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ESXi 5.1 / 5.5 VM Snapshot Location

I would like to get other Experts opinions on this. Do post Admin store their VM snapshot on the default location or store the snapshots on another datastore?

If you do storage the snapshot on another datastore, have you run into any problems with vMotion, backups or overall VM performace?
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compdigit44
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compdigit44
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We've seen a mix of

1. Some Administrators do not know, you can change the working location!

2. Some VMware Administrators have a special fast LUN (e.g. SSD) for ALL the Snapshots of all the VMs, usually a large 2TB LUN, so as not to run out of space.

3. Some VMware Administrator use small LUNs per VM, and Manage the Snapshot issue accordingly, by setting Alerts in vCenter Server.

If you LUN is slow, datastore is under performing, you can have massive issues with snapshots, that are not closed by backups.

Also snapshots are usually generated by backup apps, so 8 x VMs all being backed up, with snapshots all on a single LUN, make sure you have fast spindles, or SSDs!

Not seen any issues with vMotion, Backup and Performance - yes!
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compdigit44Author Commented:
When you stated you have seen issues with performance, can you please explain
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
datastore performance, snapshot failure because of High disk I/O

8 VMs all writing to snapshots disks.

NOW, this being said, SSDs, vFlash can now help with all this I/O issues.
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compdigit44Author Commented:
Very interesting. So no problem with third part apps that use snapshot for backups.

How about storage vmotion?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You should not have ANY snapshots present before a Storage vMotion, so chaging working location, not very applicable!

As for Third Party applications, they will use the Storage API to control snapshot usage.
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compdigit44Author Commented:
Great input as always Hancock!!!

As a general rule of thumb should all snapshots be remove before a storage migration? What would happen if a snapshot was present?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, all snapshots should be removed before a Storage vMotion.

Migration of powered-on virtual machines with snapshots is supported in ESXi 5.0 and later.

BUT, VMs running on a snapshot are a known performance issues, Migrating with Snapshots will take longer, and Best Practice (DELETE ALL before you start!).

Depending upon your storage system, you may end with a timeout, no corruption will occur.

A Storage vMotion either fails or passses with no corruption.
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