Creating a LUN on Netapp for use with VMWare

I am trying to creating a LUN on my netapp to use with VMWare ESXi 5.1.  I have read through the best practices manual created by netapp but I wanted to run this by someone before I implement.  The best practices states if I enabled dedupe on thin-provisioned LUNs that I should deploy the LUN in a flexvol that is provisioned with a capacity 2x the size of the LUN.  

My aggregate is 13.1TB
I create a 26TB Volume using SAN storage type as I am using iSCSI.  With 0% snapshot reserve, thin provisioned and storage efficiency enabled.  Can I verify that this is what I need to do to create a flexvol?

I then create a LUN as a VMWARE type and make it 13.1TB, Thin Provisioned.

Am I on the right path?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Do not create a VMWare LUN that large, with ESXi 5.1 you can't have VMDKs larger than 2TB and for practical reasons you should have multiple datastores unless you have really large VMs.  Your aggregate should have at least 10% available other you have performance issues.  Your SMVI/Netapp snapshots are volumes based so if you only have 1 LUN you're stuck doing a snapshot of VMs that aren't part of the backup.  You should also look at NFS Datastore option if you have the NFS license as well
PDISAuthor Commented:
So for the Volume, I want to create a NAS storage type?  Is it okay to create one Volume?  For Flexvol, do I set it to 26TB even though I only have 13TB?
Why dont you start with NFS? It is resizeable up and down...
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Keep things segmented, typically datastores (both block and file) are max of 2TB unless there is a huge file server. This keeps the snapshots managable.  We typically have general datastores with many like VM (utility servers) and have separate datastores for larger VMs (over 200GB).

With block you also have to deal with scsi locking so you don't want to make them huge unless needed.  Do not overprovision your datastores, this can get you in trouble.  Thin provisioning LUNs on the Netapp can get you trouble if you delete VM/files/logs, etc..  you will need to run space reclamation (normally the case with sql and exchange log volumes).  Have you accomodated for your snapshot retention and your snap reserve?  Lots of items to think about before jumping the gun.
PDISAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for your responses.  Here is where I am confused.  You say not to over provision, but Netapp says FlexVol volumes that are also thin provisioned with a capacity that is 2x the size of the LUN. When the LUN is deployed in this manner, the FlexVol volume acts merely as a quota. The storage consumed by the LUN is reported in FlexVol and its containing aggregate.  So I'm not overprovisioning the LUN, I'm overprovisioning the Volume.  Is that still going to cause me an issue?  

I was planning on setting the snapshot reserve at 10%, is that reasonable?  

I will have only one VM running SQL, would you recommend, is it okay to make that part of the same volume as my other VM's but make a separate LUN for it?

I also have another storage shelf for the netapp that I've yet to add in that will be just for file storage.  With what you said Paulsolov, is it okay to leave the full 13.1TB on that as one LUN or should I still segment that down?
Snapshot reserve is again an estimate.
VMware itself will make snapshots in files
If you have VAAI driver it will accelerate snapshots (vmx-09 vmx-10) and store them in snapshot space, eventually exceeding reserve.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
How large will the VM be?  What type of IOPs does it need?  Thick provisioning gets you better performance.  

If you're running SQL and you plan to use netapp snapmanager for SQL you will need a min. of 3 LUNs (and perhaps 4 if you need a LUN to place OS as VM)

1 Datastore for OS
1 LUN for Data
1 LUN for Logs
1 LUN for snapinfo

you can place all of these as NFS Datastores as Snapmanager for SQL support this.  Biggest problem in thin provisioning LUNs in SQL is that the log volume will get fragmented and you need to run snapdrive feature of space reclamation or you may run out of space on the log Netapp volume.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.