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  • VMware ESXi Storage

    Once again, I've come to the best IT forum on the planet to find out information that I can't find on my own.

    I have two NFS servers with 2TB of RAID10 storage available to my 3 VMware ESXi 4.1 hosts for data stores. In total I have nearly 2TB of virtual machines spread across them at the moment. The largest of these has two discs that total 1.1TB of storage for our primary file server.

    I'm concerned about the WAY in which VMware uses these datastores for the running virtual machines. If I understand the process correctly, VMware works a lot like Exchange in that changes to the virtual machine's drive are first written to log files and then committed to the actual disc at a later time. Once the changes have been committed, the log files are deleted.

    If that is actually the way it works, then my question is: How much extras free space should I plan on leaving on the NFS servers as I continue to use/expand onto them?

    The only document I've seen that quotes any number at all from VMware says that I should leave at least 200MB of free space on each datastore. To me, that seems inadequate to say the least.

    So, to all of the VMware masters here, what would you recommend? 20%? 10%?
    --

    ScatterBrain

    "I reject your reality and substitute my own!"
    -- The Mythbusters

  • #2
    Re: VMware ESXi Storage

    The .vmdk file for the virtual disk is written to directly - there's no logging concept as you wrote about.

    There are virtual disk snapshots which can work in that kind of way, but they're normally only used during VM-level backups and deleted when the virtual disk snapshot is removed at the end of the backup. That's why you'd need to leave some space free, to allow for the snapshot files to be created and filled - but the size of those files will depend on the write activity against the virtual disk mid-backup.

    I'd say 10-20% sounds reasonable...
    VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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    • #3
      Re: VMware ESXi Storage

      Originally posted by scott28tt View Post
      The .vmdk file for the virtual disk is written to directly - there's no logging concept as you wrote about.
      Thatnks for the clarification - now I know.


      Originally posted by scott28tt View Post
      I'd say 10-20% sounds reasonable...
      Yeah, I think I'll shoot for that 20% range as an indicator that I need to do something with storage.

      Thanks for the fast reply and the insight.
      --

      ScatterBrain

      "I reject your reality and substitute my own!"
      -- The Mythbusters

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      • #4
        Re: VMware ESXi Storage

        Is Fibre Channel Storage possible for Home lab?

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        • #5
          Re: VMware ESXi Storage

          Originally posted by srijit92 View Post
          Is Fibre Channel Storage possible for Home lab?
          If you have the funds then yes.

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