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Thin provisioning when setting up a storage pool

Posted on 2013-11-18
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How does (or does) thin provisioning affect the number of physical disks needed to create a single volume with parity redundancy when creating a storage pool?  For example, if I need to create a volume with 750 GB of usable space using 200 GB drives, would I still need to use 5  physical drives or would the thin provisioning allow me to use fewer?  Thank you
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Question by:CCSWilk
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andyalder earned 2000 total points
ID: 39657523
750 GB of *usable* space would take the same number of disks as it would with traditional "fat" provisioning. Using thin provisioning you could start off with just 200GB of physical space but make the OS see that as 750GB. Try to copy more than 200GB of data to it though and you'll get an error under the OS saying it can't write to disk but you should get a warning from the storage telling you to add more disks before that time.
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by:CCSWilk
ID: 39657608
Thank you - One follow up - What is the benefit of making the OS see 200 GB as 750 GB?
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by:CCSWilk
ID: 39657698
Excellent!!  Thank you very much!
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by:andyalder
ID: 39657760
I guess you worked out the benefit of letting the OS see more space than there is, it saves having to grow the filesystem after you add more storage. You do have to be careful of filling up the filesystem and then emptying it though because most thin provisioning doesn't realise that space is now free since only the master file table entries are deleted, and be careful of defragmenting as that can have a similar effect.
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