Troubleshooting ESXi Datastore or VMFS Insufficient Disk Space and Pausing Virtual Machines (VMs) Issue

1. Objective


In this document will describe how to troubleshoot the issue that virtual machines (VMs) had been paused because of the datastore or VMFS on ESXi host is full or nearly full of disk space capacity.

2. Problem Description


    • Every day the datastore disk pace on ESXi host keep increasing from 5GB to 20GB and can potentially to consumed almost of all the available disk space or can even run out of disk space very soon. This happen when the virtual machines (VMs) have a tree of active snapshots and creating double VMDKs which they are the original VMDKs and snapshot VMDKs.
  • As the space on the virtual machines (VMs) keep growing, the space of he snapshot VMDK is growing too and can easily exceed all the available disk space in the datastore.
  • As soon as the space on the datastore is full, the ESXi host will pause the running virtual machines (VMs) or some of the running virtual machines (VMs) will be crushed with the following error message “There is no more space for vitual disk MV-Name_x-00000x.vmdk. You might be able to continue this session by freeing disk space on the relevant volume, and clicking Retry.

3. Problem Resolution


There are some workarounds with above issue that we can do as below.

  • Increase Datastore Disk Space Capacity

For some storage model there is a features that it is possible to extend more space to the datastore. So, we can increasing disk space on the datastore.

  • Move Virtual machines (VMs) to Another Datastore

In case that there is no feature on the storage to extend additional space to the datastore, check disk space of the ESXi host if there is some more disk space available. Then, create another datastore and move some virtual machines (VMs) to there.

  • Move Virtual machines (VMs) to Another ESXi Host


If the ESXi host is also running out disk space, we can move the virtual machines (VMs) to another ESXi host by export virtual machines (VMs) to an OVF format file.We need to shutdown virtual machines (VMs) first. Select the virtual machines (VMs) that we want to export and then go to “File” choose “Export” click on “Export OVF Template…”

Then, use the exported OVF file to deploy it in the new ESXi host. On the new ESXi host from vSphere client go to “File” option and click “Deploy OVF Template…”

  • Remove the Tree of Snapshots, The Permanent Solution

After we had performed some actions as above, we should have some available space now. However, the datastore space still keep increasing so fast. To permanently fix this issue, we need to delete the tree of all the active snapshots.On vSphere client, right click on the virtual machines (VMs) that we want to delete the snapshot then go to “Snapshot” and click “Snapshot Manager…” and finally click on “Delete All”

After the tree of snapshots had been removed, check the space of the datastore again. That should free up a lots of space.

After enough space is available, the pause or crushed virtual machines (VMs) will be up and running as normal automatically. We don’t need to manually power on them.