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VMWare: Disk Overhead

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Provisioned Space is larger under "Resources" than inside "Disk Provisioning". So how much SAN space is actually needed for a 60GB template?
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Question by:TPG-IT
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34954344
You should only need 60GB, plus extra space for the size of the remaining files in the Template folder (.nvram, .logs, etc.). What is the discrepancy amount between the 2?

~coolsport00
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bgoering earned 400 total points
ID: 34954545
That kind of depends on how you provision you disk. If you use "thin" provisioning very little space is initially used, but it can grow up to 60GB as you add data to it. If you use any kind of "thick" provisioning you will allocate 60GB for the "flat" file that actually holds the data on the disk, plus just a few bytes (less than 4k typically) for the descripter file. A small amount will also be used for the items listed by coolsport00. When you power on the vm a swap file is created that is the same size as the allocated memory for the vm, so if you have a 4GB vm then a 4GB swap file is created. The size of this file can be reduced by making memory reservation for the virtual machine - but this should only be done if it is absolutely critical the ESX never swap memory contents to disk.

Hope this helps
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by:TPG-IT
ID: 34955162
If I have a 60GB template, and 12GB of memory, I am really using 72GB of space on the SAN?
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by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 100 total points
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Somewhat. It would be 72GB only if it was a VM and was powered on, when swap files become active.

~coolsport00
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by:bgoering
ID: 34955693
For a template no - but for deploying a vm and then running that vm 72gb would be correct assuming disk was thick provisioned.
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by:Tolomir
ID: 34973745
I've learned today that it gets a bit more complicated. The SAN volumes that contain the luns also keep snapshots of the luns (which are files at the volume level). So depending on the number of snapshots being taken at the volume level you have to consider additional space needed.

We store our backups in the same SAN where we keep our virtual machines this is the fasted method to create the backups but this also implies that we have only half of the storage available for virtual machines.

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