oversized VMs, and snapshots.

Click one of the elements - powered off VMs, idle VMs, and so on - to refresh the table with data for that element. The table lists the relevant clusters. To see the VMs hosted in a given cluster, click the chevron to the left of the cluster name.

Click the check box next to the VMs you want to act on, or click the check box next to the column heading VM Name to act on all the VMs.

Once you select a VM or VMs, the dimmed options above the table become visible, as follows.

Exclude VM(s): the selected VMs are excluded from your subsequent action. Excluding VMs from a reclamation action can reduce the potential cost savings.

For powered Off VMs:

  • DELETE VM(s): deletes the selected VMs)

For idle VMs:

  • DELETE VM(s): deletes the selected VMs)

  • POWER OFF: powers off the selected VMs

For Oversized VMs:

  • RESIZE VM(s): the system displays a dialog box that offers you the resizing option.

For Snapshots:

  • DELETE SNAPSHOTS: deletes the selected snapshots.

SHOW|HIDE EXCLUDED VMS: toggle displays or hides the list of VMs you previously excluded.

INCLUDE VM(s): include the selected VMs in the actionable list.