Stoltze
Contributor
Contributor

Backing up thin provisioned images

Hi,

Got an issue/question:

ESXi 4.0

When creating a new guest machine, either on local disc or NFS share, I use thin provisioning.

So eg, after installing W2K3, actual size of vmdk is approx 3GB, and allowed size of disc is 15GB

If I copy the directory to a new one, on the same disc, the size remains approx 3GB

But, if I copy to another disc, it's being converted to a flat file, and now has the allowed size of 15GB..

How can I avoid this..?

Regards,

/Stoltze

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4 Replies
Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

Moved to the Backup and Recovery forum for vSphere.


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009

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MKguy
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Do you copy with cp, vmkfstools (clone) or another VMware tool?

Just a simpleton guess, but how do you assess the size of a vmdk on disk? Using ll -h, by chance? Because that will always display the maximum allowed size of a thin vmdk and not it's actual size. Use the datastore browser or du -h instead of ll to assess the actual used size of a vmdk.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

How can I avoid this..?

If you have vCenter Server just use the clone function.

If you are doing the copy from the CLI, just use vmkfstool for copy the vmdk file. (Also with standalone Converter 4 you can choose the destination disk type).

Andre

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GeorgeMahesh
Contributor
Contributor

I suggest to use SVmotion to move your vmdk from one datastore to another datastore to preserve the vmdk formats. Right click on the VM and choose migration, in the wizard choose migrate datastore and select "same format as the source" to preserve the vmdk format to thin.

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