Photubias
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

NFS Thin Provisioning becomes thick after creation

Hi,

We use a Windows Server 2012 Storage Server as our SAN and NAS system. Works perfectly, even with NFS on Windows.

Our NFS-LUN is a LUN we keep our templates on for VMs.

When we create VMs on the NFS-LUN, the wizard only let's you choose for Thin Provisioning, which is normal and good since we only use the datastore for templates.

However: the second after they are created we look at the settings of the VM and it says Eager Zeroed Thick Provisioned.

This is confirmed when we look at the NAS-side, the NFS export only shows vmdk-files of their full size ...

Can anyone shed a light please?

Extra (has nothing to do with the question above): is there a VAAI plugin for Windows Server as a SAN?

Thanks in advance


4 Replies
marcelo_soares
Champion
Champion

This will depend on the provisioning type at your NAS device. What device are you using? As ESXi have no control over the filesystem at the NFS export, it will use whatever the device uses.

Marcelo Soares
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Photubias
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi, thanks for the response.

Was the first sentence of my question not: "We use a Windows Server 2012 Storage Server as our SAN and NAS system."

Does that not answer your question?

ESXi has no control over the filesystem (doesn't even know which one it uses), but how does it suggest that thick provisioning is not an option and afterwards be able to report that it is Eager Zeroed Thick?

Does anyone else use a Windows Server as NFS server and does they notice the same issue?

Thanks

marcelo_soares
Champion
Champion

As Windows is not supported as NFS storage, this may be the problem, as the OS does not have the capability to keep the VMDKs thin provisioned.

Here is a good "workaround" for this kind of setup: http://miketrellosblog.arcadecab.com/2010/09/compressing-windows-nfs-share-to-simulate-esxi-thin-pro...

Hope this helps.

Marcelo Soares
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Lapsap201110141
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Photubias wrote:

[snipped]

Does anyone else use a Windows Server as NFS server and does they notice the same issue?

Thanks

Yes, I have the same problem here when I deploy VM's.  I have Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Standard (a specialized cheap storage only edition for poor guy like me) on a Dell server in which Services for Network File System role is installed.

I also don't quite understand the reply from Marcelo Soares in that I don't see how the filesystem could lead to this problem.  I mean, in VMware Workstation, virtual disks inside any VM can very well be "not preallocated" whereas we are using NTFS filesystem.  Virtual disk files have the "correct" size they are supposed to have.  "Non preallocated" and "thin provisioning": maybe they are not the same technique, but they are achieving the same thing.  I don't know, it seems to me that the problem comes from vSphere client which can't make "non preallocated" vDisks on NFS.

For me, I'm used to make VM inside my Workstation first before putting them on ESXi.  So, my workaround is to upload the whole VM folder via vSphere client instead of exporting the VM to OVF and deploy it from within vSphere client.  This actually saves a lot of time!

Or even better, I upload the whole VM folder directly to NFS server if possible and refresh the storage inside vSphere client once the upload is finished.  This saves enough more time!

But for your problem in which virtual disks are also created and "thick", I have no solution for you.  Sorry.

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