In one of our customer infra, for one of the VM  ,snapshot grown to 1.9 TB size and it was created by one of the engineer as part of IS upgradation but forgot to delete.


  • Hyper-v : 2012R2 cluster (4 Nodes)
  • 2 Volumes (Volume1 – 7 TB (Free space 1.18 TB), Volume2 -7 TB (980 GB free space) )
  • VM Role: Standalone critical VM where MS SQL(2008R2) databases are hosted and the size of all databases(100) is 1.3 TB.


  • VM level backups are not existed due to backup license issue , however regular database backup is happening with backup tool . But, as on  date SQL & backup team not tested restoration.
  • Expected additional free space from storage as snapshot deletion activity requires equivalent VHD free space -> Due to storage credentials issue, storage team unable to provide any support.

Due to above 2 challenges, planned below options and completed as part of prerequisites

  • Removed all unwanted files from Volume2 and made the free space of 1.6 TB in Volume2 so that while snapshot deletion(merging) it should not have space issue
  • Built new VM(SQL Server) and do database restoration to new SQL server -> This test is to estimate the restoration time and check database consistency

Implementation plan:


  • As there is no VM level backup, backup team need to take FULL database backup & differential backup post downtime
  • Shutdown VM
  • Move CSV’s Volume 1 & 2 to the Hyper-v Server where VM hosted -> To provide better I/O
  • Make sure only one VM   is hosted on Hyper-v Server -> To provide better performance and we have sufficient resource to have only one VM

Implementation Plan:

  • Go To Hyper-V Manager -> Select VM -> Right Click ->Delete Snapshot 

Note: If Merge process taking more than expected, we cannot can cancel in between the merge process as there are lot of chance corruption

Roll Back Plan:

  • Backup team need to restore SQL databases directly to new VM which was prepared as Standby
  • Change the Hostname & IP to production
  • SQL team need to change the hostname at SQL Instance level
  • Application team need to check the connectivity


Before Execution Post Snapshot Deletion
VM File Size
VHD File Drives letters in OS Parent File Snapshot File Total VM Storage Volume  
Drive0.VHDX 83.3 46.8 130.1 87.2 Volume 1  
Drive1.VHDX E 1540 437.7 1977.7 1540 Volume 1  
Drive3.VHDX F 221.6 214.8 436.4 271.2 Volume 1  
Drive4.vhdx G 1950 1240 3190 1950 Volume 2  
3794.9 1939.3 5734.2 3848.4  
Time taken for Deletion of Snapshot 1.9 TB in Offline is  5 hrs. (12:30 to 5:30 A.M), space reclaimed is 1885.8 GB