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Posts Tagged ‘shrink

A year in review: What are our readers looking for?

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Our readers are primarily asking questions like:

  • How can I free up disk space, on Windows, and on ext4, ext3 on Ubuntu and Linux, within virtual disks like vmdk, vhd and vdi?
  • Where can I find the best virtual appliances/ Top 10 virtual appliances?
  • How can I convert from one virtual disk (vmdk to vhd, or vdi to vhd) to another?
  • Who are the competitors for ec2?

An analysis of the search terms shows interesting clusters:



% of queries

Search terms


ext4 defragmentation


ext4 defrag, defrag ext4, ext4 defragment, defragment ext4


ubuntu ext4 defragmentation


ext4 defrag ubuntu, ext4 ubuntu defrag, ubuntu ext4 defrag, ubuntu defrag ext4, defrag ext4 ubuntu, defrag ubuntu ext4


vmware virtual appliance


vmware virtual appliance, vmware virtual appliances, top vmware appliances, top 10 vmware appliances, best vmware appliances


virtual appliance


virtual appliance, virtual appliances, top appliances, top 10 appliances, best appliances


vmware firewall appliance


vmware firewall appliance, vmware appliance firewall


ubuntu defragmentation


defrag ubuntu, ubuntu defrag, defragment ubuntu, ubuntu defragment


ec2 competitors


amazon ec2 competitors, ec2 competitors


windows 7 virtual appliance


windows 7 virtual appliance, virtual applaince windows 7


ext3 defragmentation


ext3 defrag, defrag ext3, ext3 defragment, defragment ext3


convert vdi to vhd


convert vdi to vhd, vdi to vhd

If I abstract it out, our readers are primarily interested in learning how to free disk storage and where to find the best / Top 10 vmware, Xen and Windows virtual applainces.

Thank you. I appreciate your interest in this blog.

Top 10 Posts for Q1 2009

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Here are the Top 10 posts for Q1 2009, the numbers of views are in parentheses.

  1. Defragment Ubuntu, Fedora, ext3, ext4 (2247)
  2. Most popular VMWare Virtual Appliances for IT Administrators (2186)
  3. VirtualBox – setup, share, shrink, convert (842)
  4. How to convert a VMWare VMDK to a Microsoft, Xen VHD? (810)
  5. How does shrink with vmware disk manager work? (614)
  6. Most popular VMWare Virtual Appliances for Security (607)
  7. Pre-configured VHD (Virtual Appliance) available from Microsoft (593)
  8. Most popular VMWare Virtual Appliances for Web Apps (558)
  9. Virtual Machine Disk Image Compression (320)
  10. rsync vm, vhd for backup, disaster recovery, ec2 (317)

Defragmentation of virtual disk files remains the dominant theme. There is an equal amount of interest in virtual appliances, particularly those for system administrators.

Search terms:

  • ext4 defrag ubuntu
  • ext4 defrag
  • convert vdi to vhd
  • e4defrag ubuntu
  • virtualbox shrink
  • rsync vmdk
  • wubi
  • defrag ubuntu
  • defrag ext3
  • windows 7 virtual appliance
  • defragment ext3
  • vmware appliances
  • defrag ext4
  • xen vhd
  • ubuntu ext4 defrag
  • defrag ext4 ubuntu
  • vmware firewall appliance
  • vmware appliance
  • “vdi to vhd”
  • convert vhd to xen
  • ext3 defrag
  • windows 7 beta vmware virtual appliances
  • defrag fedora
  • ext3 defragmentation
  • virtual appliance windows 7
  • ubuntu defrag
  • hercules load balancer virtual appliance
  • fedora defrag
  • convert vmdk to xen
  • shrink vmware disk

Top 10 referrers for Q1 2009

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Top 12 referrers over the past 3 months

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Tool to find out how much will vmdk, vhd shrink on Windows, Ubuntu

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Now you can download and run vmsi to determine whether it is worth shrinking that VM on your disk. We are releasing vmsi for both the Windows NTFS and Ubuntu platforms. Please read the Release Notes to understand the current limitations.

Let us know how it works, please send email to  support at sharevm dot com

Written by paule1s

January 12, 2009 at 12:56 am

Top 10 Posts and Searches for Q4 2008

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Written by paule1s

January 8, 2009 at 10:08 am

Who is feeling the pain for shrinking VM’s?

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From informal surveys conducted with ex-colleagues and developers in other companies, and the inquiries we are receiving, the picture that has emerged in my mind is that shrinking VM’s is a need for

  • Developers who can store a limited number of VMs on their personal workstations/laptops.
  • Developers and particularly System Administrators who are concerned about the performance of their app within the VM at run time
  • Release Engineers/System Administratrators who have to transfer VM images from a staging/build/test machine to one or more production servers in a remote data center, or in the cloud, and are interested in reducing their size, and hence the elapsed time for the file transfer .

Release Engineers/System Administrators dealing with production VMWare ESX deployments seem to be storing VM’s on storage that supports de-duplication, primarily from

Development teams in large companies do use NetApp filers to provide shared NFS-mounted storage for development teams. However, I am not sure whether these filers support de-duplication, and if they do, whether it is enabled. If de-duplication is indeed enabled, then these shared filesystems typically act as passive storage for VM’s created by developers/build masters and the overall demand for storage reduces considerably.

However, there are development teams that also use commodity storage for file shares. If they are Linux file shares, then the ext3 file system seems to be the industry-standard; otherwise, they are Windows NTFS file shares. Both these file systems are also found on developer desktops – they don’t support de-duplication and have the exact same defragmentation and VM shrinking challenges that the developer faces on his personal workstation – except that the pain for managing file shares is felt by the IT admin/operator responsible for its well being. (It is worth reading this informative article about dealing with VM snapshots and linnked clones on Windows NTFS).

The major pain for managing several VM’s stored on commodity storage on a workstation/laptop seems to be felt by the developer since he can only offload older VM’s on a USB drive or a shared filesystem for “archival”, and has to keep the current one’s that he is testing on the local disk. We are hoping this blog is providing pointers to the “how to”  for the developers, release engineers and system adminsitrators.

Written by paule1s

January 7, 2009 at 7:31 pm