Thin Provisioning: All you wanted to know
Here you will find out:
- what is thin provisioning
- thin provisioning usage in VMFS disks
- how DiskInternals can help you
Are you ready? Let's read!
What is virtual thin provisioning?
With thin provisioning, disks are small in size and grow as they fill up with data to the allocated size.
That is, the disk grows as much as it needs.
As soon as a new block is allocated, it is cleared.
If the performance here is tolerable, then saving disk space for using it for data is quite attractive.
Example of thin provisioning
If a disk uses thin provisioning, then it only lets you know about the used space. If VMware has a thick configuration, and your SAN is thin, then both VMware and SAN correctly determine the amount of free capacity, even if they show different values.
For example, you are the owner of a disk with a 500 GB capacity. Then only the used capacities are displayed in this marked drive. Let's say that, with a 500 GB drive, there is 10 GB of data, and, at the same time, it will be reported as using 10 GB.
Thin provisioning in VMFS formatted storages
For this you will need fairly new versions of ESXi, starting with 5.0. Also, your array must support the storage API based on T10 — integration with the array; it is best to learn about this condition from the manufacturer of the array. When the LUN has a thin provision, the storage array reports the logical size of the LUN. It may be larger than the actual physical capacity supporting this LUN.
Thin provisioning in VMFS formatted disk: data recovery
You can return any information from data storage based on the VMware VMFS file system. One application, with a record of 15 years of effectiveness in this field — DiskInternals VMFS Recovery — will help you with this. It also restores VMDK files stored on disks formatted using VMware ESX/ESXi Server. The most common limitations of Windows are bypassed during recovery, and virtual disks can be mounted as local disks available in Windows Explorer, etc.
Downloading and installing the utility, of course, is a priority.
Next, connect via SSH, if necessary.
Then open the disk (local disk or remote by SSH).
Next is the scanning process, after which you will need to find the necessary VMDK files.
Then proceed to mount the VMDK file and open it.
View files for free to check their integrity.
The final step is instant automatic recovery; to perform it you need to purchase a license to complete data export.
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