Have you heard the term VM sprawl? A side effect of VM sprawl is a lot of “junk” gets left in your virtual infrastructure. Rick Vanover has started a list of “housecleaning” tips to help keep your VM infrastructure nice and tidy. Some of the tips include:
Datastore contents: How many times have you put a powered-off virtual machine in a special folder, on a special datastore or held onto just a .VMDK in case you ever needed it? There are a number of crafty ways to find these, including using a product like the VKernel Optimization Pack to find unused virtual machines. Also keep your eyes open for the “Non-VI workload” error message from last week’s blog post.
Reformat VMFS: I know there is no hard reason to upgrade, but it is annoying to see a smattering of volumes that are created as storage is added and ESXi (or ESX) versions are incremented. Evacuating each volume with Storage vMotion and reformatting will bring every volume up to VMFS 3.46 (assuming version vSphere 4.1 is in use). This would also be a good time to reformat each volume at the 8 MB page size, as there is no real compelling reason to be on 4, 2 or 1 MB sizes.
Check for antiquated DRS configuration items: Rules that are not needed any more, resource reservations that were a temporary fix, or limits that may not need to be in place can put extra strain on the DRS algorithm.
Reconcile all virtual machines with lifecycle and approval: We’ve never stood up a test virtual machine as an experiment, have we? Make sure all experimental machines are removed or that they still need to exist.
Permission and role reconciliation: Check that the current roles, active administrators, permissions and group setup are as expected.
Template and .ISO file cleanup: Do we really still need all of the Windows 2000 and XP virtual machine templates? Chances are at least one template can be removed.
Update templates: For Windows updates, VMware Tools, virtual machine version, etc.; these configuration elements can quickly get obsolete.