VMware ESXi v4.1 thin provisioning

Posted on 2014-01-12
Last Modified: 2014-01-26
I have a datastore that is only showing 1.6 GBs of space available.  If I move data off of this drive it won't show the space being free.  I've opened up a thread in the past and it seems to be a known that space will not be released unless I move the disk to a different datastore or move the VM completely to a different host.. But..  If I move data off of this thin provision disk will it dismount if ESXi is reporting to vsphere it being low or will it truly know how much space is available?  The reality is that I have 1.6 GBs free but I'm about to move 70 GBs to another datastore.. But..  Will it void dropping since I moved 70 GBs or is it going to drop based on what's being reported?
Question by:gopher_49
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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:vmwarun - Arun
vmwarun - Arun earned 334 total points
ID: 39775793
The target datastore would be checked for required space when you Storage vMotion a VM from its source datastore, so to answer your question, YES the migration would happen successfully.

Author Comment

ID: 39775849
But.. I'm not migrating right now.. I'm just trying to void ESXi or vSphere from dismounting a VM due to low space.  vSphere THINKS there is only 1.6GBs left but I know for a fact I moved over 70 GBs to a different datastore.  Does ESXi/vSphere dismount/pause a VM based on the available space noted in the vSphere client or does it truly look at the available space on the ESXi host datastore?
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

vmwarun - Arun earned 334 total points
ID: 39775876
When you think about thin provisioning, there are 2 terms associated with storage, provisioned space and used space. If both these terms are equal in size, then you haven't reclaimed any storage space. Check if any VMs have snapshots which can also consume space on the datastore.
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LVL 120

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 166 total points
ID: 39775899
It depends which SAN you have, some SANs, you need to run a VMFS reclaim on the datastore with VMFS, to reclaim the storage space.

see here

VMware KB: Using vmkfstools to reclaim VMFS deleted blocks on thin-provisioned LUNs

Using esxcli in vSphere 5.5 to reclaim VMFS deleted blocks on thin-provisioned

VMware KB: Thin Provisioning Block Space Reclamation  (VAAI UNMAP) does not work

So have you tried the  vmkfstools -y command ? (5.0 and 5.1)

Author Comment

ID: 39782720
I'm running v4.1.  Will these commands work on 4.1?
LVL 120
ID: 39782790
I'm afraid not. (5.0 and 5.1).

Author Comment

ID: 39782798
ouch..  At this point it's worth upgrading to v5 to be able to run this command.  The ESXi install is on a memory stick so storage is not a problem there.
LVL 120
ID: 39782823
Reclaim features are very effective in 5.x.

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