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VMware Thin Provisioning and Equallogic thin provisioning

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  • VMware Thin Provisioning and Equallogic thin provisioning

    Hi Guys,

    I am at planning stage on my Virtualization project,

    I have

    Two ESXi4.1 servers
    1 EQL PS4000 with 5TB usable space,

    I have 2 file servers on win2003 based physical servers, one with 600GB and other with 300GB data on it, I am planning to create 1 VM with 1.5TB disk and then move both server data on this VM,

    Now there is option for thin provisioning on EQL PS4000 and inside VMware when you try to create a new VM disk,

    My question is which one to use?

    I figured that ps4000 thin provisioning is not a good option to use as it will not allow you to reclaim the space you have deleted data for, is same thing true for VMware thin provisioning?

    If I can not reclaim the space for the deleted data what is the benefit of using Thing provisioning?

    Also I am planning on upgrading my exch2000 box which is on a physical server to Exch 2007 std edition on VM, can anybody share what I should be aware of? Hardware Req for exch07 on Virtualized environment? space requirement?

    I believe Exch07 std has 300GB database limit, then should I create volume of 650GB and Install Exch07 on top of it so I have enough space for Database defrag etc?

  • #2
    Re: VMware Thin Provisioning and Equallogic thin provisioning

    You really want to use thin provisioning on the VM but not on the storage volumes. Use the Microsoft iSCSI initiator on your virtualized file server to connect to file storage LUN's on the SAN. You can always increase the size of the file storage LUNS using the Dell SAN management console, and then extend the volumes on the file server's MMC. You will also want to install the Dell HIT kit on the file server VM.

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    • #3
      Re: VMware Thin Provisioning and Equallogic thin provisioning

      I called Dell and they tell me that Thin Provisioning should be done on the array it shelf to be more effective, but anyway, even if I do it on Array or at VM level, it is not going to reclaim the space that is deleted,

      For example, if I create 500GB thin volume on the array and then create 400GB thin Provisioned VM disk, and the if I put 300GB data on that VM, Array manager will show that 300GB in used space,

      After this If I delete 200GB from the VM, Array manager will still show 300GB in use,

      Now, If I add 100GB of new data on that VM, on the VM it will show 200GB in use, but on the Array it will show 400GB used, as it can not reclaim the deleted space.

      This make me wonder why would somebody use Thin Volume if you can not recover deleted space,

      Most of the environment will be deleting older data over the times or archiving them, and if you can not recover that space, it does not make sense to use thin volume, speacially with emails and database servers,

      Can anybody give me good scenario where using thin volume make sense?

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      • #4
        Re: VMware Thin Provisioning and Equallogic thin provisioning

        If you provision at the VM level I'm sure you can sVmotion the VM to another datastore and reclaim the free space.
        Michael Armstrong
        www.m80arm.co.uk
        MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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        • #5
          Re: VMware Thin Provisioning and Equallogic thin provisioning

          I have only one PS4000 with 4.8TB usable space,

          I am planning to put my file server data on it, which is about 2TB and email server with 100mailbox, for which I would leave 500GB (I know it is access but I want to leave extra space for Email database defrag etc..) we are also planning put ERP database on it, which will be about 1.5TB.

          As for the file server data is concern, we archive or delete older data every year, so this is where I find problem with Thin provisioning, as it can not reclaim that deleted space, and I am sure lot of other company are also deleting older datas, and every time if you have to copy the existing data to a new volume to reclaim the space, it would not make sense if I have large data and not enough space to copy it on a new volume,

          I am sure lot of other company is also in the same boat like me, I would appreciate if you share how you use thin provisioning in your environment?

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          • #6
            Re: VMware Thin Provisioning and Equallogic thin provisioning

            For our File and Printer servers we currently use RDM's in virtual mode to write directly to the LUN thus not really having this issue.

            Michael
            Michael Armstrong
            www.m80arm.co.uk
            MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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