VMware Datastore files
I have been doing a large number of storage vMotions in order to consolidate a high number of data stores. I noticed that as I moved machines off a number of files were left behind. I thought that I would list what I found as there was no single resource that I found to help me determin if it was safe to remove the data store with these files still on it.
These files will appear if you have enabled SIOC on the datastore. I am not sure what part they play as yet but they still remain even if you disable SIOC, they just show a 0.00KB size. Its safe to delete the datastore, I have not deleted the file on a data store I planned to keep but you would assume that its safe to do so as SIOC will create a new one.
These are located in a folder called .dvsData. They are only present if you have a dvSwitch in your vCenter. You will notice that the slot file has a number and this coresponds to the static port that is mapped on the dvSwtch. It seems that in all versions of vSphere when an svMotion occurs this file is not always moved. A good indicator a slot file is still used in the last modified date.
You can also look at the port list on the dvSwitch to see what VM is attached. Then go to that VM’s new data store and see if a new file exists or not. These files are used when an HA event occurs, so that the VM is reconnected to the network. To that end when a file was not moved and was still live I just restarted the VM. I figured this also recreated a restart similar to an HA event.
These files are ignored by svMotion and are left behind on the data store. You can safely leave these files behind as they are created when you clone or deploy a VM from template that you then customise.
<vm name>_SD_<FilerName>_<unique reference>
These were interesting and you wont find them unless you have NetApp snap manager for Exchange running. It seems that once again svMotion will ignore them, however if you delete them as I did you will then find that when you test snap manager for Exchange it will fail as its looking for these files on this data store.
A simple restart of the service was enough to tell SNFE to create some new files. We also noticed that the files should be deleted after its completed the snap shots, however in some cases this does not happen and when it does you now know how to fix it.
I am sure that there are more files and as I find them I will add them to this list.
Hope it helps someone.