dimsys
Contributor
Contributor

Thin Provisioning on NFS?

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Greetings all--

I have been creating VMs on ESX 3.5 using NetApp NFS data stores. By default, the VMs are thin provisioned (very nice, I'm creating VMs with 120GB drives for example and they wind up taking 12-13GB after the OS is loaded-- slick).

I had a couple VMs that were running on VMware Server. I used VMware Converter to migrate these VMs to my new ESX 3.5 setup. Everything worked great, however the disks are not thin provisioned, they are taking up the full capacity on the NFS data store.

Probably because they were not thin provisioned to begin with when running on VMware Server, but is there any way to do this differently to take advantage of the thin provisioning capability?

Thanks for any feedback.

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David_Ank
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

When using Local Storage or Iscsi SAN the storage is managed by the ESX server that formats the given VMDK size with VMFS.

The same is with VMware Server.

When using NFS the storage is managed by Netapp and there for allows Thin Provisioning.

Regarding your problem, I would try installing the converter as an agent inside the VM and then Export it to the ESX.

In that way the Converter will export the data into new VMDK and not Copy it.

If not try using Image software , create new VM and the deploy the image into it.

Regards,

David

Regards, David

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David_Ank
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

When using Local Storage or Iscsi SAN the storage is managed by the ESX server that formats the given VMDK size with VMFS.

The same is with VMware Server.

When using NFS the storage is managed by Netapp and there for allows Thin Provisioning.

Regarding your problem, I would try installing the converter as an agent inside the VM and then Export it to the ESX.

In that way the Converter will export the data into new VMDK and not Copy it.

If not try using Image software , create new VM and the deploy the image into it.

Regards,

David

Regards, David

View solution in original post

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DougBaer
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

One thing I have done before is to create a new VM on the NFS datastore and then use something like Ghost to image the old VM's data into the new VMDK on the NFS datastore.

If you are comfortable on the command line, you can try something else... use vmkfstools to clone the old disk into a new, thin-provisioned disk:

vmkfstools -i /vmfs/volumes/LOCAL-DATASTORE/myOld.vmdk -d thin /vmfs/volumes/NFS-DATASTORE/myNew.vmdk

Doug Baer, Staff Architect, Sr. Manager of vPod Architecture team for the VMware Hands-on Labs | VCDX #019, vExpert 2012-20 | @dobaer