You can now use the UI to select the VM Consolidate. Click yes, and the snapshot delta(s) will be merged with the VM base disk.
And of course you could also consolidate the delta disk(s) using Power CLI using $VM. Thanks to my colleage Alan Renouf for the Power CLI guidance.
On a v Sphere 5.5 cluster, We noticed that a VMFS was filling up very quickly.
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Support engineers from GSS (VMware's Global Support Services) would then have you use their many tricks of the trade to consolidate the snapshot deltas into the VM base disk.
The issue is that although support resolves most if not all of these cases, it is a very time consuming & repetitive task.
After consolidation, redundant disks are removed, which improves virtual machine performance and saves storage space. This might happen, for example, if you delete a snapshot but its associated disk does not commit back to the base disk.
The Needs Consolidation column in the v Sphere Client shows the virtual machines that need to be consolidated and the virtual machine's tab shows a Configuration Issues consolidation message if the virtual machine needs to be consolidated.
He is also the co-author of the “Essential Virtual SAN” book published by VMware Press.