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Virtualization Through Thick and Thin

Aug 23, 2010, 19:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ken Hess)

"Back in the good old physical server days, you bought a server system, added disks to it and, after a time, when you came close to filling those disks, either you added more disks or replaced them with larger ones. Times have changed in the virtual world. You can still provision a static disk (Thick provisioning), which is typically much too large for the workload and any reasonable amount of growth. But, you do it to prevent that middle-of-the-night 'disk is full' call. With thin provisioning, you don't have to worry about that call anymore. Or, do you?

"Thin provisioning is an option presented to you during the virtual machine's disk creation step. The "thin" option provided is a dynamically expanding disk. Initially, the virtual disk only uses as much space as needed and then expands as necessary during the life of the virtual machine. And, what's even better than that, you ask. You can convert from a static disk to a dynamic (thin) disk even while your virtual machine is running. This sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it? It is. But, if you aren't vigilant, it can be your worst nightmare but you won't find that fact in any marketing literature."

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