So, I'm having a bit of a disagreement with a co-worker of mine. After a fair amount of research, I came to the conclusion that running DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded was a safe method of reducing disk consumption in the C:\Windows\winsxs folder. As I have come to understand, this is done by removing duplicated and otherwise revised patching uninstallation information (reference: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn251565.aspx ).
My position is that the DISM command is something that has been provided to users by Microsoft to manage the C:\Windows\winsxs, and that there is no risk in running it to streamline the patch uninstallation files on Windows 2008 R2 Servers. It is my belief that the warnings in TechNet articles about messing with the C:\Windows\winsxs folder are warnings about manually interfering with, compressing, or trying to delete data in this folder. They are not warning against the use of DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded. Perhaps I have mis-interpreted the articles on DISM commands.
My co-worker's position is that the use of DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded is dangerous, and that by executing this command, that is the interference that the TechNet articles are specifically warning against. He states that by running this to re-claim disk space, you are adding risk further down the road when a future patch will need to reference older patch files in the C:\Windows\winsxs folder. He feels that we have no business executing this command anywhere in any of the server environments we support in order to re-claim disk space.
I would like to hear your thoughts. It would be nice to hear from a Microsoft representative directly on this so that we can understand once and for all if running DISM with these switches is safe, and expected. Or, if it is potentially harmful, and executing it is basically shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot.
Further, I would welcome any other operational strategies for re-claiming disk space on the root drive that you may be able to share.
Thank you for your feedback! :)