I'v got an ovf-appliance. The .vmdk in the ovf folder is about 1 GB. The actual virtual disk size is 40 GB - since most of it is unused, the .vmdk is quite small.
When I'm trying to import the appliance to my ESX 3i server everything seems to work normal. The import wizzard tell's me, that the target-disk-size is 40 GB and that it has to transfer like 980 MB or so. But when the transfer starts it just goes for like forever. The network connetion is maxed @ 10-15mbit/s and the import-progress-windows shows like 500 minutes left. (Thats about the time that you'll need to transfer 40 GB with 10-15mbit/s).
Since I have to transfer another Machine (vmdk-size: 15 GB, vdisk size is 250 GB(!)) I don't want to upload the whole 250GB to my VM-Server...
Is this behaviour normal or did I make a mistake?
NFS uses thin provisioning by default. Add an NFS store to your ESXi host especially for testing etc. You can manually create thin disks from the command line but that will be limited to an SSH local login since the RCLI will not allow writes at least in the current U4 version. That doesn't help adding an appiance. NFS is your friend. You can simply add a Linux server to your network and export an NFS share. Very easy to do. As an alternative you can add SFU from Microsoft which gives you NFS on Windows. A little harder but useful. You can add an inexpensive NAS device to your network (as long as it does support NFS).
no the issue was not about the monolithic vmdk on the ESXi. That's ok with me because I have plenty of disk-space on my ESXi box (but it's good to know that there are ways to create "growing" vmdks).
What I originally observed was, that when I'm importing an appliance that has a logical size of 40gig, but the converter made it an nice and compact 1gig ovf/vmdk and im transferring it to the esxi via the VI-Client, the client tells me the estimated time to copy 40gig at the current bandwith. Actually the VI-Client just transmits the 1gig, and is done after that in like 45minutes or so, although it initally stated that the import task will take like 600 minutes (40gig @ 10mbits)...