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VMWare ESXi v4.1 thin provisioning

Posted on 2013-12-06
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Last Modified: 2014-01-02
Recently I learned that you can over provision your VM's and the local storage when utilizing thin provisioning.  Since then I've been trying to clean up one of my local LUN's...  I have one local LUN that shows only 17 GBs available.  One of the virtual disks that resides on this local LUN I recently cleared up 100 GBs...  But...  I don't see it reflect in the amount available.  Is this normal?
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Question by:gopher_49
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LVL 119
ID: 39702479
Yes its normal some SANs now have additional plugins and VAAI support to reclaim storage otherwise its move the VM storage vMotion if applicable once the data store is clear destroy it and recreate
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39702524
I'm using local LUNs.   I'm about to have a license to vmotion.   Will vmotion work when moving to another local LUN?   I have a Dell 2950 and running v4.1
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LVL 119
ID: 39702530
vMotion or Storage vMotion - only storage vMotion will move the VM from one datastore to another, with the VM Live and running.

otherwise shutdown VM, and Migrate.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39702541
I'll have both.   So..   I shouldn't have compatibility issues with my server being a Dell 2950?  Wasn't sure if certain procs or main boards are required.
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LVL 119
ID: 39703002
No issues.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39703691
Does this mean since I deleted 100 GBs of data from the volume that only shows 17GBs available that I can actually add 100 GBs back and it not dismount and that only the reporting is off?  Or   Do I need to move one of the disks off of this volume to allow more data to be copied without the concern of the volume dismounting?
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LVL 119
ID: 39703817
If you check from the console or SSH does it show this storage space?
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39703829
What are the commands from checking at the console?
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LVL 119
ID: 39703839
vdf and df

to reclaim space on some sans, you would need to move ALL the data off the volume (LUN), destroy the LUN, and re-create a new LUN.

all the free space would then be back on the new LUN.

Was the 100GB overprovisioned storage, that you didn't have? So by recovering it from the VM, would have reduce the vmdk from 117 to 17GB.

but if you had 17GB of storage on the datastore before, you are still going to have 17GB after!

because the 100GB overallocation, does not really exist!
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39703868
I created the volume when I had plenty of storage..  I delete 100 GBs from a VM that is on this datastore LUN.  I was hoping to see it give me storage back.  

I'm going to migrate many VM's off of this datastore.  I'm thinking then I'll free up some space.  I'll use vmotion next weekend to accomplish this.  I think that will free up space, correct?
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LVL 119
ID: 39704037
It may do!

But we have seen some SANs not give up the storage!

Was that 100GB vmdk, or 100GB in the VM?

was it a Thin Disk?
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39707316
It's a thin disk and I deleted 100 GBs from within the VM itself.
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LVL 119
ID: 39707355
okay, that is not going to change the used space on the datastore.

because the "0"s have already been changed to "1".

thin disks do not deflate, when data has been removed.

If you want to recover the storage space "e.g. reclaim" easiest method is to V2V using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5.

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

if you are licensed for Storage vMotion, you can change to Thick, complete a Storage vMotion, and then do another Storage vMotion, and change to Thin. (that will also do it!)
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39707364
If I change to Thick it will fill up the drive? Right?  What if I vMotion to a different ESXi server and datastore?
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LVL 119

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39707377
That's correct, if you have it set to thin, e.g. 500GB, thick will create a 500GB vmdk.

if you storage vMotion, and change to thick, you will need to ensure, it fits on the datastore!

otherwise V2V, - Converter, specify a new thin or thick disk size at conversion.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39712833
If the guest  OS when you deleted a lot of data from is Windows based you could try to install the Flig Reclaim guest OS tool on the VM...

http://labs.vmware.com/flings/guest-reclaim

It's a 50/50 shot at working..
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Author Closing Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39753100
Also if you move the VM to a different and/or disk to a different datastore it sometimes cleans up.
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