My ramblings about all things technical

How to ease the management and monitoring of VMware Snapshots

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Recently I have been doing some cleaning up of old snapshots that users have created and forgotten to delete and have therefore been around for too long and are in danger of either using up all the space on the datastore they are on or corrupting once the snapshot is ”deleted”/applied to the vm. I came across an additional way I can make my management and monitoring snapshot tasks easier and so I though I would write up a quick post of all the tools I use that save me having to manually go through a crazy amount of machines. I have used a few of my fellow virtualisation friends scripts and tools to help me do this.

  • First and the one i use the most is the SnapReminder script by scripting guru Alan Renouf. Alan’s script is a fairly straight forward one (his words not mine as I’m not at the level yet to be able to write this). The script is simple yet so very effective as it automatically finds the snapshot that meets your time criteria,finds out who created it ,retrieves their mail address from AD and mails them reminding them that they have this snapshot and it is older than a number of days. It’s really great when you get a mail back from a user replying to one of these mails and saying they don’t need it anymore as you know it’s going to make your environment better while you barely had to do anything to remind and alert them to it.
  • Next is part of the vCheck daily report ,one I have spoken of before which is also created by Alan. The vCheck tool is a brilliant reporter for gathering all the information you need to know to make sure your environment isn’t having any problems and enables you to be proactive so as to stop problems before the arise. The snapshot part of this report is always helpful so i know if people have removed their snapshots after being pestered by the SnapReminder e-mails and gives me a good idea of my progress in minimising the amount of snapshots over the limit.
  • Last one is one I stumbled across this morning while researching some other things and is one i didn’t think of creating but is one that is a brilliant idea especially for automated monitoring. Sadly i can’t seem to find the name of the guy who wrote up the article and did the video as i like to give credit where i can but good work to them for doing a video of it. The article shows and details how to configure VMware vCenter Server to send alerts when virtual machines are running from snapshots and reach a certain size. I’ve always used the alerts for memory,cpu and hosts errors which are pretty much the standard ones you get with vSphere with the additional and tweaking of a few to customise it for our environment but I’ve never thought of it for alerting me about snapshots. 

 Hopefully these tips and tricks will help save you some time and heartache with the management and monitoring of your companies snapshots.

Gregg Robertson




As is my luck ,on the heels of me posting this Alan brings out his latest instalment of vCheck, version 5. This new one has some brilliant features and really is an improvement over the last one. I’ve already given it a run over a few of the environments I support and the webpage view it now allows you to view the report in is actually a bit overwhelming with all the data and reporting you get back and has flared up some warnings i didn’t even know were there which is brilliant!

Also a quick congrats to Alan who has now become the latest member of Chad Sakac’s vSpecialists. A brilliant hire there if I do say so myself and very exciting for an EMC employee like myself that someone like him is now part of the team.

One thought on “How to ease the management and monitoring of VMware Snapshots

  1. Pingback: All things virtual 13 « TheSaffaGeek

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