VMware

looking for documentation on what happens when a VMDK is deleted

I am curious if vmware has any documentation on what happens when a VM is deleted or more specifically, when a VMDK is removed? I can’t seem to find anything. can it be re-animated? or are all references to the VMDK file essentially removed? Specifically asking about esxi 6.5 environment and vsan.

thanks!

edit: i found [this reference](https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.5/com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc/GUID-836A2BD4-5746-4B8A-92FE-897C81EC739F.html) from vmware but it doesen’t go into any detail.


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3 Comments

  1. My understanding is that VMware handles it with the VMFS filesystem the same way other file systems do. They mark the file deleted in the allocation table, and the file will get overwritten the next time the space is needed.

    I have seen tools available to recover files off of a VMFS system. However, I don’t know if it works on VSAN datastores.

  2. If you need to ensure you’ve completely removed any data when a VM is deleted then just use VM encryption, and when you delete the VM, delete the key.

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