Note: Datastore Browsing is only currently available with VMware.
I was recently talking with a customer, helping them use Turbonomic to identify wasted storage. They were aware of a large number of VMs that had been removed from their inventory however they had not been deleted from disk and they needed a method of quickly identifying such files.
The walkthrough I’m providing shows how to identify such files as well as any other files no longer present in a VM's “Files in Use List”.
The first thing you’ll want to do is enable Datastore Browsing. To do so visit the Policy tab, select Analysis and scroll down to view Global Storage Settings. From here you want to uncheck “Disable Datastore Browsing” and then click Apply.
Secondly, visit the Improve Overall Efficiency dashboard and identify wasted storage (a refresh may be required if you have just enabled datastore browsing).
Third step is to click on the grouping you wish to explore. You may want to then click on Storage Amount so that the results are ordered by quantity of storage.
Now to open up the datastore and view the files that are wasting storage click on the small bar chart next to "Storage Amount".
You will be taken to a dashboard for that specific datastore where the wasted files are listed (along with any actions needed to optimize your environment!).
Expand the panel by clicking on the diagonal arrow highlighted in my screen shot.
Here we have all redundant files currently stored on this datastore. The results are ordered by Size so you can quickly identify which files you want to immediately go in and delete.
To learn more about how these files are identified, see this post: Datastore Browsing and Wasted Files
You can choose to have Turbonmoic ignore certain directories or files by navigating to the Policy Tab > Analysis > Global Storage Settings and modifying the “Directories to Ignore” and “Files to Ignore” settings.
I’ll now show you how we then identify and delete the file in the vSphere web client.
First, Navigate to Storage and right click on the relevant datastore and select “Browse Files”.
Then select the folder containing the file you want to delete from disk.
Once you have opened the folder containing the file to delete, select the file and then select the X icon to delete the file from Disk.
You can also identify potentially wasted storage by viewing powered off VMs through the Improve Overall Efficiency Dashboard.
Clicking on "Powered Off" will bring up a list of VMs currently powered off, like so.
Again, you're then able to drill further down for more details by clicking on the Bar Chart icon below "Details".