VMware View Composer enables the use of linked clones with View Manager in order to reduce the amount of storage needed per virtual machine (VM). It does this by coping the parent VM + snapshot into a protected VM or entity. This VM is protected so it can’t be deleted in vCenter to ensure an admin doesn’t accidentally delete the VM which users may be referencing.
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The correct way to manage these protected VM’s isn’t within vCenter; it’s in View Manager. When a linked clone enabled pool is created, recomposed or deleted this updates the protected entity accordingly. In some cases it may be necessary to manually unprotect and remove the protected entity in vCenter. SVICONFIG.EXE is included with View Composer to assist with this. Located under “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View Composer\SviConfig.exe” this command will unprotect any View Composer related protected entity.
Here is how to unprotect the host folder and any entities it may contain:
1. On the vCenter/View Composer server launch Start –> Run –> CMD
2. Browse to “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View Composer”
3. Type the command below replacing the default information with specific information for your environment.
“SviConfig -operation=UnprotectEntity -VcUrl=https://my.vc/sdk -Username=User1 -Password=123 -InventoryPath=”/My Datacenter/vm/MyReplicaFolder” -Recursive=True”
If this is successful it will return a confirmation of any entities unprotected. Now it will be possible to use vCenter to delete the newly unprotected entity.
[Related: Linked Clones the Easy, Scalable Way: Why View Composer Rocks]